Best Bike Ride with the Kids

Golden Gate Park Panhandle to S.F. Zoo

Among the pleasures of raising a family in San Francisco is riding bikes with your children. The city's linked series of oceanside and bayside parks and weekend street closures in Golden Gate Park and on the Embarcadero mean it's possible to tour some of the world's most beautiful landscapes without having to worry about the wee ones getting run over. Key to such two-wheeled family outings is plotting routes uninterrupted by highly trafficked streets. Riding from the eastern tip of Golden Gate Park to the zoo is one such trip. If you don't live near Golden Gate Park's eastern entrance, various bus lines — with bike racks on the front — converge on the vicinity, including the 5, 6, 7, 71, 21, 33, and the 31. Take the bike trail on the south side of John F. Kennedy Drive under Crossover Drive. Turn left on Transverse Drive, make a quick left on Overlook Drive, and then take the bike trail from the Polo Fields to the Beach Chalet. Once there, follow a bike trail south to the zoo. Spend a couple of hours ogling animals and eating cotton candy, and then head back with a peloton of kids contented, yet tired enough to allow everyone a peaceful night's sleep.

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