What to Do at the Zoo in San Francisco, California

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Wondering what to do while in San Francisco? Why not take a trip to the famed San Francisco Zoo? The zoo has reopened to the public and its hours of operation are 10am to 5pm. General admission to the zoo for adults between the ages of 12-64 is $25. Seniors 65 and over is $20. Children between the ages of 2-11 are $18, and children under the age of 2 are free! Alternately, you might like to become a member of the zoo. Pricing begins for Seniors at $89 for 2 adults. The Individual plan is $119 while the Family plan for 2 adults and 3 children is $159. The Family Plus plan for 2 adults, 1 guest, and 4 children is $199.

If you’d like to go on a specialized tour of the zoo, check out the Wild Walks: Animal Amble experiences! A guide will lead you throughout various paths of the zoo, often taking differing routes every time, so no matter if you’ve gone on one before, you won’t have the same experience twice. This event is $15 per person or $10 for members. Children 3 and under are free but they must be carried or in a stroller throughout the tour. If you’re in a group, no more than 12 guests are allowed. These guides know insider knowledge of the zoo and the animals, so this is no run-of-the-mill tour. Tours are held Monday through Wednesday at 11am, or Friday through Sunday at 11am and also 3pm. Beginning Thursday April 2nd, the tour will be available on Thursdays at 11am.

If you want to learn a bit of history about the zoo, you’ll definitely want to go on the Wild Walks: History Tour. These tours are held every weekend January through March, Fridays through Sundays at 2pm. Price of the event is $40 per person or $30 for members. Children 3 and under are absolutely free, and your group size for this tour is limited to 8 guests. On this tour, you’ll learn the history of the zoo, fun facts, and behind-the-scenes knowledge that isn’t exactly common knowledge. For the history buff or someone who loves trivia, this is the tour for you. Please reserve all tickets online at least 48 hours in advance on the San Francisco Zoo’s website.

Due to Covid-19, most of the events and attractions at the San Francisco Zoo are closed until further notice. The exhibits, however, are open for all to enjoy. The shops are open, and you can find the perfect souvenir to remember your day at the zoo, from apparel to water bottles, keychains, magnets, plushies, hats, toys, books, and more! Limited food is available at the zoo as well, however all seating will be outside. Please plan to pay with credit card or a service such as Apple Pay. The zoo requires all guests over the age of 2 years to properly wear a mask over your nose and mouth and practice social distancing.

Come on down to the San Francisco Zoo and have a roaring good time!

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Five Best Airbnb’s in San Francisco, CA

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Whether you are looking for some time away from work, a romantic weekend with your significant other, or just some quality downtime with the family, you can’t go wrong with an Airbnb.

Through the booking and use of an Airbnb, you can choose the environment of your choice, along with the city and location as well.  Choosing an Airbnb can prove to be an economical choice when looking to spend some getaway time. 

With this in mind, we have gathered five of the top-rated Airbnb’s in the San Francisco, CA area.

Romantic Getaway Oceanview Retreat

This serene and private Japanese inspired retreat is just a 3-minute walk to town, the beach, and trails. Wear your yukata (kimono) to the inside/outside bathhouse to experience a Japanese soaking tub. Sleep to the sound of waves, wake to bird songs.  This intimate, quiet space invites you to calm your mind, relax your body and restore your vitality.

Not suitable for children under 12.  No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

Family Spacious Home

If you like to relax and be away from the city after a whole day of sightseeing, this is the place for you. This spacious, comfortable home in the charming town of Brisbane, 20-30 minutes to downtown SF depending on traffic, 10 minutes to SFO airport, and easy access to all the surrounding Bay area cities. Guests have access to the entire 1st and 2nd floor of the house. Tenant occupies 3rd floor.

No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

Near a famous landmark Spacious Quiet Retreat

Extremely spacious, quiet, light, and modern one-bedroom apartment in the energetic Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. Close to everything’ in a vibrant urban setting, a community that offers practical luxuries and quality essentials. You are within walking distance from Union Square, the Financial District, China Town, SoMa, Civic Center, and other major attractions (and movie buffs: many film locations from Vertigo and other movies).  It is an easy walk to theaters, dining, museums, shopping, many other attractions or work.

Parties and smoking are not permitted.

Luxury Ocean Front Beach Cottage

Small cottage right on the beach. Very close to San Francisco – 20 min from the Golden Gate Bridge. Romantic getaway. Perfect for couples or as a quiet retreat for an individual. Wood burning fireplaces in the living room and bedroom. Large deck and private hot tub overlooking the ocean.  Countless trails along the sea or in the Headlands overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.

Not suitable for children under 12.  No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

Budget Sunny SOMA Studio

This modern art-filled studio with polished cement floors is located right in the heart of downtown San Francisco–conveniently located next to Whole Foods Market. The bay, ferry building, restaurants, and shopping are within walking distance. The building has a beautiful rooftop patio with breath-taking views, plenty of seating, and BBQ grills. Get ready to enjoy San Francisco like a local.

Pets, parties, smoking not permitted.

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One Day Getaways in the Bay Area for #TravelTuesday

Are you located in the Bay Area and need a little inspiration for a Travel Tuesday day trip? If so, here are some fun ideas located near both San Francisco and Oakland that will make you feel like you’ve had a little getaway.

Sausalito

Located just 27 minutes from San Francisco and 37 minutes from Oakland, Sausalito is a Marin County town that’s perfect for an escape. Located on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito combines small-town charm, nature, and stunning views with galleries, shopping, and gourmet food and wine worthy of a city. And fun fact: it’s been ranked the 3rd happiest seaside town in the country. For a perfect travel Tuesday, spend the day walking around the main street enjoying the whimsical and artsy shops, see if you can spot a sea lion while taking in the harbor views, and then go pay a visit to the town’s historical houseboat community.

Muir Woods National Monument

If you’re looking to get away from the city and escape into nature, take a trip to Muir Woods, which is run by the National Parks Service. This beautiful old-growth forest preserve is filled with towering coastal redwoods, lush ferns, and the biggest clover you’ve ever seen! While the main paths get a little crowded with tourists excited to see the 600-1200 year old trees, hiking paths leading away from the main parts of the monument are a great place to social distance. Whether you want to take a quick peek at the trees with your toddler or take a semi-challenging hike up hillsides, you can happily pass some time here. The park has a gift shop, restrooms, and ample parking, but you’ll need to be sure to reserve a timed entry ticket ahead of time.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Another natural wonder run by the National Parks service in the Bay Area is the Point Reyes National Seashore. This cape features lighthouses, coastal hikes, and beaches for you to explore on your day away from the bustle of San Francisco or Oakland. Keep your eyes out for Elk or Elephant seals while you’re exploring all the beauty this area has to offer! And while you’re here, make a stop at the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse. Built in 1870, the red-roofed building is very photogenic.

Napa Valley

California’s wine country is just an hour and 15 minutes north of Oakland, making it perfect for a day trip. There are hundreds of vineyards on the hillsides here for you to explore with wine tasting or a ride on the vintage locomotive and restaurant, Napa Valley Wine Train! Even if you aren’t a fan of wine -or are the designated driver for the day- Napa Valley has a lot to offer as a day trip location. The region also is known for gourmet food, such as you may find at the Oxbow Public Market. While you’re exploring the region’s food, drop in on hidden gems like Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Co and Kollar Chocolates.

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Five Awesome Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s 2021 in San Francisco

Valentine’s Day is coming up next month, but roses, chocolate, and Hallmark cards aren’t for everyone. If you’d rather round up your best gal pals and celebrate the joys of female friendship on Galentine’s Day, read on, because we’ve rounded up five fun ways to celebrate with your girls this year in San Francisco!

Atelier Crenn

A classic way to spend the evening is dinner and drinks at a renowned restaurant. That’s tricky at the moment with current regulations due to the pandemic, however, one of the most accoladed restaurants in San Francisco is finding a clever workaround. Atelier Crenn, a French restaurant with 3 Michelin Stars and an award-winning female chef, is finding ways to bring its cuisine to you. With one of its to-go experiences, you’ll pick-up a gourmet selection of food and then log onto their website for assemblage and plating instructions.

Grubstake Diner

If you’re looking for a more mom-and-pop type restaurant, Grubstake Diner is the place to go. It’s been serving American and Portuguese cuisine inside an old train car since the 1960s. Like any diner, their breakfast options are decadent, but you’ll have to have breakfast for dinner because they don’t open until 6:30 pm. If you and the gals want to meet up in the evening for some drinks and land there later, they’re also a perfect spot for some late-night snacks like mozzarella sticks and wings -they’re open until 2 am.

West Bluff Picnic Area

If you’re trying to be safe due to COVID-19, an outdoor celebration is the way to go. And even in February, a picnic is a fun way to connect with your gals. Just bring a waterproof tarp for under your picnic blanket, some cozy blankets to snuggle in, and a thermos of hot cocoa! For the best location, have your gal pals meet you at West Bluff Picnic Area. You really can’t beat the views of the Golden Gate Bridge from this grassy area. And with restrooms, picnic tables, and grills, you’ll have everything you need.

Skatin’ Place

If your friends aren’t content to just sit around and chat, you’re going to want an activity to get everyone moving. How about throwing it back by strapping on your roller skates? The best place to go for roller skating, due to current regulations, is outdoors. Skatin’ Place at Golden Gate Park has a long history of roller skaters enjoying the views and the nice weather. On Sundays, chances are there will be music playing and you can join in some group dances.

Museum of Ice Cream

Want to celebrate in a unique way and get some dreamy photos for your Instagram while you’re at it? Visit the Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco. This pink-hued, interactive experience has fun activities and photo ops like a slide into a pool of sprinkles! Obviously, before you leave, you’ll have to pay a visit to the café for some scoops of ice cream in a homemade waffle cone.

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Best resources in San Francisco, CA, to throw a fabulous virtual New Years’ Eve Party!

With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, many party-goers are trying to plan out how they will ring in the new year and still keep the party safe and festive. 

With the ongoing pandemic, and many cities and states mandating that party-goers forego the usual gathering in groups to celebrate the festivities, an alternate method of celebrating the ball drop appears to be in order this year—virtual celebrations.

With this mindset, we have sought out some of the best sources in San Francisco, CA, for drinks and food that will make ringing in the New Year less of a chore, and more of a blast!

Alchemist Bar & Lounge

Located at 679 3rd Street

415.746.9968

Dim, trendy cocktail bar with steampunk decor prepares signature drinks with house-made ingredients and offer take out and no contact delivery options.

True Laurel

Located at 753 Alabama Street

415.341.0020

Innovative cocktails & refined bar bites are the draw at this stylish bar from the Lazy Bear team that also offers takeout and delivery options.

Casements Bar

Located at 2351 Mission Street

415.658.7320

Exposed brick & plank floors outfit this cozy cocktail den with an Irish flair & upscale bar snacks with the options of takeout or delivery.

If you are looking more for options that offer delivery to those friends that are close and local, who you want to be able to join in on the festivities as well, we have two suggestions.

SF Room Service

Located at 3347 24th Street

415.566.7666

A local option which delivers casual snacks, plus beer, wine & liquor, to both homes & offices.

PlumpJack Wine & Spirits

Located at 3201 Fillmore Street

415.346.9870

Cozy shop with an extensive collection of European & Californian labels along with unique finds offering convenient delivery.

And, lest we forget those friends and family that are out of town.  For them, why not have a little libation delivered conveniently to their doorstep, whether they live across town or across the country.

Drizly

When you want a variety and you want it quickly, Drizly has up a large, alcohol marketplace to shop for beer, wine, and spirits. Drizly collaborates with retail stores in cities across North America to offer a huge selection and competitive pricing, delivered to your door in as little as an hour.

Most of us will find ourselves celebrating New Year’s at home this year.  However, that doesn’t mean that the party has to be put on hold.  With the age of the internet, why not take your party to the next level and have a virtual get-together. 

With a little creativity and the use of the internet, you can have your food and drinks delivered right to you, or those party guests from out of town.

The extra added advantage is that everyone can join in the fun as no designated drivers are needed, and once the party is over, hey, your already home.

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Noteworthy Places to View Christmas Lights in San Francisco

2020 was interesting – or should we say infamous for the crazy events it included. Before a year that many would call a disaster comes to an end, we can at least all still have some holiday cheer. Although many holiday traditions are being altered or skipped this holiday season, there is still cheer to be found! In many places, including San Francisco, a festive activity that is still socially-distant is viewing Christmas lights around the town.

Whatever you’re looking for this year, there are multiple options for a festive outing either walking outdoors or driving past in your car. Check out the list below for the top spots to get lost in the twinkle of Christmas lights!

Illuminate SF Festival of Lights

Illuminate SF Festival of Lights is now in its 8th year with 44 eco-friendly displays. This is an urban lights festival, accessible by San Francisco’s public transportation. You’ll enjoy a free, guided tour through a neighborhood of your choice and learn all about the various artists that have breathed life into their displays. This event is open now until January 3rd.

For more details see their website: HERE

“Entwined” in Golden Gate Park

“Entwined” is an art installation by San Francisco artist Charles Gadeken transforming Peacock Meadow within Golden Gate Park into a forest of enchantment of shapes and light that inspire the imagination. “Entwined” honors Golden Gate Park’s 150th Anniversary. This show is open from December 10-February 28. Do not miss it!

For more details, visit their website and click: HERE

68 Castro Street 

San Francisco is home to many iconic and eclectic homes. 68 Castro Street is one that went all out for the holidays! Drive by to catch a glimpse and snap a pic!

This blog post is brought to you by On Air Parking, a parking service offering affordable and convenient parking by major airports. On Air Parking is currently offering parking rates as low as $7.13/day for SFO Airport. For more details visit OnAirParking’s website.

The San Francisco-based startup first launched its popular parking deals in 2016, with pilot locations in Denver, Atlanta, and Chicago. They now have locations across the country.

To purchase parking at your local airport, visit https://www.onairparking.com/

About On Air Parking

On Air Parking is an airport parking reservation company that aims to disrupt the airport parking vertical. Present in 35 markets, the San Francisco-based startup guarantees the cheapest rates at five-star parking facilities, with free cancellations and free shuttle services to get to and back from the airport. To purchase guaranteed off airport parking near your local airport, visit onairparking.com.

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Noteworthy Places to View Christmas Lights in San Francisco

2020 was interesting – or should we say infamous for the crazy events it included. Before a year that many would call a disaster comes to an end, we can at least all still have some holiday cheer. Although many holiday traditions are being altered or skipped this holiday season, there is still cheer to be found! In many places, including San Francisco, a festive activity that is still socially-distant is viewing Christmas lights around the town.

Whatever you’re looking for this year, there are multiple options for a festive outing either walking outdoors or driving past in your car. Check out the list below for the top spots to get lost in the twinkle of Christmas lights!

  1. Illuminate SF Festival of Lights

Illuminate SF Festival of Lights is now in its 8th year with 44 eco-friendly displays. This is an urban lights festival, accessible by San Francisco’s public transportation. You’ll enjoy a free, guided tour through a neighborhood of your choice and learn all about the various artists that have breathed life into their displays. This event is open now until January 3rd.

For more details see their website: HERE

  1. “Entwined” in Golden Gate Park

“Entwined” is an art installation by San Francisco artist Charles Gadeken transforming Peacock Meadow within Golden Gate Park into a forest of enchantment of shapes and light that inspire the imagination. “Entwined” honors Golden Gate Park’s 150th Anniversary. This show is open from December 10-February 28. Do not miss it!

For more details, visit their website and click: HERE

  1. 68 Castro Street 

San Francisco is home to many iconic and eclectic homes. 68 Castro Street is one that went all out for the holidays! Drive by to catch a glimpse and snap a pic!

This blog post is brought to you by On Air Parking, a parking service offering affordable and convenient parking by major airports. On Air Parking is currently offering parking rates as low as $7.13/day for SFO Airport. For more details visit OnAirParking’s website.

The San Francisco-based startup first launched its popular parking deals in 2016, with pilot locations in Denver, Atlanta, and Chicago. They now have locations across the country.

To purchase parking at your local airport, visit https://www.onairparking.com/

About On Air Parking

On Air Parking is an airport parking reservation company that aims to disrupt the airport parking vertical. Present in 35 markets, the San Francisco-based startup guarantees the cheapest rates at five-star parking facilities, with free cancellations and free shuttle services to get to and back from the airport. To purchase guaranteed off airport parking near your local airport, visit onairparking.com.

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Best Local Virtual Workouts in San Francisco to Get the New Year Started Right

Does recent holiday overindulgence have you starting to think about kick-starting your workout routine for the new year? Whether you’re regretting how all those extra slices of pie have your pants fitting a little more snugly or just want to get healthier, making a commitment to working out is always a great New Year’s Resolution. 

It can be especially hard to stay motivated to getting fit during a pandemic when many gyms are either closed or don’t feel as safe as they used to. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of San Francisco-based gyms and trainers that are offering virtual workouts. Check them out so that you can be the best version of you in 2021! 

Best Free Virtual Workout

Touchstone Live Fitness

Times are hard right now, with the pandemic taking a major toll on the economy. If you’re being budget-conscious, the good news is there are great free virtual workouts in San Francisco! Get started at Touchstone Live Fitness on Facebook. Touchstone Climbing is a San Francisco climbing gym, and when COVID-19 shut down their indoor climbing wall, they started posting 30-minute and hour-long full-body workouts for free on Facebook.

Best Paid Virtual Workout

17th Street Athletic Club

Of course, if you can afford to pay for workouts, you’ll be helping to stimulate the economy and supporting the livelihoods of fitness instructors and gym owners. One such local gym you can support is 17th Street Athletic Club, started in 2016 by long-time Mission residents. A membership will get you access to their virtual classes, which occur 7 days a week.

Best Live Virtual Workout

BodyROK

One of the things many people miss about in-person exercise classes is the feeling of community and accountability that they foster! One organization offering live virtual classes is BodyROK San Francisco. This sculpt and cycle studio has full-body at-home classes streaming every day, here.

Best Recorded Virtual Workout

Epic Odyssey

One consistent throughout this pandemic has been that nothing is consistent. So, if you’re not sure you can commit to working out at specific days and times, you’ll want pre-recorded classes that you can do at any time. Get your fix at Epic Odyssey, an interval training studio that’s moved online. A $29/month membership will grant you access to lots of classes, including 90-day programs like their Bodyweight Odyssey and Kettlebell Odyssey. 

Best Unique Virtual Workout

Tribe

If you’re getting sick of crunches, push-ups, and jumping jacks, it’s probably time to switch up your workout routine. Mixing up your workout is really important to keep things fun and interesting, help you avoid burnout, and challenge your body in new ways. A great way to mix things up is to turn your workout plan over to a personal trainer. They’ll have fresh ideas and keep you accountable! Check out the health and wellness coaching programs at Tribe, a holistic fitness community started in San Francisco by two brothers.  

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Great Places to Buy Gifts Traveling to San Francisco

The holiday season is upon us! That means family time, cozy nights by the fire, baked goods…and scrambling to buy presents! But here’s an idea for you -save some time by grouping your holiday travel and holiday shopping!

If you’re traveling to San Francisco this holiday season, we’ve compiled a few local stores you absolutely must check out for your holiday gift needs. You’ll get to explore a new place, avoid the online shopping shipping wait, and best yet -by shopping small you’ll be supporting the local economy and small business owners!

Picnic

If you’re looking to do your shopping in an adorable boutique that specializes in gifts, then you need to go to Picnic. This “urban emporium” located in the Russian Hill neighborhood is a self-proclaimed “wonderland of treasures”. You can find apparel and jewelry, eclectic home goods, and unique gift items. Picnic is currently offering free local delivery.

826 Valencia

826 Valencia is a non-profit organization serving under-resourced children with free writing programs. They run a store to support their mission, which carries three whimsical collections: The Pirate Supply Store, King Carl’s Emporium, and Woodland Creature Outfitters, LTD. You can find zany gifts for anyone with a sense of humor, especially kids, such as lumberjack repellent, temporary tattoos, and unicorn horn polish.

Neighbor

Neighbor, across the bay in Oakland, stocks home décor with a nostalgic, summer cabin vibe. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fishing lodge or a ranger station when you go to browse their selection of cozy home goods and artisan kitchenware. This is a great place to buy gifts for men and women alike!

Bookstores

Independent bookstores are such cornerstones of their communities and therefore great places to support! Get your holiday shopping done at one of these:

·        CITY LIGHTS Booksellers and Publishers in the North Beach neighborhood is a true San Francisco institution. It’s been around for 50 years -since beatniks used to meet there! Today, you can browse three floors full of books.

·        Black Bird Bookstore is located in the Outer Sunset neighborhood. This cute, modern shop offers free gift-wrapping to make your holidays a bit easier. They’re also known for their curated boxes of books and merchandise that each fit a particular theme, like Cooking, Poetry, Storytime, Older Kids, Garden, and many more!

San Francisco International Airport

Of course, if your hectic holiday has you rushing straight from the plane to a family gathering, you won’t have time to browse through the boutiques in downtown San Francisco. Don’t worry, the San Francisco Airport has you covered! This massive airport has a ton of options, but here are a few of the great shops you’ll find inside:

·        Compass Books, with locations in Terminals 2 and 3, is certified as both a local business and a green business.

·        District Market, in Terminal 3, is green-certified and carries souvenirs, books, and sundries.

·        Chalo and Greetings from San Francisco, both in Terminal 3, have San Francisco themed gifts.

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Renting an Ebike in San Francisco, CA

Ebikes are bikes outfitted with a motor that helps the rider pedal effortlessly over rough terrain. You can use the motor to propel you as well as assist you, and this makes for an easy, effortless ride. Ebikes are classified as regular bikes in the state of California, therefore ebikes can go wherever a normal bike can go. However, according to state law, all children 17 and under must wear a helmet.

Where can you rent an ebike on your stay in San Francisco? We have a couple of suggestions. The first is Blazing Saddles, and this shop rents two kinds of ebikes, the E-Blazer and the Stromer. Their prices are as follows:

E-Blazer:

$48 for 2 hours

$58 for 3 hours

$62.40 for 24 hours

Stromer:

$58 for 2 hours

$68 for 3 hours

$70.40 for 24 hours

If you book your ebike online, you could get 20-30% off your rental price!

Another great suggestion would be SF Wheels. This shop offers three different types of ebikes for rent, the Magnum UI5 for $69 per day, the Magnum MI5 for $69 per day, and the Magnum Peak for $99 per day. This shop is open only by appointment, so make sure you book your ebike either by phone or online.

There are many beautiful trails to ride around the San Francisco Bay. We suggest Paradise Loop, a 26-mile bike path that’s perfect for a novice or for someone who’d love an easy ride. It has quiet paths and rolling hills and follows the bay, which makes for a fantastic view of nature and wildlife. This path is wide, making it easy to avoid pedestrians or joggers on the trail.

Our next suggestion would be the Presidio. Bikers all over the region use this bike trail. It has glorious views of the bay, as well as the Golden Gate Bridge, making it the perfect trail for taking pictures and getting lost in the beauty of nature. This trail runs through a 1,500-acre park on a former military post, allowing for a lot of land to ride and explore. We’re sure this path will become your favorite during your stay in the Bay Area.

If you’d like something a little more urban, check out the Valencia Street Bike Path. It is much easier to explore the Mission by bike rather than by car. This is also a great way to appreciate the colorful graffiti from various local artists that adorn the buildings along this route. This is definitely an eclectic little bike path you’ll want to ride!

No matter if you’re in San Francisco for business or pleasure, try something new and rent an ebike. They’re easy and affordable, not to mention fun. Get some sun, feel the wind in your hair, and go on an adventure!

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