Get ready for some epic climbs and some peak late 80s sitcom fandom cheesiness with this “You Got It, Dude!” level Tour de Full House ride through downtown SF. This 9.2 mile ride includes all the heavy hitters from the iconic Full House intro: the Painted Ladies at Alamo Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, and the actual Full House House. Oh yeah, and some elevation.
I know you’re over there like:
But trust us! It’s worth the effort for the thrill of visiting these places.
Check out a link to the Ride with GPS route map here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28536907
We start our ride by taking the ferry from Jack London Square in Oakland into Pier 41. Your first stop is just around the corner at:
1. Fisherman’s Wharf
Full House claim to fame: Danny visits the Wharf with a little bitty Steph and DJ.
A must for anyone in the Bay area, the Wharf is chock full of touristy kitsch and then some. If you have extra time and love getting a real feel for a place: go see the California sea lion pack over at Pier 39; check out one of “the world’s largest (over 200) privately owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines in their original working condition”, that being the Musee Mechanique (admission is free, just bring cash and / quarters – there is also a legit old school film photo booth!); and get your National Park Passport stamped while the little ones work on their Junior Ranger Badge at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
Once you’ve gotten your fill on the Wharf, get ready to activate beast mode – it’s time to climb up that 233 feet on Hyde St. that we mentioned earlier!
This will take you to your next stop:
2. Lombard Street
Full House claim to fame: Danny rides down with (an obviously fake doll version of) Baby Michael
After all that hard work, now comes the pay off of zig-zagging down arguably the most famous street in the world. Nothin’ comes quite as close as experiencing this down hill ride from the saddle!
At the bottom of Lombard, you’ll want to hang a triple left and make your way over to Polk St. where you’ll ride in bike lanes for the next 1.5ish miles (it’s in the door zone so ride with caution). Hang a right on Macallister where you can ride via sharrow (take that lane, baby!) until you hang a left on Steiner and your next stop will be impossible to miss.
3. The Painted Ladies (AKA: Postcard Row, AKA: Not the actual Full House House)
Full House claim to fame: Family picnic scene.
I hope you brought a picnic lunch with a huge loaf of bread that looks like a football (I can’t be the only one who didn’t know that was bread for the longest time, right?!). This is a great place to spread out the picnic blanket and take a break. If you love a little bit of history to back up your travels, take some time to read up on this famous row of houses. This little tidbit of wisdom on the background of the colors of these houses was super interesting (source: Wiki):
“…Many [of these houses] were painted in bright colors [when originally built]. As one newspaper critic noted in 1885, “…red, yellow, chocolate, orange, everything that is loud is in fashion…During World War I and World War II, many of these houses were painted battleship gray with war-surplus Navy paint…”
In 1963, San Francisco artist Butch Kardum began combining intense blues and greens on the exterior of his Italianate-style Victorian house. His house was criticized by some, but other neighbors began to copy the bright colors on their own houses. Kardum became a color designer, and he and other artists / colorists such as Tony Canaletich, Bob Buckter, and Jazon Wonders began to transform dozens of gray houses into Painted Ladies. By the 1970s, the colorist movement, as it was called, had changed entire streets and neighborhoods. This process continues to this day.”
Up next is your ride finale:
4. THE real deal “Full House” House – 1709 Broderick St.
While it’s clear by various posted signs that some neighbors aren’t too thrilled about the fame of this house, the kid in me was elated to hear that Full House creator Jeff Franklin purchased this house in 2016 and repainted it to match my childhood memories. Quick note: Be mindful if you decide to stop and snap a pic and respect that fact that this house is actually in a neighborhood (although not inhabited).
After snapping those ‘Grams, hop on your ride and take Broderick north all the way to Marina Blvd., take a right and make your way back to the Pier to conclude your Tour de Full House.
*Bonus Points* – Still have some energy to burn off? When you get to Marina Blvd. take a left and ride across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Have to taken the Tour de Full House on your trip to SF? Let us know how it went and share your stories below!