The hiking book: none
The distance: 5.2 miles
The CityGirls rating:

With rain in the forecast and an expanding to-do list, we decided to forgo an adventure in nature and do an urban hike instead. Our destination: Bi-Rite Creamery in the Mission, by way of Folsom Street.

MMmmmm…. Bi-Rite. Home of super-rich ice cream, a perpetual line around the corner, and the best soft-serve sundaes we’ve ever had the happy chance to taste.

Folsom Street

But first, we’ve been talking for months about exploring Folsom Street. It’s got one of the highest concentrations of restaurants and bars in our area and a fierce reputation, so we had high hopes of finding a bit of fun neighborhood nearby.

Well, Folsom does have a good number of restaurants we’d like to try, like Fondue Cowboy, Basil Canteen (in part because it’s in an awesome building!), Citizen’s Band, and Sushi Groove. And, yeah, there are a handful of leather shops and gay bars. But on the whole, Folsom was a little bit of a disappointment.

Look! There’s nature in the city, too.

The Mission

The Mission is one of our favorite destinations in the city, for its food, its murals, its vibrancy, but mostly for its ice cream. We’re big fans of Bi-Rite Creamery, which does both hard and soft-serve ice cream. The main storefront, the hard ice cream, pretty much always has a line out the door, down the block and around the corner. No seriously, we were there at 9:30 p.m. on a not-particularly-warm day in February and the line was huge.

Ice cream

We’re gonna let you in on a little secret. Bi-Rite soft-serve. The soft-serve window barely has any line at all, carries salted caramel soft-serve three days a week and makes amazing sundaes. In fact, T-Bell contends that the soft-serve might be even better than the hard ice cream. (AM would argue that none of it beats Secret Breakfast ice cream at Humphry Slocombe, but that’s a post for another day.)

We had a delicious chocolate-salted caramel swirl sundae with hot fudge, caramel sauce, and spicy caramelized pecans. It was so good, we forgot to stop and take a picture before we ate it!

Instead, you’ll just have to enjoy this photo of the corner of 18th and Dolores, home of Bi-Rite Creamery. (No, that’s not Bi-Rite in the background. That’s just the most beautiful high school ever, Mission High School.)

The return leg of our urban hike took us down Harrison, with stops at lots of modern furniture stores. What can we say, we’re in the market for a desk and a chest of drawers.

You know, it would be nice if all hikes included ice cream.