There’s no shortage of beautiful bike circuits in and around San Diego. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed city ride or a more challenging trek through the natural world, San Diego’s diverse network of trails has something to offer. Here are three of the best routes to try this weekend.
The Bayshore Bikeway
This 24-mile trail loops around San Diego Bay, taking riders from downtown San Diego to Coronado and South Bay with routes through both the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Silver Strand State Beach. It’s a family-friendly ride, filled with mostly flat terrain and dotted by training wheels and adult cruiser bikes alike. Roughly 13 miles of the trip feature completely car-free bike trails; the remaining part of the circuit utilizes dedicated bicycle lanes and routes on shared roads.
In addition to gorgeous views of the San Diego skyline, Coronado Bay Bridge, and the legendary Hotel del Coronado, the Bayshore Bikeway offers an abundance of places to pause, whether you’re looking for a bite to eat or hybrid bikes for sale. The Coronado Ferry Landing is a standout stop. In addition to myriad dining and shopping options, the historic landmark also features live music on summer weekends and a weekly farmer’s market.
If you’re in the mood for something more challenging than the Bayshore — and less filled with tourists — consider conquering Mount Palomar. Its 13 miles of trail climb over 6,000 feet to the summit. The first five miles feature a 6.3% grade. After that, get ready to wind your way through 20 switchbacks to South Grade Road, which sits at an elevation of 4,100 feet. From there, the choice is yours: head back down the mountain or follow Crestline Road to the top.
If you reach the summit, reward yourself with a meal at Mother’s Kitchen. The rustic vegetarian café features a small assortment of light breakfast and lunch options (including vegan fare), so you can refill your tank without being too full to make it back down the mountain.
Consider making a pit stop at the Palomar Observatory, too. It’s home to the 200-inch Hale Telescope, one of the largest telescopes in existence. Armchair astronomers will savor Caltech’s hour-long guided tours of the facility. Self-guided audio tours are available as well, and it’s not unusual to see a row of bikes for men and women parked out front.
San Diego River Bike Path
This palm tree-lined bike path is a favorite of San Diego commuters who prefer their bikes to backed-up traffic on the freeway. It stretches for 20 riverside miles between Mission Valley and Ocean Beach. Whether you hit this route for work or for play, the best fuel for your ride is found at CoffeeHub and Café in nearby Point Loma. This favorite of local cyclists features Arabica coffee and a delectable breakfast and lunch menu. It’s also the starting point for a variety of group rides and other community-minded cycling events.
San Diego and its suburbs are crisscrossed by hundreds of miles of scenic trail ways. Each presents a unique opportunity to appreciate all that America’s Finest City has to offer, whether you’re traveling with friends, with family, or all by yourself. The next time you’re looking for a weekend getaway, wheel your bike out of the garage and hit one of these stunning San Diego bike paths.