Best San Diego Bike Paths

There’s something iconic about biking in San Diego… 

Adventurous riders, with mileage on the mind. Train on the coast or on the side of the highway. Never mind the terrain, San Diego has it all from mountains to coastlines to vantage points for sunrise. Don’t forget those much-needed share-the-road signs.

It’s those San Diego bike paths nowhere else you can find. Our San Diego tours show visitors the best bike paths and make the most of the city on wheels. The city of San Diego has several bike rental options for bicyclists excited to ride around on the best San Diego bike paths.  

Below, you’ll find our favorite bike paths. Read on!

For the Sightseer – Coronado Bike Trails

Photo Courtesy: Coronado Through My Lens

First up on our tour of bike paths in San Diego is The Lovely, The Gorgeous—Coronado. Yes, home to the infamous Hotel Del Coronado is a wonderful spot to spend the day biking around from shop to restaurant to cafe to bar. (In any order.) We love a ride where you can see the beach for miles, and even the Coronado ferry landing. This is one of our favorite daytime date ideas in San Diego.

The actual bike trails circle the (not-actually-an-island) San Diego island, and all between, so go wherever your heart desires. Ocean views are breathtaking on these cycling routes. If you want a little direction, here it is:

  • Take the ferry under the Bay Bridge to start the biking tour off right.
  • Rent bikes and do the Coronado loop (about 6 miles long). Bike rental options are available nearby.
  • Stop by the Hotel Del Coronado for lunch in a San Diego legendary spot.

From there, if you’re still up for more biking, just head toward the border…

For the Sun Chaser – The Strand

Photo Courtesy: Spinlister

Located just south is a strip of land connecting Coronado to Imperial Beach. This 7-mile long strand features the sun-kissed beach on one side and the beautiful San Diego Bay on the other. Come and enjoy the salty breeze, the seagulls, and all that much-needed vitamin D on a scenic Southern California biking tour. The beaches in San Diego are breathtaking by bike. 

Along the way, you’ll hit:

  • Silver Strand State Beach
  • San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge
  • Gator Beach
  • Coronado Cays Dog Park

Of course, you just heard all the wonderful parts of Coronado, so decide whether you want to end up there, or start off there and head to Imperial Beach.

Destination: Imperial Beach

This locale has been an up-and-coming hodgepodge of delicious eateries, quaint beach-town coffee shops, and fun stores to explore. For those of you who are coming here for a quick bite before heading back on the path, here are some of our Imperial Beach favorites:

  • Katy’s Cafe – Snack and go – For a light salad or sandwich to fill your body before getting back on the bike, check out Katy’s Café. With amazing décor, healthy options, and a great atmosphere, you’ll find it hard to leave and get back on the bike!
  • Trident Coffee – Re-energize and refuel – For some of the best cold brew coffee you could dream of, bike over to Trident Coffee for a cool refresher that re-energizes and refuels.
  • Sea 180 – Stuff your stomach – Okay, so the whole point of the bike trip was to end up here. You’re done with biking and ready to refuel on calories. For that, there’s Sea 180. This oceanfront restaurant will have you seeing, smelling, and tasting everything wonderful about the Pacific coast.

Plan one day in San Diego by combining San Diego bike tours with delicious restaurant stops and famous sightseeing locales. Another option is downtown San Diego. Downtown San Diego offers bicycle paths with more action showcasing skylines and city views as much as the oceanside.

For the Adventurer – Downtown to Cabrillo 

Photo Courtesy: HikingSDCounty.com

This trail from Downtown to Cabrillo National Monument was made for those who have the adventure bug in their soul. Starting out amongst high rises and crowded streets, within 5 miles, you’ll be on a bike trail that transforms into trees, skylines, and oceanfront views. 

Don’t let these first 5 miles deceive you! The actual biking trail from the trailhead is about 16 miles and is considered moderately difficult by biking enthusiasts. 

The question you probably have on your mind is: will all that sweating be worth it?

To that, we say, absolutely.

Come and experience the gorgeous sites of San Diego by bike. With one side of you the big blue ocean and the other side a rolling hill of vegetation, you might start wondering if you’re still in San Diego, or you’ve suddenly been transported to the green hills of Scotland. Through the Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center, you can go on guided tours, learn about whale watching, and have plenty of things to do for the whole family (if you’re planning on bringing the gang along).

For the Trainer – Biking The 56

Photo Courtesy: Spinlister

If you’re a serious cyclist and have the twenty-one-speed bike and skin-tight uniform to prove it, then you need to hit this 14-mile inland-to-coast biking trail. Sectioned off on the south side of Highway 56, this bike path is the perfect training ground to pump up your quads and avoid the hassle of pedestrians, cars, stop signs, and more. Going from the lower end of Carmel Mountain Ranch out to the Torrey Pines State Reserve, this trail is ideal for a zen bike ride. 

While it may not compete sightseeing-wise with Coronado or the coastal streets, there’s sometimes nothing better than zoning out on your bike and pushing 30 mph without a care in the world.

For the Explorer – Pacific Coast Highway

Photo Courtesy: Root’s Rated

Last (but definitely not least), the biking path along the coast via the PCH—Pacific Coast Highway—is one that’s tough to beat. For this path you can go for distance, you can go for speed, or you can plan a stop at every fun beach town along the way.

See why San Diego is famous for its small beach town vibes at any of these coastal stops:

  • Oceanside
  • Carlsbad
  • Encinitas
  • Solana Beach
  • Del Mar

Each town has its own shopping center, beach vibes, and sites worth seeing. That’s why this bike path is for the explorer—for the light-hearted who love to find interesting gems wherever they go.

That Iconic San Diego Biking Day

There’s something iconic about biking in San Diego. Carrying a surfboard or an extra protein shake—whatever your style, San Diego is the place to do it. There’s a bike path that matches each personality, and each one can offer so many unique experiences.

Time to start riding!

Sources:

Element Cycles. San Diego’s Best Road Bike Routes. https://www.elementcycles.net/blog/best-san-diego-bike-trails/