San Diego is one of the most uniquely beautiful cities in the United States. This southern California hub sits along a varied coastline and it is nearly impossible to separate the city from its natural surroundings. Alongside cultural sites you’ll see sandy beaches; historical attractions sit next to rocky coastal cliffs. One of the best ways to explore San Diego and really feel the balance of city and nature is by bike. The city and immediate surrounding area easily has over 100 miles (160 kilometers) of dedicated bike paths and that’s not even including the routes bikers can take on main roads. If that sounds overwhelming, plan your biking adventure around the city by reading about some of the best bike tours in San Diego, California.
1. Explore the scenic Mission Bay Bike Path
Mission Bay boardwalk was so lovely today! #loveridingmybike #sceniccycletoursPosted by Scenic Cycle Tours on Tuesday, 9 April 2019
San Diego is the ideal place to explore by bike, as evidenced by the extensive Mission Bay Bike Path running along the coast. This 19-mile (30 kilometers) paved loop path winds along the shore of the stunning Mission Bay. The bike path comprises one of the largest aquatic parks in the US. In addition to the pretty bay views, it is also surrounded by spacious parks, gardens, and palm trees. There is no better way to become acquainted with the bike path than by hopping on a Mission Bay Scenic Cycle Tour. These 2.5-hour tours bring you right to the must-see spots along the bike path, like cute shops and cafes, the famous Belmont Park amusement park, and beaches where you can catch sight of local wildlife. Don’t let the total length of the loop intimidate you–these tours can be tailored to suit the riders’ needs and abilities, so everyone has a fun ride!
Mission Bay Scenic Cycle Tour
Address: 3220 Bayside Walk, San Diego, CA 92109
Website: Mission Bay Scenic Cycle Tour
Price: From 85 USD
2. Ride one of the best routes in southern California in Coronado
Located right across the bay from San Diego, Coronado is a city with a slightly slower pace of life! This is a great city to explore by bike as it feels less hectic and more laidback than San Diego can sometimes be. Coronado is just as bike-friendly as San Diego, with miles and miles of dedicated, car-free bike paths. This tour will bring you under the soaring Coronado Bridge, which spans the bay and links the city to San Diego. Next, you’ll ride along the Silver Strand bike path, which overlooks the bay and San Diego skyline and is often named one of the most beautiful bike routes in Southern California. There is lots more to see besides scenic vistas, like Victorian Houses, Naval Amphibious Base, and Hotel Del Coronado. You have the option to either join this tour in Coronado or take the ferry over from San Diego which is a great ride in itself!
Coronado Scenic Cycle Tour
Address: Glorietta Blvd and Third St., Coronado, CA, 92118
Website: Coronado Scenic Cycle Tour
Price: From 75 USD
3. Tour the cultural highlights of San Diego by bike
Biking isn’t just a great activity for the outskirts of San Diego–it’s also a great way to explore the heart of the city itself! This extensive tour will bring you all around the city to some of the historic and cultural highlights. You’ll start and end in the Gaslamp Quarter, a quaint part of town that lights up after dark with much of the city’s nightlife. See where San Diego’s big cultural events occur by riding by Petco Park, where the Padres play, and the San Diego Convention Center, where thousands meet up for Comic Con each year. Take in the city’s beautiful waterfront and stop by the Tuna Fleet and Seaport Village. You’ll also learn about the history of San Diego with stops at the Old Town, dating back to 1870, the USS Midway, a WWII aircraft carrier, and the Barrio Logan, the Hispanic heart of the city. The three- to four-hour ride will also bring you through some of the city’s loveliest parks like Presidio Park and Balboa Park. This ride is hilly and not for the faint of heart; however, there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for breaks, coffee, and even a meal.
Heart of San Diego Bike Tour
Address: Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego CA
Website: Heart of San Diego Bike Tour
Price: 150 USD
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4. Take a challenging but enjoyable ride to Point Loma
Though the ride out from the San Diego River to Point Loma is not for beginner riders, those who are in good biking shape will be rewarded on this challenging rides with stunning ocean views. Most of the ride takes place along roads with light traffic, and there are several steep hills and descents which require some experience with the sport. Over the course of 25 miles (40 kilometers) and 3.5 to 4.5 hours, you’ll travel to Point Loma, a beautiful peninsula with rugged cliffs plunging to the sea. Along the way, the ride passes the stunning natural beauty of Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs. At Point Loma, see the naval base and Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. At the very tip of the peninsula is Cabrillo National Monument, which provides a beautiful vista of the ocean and San Diego in the distance. Below the monument is a beach with many tide pools which you’ll also have time to explore.
Point Loma Bike Tour
Address: 2525 Bacon St, San Diego, CA 92107
Website: Point Loma Bike Tour
Price: 150 USD
5. Conquer the top of Mount Soledad by bike
If you’re an experienced biker and looking for the most challenging ride in San Diego, this might be it! This is one of the most difficult bike tours available and should only be attempted by serious riders. By the time you’ve completed this adventure, you’ll spend 4.5 to 5.5 hours biking up an elevation gain of 2,700 feet (822 meters) to the top of Mount Soledad. Though most of the ride is along paved roadways, the trail is very steep and requires a lot of strength and endurance. However, the challenge also provides an unbeatable experience–starting in Mission Bay, pass by pretty scenery in Pacific Beach, Bird Rock, and La Jolla. This tour also takes you partly up and down the mountain several times so you are able to see all the beautiful homes and landscapes that can be found nowhere else. At the top of Mount Soledad, you’ll see an impressive vista of the ocean and San Diego below. Though the ride is a lot of effort, it pays off in a big way!
Mount Soledad Bike Tour
Address: Vacation Isle Park, San Diego
Website: Mount Soledad Bike Tour
Price: 195 USD
Ease yourself into biking the hills of the San Diego area by hopping on this electric bike tour of La Jolla and Mount Soledad! The bikes used in this tour have powerful electric motors so you can either pedal up the mountain or coast along the roads. Whether you power yourself or let the motor take you along, this 2.5-hour tour will give you a great overview of the area’s stunning natural beauty. La Jolla is equal parts rugged coastline and city sophistication. You’ll start right downtown and travel to Windandsea Beach, famous for being a top surfing site. After that, bike to the picturesque La Jolla Cove, where you might catch sight of some resident sea lions! Next you’ll begin your ascent up Mount Soledad, an 822 feet (250 meters) tall hill. From the top, you can see beautiful panoramas of the coastline and visit the veterans memorial. The tour ends right where it began downtown, setting you up to enjoy exploring this quaint city for the rest of your day!
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
A city for all kinds of bikers
The great variety of bike tours available in San Diego demonstrates just how much bikers love this city. Whether you want to take an exciting ride through the hustle and bustle of downtown or a moderate ride out in nature, there is something for everyone. Bikers aren’t limited by their experience or athleticism either. You can ride on a flat bike path or choose to push yourself up steep hills. See San Diego in a whole new way by hopping on one of these great bike tours!
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