Hiking on the beach is fun, but nothing tops riding a bike by the water. The cool wind in your face and thrill from traveling at a faster speed will give you a revitalizing experience every time. Plus – the views! California’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the country, so it’s no surprise there are miles of great biking paths where you can go for a ride. These are some of our favorites.
Monterey Bay Coastal Trail
The Monterey Bay Coastal Trail winds along the Pacific coast, following the former Southern Pacific Railroad line. For about 18 miles, it runs from Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove to the trail’s end in Castroville, with unrivaled ocean views and plenty of places to stop along the way. Around the 2-mile mark, swing by Fisherman’s Wharf and check out the fabulous local restaurants and shops.
Marvin Braude Bike Trail (aka The Strand)
Read more about the Marvin Braude Bike Trail
The Marvin Braude Bike Trail (also known locally as The Strand) is an iconic paved biking path that hugs the Pacific shores for about 22 miles. It begins at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades, heading south, and passes by the Santa Monica Pier, as well as several beaches, including: Venice, Dockweiler, Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beach – finally wrapping up at Torrance Beach in the South Bay area.
Huntington Beach Bicycle Trail
Spanning right next to the Pacific, the Huntington Beach Bicycle Trail couldn’t be in a more idyllic setting. It’s a nice leisurely ride at about 20 miles round-trip, stretching from Sunset Beach all the way to Newport Beach. Come for a ride on a weekday – the weekends tend to get crowded.
Bayshore Bikeway, San Diego
San Diego’s 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway may sound long and challenging, but the sunny coastline views make it worth the time and sweat. Beginning at the Coronado Ferry Landing, the path makes its way through Coronado, along Silver Strand Beach, through the towns Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, and finally back into downtown San Diego.
Cabrillo Boulevard Bike Path, Santa Barbara
The Cabrillo Boulevard Path is one of Santa Barbara’s most popular rides. At about 4-and-a-half miles long, the flat path stretches from Leadbetter Beach and Shoreline Park in Santa Barbara to Butterfly Beach in Montecito. Along the way, it also passes by Stearns Wharf, East Beach, and Santa Barbara Cemetery. Plus, if you don’t feel like bringing your own bike, there are ones of all types and sizes that you can rent within a close distance.
Shoreline Pedestrian Bike Path, Long Beach
Shoreline Pedestrian Bike Path runs along the Long Beach coast for about four-and-a-half miles. Safe and away from traffic, it’s an easy, paved route with tremendous views of the ocean. Plus, they have separate paths for walkers and bikers, so you won’t really need to worry about bumping into anybody.
West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz
West Cliff Drive runs along the sparkling southern coastline of Santa Cruz for about three miles total. The paved, mostly flat path is open to pedestrians and bikers, with access to several beaches along the way – and breathtaking views of Santa Cruz, cliffs, waves, surfers, and sometimes even sea life.
Don’t forget a helmet! So tell us, what are some of your favorite biking paths by the beach in California? Share your favorite trails with us in the comments section below!