July 30, 2018

Where to Bike In Southern California

Southern California Biking Guide

Renting a couple of bikes a great way to explore on your Southern California Vacation! Biking allows you to see our coast at your own pace, while covering more ground than you could on foot!

While there are more local bikeways than we could cover in one blog post, here are just a few of our favorite places to bike in Southern California listed from North to South:

Marvin Braude Bike Trail:

If you want to see more of LA, including iconic beach towns like Santa Monica with its famous pier and quirky Venice Beach, then this bike trail is for you. The Marvin Braude Trail is about 22 miles long and runs along the coast the whole way. Traversing this trial you’ll get to see the gorgeous houses in Pacific Palisades and take in the different personalities of many LA beach towns!

Long Beach Shoreline Pedestrian Bike Path:

This scenic 3.1 mile path connects Shoreline Aquatic Park to Belmont Shore – that means that when you bike along this path you’ll get to experience a whole lot of Long Beach! Start at Rainbow Lighthouse at Shoreline Aquatic Park, get a view of the Aquarium of the Pacific and the rest of the Long Beach Waterfront, then head across the sandy stretch of Junipero Beach, passing the Long Beach Museum of Art. Eventually you’ll reach Belmont Shore where you can visit Naples Island or get lunch on 2nd Street!

This path is flat and paved, making it accessible to a wide range of ages and skill levels. Whichever direction you bike this trail it will be a great time and you’ll be able to see lots of sights!

The Newport Back Bay Loop:

If you’re visiting us in Newport Beach make sure to check out the Back Bay Loop! This 10.1 mile trail circles the Newport Back Bay, stopping in at places like Upper Castaways Park, The Back Bay Science Center at Shellmaker Island, and more. The bay is home to many bird species, making it a great place to get to know some more of our local wildlife. Come back another day to kayak or paddleboard on the bay!

Like many of our favorite trails, this bike path is mostly paved and flat. Looking for a longer or more rugged ride? The Back Bay Loop also connects to the Mountains to Sea trail, a 22 mile trail that will take you through Peter’s Canyon in Irvine, and all the way into the mountains!

The Ocean Strand – Huntington Beach:

This 10 mile long trail was voted one of the top 10 coastal trails in the US by Coastal Living Magazine, and with easy bike rentals and concessions available, as well as beautiful Surf City ocean views, we’re not surprised! From Huntington Beach you can even bike all the way to Newport Beach. Make it a pier to pier ride and experience some of our most popular beaches!

Santa Ana River Trail:

You can also bike inland from Huntington Beach along the Santa Ana River Trail. This trail is long, 50.3 miles to be exact, so you can bike as much or as little as you want! The trail is more rugged and scenic in some places, and more urban in others, passing by Angel Stadium and the Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks.

Note: The Santa Ana River trail is only open 7AM to 6 or 9 PM depending on the time of year. Check trail hours and plan your trip accordingly.

The San Clemente Coastal Trail:

Of all of our local suggestions for biking, the San Clemente Beach Trail is our number one favorite! As San Clemente locals we love the beautiful scenery and architecture and beachy laid back charm of our Spanish Village by the Sea, and the San Clemente Beach Trail is a great way to see it!

This trail is mostly flat, making it enjoyable for all skill levels, though not all of it is paved. It’s 2.6 miles from end to end, beginning at North Beach and ending at San Clemente State Beach with the pier right in the middle. If you’re staying in one of our San Clemente furnished rentals you’re probably near access to the San Clemente beach trail, so make sure to check it out!

Catalina Island:

If you love mountain biking and are looking for an experience that’s a bit more rugged than our mainland trails, take the ferry to Catalina Island for the day! On Catalina you’ll find 40 miles of trails and roads, mostly unpaved, offering variety and challenge for even advanced cyclists. Put yourself to the test with Catalina’s steep elevation changes and twisting trails – and then prepare to be rewarded with mountaintop ocean views!

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