San Diego's Water Wonderland Offers Biking Bliss
As the largest water park of its kind in the world, Mission Bay comprises 4,200 acres in roughly equal parts of land and water, surrounded by 27 miles of meandering shoreline of sandy beaches. Interconnected by a network of waterways, inlets and islets, the bay is best traveled by boat, but if you don't have a boat and would rather stay dry, biking along easy going pedestrian and bicycle paths is the next best way to explore.
A San Diego County Bicycle Coalition's recommended route incorporates almost 12 miles of flat, scenic bike paths along most of the interior of the bay, passing by all of Mission Bay's public parks and following a portion of the San Diego River. With the exception of a few short sections, the route is vehicle free.
Don't want to hassle bringing a bike on your trip? There are many bike rental shops in and around around Mission Bay and along Mission Boulevard (west of the bay). Search for "bike rentals" on this site.
Mission Bay Bike Path Map
View Mission Bay Bike Path in a larger map
Bike Path Starting Address
- 850 W. Mission Bay Dr., San Diego, CA 92109
Where to Go
- This bike route will go through or near more than 10 public parks and two wildlife reserves. Bring your picnic basket, a frisbee and swimsuit, and a pair of binoculars to enjoy the parks and reserves to their fullest extent.
- Want more than 12 miles? Extend your ride by biking around Fiesta Island, further along the San Diego River, or along the Mission Beach/Pacific Beach boardwalk - all easily accessible from the recommended route.
What to Love
- Fresh Seafood - Although most eating opportunities along the route are in the resorts and hotels, there is a hidden fresh-seafood gem towards the end of the ride on Quivira Way - near the Mission Bay sportfishing charters. Stop into Sportsman's Seafoods for a tuna burger, fish and chips or a fresh pacific lobster.
- Wildlife - According to the San Diego Audubon Society, the San Diego River estuary and Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve are both hot spots for bird watching in San Diego. Pay attention to tide levels for optimal times to see more birds.
- Amusement Parks - Have some additional time to explore attractions? Check out SeaWorld, Belmont Park or the Wave House for more fun off the bike.
What to Know
- Although the City of San Diego and the State of California don't require adult bicyclists to wear helmets, it is strongly suggested you do.
- California does require all bicyclists under the age of 18 to wear a helmet.
- Along the pedestrian and bike paths around Mission Bay, a speed limit of 8 miles per hour allows a safe environment for all people. Look for the 8 mph markings painted on the route.
- Mission Bay is bordered to the east by the 5 FWY and East Mission Bay Drive, to the West by Mission Blvd, to the north by Grand Avenue and to the south by West Mission Bay Drive and Sea World Drive.
- Ingraham Street runs north-south dead through the middle of the park via a series of islands and bridges. Check the map above to determine where you're heading and how best to get there.
- If you're transporting your bikes in or on a vehicle, there are plenty of parking lots around Mission Bay and surrounding beaches.
- There are two large parking lots close by the bike route's recommended start point, but plenty of parks with parking at other points along the route.
- The parking lots around the bay fill up quickly during the summer so come early. Street parking restrictions are strictly enforced.
For more information about what's happening in San Diego's biking community visit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition website