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Cycling Along San Diego Bay

From the Gaslamp to Historic Liberty Station

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition's recommended route incorporates almost six miles one way of flat, scenic bike paths along the northeast corner of San Diego Bay. With the exception of one short section and the easy going roads of Liberty Station, this bike route is vehicle free.

San Diego Bay Bike Route Map

The Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego is an urban hotspot that connects seamlessly to Liberty Station, a historic military training center recently turned into an entertaining destination with shops, eateries, art galleries, brew pubs, a public market and more. Take a ride from the Gaslamp Quarter to Liberty Station via pedestrian and bicycle paths that allow you to roll through downtown and San Diego's Marina District, along Spanish Landing Park and into Point Loma.

Don't want to hassle bringing a bike on your trip? There are many bike rental shops in and around San Diego. Search for "bike rentals" on this site or on the route map provided to find your preference.


View Downtown to Liberty Station Along San Diego Bay in a larger map 

Bike Route Starting Address

  • 101 5th Avenue at Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, San Diego, CA 92101

Where to Go

  • The bayfront area near the San Diego cruise terminal is home to the Navy Pier, ships such as the USS Midway Museum and the Star of India, and the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Across the way, the pretty Waterfront Park overlooks the yacht-filled bay.
  • Take time to explore Liberty Station's parks, shopping and cultural institutions. The ever-developing historical military facilities are filling up fast with something for everyone.
  • Spanish Landing Park, a linear park along San Diego Bay, is a perfect spot for a tree-shaded break in the ride to watch yachts come in and out of Harbor Island's marina.
  • Want more than 12 miles? Extend your ride by biking around Harbor Island, which is easily accessible from the recommended route. Harbor Island has restaurants, hotels and amazing views of the San Diego skyline.

What to Love

  • History: The Maritime Museum of San Diego has built a replica of the San Salvador, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's flagship, which landed in Point Loma in 1542. Stop by for a tour at the end of Spanish Landing Park before heading into Liberty Station.
  • Food: Although the most popular dining/eating opportunities along the route are often directed towards the Downtown area, save your appetite for Liberty Station's restaurants. Stone Brewery World Bistro and Gardens will quench your thirst and hunger with beer brewed onsite and a menu offering farm-to-table goodies. Other options include burgers at Slaters 50/50, pizzas and Northern Italian-inspired dishes at Officine Buona Forchetta and fresh baked treats at Con Pane. The new Liberty Public Market has craft coffee, gourmet cheese, tapas, burgers, lobster rolls, desserts and more, along a colorful restaurant called Mess Hall that features a great selection of local craft beers.
  • Culture: Liberty Station is also San Diego's up-and-coming art and museum destination. Visit the California Women's Museum, Ballast Point Art Gallery and other cultural attractions.
  • Anchors: Cruise around Liberty Station and treasure hunt for old ship anchors, historical plaques and other military items that decorate the grounds from its original use as a Naval Training Center.
  • Shopping: On the west edge of San Diego downtown lies 3 miles of the Embarcadero district. The Embarcadero boardwalk hugs the east side of San Diego Bay and is home to Seaport Village, a lively spot for shopping, street entertainers and food.

What to Know

  • Look out for people walking, taking photos and sightseeing while in the Embarcadero area. It can be a busy area with all of the activities including cruise ship traffic.
  • Although San Diego and the State of California do not require adult bicyclists to wear helmets, it is strongly suggested that you do.
  • California does require all bicyclists under the age of 18 to wear a helmet.

Directions

Downtown from the North

  • Take California I-5 south, exit on Front Street and continue south to Broadway.
  • Head east on Broadway to Sixth Avenue south and continue to the end. Head west on L Street to Fifth Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.
  • From the South: Take California I-5 north to Sixth Avenue, following Sixth Avenue South off the exit ramp to the end. Head west on L Street to Fifth Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.

Liberty Station from the North

  • Take California I-5 south to the Rosecrans exit.
  • Take Rosecrans south to Liberty Station.
  • From the South: Take California I-5 north to the Pacific Highway exit.
  • Continue on Pacific Highway to Barnett Avenue.
  • Barnett Avenue will head west, then curve north at Liberty Station.

Vehicle Parking

  • If you're transporting your bikes in or on a vehicle, parking Downtown can be a bit of challenge. Pay attention to meters and bring quarters. Consider public transportation to avoid the hassle. Buses and trolleys are bike-accessible. Rental shops are available if you'd rather not bring your own bike.
  • Starting your ride at Liberty Station? There is plenty of parking near the park space and shopping/dining areas.

For more information about what's happening in San Diego's biking community, visit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.

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