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Warm weather coupled with beautiful scenery makes San Diego the perfect place for family bike rides.
Beautiful beach paths, meandering lake trails and all-around gorgeous scenery make San Diego ideal for hoping on a bike and exploring near or far. With so many bike rental shops spread across the county, it's easy to pick up a few beach cruisers for the day and take in the sights. Many sections of San Diego have bike lanes, so depending on your child's age, the options can be limitless. Here are some of the best spots for family bike rides.
Starting in North County, the Carlsbad Coastal Rail Trail runs along the train tracks, making it a whole lot of fun for the kids to see the trains up close! The path is wide and tucked away from the traffic, making it ideal for smaller children and stress-free for the bigger ones, too. Stretching only .7 miles, it’s ideal for smaller peddlers. Park on Tamarack Avenue or in Carlsbad Village and enjoy the ride!
Similar to the Carlsbad trail, the Solana Beach option runs parallel to the train tracks. Starting at Via De La Valle where it meets the Coast Highway, the trail heads north and finishes at Ocean Street, for an approximately 1.7 mile stretch. Beach access can be found about halfway on Plaza Drive so riders can jump in the ocean and cool off. Safe and off the main roads, it's another coastal gem that's near plenty of fun food stops to fuel up.
A must-stop when in town, La Jolla is referred to as the "crown jewel" of San Diego for a reason. Stop in at any one of the local bike rental shops and choose from either their guided maps to find your trails or take a guided biking tour. Better suited for kids ages 12+, take in the scenery as you cruise south from La Jolla Cove past the Children's Pool to Windansea, Crystal Pier and the Pacific Beach Boardwalk. Or trek to the top of Mount Soledad (best for older teens)—at 822 feet and only 1.2 miles from the ocean, this ride is tough but the spectacular views offer ample reward.
Heading further south along the coast, Mission Bay has a safe, off-the-main-streets path that stretches 12 miles. Completely flat, it's ideal for both little and big kids alike who want an easier ride. Cruise along Fiesta Island, SeaWorld and more—all with breathtaking water views.
There's something to be said for crossing the historic bridge into San Diego's very own little "island." This pedestrian- and bike-friendly trail begins at the Coronado Ferry Landing and continues for a full 9 miles to Imperial Beach. The path includes a ride past the legendary Hotel del Coronado and the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a 3,900-acre wetlands that hosts many endangered and migratory birds. Stop at either for a rest and some great sightseeing.
Heading inland along Junipero Serra Road in Santee, get off the coastal path for some amazing mountain views at the Mission Trails Regional Park. Ride around Lake Murray while immersing yourself in nature for a 3.2 mile route or start at the visitor center for an easy 2.5 mile out-and-back to the Old Mission Dam, running parallel to the San Diego River. Keep an eye out for some fun bird watching along the way.
Just to be able to say you rode the longest stressed ribbon bridge in the world (and one of only 4 in the western hemisphere), head to Escondido for a fun ride above the water! A total of 990 feet long and 12 feet wide, take a ride across and continue onto the trails for a scenic route. Start at sunset near Via Rancho Parkway and take the mile-long paved route to get to the bridge.
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