Biking by the Bay: Plan the Perfect Cycling Trip in Coronado

San Diego County is one of the best places to ride a bike

With theme parks, animal attractions, exceptional museums, ocean views and more, it is clear to see that there is no shortage of things to do while visiting San Diego. Even so, for those travelers who are looking for something off the beaten path, perhaps it is time to remember that not all paths in San Diego are for cars or foot traffic. Some of the best paths are actually for bikes.

View of Coronado Island from the historic Coronado-Bridge

Overall, San Diego is well suited for cycling, and there are countless options for a good bike tour. However, for the very best experience, a biking day trip to Coronado Island may be the perfect option.

The Coronado Advantage

Coronado Island has always been a great stop during a San Diego vacation. This city is a popular resort destination. Although it is known as Coronado Island, it is actually attached to San Diego via a strip of land called the Silver Strand. It may be close to San Diego, but it has an entirely unique ambiance, which is why it continues to attract new residents and tourists in surprising numbers. Almost 25,000 people live in Coronado Island, and the area is well developed with family friendly attractions and romantic getaways. Thanks to the city’s location by the water, there are spectacular views all throughout the island.


Historically, the area was purchased for development in the late 1800s. The city was officially founded in 1885 with the intent to create a resort destination. With the construction of the Hotel del Coronado shortly after that point, Coronado Island was well on its way to becoming a premier tourist destination in Southern California. Since that time, commercial and residential developments have continued to flourish.

Hotel del Coronado Photo taken April 2014 from the Beach - all rights reserved

With restaurants, parks, beaches, shopping venues and more, there is always something to do in Coronado, making it an ideal destination during any trip to San Diego. While Coronado is enjoyable on foot and by car, touring it by bike offers a different kind of experience. Bikes give travelers the benefit of going faster without compromising the magnificent climate or spectacular water views.

Getting the Right Bike

Before embarking on any bike tour, it is important to get the right bike for the trip. For avid bikers, this may mean bringing a bike from home. However, if this is not feasible, there are a number of rental options available in the greater San Diego area. These rental shops will have all types of bikes available, including bikes for expert riders and novices.

Four weels pedal bikes at the beach all rights reserved

When selecting a bike, be sure to consider the size of the bike and the nature of the seat. The bike needs to be comfortable for the duration of the ride, which can be influenced by the height of the seat and its padding. Bikes will also have variations in the placement of the brakes, so it is important to select a bike that is easy to operate. Rentals should also be considered based on the type of intended riding. Some bikes have wheels specifically for off road trails while others may be solely for pavement. For the most versatility, there are hybrid options as well. Be sure to look at the number of gears and how to shift from one to the next. All of these features will impact the quality of the ride and the overall safety of the rider.

Hollands Bicycles Cruser Photo taken on the front of the store April 2014 all rights reserved

Bike rentals are often available on an hourly basis, although there may be other packages available as well. For a day trip, look for day long deals in order to minimize the cost. For the very best rental service, be sure to think about Hollands Bicycles. Hollands Bicycles caters to riders on Coronado Island, which makes it the perfect choice for a biking day trip. This shop has a full range of well known brands, including Electra, Nirve and Specialized. From these brands, it is easy to find the right bike for any intent. This includes specialized options like beach cruisers, tandem bicycles and mountain bikes.

Hollands Bicycles Front Store

There are even choices for the whole family. Hollands Bicycles carries a variety of kids bikes, and child trailers are also available. All the bikes from Hollands Bicycles are kept in good repair, which will minimize complications on the road. If something should go wrong with the bike, Hollands Bicycles offers road service, wherein riders can call for assistance in case of emergency. Plus, every rental comes with a helmet and free water bottles. Hollands Bicycles is located near the beach as well as the historical Hotel del Coronado.

The Best Route

Securing a bike is critical to a good experience, but the best part is always the ride itself. However, before heading out, it is a good idea to have a route in mind. Fortunately, there is no shortage of options. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition has a good list of routes, and the top rated option is Bayshore Bikeway. This well-developed bike path has a large portion of car-free trails and also includes sections on city streets with designated bike lanes.

2 cyclists taking photos on Bayshore Bikeway

Because this bikeway is so well developed, it winds by many scenic spots, including a portion that crosses over the Silver Strand to Coronado Island. From here, the bikeway is nothing short of idyllic. The trail runs by the coast, offering magnificent views of the ocean and the San Diego Bay. Much of the path is lined with palm trees, which provide plenty of shade. As the path makes its way through Coronado, riders will have easy access to parks, eateries and shopping.

2 cyclists crusing the Bayshore Bikeway before sunset

The Bayshore Bikeway is a great starting point, but most of Coronado is well suited for biking, so never be afraid to forge a unique route for a day out and about.


Things to See

While biking in Coronado, there are numerous sights worth checking out. In addition to the ocean views all around the island, it is also worth stopping at a few other scenic spots. In particular, many riders like biking underneath the Coronado Bridge, which leads to the Coronado Golf Course. The views from here are particularly noteworthy. Most people also stop by the Hotel del Coronado, which is one of the oldest buildings in the area.

View of Coronado Bridge from the Coronado Keys

Continuing along, many riders stop around Silver Strand Beach, which is one of the most prized beaches in Southern California. The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge can be another scenic choice, since it has natural wetlands and mudflats that are hard to find elsewhere in the region.

Coronado Keys all rights reserved

Guests may also appreciate the Village Theater and the Museum of History and Art. There is a fantastic public art program, which has a map with walking directions for easy access.

Women biking biking underneath the Coronado Bridge

The Coronado Ferry Landing is another must-see. Ferries have been running to and from Coronado Island for over 100 years, and the view from the Coronado Ferry Landing includes a sweeping look at the San Diego skyline.

A Sweet Treat

A day biking may be fun, but it also requires a lot of energy. To recharge during the ride, pick a spot for some cool refreshments. Coronado Island has an ample selection of dessert destinations, any of which will be a delectable way to punctuate a day in Coronado.

MooTime Creamery front store with people waiting 2014 all rights reserved

One choice is the MooTime Creamery. Although the Creamery opened in 1998, it is designed in the style of a 1950s ice cream parlor. This nostalgia is more than atmospheric. The MooTime Creamery is also dedicated to the hand crafted quality that defined that era. Accordingly, the MooTime Creamery offers unparalleled choices for ice cream, yogurt and sorbet. When ordering, guests can customize their base, their toppings and how it is all mixed together. Then, the dessert is served in the dish of the customer’s choice for the ultimate in personalized dessert experiences. With all this, it is no wonder that the MooTime Creamery is one of the most popular places for ice cream in San Diego.

Inside Claytons Coffee Shop photo of a old fashioned style Aple tart 2014 all rights reserved

Another great option is Clayton’s Coffee Shop. Clayton’s Coffee Shop also has a historical theme, but this one is from the 1960s. The menu features a whole selection of food, making it a good stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, the ice cream there is particularly worth trying. The shakes have an old-fashioned style that is especially tasty. The family friendly atmosphere is fun and vibrant, including music and paraphernalia from the 1960s. As an added bonus, the prices are reasonable, making it easy to stop there more than once.

The Perfect Day Trip

There is no bad way to spend the day in San Diego. However, a bike trip to Coronado is a fresh new take on this tried and true tourist destination. From the amazing views to the fun stops, a bike trip is a unique way to experience the area. Coronado is especially well suited for this type of leisurely adventure. With bike rentals, ample bike trails and numerous good stops, everything you need for a pleasant bike trip in Coronado is ready and waiting.

May 2014 Beautiful Sunset at Coronado Keys

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Articles/Photos/Graphics Copyright ©2012/2014 – All Rights Reserved Mission Valley Resort

3 thoughts on “Biking by the Bay: Plan the Perfect Cycling Trip in Coronado

  1. I bought a hybrid at Hollands a few years ago. They had me ride it around to test it and help me make the best decision in picking a bike and I love it. My husband and I would ride to work on the silver strand and around Coronado. It’s true! What a nice place to cruz.

  2. I love MooTime Creamery. I have only visited the one at the Hotel Del, and I believe the one you have shown is in on the main street leading up to the Del. I have to visit that one too – their ice-cream is so good!

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