San Diego city guide - biking tips, maps, transportation, lodging, bike rentals and more!
I am embarrassed to admit that I knew nothing about San Diego besides watching Anchor Man, which may or may not have been filmed there. Both of my visits to the city were prompted by it hosting the National Bike Tourism conference, which I was lucky to attend.
Right off the bat the city blew me away because I flew with my Brompton folding bike on bike friendly JetBlue and was pleasantly surprised that I could ride from the airport terminal a short 3 miles on a scenic, waterfront path to downtown.
And because I used a bike to explore the city, I covered a lot of ground and saw things I would have never stumbled upon if I was on foot or driving. Here is what I love about San Diego...
Routes, Trails & neighborways
This is a beautiful, oval shaped route. Take the ferry from downtown to Coronado and bike almost exclusively on the Bayshore Bikeway, an off-road path. Once you round the southern tip of the bay and the trail ends, we recommend hopping on the first trolley you see to get back downtown. The rest of the ride is through semi-industrial areas, on and off heavy trafficked streets with large trucks.
Vermont Street Bridge
A neat little bridge connecting two bikeable neighborhoods: Hillcrest & University Heights.
Harbor Bike path
This is a scenic, waterfront path stretching from west of downtown, right past the airport and ending around the stadium.
San Diego River Trail
A long, straight-as-can-be bike path along the San Diego River.
North Park is a great neighborhood on the city's northwest side. Tons of shops and restaurants. I've heard that its southern counterpart, South Park, is also wonderful.
Why the zoo gets all the attention when Balboa Park's museum campus is one of the most beautiful public spaces in the U.S. is beyond me. The architecture, crazy old trees and culture will keep you occupied for a day, at least.
It's hard to believe this was an empty lot. The Quartyard features a few places to grab freshly prepared food, beer, cocktails while enjoying live music.
Eats & drinks & shops
It's an unbearable thing for a midwestern girl to be allergic to gluten, but there it is. I love the culture of beer, though, and San Diego is brimming with it. There is one gluten free brewery called Duck Foot that I tried at Panama66 (see below) and it was a good one.
Panama66 is a biergarten tucked in behind the San Diego Art Museum. It was gorgeous during the day and I can imagine it would be even better at night with the surrounding architecture lit up. Fantastic beer selection, too!
Waypoint Public & Dark Horse Coffee are right next to each other which means you can grab a craft beer and then some caffeine afterwards to wake you up. BONUS PERK - 10% DISCOUNT FOR BIKING THERE!
Pour over coffee is served in this multi-use space that I think used to be an auto body shop.
Urban Solace is a farm to table restaurant with a great little patio and nice wine selection.
I could write three paragraphs on my love for this place. For crying out loud, they have gluten free french toast! Simply one of the best breakfasts I've ever had paired with delicious craft cocktails.
Pigment is like a locally owned Anthropologie, but exclusively selling home goods, gifts and accessories. If you need to pick up a gift for someone who is taking care of your dog at home, this is your place.
Live in San Diego?
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