Best Coastal Bike Paths in Southern California


California’s reputation of incredible beaches and fantastic coastal views isn’t for nothing. The more time that people spend at the coast, the more they are in awe of its beauty. While learning to surf is a great way to soak up time at the beach (literally! haha), it also can be exciting to see a longer stretch of the coast than just one surf break. Southern California’s coastal bike paths are awesome because you can cruise by so many beaches in a short time! These paths allow you to experience the scenery in another way, while still getting exercise at the same time! 

Don’t love biking? No worries. Many of the paths in SoCal are smooth, paved and suitable for rollerblading, walking or jogging as well!

From north to south, here are some AMAZING coastal bike paths that you have to try:


Marvin Braude Bike Trail (“The Strand”)

The Strand is one of the best coastal bike paths.
A section of “The Strand” in Manhattan Beach.

This 22 mile bike path runs through all the L.A. beach cities, providing a unique way of experiencing L.A. beach culture. It starts at Will Rogers State Beach by the Pacific Palisades and goes all the way down to Torrance Beach. The path is paved and is right on the sand almost the entire way. There are multiple access points throughout the various beach cities, allowing bikers to do shorter sections of the path instead of committing to the entire 22 miles. 

Huntington Beach to Newport Beach Path

Newport Beach has a great beach bike path
Bike path in Newport Beach.

Truly a gem, this path runs for about 12 miles along the Orange County Coast. There are multiple access points here as well, however the most typical is to start at the Huntington Pier and end at the Newport Pier. Get ready for lots of time to watch the waves as this path is right on the sand for almost its entire duration!

San Clemente Beach Trail

This trail parallels the train tracks most the way and in some spots is right on the sand. Bikers are allowed here during the winter, however, during the summer bikers are required to walk their bikes in the section by the Pier due to the crowds. The San Clemente Beach trail is smooth, but not not paved the whole way. (It would be difficult for rollerbladers, but still great for walkers or joggers). It’s about a 5 mile round trip. 

Pacific Coast Highway: Mission Beach to Oceanside

PCH has one of the best coastal bike paths
A view of PCH just north of the Carlsbad Campgrounds.

Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is spectacular to drive, but it’s even better to bike! There is a great bike lane through this entire section of PCH for bikers and it is often accompanied by a sidewalk or boardwalk, like the Carlsbad Seawall or the sidewalk by the San Elijo Campgrounds in Cardiff, for pedestrians. PCH travels through some small downtown areas, such as Encinitas, but generally it hugs the coast closely enough that you can see the water. It also climbs a couple bluffs and cliffs which provide absolutely remarkable views! This is an awesome way to see almost all of the coast in San Diego County, however, bikers can stop and start wherever they would like if they don’t want to ride all 37 miles. Just park by PCH and hop on your bike!

So grab your bike and head to the coast to soak up the sunshine, feel your hair blow in the wind and get your legs moving – all while experiencing incredible views of the beach! The coastal bike paths in Southern California really can’t be beat!