Most of the trip around the Bay is on dedicated bike paths, but a few miles out of the 23 total are in traffic.
This ride offers scenic views of San Diego Bay from downtown to the South Bay, and up to Coronado. There are sweeping views of the ocean along the Silver Strand and of downtown San Diego from Tidelands Park in Coronado. Best of all, most of the route is along designated bike paths referred to as the Bayshore Bikeway. Plans are under way to complete the last segment from downtown to National City. In the interim, this segment is the most challenging because it is on city streets with traffic and a portion of the road is in need of resurfacing, making for a bumpy ride for a couple of miles. The ride can be done in either direction, but it is nice to get the rough part out of the way at the start because the ride gets better the farther you go.
Begin the ride at the Coronado Ferry Landing, just north of the entrance to the USS Midway Museum. Follow Harbor Drive past the convention center, down to Civic Center Drive, about five miles from the ferry landing. This is the most challenging stretch of the loop. Take care in crossing railroad tracks that cross the road. After this stretch, the route is either in bike lanes, along lightly traveled roads, or on bike paths. Turn right on Civic Center Drive and then left on Tidelands Avenue, following this street for 1.25 miles. Turn left on Waterfront and go past the Waterfront Grill at Pier 32 Marina. The Bayshore Bikeway begins at the stop sign. Follow it for about 0.3 mile and look for a left turn that leads over a bridge down to South Bay. It you miss this turn, the bike path will lead east toward Bonita Plaza Shopping Center.
This segment of the Bayshore Bikeway ends at E Street and Bay Blvd., at the entrance to the Living Coast Discovery Center. Follow Bay Blvd. to H Street and turn right to join the next segment of the Bayshore Bikeway on the south side of the street. The bikeway continues for 1.82 miles and then merges back on Bay Blvd. at Palomar Street. Ride past the South Bay Salt Works and the evaporation ponds, following the road to the east where it meets Frontage Road. Turn right and in 0.25 mile begins another segment of the bikeway that extends 9 miles into Coronado. This is the most exhilarating part of the ride with miles of open road and great views, passing the Silver Strand, the Naval Amphibious Base, and the Hotel del Coronado. Turn right along the bike path at Glorietta Bay Blvd. The bike path will end shortly. Continue along Glorietta Bay Blvd., past the golf course. On the north side of the golf course, the Bayshore Bikeway begins again and follows the bayshore past Tidelands Park for 2.8 miles, ending at Peohe’s restaurant in Coronado. The ferry landing is 0.10 mile further. The ferry to San Diego from the Coronado side leaves hourly on the half-hour. The cost is $4.25 for a one-way adult ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the landing or if you have cash, payment can be paid aboard the ferry. There is no charge for bicycles on the ferry.
- Distance from downtown San Diego: This ride begins downtown, starting from the Coronado Ferry Landing just north of the USS Midway Museum on N. Harbor Drive and W. Broadway.
- Length: 23-mile loop ending with a ferry ride to downtown San Diego. Allow 2.5 to 3 hours to complete the loop.
- Difficulty: Moderate at sea level. Can be challenging for part of the ride with afternoon headwinds. Combination of bike routes, bike lanes, and mostly bike paths. Carry water but plenty of opportunities to stop at facilities on this loop. The Bayshore Bikeway is open to runners, walkers, skaters, and dogs on leashes.