Whether you hit one of the town’s famous bike paths or cycle along the tree-lined streets, there’s no denying that Santa Monica is a picturesque backdrop for a bike ride. With the temperate climate and beachfront scenery, it’s one of the best places to visit by bike.
Even though so much of what you see when pedaling through Santa Monica seems totally natural, much of the biking culture is by design. Over the past decade, Santa Monica has invested significant resources, time, and effort into creating a truly bike-friendly city.
Santa Monica boasts over 100 miles of bike facilities and nearly 20 miles of green lanes (bike lanes on shared-use roadways). That means that you and your friends or family can hit the road knowing that there are plenty of safe places for you to ride.
Some of the most famous sites to see in Santa Monica are concentrated around these equally famous bike paths. Places like the Marvin Braude Beach Bike Path (AKA “The Strand”) and the more urban Main Street areas are iconic must-do’s when visiting Santa Monica’s beach areas.
In addition to the multitude of places to ride, Santa Monica has also invested in community-wide projects as part of their Bike Action Plan. These initiatives encouraged locals to take advantage of bike routes for their daily commutes and worked to educate the public about bike safety and etiquette.
Even if you don’t have your own bicycle (or if you’re on vacation), there are plenty of places to rent a bike for a one-day adventure. Whether you hit The Strand or cruise down to the beach, there is plenty to see in this bike-friendly atmosphere.
The best part is that the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean sprawl in the backdrop while the coastal breeze blows across your face. It’s truly something special that you need to experience firsthand.
Along these multi-use pathways and shared roadways, you’ll find plenty of great restaurants, eclectic shops, art galleries, and even a farmer’s market or two (depending on the day). Plus, you’ll probably even spot some iconic scenes that you may recognize from different movies or TV shows.
If you want to get in touch with nature, there’s plenty to see aside from the beach. You can ride one of the bike loops into the Santa Monica Mountains, like the one starting on Mulholland Highway, which runs about 62 miles in and out of some of the best cycling roads the area has to offer.
If you’re going to be in one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, you might as well take advantage of it. So here are some must-see sites and places you should stop on your bike adventures.
Santa Monica Pier: The Santa Monica Pier is one of the most iconic attractions around, and it’s not one that you’ll want to miss. You’ll find plenty to do at the Pier and plenty of parking to lock up your bike. In addition, this spot has many great restaurants, shops, snacks, and rides.
Venice Beach: No trip to the Santa Monica beach area is complete without visiting world-famous Venice Beach. It’s a short distance from the Pier and other attractions, and here you can stop for lunch or take in the sights from your bike rental.
Ocean Avenue: This ride will take you to some of the best ocean views as you cruise along Santa Monica’s coastal bluffs. You can even ride Ocean Avenue to some other popular destinations like Palisades Park or Venice Beach.
Santa Monica is a lively and vibrant coastal city. The best way to enjoy all that the town has to offer is by getting out there to see it all. Hopping on a bike rental and hitting the road or cruising one of the many bike paths lets you enjoy the beach-town culture firsthand.
Plus, Santa Monica is super bike-friendly, so you know there will be plenty of places to ride safely, locations to lock up your bike, and the locals understand how to share the road with bikers and pedestrians.
Whether you want a more intense ride into the mountains, a leisurely cruise through the more urban downtown area, or a classic ride on one of Santa Monica’s beachfront bike paths, you’ll find something that appeals to you.