Biking is one of the best ways to explore the beauty of a beach town. Whether you are looking for an adventure or just want to relax, pedaling your way through some of America’s most iconic beach towns is sure to be an unforgettable experience. An added bonus is you’ll feel like a local and you can avoid the stress of driving while you’re enjoying your hard-earned vacation.
From Santa Barbara, California to Cape Cod, Massachusetts and no points in between, here are some of the best beach towns in the United States for riding bikes.
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is a beautiful Mediterranean-style beach town located on California’s Central Coast. This city is known for its stunning beaches and seaside cliffs, and the bike paths that wind along them make it a perfect destination for a beach bike ride.
From downtown Santa Barbara, you can ride along Cabrillo Boulevard and enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean as you cycle along this picturesque stretch of coastline. Along the way, be sure to stop at Stearns Wharf and take in the sights of this historic pier. Afterward, pedal down State Street to visit some of Santa Barba's most popular attractions like the Mission Santa Barbara and the historic watchtower at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Kiawah Island is a barrier island located off South Carolina’s southern coast near Charleston. Here you will find 30 miles of bike paths and 10 miles of hard packed beaches perfect for cycling alongside dolphins and sea turtles that inhabit the island’s waters.
From Freshfields Village, take a leisurely ride along Kiawah Island Parkway and Beachwalker Dr. to Kiawah Beachwalker Park, the only public beach access on the island. The best time to ride the beach is after high tide, when the sand is hard packed and easier to ride on. Make sure to check the tide chart before you head out. Ride up to 10 miles along the sand (making sure to keep your bike out of the water), or return inland to continue riding east towards West Beach Village. Stop at Night Heron Park where you can take in views of Kiawah River Estuary.
For more information about biking Kiawah Island and other South Carolina Trails, check out SC Trails.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod is one of New England’s most beloved beach destinations famous for its quaint fishing villages and dramatic seascapes dotted with lighthouses along its shoreline.
Ride the Shining Sea Bikeway to see the best Cape Cod has to offer by bike, and avoid the notoriously congested roads. Starting from North Falmouth village, this path takes you 10.7 miles to the village of Woods Hole. This is a popular area so make sure you have a bike bell to to warn others when passing.
For a longer ride, take the Cape Cod Rail Trail 25 mile bike path which runs between South Dennis and Wellfleet passing through many historic towns including Brewster and Orleans along the way. Make sure to stop at Nauset Beach or Coast Guard Beach where you can take in breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean before heading back home.
For drinks afterwards try The Chatham Squire Tavern for classic pub fare served up with a side of local charm or The Oyster Company for locally caught oysters paired with local beer from Cape Cod Beer Brewing Company.
Hermosa Beach, California
Hermosa Beach is a hidden gem of a beach town surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. The bike path, known only as “The Strand”, meanders 16 miles along the coast from Redondo Beach to Santa Monica Pier. Along the way you’ll pass some of the most iconic beaches in California, including, Venice Beach, Muscle Beach, and Santa Monica Pier. The ride is mostly flat and is suitable for all levels of riders. The HandleStash cup holder was envisioned on this ride, while trying to carry coffee the morning after too many beers at the now gone but never forgotten poopdeck.
Fuel up for your ride with a sandwich from Mickey’s Italian Delicatessen before heading out. Beer snobs will want to take a break at Father’s Office in Santa Monica, known for their curated beer selection and elevated pub food, before making the return trip to Hermosa Beach. When you’re done riding no visit to Hermosa Beach is complete without dinner at Fritto Misto.
These are just some of the best beach towns in America perfect for biking around with friends and family alike! Cup holders are an essential part of beach bike culture, so make sure to pick one up here before you go. Don't forget to bring a repair kit and light jacket (especially on the west coast), and stash your gear in a handlebar bag. Be sure to plan your visit accordingly as each beach town offers its own unique attractions and experiences waiting to be explored!
Do you have a recommendation for your favorite bike friendly beach town? Let us know and we'll consider adding it!