Getting To This Beautiful San Diego Area Isn’t Easy But Is Worth The Effort
Mission Bay is especially ripe in this area, and if you enjoy riding a bike like me it is ideal for exploring. It is important to note that I am a casual bike rider. I go at cruising speed and hate hills. My bike is a one-speed beach cruiser.
Since I live in the Gaslamp it take a bit of an effort to get to Mission Bay, and here are directions and a guide on how to do it.
Harbor Drive To The San Diego River Bike Path
From the Gaslamp, you can take Harbor Drive up to a bike path along the San Diego River (which is really a swamp). This is approximately 4.5 miles from downtown.
Or you can take a bus straight up Harbor Drive or better yet, take the trolley to Old Town ($2.50 one way; $6 all day covers the trolly and buses). From the trolley, cross through the bus parking lot to Harbor Drive and at the light, head north. Just past the freeway overpasses (and next to some type of repair shop) is a poorly-marked bike trail.
Watch For Cars on Mission Bay Blvd.
The trail runs along the “river” and take the bridge. There is a nice concrete barrier here that separates bikes for cars. That is a luxury you don’t have when you get to Mission Bay Blvd., for you have to ride along moving traffic and BE VERY CAREFUL at the ramps in which you encounter.
Keep riding past an overpass and turn left at the light. This puts you in Mission Bay and there is a sidewalk/bike path. If you get turned around (which is easy) look for a sign to the rollercoaster, which is at Mission Beach.
Other Options – Nimitz Bridge & Fiesta Island Entrance
I’ve had other people recommend taking the Nimitz Bridge tho when it comes to avoiding cars that’s no piece of cake, either.
One other option is to continue on Pacific Highway until it becomes Mission Bay Blvd., and pick up a bike path at the entrance to Fiesta Island.
You can keep pedaling around Mission Bay – the area is huge – but if you want to go to Mission Beach you will have to take the bridge (not to worry, you’ll see it; be sure and head west). Fortunately, there is a wide bike lane so traffic is not a problem.
Biking In Mission Beach
Once in Mission Beach, you can ride along a sidewalk/bike path along the bay and bayfront houses or go to the beach and ride along the boardwalk (which I prefer to call The Strand); to the left goes to a channel near Ocean Beach and to the right goes through neighboring Pacific Beach.
Another Option – Public Transportation
This is the safe way to get to Mission Bay and Mission Beach.
• Take the Green Line trolley to Old Town
• Cross under the tracks and take the #8 bus, which is marked Pacific Beach
The bus stops before the West Mission Bay Dr., bridge and on the other side of it. Both of these stops are just a few blocks from the intersection at Mission Blvd., the north-south main road to PB.
It is here you will see the rollercoaster in front of you and a nice entrance to the Mission Beach Strand. Er, boardwalk.