We Did It! Newport Beach to San Diego


Mike on the ferry to Coronado, a short float from our final destination of San Diego.

For our 24th anniversary, we did the unbelievable: We rode our recumbent trikes from Newport Beach to San Diego. And we had an excellent adventure along the way.

The first day we rode from Newport Beach to San Clemente. It was uphill most of the way, with a demon hill on Niguel Road, but what a gorgeous view! And, of course, there is the downhill to the Pacific Coast Highway. Time for lunch in Dana Point Harbor. The ride then followed alongside the ocean from Doheney Beach to a beach trail winding through San Clemente, where we stayed for the night. That was a 38-mile day. 

The second day we rode along the San Onofre beach, a scenic, 3,000-acre coastal-canyon park complex on the old Route 101, which is now 11 miles of bicycle-only highway. It was just breathtaking as we pedaled close to the beach. One of the highlights was riding through Camp Pendleton (but watch out for the snakes!). Everyone passing through there seems to stop at the PX to get coffee or just for a rest break. Onto Oceanside and its lovely harbor, with shops and restaurants. After lunch, we rode to Carlsbad. It just doesn't get better than this (or so I thought).

The view to Torrey Pines from Encinitas.

Our last day’s ride took us through the various beach communities near San Diego and, at last, along the beach with a final climb up the real demon hill at Torrey Pines. Wow, it was just fantastic to see the views as we rode up that hill.

Nancy atop the big hill at Torrey Pines.

It was an amazing trip that we won't forget. We are already planning our next weekend-long trips.

Get more information about bike overnights.

Tip for this adventure: All of the views are fantastic. The sunsets are amazing anywhere along the way. It is a great route. As far as food goes, we had a delightful lunch at 333 Pacific in Oceanside, a very good dinner at Paon in Carlsbad (they have a wine bar next door that is a fun place for people watching). Finally, we had a great dinner at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Favorite local bike shop: Bent Up Cycles in North Hollywood, California.

8 responses so far ↓

Pat mcguigan - Jan 8, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Interested in overnight

Peter_C - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:51 PM

Sounds like a lot of fun~! How long have you been riding trikes? Did you motel it, or camp? Would you say even with the hills that the ride was easy? Or do you feel you spent too many hours pedaling?

Marta - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:15 AM

What a great adventure!

Nancy - Jan 9, 2012 at 9:28 AM

This is a note to the person asking about trikes and our trip. We rode about 5-6 hours a day. It wasn't too much to ride. My husband has been riding a trike for about 1 1/2 years. I have had mine for about 9 months. We stayed in hotels and friends houses along the way. Going up hill on a trike is probably easier than a regular bike because you just gear down and go up the hill. You don't have to worry about going too slow.

Ann - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Wonderful adventure in a beautiful area! You are inspiring your Hoosier friends, who ride a tandem, to check out the west coast ride possibilities....you would pass us going uphill but we would fly by downhill.

Tim Viall - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Inspirational piece; we are headed down to NB in three weeks and I will check out part of your route! Thanks!

Nancy - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Hi, Thank you for your comment. Actually Mike is headed up to San Francisco on his trike starting this weekend. We wil be riding together in Sonoma and Napa.

Steve Widmayer - May 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM

This is the most classic of rides in SoCal! Have done this a number of times either as a one day/century ride (Santa Ana to San Diego, 100 miles) or two day ride either camping or motel about half way. AmTrak used to be the easy way back but now takes some planning. Camping at the State Beachs used to be easy but now also takes planning/reservations. In any case, find a way to do this ride and take the old road over Torry Pines throught the State Park.

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