Kay is a Colorado cyclist and lives in Boulder. She likes a good adventure and maybe goes a little too far sometimes...

Ride L-O-W and S-L-O-W on a beach bike and you’ll be amazed at what you can see…

On a recent trip to the San Diego area we went the Airbnb route and rented a beach bungalow in Pacific Beach. Located just two blocks from the beach and a 5 minute walk to the Garnet Avenue restaurants and bars, this recently remodeled bungalow offered the perfect location and came with beach bikes! http://airbnb.com/rooms/18545638

This recently remodeled cottage offered the perfect location and came with beach bikes! (Cute beach boy not included:)

 

Beach bikes courtesy of our Airbnb beach bungalow rental.

We rode the bike path end to end everyday and saw something new on each trip. The boardwalk is lined with beach McMansions and cottages on one side and the wide open pacific blue on the other. This is the spot for people watching and you’ll see it all as you pedal along. Take a closer look and you’ll find beach art everywhere you look – murals, sculptures, mosaics, and gardens.

Surfer Mural
Ocean Mosaic
Surfer Mural
The exotic Bird of Paradise plant lives up to its name and fills gardens everywhere.

No trip to Pacific Beach would be complete without checking out Crystal Pier. Built in 1927, the pier is the place for a stroll with your sweetie or to drop a line and fish for the catch of the day or to rent a cottage and sleep over the ocean!

Crystal Pier is the heart of Pacific Beach community. Take a stroll, fish off the pier, or watch the surfers. (Note there are cabins for rent ON the pier, next time I might try one of those!)
Check out the wave action underneath the pier too!
Keep an eye on the surfers as you ride along the bike path.
Endless views of the Pacific.
Try not to get too distracted by the breathtaking views.
Take a break and smile for the camera.

If you’re looking for a sweet treat look no farther than The Baked Bear ice cream sandwich shop just off the beach on Garnet Avenue. Started by a of couple local guys with a sweet tooth, The Baked Bear serves up homemade ice cream on freshly baked cookies and makes custom ice cream sandwiches. Choosing your flavor combinations may be the toughest thing you do all day. We walked down Garnet Avenue one afternoon and meandered through surf shops and bike shops and saw a surprising number of tattoo shops (although there is a naval base nearby and sailors did originally tattoo themselves to mark nautical exploits so I really shouldn’t have been so surprised.)

We checked out The Oceana Coastal Kitchen for dinner one night and couldn’t have been happier with the choice. Tucked away within the Catamaran Resort, Oceana’s take on modern pacific fare was memorable and our outdoor bayside table gave us a gorgeous view of the bay. Make sure to walk through the main restaurant to see the cylindircal, floor-to-ceiling aquarium filled with undulating jellyfish!

The La Jolla hills are just a short drive north of Pacific Beach and one afternoon we visited the La Jolla Natural Park located near the La Jolla Country Club. We had the place to ourselves and after a short hike through chaparral to the top of Mount Soledad we came to a bench just begging for someone to sit down and take in the mind blowing 360 degree panorama view of San Diego. It is definitely worth the search to find this place.

From there it was a quick five minute drive down to La Jolla Village to Duke’s for lunch. Duke was The Man – descended from Hawaiian royalty, gold medal winning Olympic swimmer, first person inducted into the Surf Hall of Fame, and the Ambassador of Aloha. If you’re in the mood for contemporary interpretations of traditional Hawaiian plates and can’t make the trip to Hawaii, look no further than Duke’s. The Lilikoi Cerviche starter and the Seared Ahi Bowl are amazing!

Duke’s Seared Ahi Bowl.

We capped off our visit with a beachside bonfire overlooking the waves under a star-filled sky. I’m already planning my next trip back!

Beachside Bonfire. Fire pits are located throughout the Mission Bay area.