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Huntington Beach Bike Trail

Enjoy endless beaches, seaside towns and a trail that allows you to enjoy the beauty of southern California at its best.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 12.8 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  I wish they all could be California trails!

This trail follows two of the most beautiful beaches in California and provides access to... more »

Tips:  - Try to get here on a weekday, if possible.
- Even if you own a bike, you might want to try renting a local cruiser. They're... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trail begins at E Street

I highly recommend starting your trip at this end of the trail. That way, you'll (usually) have a headwind on the first leg of your journey and a tail-wind on the way back. It's also nice to start and end your trip on the Newport Beach end because of the abundance of bike rental businesses, restaurants, and shopping opportunities.
If you want to... More

2. Downtown Newport Beach

As mentioned in the last POI, Newport Beach is a great place for renting bikes, surreys, and other modes of trail transportation. It also makes a great place to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a bodacious snack. As if all that isn't enough, you'll likely enjoy just browsing around, shopping for souvenirs, and savoring the one-of-a-kind shops... More

3. Great beach access

This area is an especially nice section of beach that is slightly less crowded than other areas.

This is a great place to stop for souvenir shopping, snacks, lunch, or recreational equipment rentals. If you're not too concerned about starting the trail at the very beginning, this would be a great spot to begin your journey.
Some of the fine dining establishments here include Jake's Corndogs, The Spaghetti Depot, and Charlie's Chili.
It's also... More

5. The wall at 36th St.

No this isn't the end of the trail and as long as you have this guide, you're not lost. At this point, you will turn east for less than half a block and then...

6. Seashore Drive

... turn left/north onto Seashore Drive. You'll now be going the wrong way on a one-way road, but since you're a trail-user, it's perfectly legal, acceptable, and okey-dokey. You will see arrows, lines, and all kinds of confirmations leading you onward and forward.
You've just navigated the first confusing part of the trail, thanks to this... More

7. turn right/east at Orange Street...

... and then left/north on the Pacific Coast Highway (oops, I mean the PCH) to cross over the Santa Ana River. Don't worry, you're not actually on the highway but on a very wide, raised sidewalk beside the highway... and you won't be on it for long.

8. Junction of Santa Ana River Trail and Huntington Beach Trail

This is my favorite spot on the trail and not because of the beach views, fantastic food, or excellent shopping.
This is where you can cross under the PCH (finally got it right) and start a fantastic journey on the 29 mile (soon to be over 100 miles) Santa Ana River Trail. But that's a story for another guide, so just keep heading north on the... More

9. Huntington State Beach

There is both a city beach and a state beach here. There may also be a county and federal beach here also, for all I know. But as far as the trail goes, it doesn't matter. It's just one mighty fine stretch of sand and ocean.
Whatever you choose to call it, and whoever owns it, you'll find plenty to see and do here including lots of food vendors,... More

10. Zack's food and rentals

All along this stretch of beach, you will find plentiful purveyors of food and fun.
You will die of neither starvation nor boredom here. Hedonists rejoice, for ye have found our Shangri La.

11. Main Street Huntington Beach

If you leave the trail at any point, this is the point to do it. You'll have to cross the busy PCH (Don't I sound local?) so be careful. But it's worth it.
You'll find some pretty swanky shops and positively delightful restaurants. Enjoy some fish tacos and a tailor-made ice cream sandwich. That's right, you can choose your own cookie and ice... More

12. You take the high road and I'll...

... do the same.
The general rule for staying on the Huntington Beach Bike Trail, to paraphrase the munchkins, is "Follow the yellow-striped path." When in doubt, those yellow dashes will lead you to the promised land.
This spot is no exception. Although it looks like you have two trail choices, you are best to take the high-road, especially if... More

13. north end of trail

If you bring your own bicycle, this end of the trail has one very small advantage: It has slightly less expensive parking than in Newport Beach. However, I still recommend starting at the southern end.
If you haven't already gotten your fill of corn dogs, cotton candy, saltwater taffy, fish tacos, ice cream, and other beach food, then you can... More

14. bike rentals

In addition to Easy Ride Back Alley Bicycles, you will also find numerous rental outlets along the trail. Many of these rental shops rent bikes and a variety of other trailworthy vehicles including surreys, steppers, recumbent trikes, bike trailers, and choppers. It is important to note that surreys (pedal-powered cars somewhat like those driven... More

15. You're not in Kansas anymore.

You'll delight at the sights of this unique and fabulous trail.

16. bunches of beaches and palm trees

It's not called a beach trail for nothing. You will enjoy mile after mile of beach access complete with all the sights and sounds of a day on the ocean.