Traveling by bike is easy. No need to plan or stress about traffic, just hop on and go. Los Angeles has a growing number of bike paths, which offer ocean views, mountain tours or direct routes to city attractions. Below is a list of attractions to satisfy the palate, please the eye and tempt the shopaholic.
Getty Villa-Cruise north on the Santa Monica bike path, lock up your bike and step into another world-filled with priceless treasures, incredible trompe l’oeil and painstakingly restored ancient artifacts. Kids under 15 are free and the Metro Blue Bus 534 drops off at the foot of the Getty’s driveway.
17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California 90272, (310) 440-7300 http://www.getty.edu/visit/
Hours for the Getty Villa site and galleries: Wednesday-Monday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Closed Tuesdays
Annenberg Beach House-Now open for its second year, this lovely stretch of public beach is sandwiched between two exclusive private beach clubs-The Jonathan Club and the Beach Club. Skip the nail biting over a parking spot and take the Santa Monica beach bike path right up to the entrance. The pool opens starting June 19th and closes on September 6th and there is amble bike rack parking throughout the site. Don’t forget to bring your own lock.
415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402, (310)458-4904, http://beachhouse.smgov.net/
Hours: Garden, View Deck & Splash Pad, Daily, 8:30 am – 8 pm. Event House Gallery, Mondays & 2nd Saturdays, 11 am – 3 pm. Marion Davies Guest House, Mondays & 2nd Saturdays, 11 am – 3 pm
Back On The Beach-Where else can you stick your toes in the sand and enjoy a yummy bowl of breakfast pasta? This long-time favorite has been rebuilt and refurbished, its menu, however has stayed the same. You can pull right off the bike path, lock up your bike and stroll in for a huge stack of blueberry pancakes. Bring some sand toys for the kiddies and you enjoy a peaceful meal for a little longer. Check back after June 19th for extended summer hours.
445 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402, 310-393-8282 http://www.backonthebeachcafe.com/
Hours: Mon.-Thur., 8am – 3 pm, Fri., Sat. and Sun. 8am – 8pm
Venice Board Walk-Since the bike path runs the length of the Venice Boardwalk, you can cruise by and take in the sights and smells-and there are many-or you can take your time and peruse the 3 mile stretch of shops, shows and restaurants.It’s best to avoid riding your bike on the pedestrian path as you could likely get stuck in a snarl of strollers, gawkers and other cyclists.
1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291 http://www.laparks.org/venice/venice.htm
Santa Monica Pier-Forest Gump and the LA Marathon chose the Pier for their finish-line. Thousands of tourists wander up and down the solid planks, enjoying the fresh ocean breeze and the electric excitement around every corner.Pacific Park hosts carnival-like attractions, rides-for adults and children-as well as a circus training camp with a trapeze. The Santa Monica Pier Carousel just celebrated its 150th anniversary! The bike path runs right underneath and steps go up the pier on either side.
200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401 http://www.santamonicapier.org/
Abbott Kinney First Fridays-For one night out of the month, all the stores stay open late. And-now that summer is here-more people will attend. Trust me, when I say the best way to get here is by bike. Munch on delectable bites from food trucks scattered along the street and enjoy the live music and desserts served by the local merchants.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard between Venice Boulevard and Main Street, Venice, CA 90291, 6-10 p.m. http://www.abbotkinneynow.com/
Third Street Promenade-The parking lots are usually jammed, so biking is the best way to get to this well traveled pedestrian street. Take the Santa Monica bike path to the Santa Monica Pier, then Ocean Avenue-North-to Broadway-West-and you’re there! Get a walking map http://www.downtownsm.com/visitors/walking-map.html and wander past the fountains, the kiosks and the street performers. Chain stores such as Forever 21, Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters flank the street, too. Coming soon is the newly renovated Santa Monica Mall. The drawings show a spectacular rooftop deck with full ocean views.
Third Street between Broadway and Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405 http://www.downtownsm.com/visitors/index.html
Rosenthal Malibu Estate and Vineyards – Did you know that a winery is a mere 15 mile bike ride from Santa Monica, California? It’s true. Take the bike path up to the end at Temescal Canyon and carefully ride on the bike path to Pacific Coast Highway taking it north to the winery. The new Rosenthal Estate Wines Tasting Room is just a short pedal away. Savor the setting of a beautiful lush acreage paired with impeccably aged wines. I can’t stress riding carefully on PCH enough!
26023 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 9026, (310) 456-1392
Hours: Thursdays: 1pm – 6pm, Fridays: 11am – 6pm, Saturdays: 11am – 6pm, Sundays: 11am – 6pm Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (hours are seasonal and subject to change)