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Best beaches where you can ride to dinner?

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Best beaches where you can ride to dinner?

Old 01-08-14, 10:35 AM
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Best beaches where you can ride to dinner?

We really enjoy beach vacations where we can avoid getting in a car and instead either walk or, preferably, ride bicycles to dinner and for grocery and other errands.

Marco Island has put considerable effort in to this and while far from perfect, isn't bad, and improving each year. The past couple of years we rode bikes for all of our transportation around the island. Quite enjoyable. Their goal is to avoid becoming like Naples or Destin with congestion and parking problems. Naples is actually somewhat bicycle friendly, though popular nearby places like Vanderbilt Beach are not and don't provide a good way to ride from Vanderbilt to Naples so everyone drives.

Santa Monica is another where you can get to everywhere you need to go via bicycle, though considerable more traffic and less enjoyable than Marco. Lahaina, Maui has been discussing bicycling options for a couple of years and it sounds like something might happen, including a path going north thru Kanapali and farther north as well as closing off nearly all Lahaina streets to cars during peak times (don't understand why they haven't done this long before now).

Seaside FL would seem to be a great place for this, but last time we were there you had to get in your car for most dining and shopping options.

Seven Mile Beach at Grand Cayman is another story, basically a highway running along all of the hotels that screams 'DRIVE, don't walk or ride!'.

Others?
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Old 01-08-14, 10:38 AM
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Zandvoort, NL. Channel Islands, Baleres? Canarias?



nearer to home.. Seaside/ Cannon Beach , Oregon

want tropical? how about Cuba? or any island in the Sea around there .
Bahamas to Trinidad

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Old 01-08-14, 02:11 PM
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Not just Santa Monica, but many of the places I've been to in Southern California are similar, and usually a little better than congested Santa Monica. South of Santa Monica - Venice, Marina Del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach are all great, and in IMO easier to get around to restaruants/bars/groceries than Santa Monica. San Diego also has a great beach scene. I've been to Pacific Beach many times, which is very easy to get around on a bike.
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Old 01-08-14, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne
Naples is actually somewhat bicycle friendly, though popular nearby places like Vanderbilt Beach are not and don't provide a good way to ride from Vanderbilt to Naples so everyone drives.
You can ride 15 miles from Gordon Pass to Vanderbilt Beach on bike lanes along Crayton/Gulfshore and lightly traveled 4-lane roads through Pelican Bay. Only a couple places where you need to mix with car traffic. PM me if you need specific directions. Nantucket is a great beach island where a bike is the best way to get around, although nice in the summertime only, and pricey.
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Old 01-08-14, 03:25 PM
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Key West, FL
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Old 01-09-14, 09:55 AM
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A bit on the smaller side, Tybee Island is very bike friendly. It is isolated from the mainland and Savannah, but after all it is an island. Bike is the preferred mode of transportation. Everything you might need you can be found on the island.
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Old 01-09-14, 10:35 AM
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Ocracoke, NC is bike friendly. I'd suggest leaving your car on the mainland when catching the ferry and just riding the island, it's much easier than finding parking, especially in the summer!
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Old 01-09-14, 10:52 AM
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North San Diego County coastal cities: Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad. You have easy access to beaches and shopping via bike. If you want to go to downtown San Diego to catch a ball game or see the sights, you can take your bike on the Coaster commuter train.
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Old 01-09-14, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by CbadRider
North San Diego County coastal cities: Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad. You have easy access to beaches and shopping via bike. If you want to go to downtown San Diego to catch a ball game or see the sights, you can take your bike on the Coaster commuter train.
+1
Lots of stuff from high end to San Diego's classic casual joint, Roberto's Tacos (2 locations on the coast that I know of-Oceanside and Solana Beach).
Garcia's on State Street Carlsbad.
Fish House Vera Cruz 1/2 block from Garcia's
Vigilucci's Italian in Carlsbad and Encinitas.

Lot of others.

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Old 01-09-14, 12:16 PM
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Santa Barbara is the best in southern California, IMO.
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Old 01-09-14, 12:23 PM
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I'm fairly confident on the bike, I've ridden siesta key, St. Armands, Lido, Fort Myers Beach, Clearwater, St. Pete Beach, Tarpon Springs, etc. St. Armands circle is pretty nice and while it doesn't have a lot of bike infrastructure, it fairly congested with bad parking, so it's almost better to go by bike.
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Old 01-09-14, 12:30 PM
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A third vote for North San Diego coastal area. There are many miles of options.
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Old 01-09-14, 01:12 PM
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I rode my bike 100+ miles in 4 days last August in and around Destin, Miramar Beach, and even over to Seaside and back. It's definitely possible. During the day when the 2-lane scenic 98 that runs along the beach is in grid lock, being able to pass everyone on your bike is the best feeling. But I do agree that Highway 98 proper is VERY heavily traveled. I rode it on my bike and it had a narrow bike lane most of the way, but I wouldn't recommend it for novice riders (i.e. my wife).

The bad part about Scenic 98 is the wide "MUP"-type path running along side it is VERY dangerous at every place that crosses car traffic, which can be every hundred yards or so, or even less. You have to be very careful riding your bike along there, especially when you're approaching the driveway from the driver's passenger side. People just don't look. For this reason I did most of my riding on the actual road and not that path.
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Old 01-09-14, 01:45 PM
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If you enjoyed Marco Island you need to visit Sanibel Island. It is set up for bike riding. One of the added pluses is the Ding Darling Wild Life Drive where you can dodge gators, watch white pelicans, etc. Another great place is Jekyll Island in GA. Any town on Cape Cod fits as long as it's close to the Cod Cod Rail Trail. Now a couple of nice areas in Canada, mostly gravel paths but super, are Fredericton, NB. The bike paths are along both banks of the St. John river with a bike/walk bridge to connect both sides of the city. It's a university city so lots of things to do there. The beaches are on the river. But, for us the best place is Prince Edward Island. Lots of vacant beaches not too far from the confederation trail running from tip to tip on the island. The last two places really require mtn bikes or at least 32's.
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Old 01-09-14, 06:54 PM
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Wow, thanks for all of the suggestions. Ocracoke reminded me of Pawley's that we use to go to when I was a kid. We love PEI and have been there a few times. Maybe I wasn't specific enough about 'beach' though. I was thinking something where the water is above 32.1f :-)

Originally Posted by alan s
You can ride 15 miles from Gordon Pass to Vanderbilt Beach on bike lanes along Crayton/Gulfshore and lightly traveled 4-lane roads through Pelican Bay. Only a couple places where you need to mix with car traffic. PM me if you need specific directions. Nantucket is a great beach island where a bike is the best way to get around, although nice in the summertime only, and pricey.
We've ridden to Waterside Shops a few times from Vanderbilt (La Playa). Most of that's not too bad with the worst being along Vanderbilt itself where the cars drive quite fast and turn fast without much consideration for people on sidewalks/paths (or riding bicycles on roadway). Otherwise a good ride with most of it on decent paths through Pelican if I remember. We were not able to find a route from there to old Naples that our wives were happy with. We found paths for a decent portion, but there were several sections that required riding with fairly fast traffic which is a complete no-go for the gals.
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Old 01-09-14, 07:37 PM
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+4 on this. Don't go in summer though, it's crowded and cloudy and grey. It is summer in San Diego from September to April also, and much more enjoyable.
Originally Posted by CbadRider
North San Diego County coastal cities: Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad. You have easy access to beaches and shopping via bike. If you want to go to downtown San Diego to catch a ball game or see the sights, you can take your bike on the Coaster commuter train.
And another +1 for Santa Barbara. You can roll your bike on the train to Santa Barbara from San Diego, and there are a few miles of bike path along the ocean that are great for going from Montecito to Santa Barbara. Have lunch at the Montecito cafe.
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Old 01-09-14, 07:48 PM
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Kalymnos Island, Greece. And for that matter, probably many other Greek isles. As mentioned above, Encinitas in North San Diego County should be on your list.
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Old 01-09-14, 09:10 PM
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Villages of Avon, Buxton, or Hatteras (on Hatteras Island, Outer Banks, NC) all have several restaurants within easy biking distance of the main beach house areas. As has been mentioned, Ocracoke Village on Ocracoke Island is very bike friendly.
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Old 01-09-14, 09:20 PM
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Nantucket Island, The Hamptons, Mackinac Island, Glen Arbor MI, Harbor Springs MI, Santa Barbara, La Jolla/Del Mar, Orleans/Chatham on Cape Cod.

Almost forgot the Joisey Shore!
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Old 01-09-14, 09:37 PM
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Seaside FL would seem to be a great place for this, but last time we were there you had to get in your car for most dining and shopping options.

That would have been my suggestion. Between Seaside and Rosemary, which are only about 8 miles apart, there's quite a bit of dining and shopping available.

During the day when the 2-lane scenic 98 that runs along the beach is in grid lock, being able to pass everyone on your bike is the best feeling. ...
The bad part about Scenic 98 is the wide "MUP"-type path running along side it is VERY dangerous at every place that crosses car traffic, which can be every hundred yards or so, or even less.


Known as 30A, the increase in traffic in the last 20 years has been astounding. But it really only gets to gridlock at peak holiday times. There are still a lot of times when it's relatively peaceful. We have a cottage in Seagrove, so we see it in all phases. Used to be totally dead in the winter, but that too has changed a lot. I've never had a lot of problems with cars from driveways and sideroads on the MUP, but during busy times there are too many walkers, strollers, and families on rented beach cruisers to make it passable at more than 10 mph (slowing frequently) so we usually take the road as well.

But the occasional overcrowding aside, I'd still recommend it. Just avoid major holiday weekends.
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Old 01-10-14, 08:40 AM
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Actually I was referring to "Old 98" or "Scenic Highway 98" which runs from just south of Destin Commons mall to about 5 miles east where it hooks back up with 98/30 Emerald Coast Parkway in Miramar Beach. A co-worker has a Sea Cabin condo right there by that hotel that has the pedestrian bridge running across the road. We've been down there several times and during the day it's always bumper-to-bumper through there.



I did ride from there over to 30A to Seaside and back, about 30 miles round trip. Not nearly as bad over that way, at least not the time I was riding.

This is the kind of mess I'm talking about: https://goo.gl/maps/QRqXZ In that older Street View image the crosswalks are marked well, and the car Stop line is behind it. Now the crosswalk is just 2 lines, and the car stop line is AFTER the crosswalk, right up at the road (see the newer satellite view image). We had problems with cars pulling up without seeing us when we were riding from west to east on that thing.
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Old 01-10-14, 08:54 AM
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Pensacola Beach, FL, is a great option. My wife is from there and we visit often. I almost always bring my bike and put in a lot of miles. Most of the island is a National Seashore with a paved bike path that runs for miles, but the main road is not bad for riding if you get out early in the day. My usual routine is to get up very early and ride to Navarre Beach and back, which is about 35 miles RT, or head the other direction to Fort Pickens and back, which is also about 35 miles RT. The winds tend to blow from east to west in summer, so half of my ride is usually directly into the wind and the other half with a massive tailwind.
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Old 01-10-14, 09:08 AM
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Are you referring to Hwy 399? Looks like a nice ride. Interesting about the winds, over in Miramar beach it always seems like the winds are coming out of the west, so I get a nice tailwind when riding east.

This year when we head down there we're probably going to take our son with us (he hasn't been yet), and may not even take my car. So we probably won't bother with bikes this time. It was nerve-racking the whole 9-hour drive having 100+ pounds hanging off the back of the car with a single support like that.
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Old 01-10-14, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
Are you referring to Hwy 399? Looks like a nice ride. Interesting about the winds, over in Miramar beach it always seems like the winds are coming out of the west, so I get a nice tailwind when riding east.

This year when we head down there we're probably going to take our son with us (he hasn't been yet), and may not even take my car. So we probably won't bother with bikes this time. It was nerve-racking the whole 9-hour drive having 100+ pounds hanging off the back of the car with a single support like that.
Yes, FL 399 is the only road that runs the length of the island, but the bike path parallels it much of the way. I don't usually ride on the path unless the traffic is heavy because a lot of sand gets blown onto it. That's why I get up early to ride. On summer mornings, I get up about 6 am and hit the road after eating some breakfast, and I can ride for miles without seeing any traffic at all. Much of the island is National Seashore, so it is undeveloped and very scenic in a barren sort of way. Fort Pickens has some nice historical sites and campgrounds. There are lots of shops and restaurants right in Pensacola Beach itself, but the development stops very quickly once you leave town.
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Old 01-10-14, 10:43 AM
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Ride a few miles ... out to the beach and back & eat dinner ? My house.
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