ORANGE COUNTY, SIGHTSEEING RIDE, DANA POINT TO SAN CLEMENTE
This bike ride launches from Salt Creek Beach parking lot. This flat ride heads south to San Clemente, traveling most of its length within sight of the ocean. Palm trees, sand and waves; this is a ride through paradise. The first length of this route travels along Pacific Coast Highway and while traffic can be heavy through here, the bike lanes are nearly as wide as the car lanes. It does, however, narrow and get much busier as the route enters historic Dana Point. On-street parking and numerous exits/entrances to shopping centers make this section frenetic. Stay alert. At 1.66 miles the Ride Log indicates a right on Golden Lantern. The road here does continue straight and you will find many cyclists continue on here. This is not recommended as the road changes to three lanes, the on-street bike lanes disappear and traffic is extraordinarily heavy. Instead, follow the recommended path and travel through safer and more pleasant Doheny State Park before rejoining Coast Highway beyond. At 3.74 miles the route returns to Coast Highway along a protected on-street bike lane. To get in the lane you must cross train tracks and an access road. This area can be confusing so it is especially important to follow all signs and signals and stay alert. The turnaround is at San Clemente Metrolink station. Enjoy the outdoor seating at Kaylani Coffee as you sip lattes and look out over the tracks, expensive beach homes and the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the parking lot is the beach entrance and the San Clemente Pedestrian Beach Trail, a hard packed gravel path that travels to the pier 1.1 miles away or to San Clemente State Beach, 2.6 miles away. Although bicycling is permitted, this gravel path is usually so crowded that it is best reserved for pedestrians. The Metrolink continues south through San Onofre State Beach all the way to Camp Pendleton Marine Corp Base. For those heading south, much like in Dana Point, cyclists do ride Coast Highway which turns into El Camino Real. However, the road is so narrow and impacted with traffic, it is not considered safe for the recreational rider. Instead follow the official bike route as indicated by signs. FOOD AND DRINK This ride passes through historic Dana Point with dozens of dining opportunities. At the turnaround point Kaylani Coffee offers a limited menu and a spectacular view. ACCESS By bus, OCTA routes 1 and 85 make stops at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Laguna Niguel, near the ride’s start. By train, the ride turns around at the San Clemente Metrolink station. By car, take exit 79, Pacific Coast Highway, off of Interstate 5 and head northbound. After 3.5 miles turn left onto Ritz Carlton Drive then take the first right into the parking lot.