Summer is about to come in to full swing and this means more outdoor activities. We all love to go to the beach and kayak, but sometimes we have to switch it up a bit. Check out the best bike rides in Tampa Bay for a way to switch up your outdoor activities and make a super fun day!
The Riverwalk is the perfect scenic place to bike downtown if you want to stop every once in a while for a break on a bench or a drink at The Sail. At 2.6 miles, it's not the longest bike ride in the area, but it is a fun afternoon or early evening activity with multiple sights along the way. Consider packing a picnic to enjoy at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, or ride all the way to the end of the Riverwalk for some ice cream at Armature Works.
Need to rent wheels for the day? Pick up bike rentals (daily/hourly options available) from City Bike Tampa or visit the closest Coast Bike Share hub.
This one is a no brainer. Bayshore Boulevard is a beautiful road to explore on foot or by bike. Throughout the 4.5-mile, 10-foot wide continuous paved path, there are no intersections, breaks, or obstacles in your way. Time your ride to soak up views of the bay during sunrise or sunset. Looking at the mansions lining the other side of the road is fun, too! Need a mid-ride break to fuel up? Take a detour off the path up Howard Ave for a stop at Fresh Kitchen for a healthy lunch, or trek a little farther to Green Lemon, a go-to for excellent Mexican fare. Coast Bike Share is your best bet if you need to rent a bike to explore this trail.
Courtney Campbell Trail
If you're really looking to burn a lot of calories and spend a lot of time on your wheels, check out the Courtney Campbell Trail. This one stretches for more than 10 miles and includes a bridge that isn't the easiest thing to pass over. It is a fun ride, though, and is unlike any other in the area because of the fact that it's over the water the whole way. Keep your eyes on the road in front of you, stopping to look for dolphins along the way. FYI: this trail is best enjoyed on your own bike as there aren't rental shops nearby.
Stretching from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg, the 38-mile Pinellas Trail is a former railway that was repurposed as a multi-use trail. Hit the trail on two wheels making pitstops to check out the Tarpon Springs sponge docks, park for a refreshing brew (I love 7venth Sun Brewing in Dunedin) and stroll through hip downtown Dunedin. If you feel like making a side trip to the beach, you can follow another pedestrian trail across the Dunedin Causeway for a visit to Honeymoon Island State Park. Admission for cyclists is $2. If you don’t have wheels of your own, rentals are available through companies like Kafe Racer (from $24/day) which is conveniently located close to the trail in downtown Dunedin.
Also try the 42-mile Suncoast Trail located just north of the Pinellas Trail.
The Upper Tampa Bay Trail
The Upper Tampa Bay Trail offers 7 beautiful miles of smooth riding in the northwest section of Hillsborough County. Bathrooms are plentiful along this scenic rail trail, as are picnic areas for snack breaks. Six trailheads provide access depending on where you want to kick off your ride, and a connection meets up with the Suncoast Trail for a longer ride. FYI: there is a $2 admission fee per vehicle. Bike rentals are available at Citrus Park Bikes, which is conveniently located just off the trail.
Feature image credit: tampabayisawesome.com