Thank you to our new contributors, Jelly (@jellyeatsfishy) and Angel (@travelingmoccs) from Beautiful Brown Adventures, for writing up their favorite family-friendly cycling routes in Alameda. They created @beautifulbrownadventures to connect with other families of color and share helpful information and personal stories as they set out to adventure around the world, in order to make travel easier and more accessible. Be sure to follow them for lots more.
With an elevation of a mighty 33 feet, a city-wide speed limit of 25 miles per hour, and “Slow Down In Town” as the city’s motto, you know Alameda is the place to enjoy a safe and flat bike ride with your kids.
We ride our bikes everywhere, and can often be seen cruising with our kids down the designated bike lanes on Central Ave and Grand Ave in Alameda, riding our beloved cargo bike. Once our preschooler learned how to ride a bike (read about how she learned to ride a bike in one day here), we started to explore bike rides around town that would be safe and family-friendly for a new bike rider.
If you’re coming to Alameda and looking for a lovely way to spend the day, look no further than a scenic bike ride along the Alameda shoreline – every bike route here starts or ends with amazing Bay views.
- Shoreline Avenue
- Bay Farm Island
- Alameda Point
Bike along Shoreline Avenue with Kids
Park at Alameda South Shore Shopping Center and ride west along the painted bike lane towards Crown Memorial State Beach. Enjoy the beach-lined ride the entire way as you go west with views of the San Francisco skyline in front of you. When you reach the end of the designated bike lane, stop to play at Washington Park, grab lunch on Webster Street, or find a picnic table and play at the beach at Crown Memorial and head back!
Loop is 4.8 miles.
Cycle Around Bay Farm Island as a Family
Bike on Bay Farm Island along the Bay Trail to Shoreline Park. Alameda and Bay Farm both have trails along the water. One is on a road called Shoreline Drive and one takes you to Shoreline Park. To get to Shoreline Park on Bay Farm, start at Towata Park in Alameda and cross the blue pedestrian bridge from there to Bay Farm. Follow the trail along the island’s edge with stunning San Francisco skyline views all the way to Shoreline Park on Adelphian Way and then cross the street to follow a winding trail along the estuary until you return to the bridge and make your way back home. Stop by the mini-parks along the way or grab a drink or mochi donut at Coffee and Tea Traders.
Loop is about 5 miles.
Ride the Bay Trail to Alameda Point
Bike to Alameda Point along the Bay Trail. Start at Jean Sweeney Park and bike west along the bike lane through the park towards Webster Street. You will cross some big intersections at Constitution and Webster Streets, but don’t worry; the bike lanes are clearly marked. Continue west until you reach the old Navy base.
This bike route turns around at Alameda Waterfront Park, a fun open space for bike riding and picnicking. Let your kids ride around in the wide-open spaces of the park or take a break and have a picnic and enjoy the views of the San Francisco skyline. If you have time or energy, continue the bike ride to enjoy a brew along Spirit Alley, just a short 5-minute bike ride from the park, at the kid-friendly Almanac Beer Co. or Admiral Maltings.
Loop is about 4 miles.
More routes for new cyclists in the East Bay >
Biking is the best way to experience the city of Alameda with your kids. You can cross the island on a bike via safe, designated bike routes and the city has spent a lot of money and time developing bike lanes along Grand Ave, Central Avenue, Santa Clara Ave, and Shoreline Ave, making biking safer and more accessible to families across the island. At the time of this writing, they were working to continue the Bay Trail from Sherman Ave all the way across the island. I can’t wait to rewrite this post to include that route!
Do you have a favorite bike route in Alameda? Share it in the comments below!
Thank you to Jelly and Angel from Beautiful Brown Adventures for sharing their love of Alameda and bikes today. We love their mission to encourage more families to be outside, to respect those that came before us, and act responsibly in nature.
4 thoughts on “Top 3 Family-Friendly Bike Rides in Alameda”
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Hello. I enjoyed the article very much. I ride in Alameda frequently and I agree it is a great place to ride with kids.
One thing I’m not so sure about is the protected bike lanes on Grand Street and Central Avenue that you referred to. Just a few weeks ago, I rode the entire length of Grand Street from Grand Harbor to Southshore and the only place it had protective barriers was at the intersection with Otis Drive. Everywhere else, there were only painted bike lanes. I didn’t ride the full length of Central Ave but I was on it from West Pacific Avenue to Washington Park and it was the same thing there – only painted bike lanes without any protective barriers separating them from the automobile traffic.
I fear you may have some very disappointed parents who read this and then show up at Grand Street or Central Avenue expecting to find protected bike lanes.
Hi Mark, thank you for the feedback. You’re totally right. We updated the post to indicate that the bike lanes are painted and clearly marked but not fully protected.