Bike to brunch: follow the coast to this secluded beachside restaurant

by Skylar Ryan-Grant

Nothing says a weekend morning Ventura-style like beaches, biking, and brunch. Earn your breakfast with a smooth, eight-mile bike ride up the Pacific Coast Bike Path along the iconic Rincon beaches and Highway 101, enjoying the brisk ocean air and morning sun your face while you’re at it.

Begin your morning around 8:30 or 9am with walk from your accommodation in Downtown, or park your car all day for free at the top of the structure on California street. Get the day started off right with an earthy matcha latte from Stoked or fresh-brewed coffee from Palermo, and stroll down Main street a few blocks to The Bike Depot, on West Main and Olive past the Buenaventura Mission.

Open daily at 9am, The Bike Depot offers rental bikes appropriate for any age or group size. You can even rent tandem bikes, a 4-wheeled Pedalina, or rear bike carriers for small children. Once you’ve got your wheels, bike the short distance along Caltrans First Adopt-a-Bike-Path (2.3 miles, about 12 minutes) to the trailhead at Emma Wood State Beach, and get started on your morning ride along the Pacific Coast Bike Path.

Photo by Visit Ventura

It’s hard not to take a deep breath and smile as you’re met with the smell of salt on the breeze, the sound of waves on the sand, and sight of the morning light on the California hills. Known as the Rincon, this pristine ocean corridor along Highway 101 is famous for its natural beauty, and there’s no better way to experience it than riding a bike. The path is paved, fenced, and separated from the highway. It has no turns or intersections, so you’re free to take in the sights without worry, even with a large group or children in toe.

Follow the path for just under 8 miles, taking approximately 40 minutes for most riders, to the Cliffhouse Inn on the Ocean, which can’t be missed along the unpopulated stretch of coastland, right off the trail. Starting at 10:30am every Saturday and Sunday, this oceanside getaway serves a gourmet brunch in its Shoals Restaurant. Try their classic Eggs Benedict or or go for a MexiCali-style classic breakfast of Huevos Rancheros. Sandwiches, burgers, salads, and main courses are also available on their brunch menu.

Select a local California wine and enjoy the ocean view before taking a relaxed ride back to Ventura–and maybe stop to play in the waves while you’re on your way home.

Reservations are not required for brunch, but be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water for your ride. Restrooms are available at Emma Wood State Beach, before you get started on the path.

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