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1. Best Bike Routes (3)

San Juan Creek Trail

The San Juan Creek Trail is a beautiful and variety-packed cycling path in South Orange County. It passes through the gorgeous Mission Revival Style buildings of the city of San Juan Capistrano along with its lush parks, dog parks, and horse ranches. This trail feeds right into Doheny State Beach from where you have access to all of the other spots and activities that we are about to mention in this article. Get Directions

Monarch Beach/Salt Creek Beach/Dana Point Harbor Loop

This loop takes you through the beautiful Monarch Beach Golf Course down to Salt Creek Beach. It then heads south into Dana Point Harbor where you can find the local favorite fish and chips stop at Jon’s Fish Market.

Dana Point to San Clemente Pier

This is a very popular coastal out and back loop to the San Clemente Pier. Head south into and through Doheny State Beach Park. There is a bike only bike lane that takes you from the south end of Doheny into San Clemente. When the paved bike path into San Clemente ends you’ll find yourself at the train station. Rind into the back corner of the parking lot where you will find the decomposed granite trail that takes you right to the Pier. Either on your way out or on your way back make a short trip up the San Juan Creek trail and visit our friends at Docent Brewery for some refreshing craft brews.

 

2. Best Places To Visit

Ocean Institute

This is the perfect place to take your kids because they’ll have a lot of fun and learn quite a bit about marine life by which we are surrounded. There’s a tour once every hour which lasts anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes. The staff is extremely friendly and it only costs $5 per person on weekdays and $10 on the weekends. The Ocean Institute also features the picturesque “Pilgrim” which is as impressive as any large historic-looking ship goes. Get Directions

Baby Beach

As the name has it, this is a beach that’s dedicated to babies. The water is very calm and warmer than usual because of how shallow it is. You’ll have access to very clean restrooms and wash areas but spots are limited which means you have to get yours earlier in the morning. Get Directions

Doheny State Beach

This state beach has a lot that’s going well for it such as the fact that it offers nearby parking. The parking is very affordable at $2 for 2 hours. The water, the beach, the park, and the restrooms are all well-maintained and very clean. They offer bike and board rentals and the food shack has some delicious options. If you’re trying to get in a workout or test out your new electric bike, there is a really nice bike that feeds right into the beach that takes you all the way to San Juan Capistrano beach for about 7 or 8 miles. Get Directions

Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park

This park has amazing views and offers plenty of activities in itself. You could easily hike as much as 10 miles if that’s what you’re into. If you plan out your route properly, you can reach Top of The World in Laguna Beach. This regional park offers cave rock, a car wreck. It’s also perfect for all the mountain bikers out there. In case you don’t have a mountain bike or would like to just rent one or a few for a day (or more), we have some good rental options here at Synaptic Cycles. Just give us a call and we’ll take good care of you! Get Directions

3. Best Local Food

The Shwack Beach Grill

The Shwack is located on one of our favorite streets in Dana Point–Del Prado. It offers outdoor seating, quick service, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as some truly tasty food at very reasonable prices. They have some of the best fish tacos that you’ll come by in all of South Orange County. This all-around fantastic restaurant should be at the top of your list when it comes to dining here in Dana Point. Get Directions

Coastal Kitchen

Fortunately, through these uncertain times, Coastal Kitchen has been able to find different ways to deliver a luxe dining experience. Although their food can be a little pricey, their service and exceptional dishes will live up to the expectation ten out of ten times. Their food is cooked to perfection and they have options that will suit everyone in the family. Get Directions

4. Best Local Pubs

Docent Brewing

Docent Brewing is located next to an industrial park in Capistrano Beach, CA. If you’re in for some top-notch craft beer, then this is the place to visit and revisit. You should definitely give their Pappy’s Imperial Stout on Nitro a try. The awesome staff, location, and high-quality beer all give this place an amazing vibe. Last but not least, although you can’t go wrong with any single one of their Eats, we’d highly recommend the ham and swiss bao. Get Directions

Project Social

Project Social is located at the intersection of Comino Del Avion and Niguel Road. They offer great outdoor seating that’s very spacious. They are very well-known for their Salt Creek Burger and the staff always goes the extra mile for their customers. This place is a combination of great beer selection, gorgeous outdoors, grade-A staff, and delicious food (honestly, what else would you want from a dining experience?). Get Directions

Station Craft

Station Craft is on the verge of opening their brewery here in Dana Point. We’ll add more information once they’re ready to go. Get Directions

5. Best Local Coffee

Bear Coast Coffee

Although we love all the Bear Coast Coffee shops we’ve been to, we think that their Dana Point location deserves a shoutout. The Coffee is on point! When you’re there, feel free to ask the staff for their recommendation based on your preferences and they WILL deliver. This coffeeshop fulfills essentially every cyclist’s dream. It’s located on the Pacific Coast Highway, it has comfortable outdoor seating, and the crowd is typically the surfer/ cyclist type. Get Directions

JC Beans Inc

This Cafe delivers a consistent and high-quality caffeinating experience every time. When there are places such as JC Beans Coffee House why go to Starbucks. Get Directions

 

6. Fun Activities

Synaptic Cycles

We don’t like to brag so we’ll let our customers do it:

“My husband and I rented the electric bikes today. We had an AMAZING time…The price was fantastic, and Shawn allowed us to ride a little longer than expected. We will DEFINITELY be doing this again Very soon”  -Regenia

“My friends and I had a great time cruising around Dana Point. Shawn hooked us up with great ebikes and gave us a primer before we headed off. So grateful for Synaptic for the wonderful day out!”   -Vivie

“Great Electric Bikes! We rode all over Dana Point and the Marina. The owner delivered the bikes to our hotel and picked them up at the end of the day. He even recommended a great breakfast place, What a Dish! Highly recommend this company.”  -Ginger

Get Directions

Pure Watersports – Kayak Rentals

If you’re in for some great Kayaking experience with calm waters and fantastic surrounding scenery, Pure Watersports has your back. They have relatively affordable rates starting at $15 for one hour for the single person and $20 for the 2 person kayaks. They even have fishing Kayaks which is something you cannot miss out on. Get Directions

Captain Dave’s Whale Watching

If you want to sign up to see a whale and hundreds of dolphins then Captain Dave’s Whale Watching has your back. The crew along with the captain are genuine people that want to give you the best aquatic experience possible. Get Directions

Westwind Sailing

They offer great sailing options at very reasonable prices. It’s the perfect activity for most families visiting Dana Point for their first time. It’s also located right next to Baby Beach. Get Directions

 

ALSO READ: “The Strand: Best Bike Path for E-Bikes in…

 

Yelp Reviews

Synaptic Cycles
5.0
Based on 42 Reviews
Kristin Lewis P.
Kristin Lewis P.
2020-09-17 15:33:32
Great experience at Synaptic! I needed a tube replaced on my "purchased for the pandemic cheap and cheery" bike and Shawn took care of it in under 10... read more
Anthony S.
Anthony S.
2020-09-16 10:05:21
If you don't have a way to get your bike to a shop Synaptic is the way to go. Pick up and delivery is such a convenience. I highly recommend them. read more
Nails By Stephanie R.
Nails By Stephanie R.
2020-08-15 20:50:41
We had company in town during Covid and wanted to check out Electric bikes. Shaun was amazing to work with, he has several different types of bikes to rent... read more
Brian V.
Brian V.
2020-08-06 18:34:45
Was difficult To find a bike shop during Covid Called Shawn and he took my bike ... He also takes the time to explain things to you. and yet they deserve... read more
Jessica K.
Jessica K.
2020-05-20 21:19:33
Quarantine restlessness got the best of me but I couldn't find a bike in stores so I ordered one online. It arrived mostly assembled but I quickly realized... read more
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