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Best Places to Ride Your Motorcycle in San Diego

Five Scenic Spots to Cruise

Does the magnificent beauty brought on by recent rain make you want to jump on your motorcycle and take a leisurely ride through San Diego County? Does the idea of hopping on your bike and blasting your favorite tunes through your motorcycle lure you out to the open road? We can definitely relate! Fortunately, local motorcycle enthusiasts have an abundance of scenic routes to choose from in the local area. From easy riding straightaways to serpentining skill challenges - we’ve got a ton of options. If you’re looking for some inspiration, take a look below at the best places to ride your motorcycle in San Diego.

Sunrise Highway

One of the most popular and rewarding motorcycle routes in San Diego county is the scenic 34-mile two-lane highway that snakes through the Laguna Mountains. This drive offers everything from glimmering beaches to the gorgeous mountains. There are plenty of places to pull over and enjoy the spectacular view of the desert basin to the east. Starting at the Sunrise Highway exit off the I-8, turn north to wind up the mountains. When you hit SR-79, you can either turn right and head into Julian, or turn left to loop past Lake Cuyamaca and back to the freeway.

The great thing about Sunrise Highway is that it’s right in the middle of San Diego County, so you don’t have to go far to take advantage. It’s a nice short drive to unwind, even if it’s in the middle of the workday.

Highway 94

Highway 94 is a beautiful 63-mile stretch that is chalk-full of great views and hidden gems. Even longtime Californians might find a few new spots they’ve never heard about as they explore the 94, which is lined with beautiful pine trees and poppy flowers.

Many people assume the 94 freeway ends in Rancho San Diego, but it actually continues on through Jamul and out past rural outposts like Dulzura, Potrero, Campo, and Boulevard that are nestled among scenic canyons and wide-open plains. You can even take a detour down to Tecate, which is the same city where the popular Mexican beer is produced.

San Ysabel/Julian

If you’re wanting to take a trip with a delicious destination, then we can’t recommend San Ysabel/Julian enough. It’s a sweet ride, but the famous apple pie and other desserts you can get from Dudley’s Bakery in San Ysabel make it even sweeter. That alone should be enough to motivate you.

Your route will start at the 67 freeway in Lakeside before running into the 78 and winding through the gorgeous backcountry. Expect a little bit of traffic since you’ll be going through Ramona, but it’s still a great motorcycle ride and worth the trip, especially if you stop for some pie.

Montezuma Grade

An alternate option for the previous route is to turn north on the 79 in San Ysabel instead of continuing up the 78 to Julian. If you veer east past Ranchita, you’ll reach the Montezuma Grade, a twisty mountain road that drops 3,000 feet down to the desert. Rider beware, the sharp curves are challenging but the endless panoramic views can’t be beat. Once you hit the quaint desert town of Borrego Springs, be sure to hit up one of the several restaurants and watering holes that have sprung up in recent years.

Palomar Mountain Loop

If you’re looking for a more technical and challenging ride close to San Diego proper, check out this route that loops through Palomar Mountain State Park. It features dense forests, rocky ledges, and panoramic views from the Lake Henshaw Overlook. Starting off on Highway 76 east (exit from I-15), the winding stretches of smooth asphalt provide a motorcycle ride full of twists and turns that will keep you on your toes. The Palomar Mountain Loop is a 35-mile stretch reserved for riders who are more advanced in skill. Stay alert and keep your eyes on the road.

Enhance Your Ride with a Motorcycle Sound System

For some people, the rumble of their motorcycle engine is the on