Bike to Mission San Luis Rey

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 13.9 miles

Ride Type: Paved / River Trail

Topography: Flat

Start Location: Oceanside Pier

Route Description

Enjoy the historic side of Oceanside by taking a leisurely bike ride from the Oceanside Pier to Mission San Luis Rey (1789). Visitors will enjoy riding along the San Luis Rey Bike Trail (a Class 1 bicycle trail that is completely isolated from motorized traffic) and taking in the natural landscape as they make their way to the historic Mission.

Fun Fact: Before the San Luis Rey Bike Trail was paved, it was once used as a private rail way by the military to move cargo along the river.

Mission San Luis Rey is the largest of the 21 California Missions, coined the King of the Missions, and offers visitors a glimpse back in time to when Spanish settlers first arrived along the California coast. Take a tour, pack a lunch and enjoy spending the day at this educational and historical site.

Advisory: Portions of the San Luis Rey Bike Trail will be closed from September 2017-March 2018 due to the sediment removal project. A detour route is available.  Click for more information about the Bike Trail Closure and San Luis Rey River Sediment Removal Project.

Interest Points Along the Route

Oceanside Pier and Plaza
The Oceanside Pier and Plaza is the hub of activity for visitors and locals alike. Fisherman, surfers and tourists gather here to walk the pier, play in the surf and relax in the sand to watch a sunset. The Plaza provides a variety of beach amenities that include everything from bike rentals, surf lessons and food vendors.

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia

Mission San Luis Rey
Built in 1798, Mission San Luis Rey is the largest of the 21 California Missions and is known as the “King of Missions.” Visitors to the Mission can take a free self-guided tour or visit the Mission Museum for a nominal fee.

Fun Fact: Walt Disney used a replica of Mission San Luis Rey in the 1957 television series “Zorro.”

Heritage Park
Neighboring Mission San Luis Rey is Heritage Park; an historical neighborhood that is home to the original Oceanside structures dating back to the turn of the century. In addition to the first general store, old City jail and doctors office, Heritage Park is also home to the North County Model Railroad Society.

Step-by-Step Bike Route Directions

  • From Oceanside Pier, go north on N. Pacific Street
  • Turn right on Surfrider
  • Left on Cleveland
  • Left on Neptune to find start of San Luis Rey River Trail
  • Continue on the bike trail to Douglas and exit right (south)
  • Continue on Douglas to left on N. El Camino Real
  • Continue straight to signs guiding you to Heritage Park (Mission grounds)
  • Return to by retracing outbound route