When seasons turn in Orange County, not much changes. The Pacific Ocean still sparkles a deep blue. The warm sands still beckon visitors to walk barefoot. And the year-round mild air still permits alfresco dining and other outside adventures. And, given the predictable weather, biking is among one of the top local outdoor activities — it’s great exercise, and it allows you to experience the area from an intimate perspective. “The weather is perfect for a ride any time of year,” says Andrew Bennett, guest experience concierge at The Resort at Pelican Hill®. “While the rest of the country is preparing for winter, it’s still 75 and sunny here.”
And The Resort at Pelican Hill has made cycling easily accessible for all guests to experience by way of electric bikes. It’s a fun option for folks of all levels of fitness who want to take in the natural beauty of the area. “With a bike, you have much more flexibility to stop when and where you want,” Bennett says. “The added benefit is that by using a bike, guests are participating in a green activity.” While electric bikes, or e-bikes, are available for more relaxed tours, you can also arrange for use of comfort bikes or beach cruisers. Pelican Hill works with SportsRents, which keeps bikes at the ready right at The Resort, so all guests need to do is set up a tour with the concierge, hop on and roll. Excursions are customized, so you see what you want at your own pace. “With most tours, you have an itinerary with scheduled stops and a strict timeline to make them in,” Bennett says. “Because the tours can leave from so many locations, what you see and do is completely up to you.” Generally, tours range from two to four hours based on where guests depart.
Bicyclists can tour The Resort’s 500-acre property, which boasts unparalleled views of the ocean; ride along blufftop trails in nearby Crystal Cove; or pedal through the bustling Balboa Peninsula. “The only way to see the area is on a bike, unless you want to walk 30 or 40 miles,” says Liam Roberts, owner and founder of SportsRents. “On a bike, you can get the whole lay of the land.” It allows you the freedom to explore hidden spots, such as Inspiration Point in Corona del Mar and the Morro Beach overlook in Crystal Cove (a popular backdrop for selfies). Art lovers may want to consider arranging a bike tour through Laguna Beach, where you can take a storied ride through the city’s colorful past as an art colony and learn about the efforts taking place today to preserve that history. For families, the quaint Balboa Island and its Fun Zone — a family-friendly attraction boasting a Ferris wheel, arcades, dining and shopping — makes for a great day.
As with any physical activity, you’ll want to bring along water. And you’ll want to be comfortable riding along a busy road. “While we give an orientation before sending guests out, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re comfortable on the bike before leaving,” notes Roberts. But once guests take off, he adds, they’re treated to sights and sounds that make for an unforgettable introduction to Newport Beach and beyond. “The most common feedback I get is, ‘I wish I did this at the beginning of my vacation.’”