Posted October 8, 2014

America’s Best Cycling Cities

Destinations AUS DEN MIN NYC PDX

Portland Biker

Yup, Portland made the list. Photo: Creative Commons/Ethan Jewett/

One of the great things about America’s best cycling cities isn’t how many trails there are or the number of miles you’ll cover, but rather how accessible they are for travelers. Many of these cities’ prime routes are mere steps from your hotel door and offer adventure-seekers the chance to see the area from a different viewpoint.

And if you’re staying with us, there’s no need to schlepp your bike along or deal with rentals. Our partnership with PUBLIC bikes means you can get a free (and stylish) loaner at every one of our hotels. So take a ride on the wild side by booking a trip to one of the following bike-friendly cities.

Portland, OR

Portland Bikers

Keeping Portland weird. Photo: Creative Commons/Gabriel Amadeus.

This Northwestern city has the highest proportion of bike commuters in the U.S. and is frequently named among the best cities for cycling in the world. The most unique aspect of cycling in Portland is that it offers opportunities for every type of ride — even those crazy BMXers. The terrain ranges from clearly marked bicycling lanes to bicycle boulevards to urban bike paths to trails through nature preserves, such as Forest Park, the largest urban forest in the U.S. Get maps and details here.

Where to Stay: Hotel Monaco, Vintage Plaza, RiverPlace Hotel

Austin, TX

Austin Bike Zoo Bat Bike

Holy bat bike! It’s Austin Bike Zoo. Photo: Creative Commons/Steve.

Two words describe the nature of biking in this Texan town: Bike Zoo. (Yes, that’s a thing.) At this roving exhibit, which debuted in 2007, the city’s creativity and love for bicycling is on full display — primarily through its 80-foot rattlesnake bike with 34 wheels and seats for six. Unlike many cities, both the climate and terrain in Austin is conducive to cycling year-round, and recent years have seen the addition of more than 30 miles of bikeways, as well as off-road paths. Walnut Creek, located a few miles north of Austin, is a good trail for beginners and features an 11-mile main loop with few climbs and obstacles.

Where to Stay: Hotel Van Zandt (opening this spring!)


Minneapolis Bike Path

Have a Nice Ride in Minneapolis, spring through fall. Photo: Creative Commons/Heather Harvey.

Come winter, Minneapolis is more like Ice City, not Bike City. But as soon as it warms up, bicyclists of all types hit the nearly 100 miles of on- and off-street paths. There’s also Nice Ride, a nonprofit bike-sharing system that runs April to November, offering memberships and passes that are ideal for travelers because they’re free for the first 30 minutes. (Members get a whole hour of free riding time.)

Where to Stay: The Grand Hotel

New York City

NYC yarn bomb

How cozy. Photo: Creative Commons/David Shankbone.

While the thought of strapping on a helmet and joining the ranks of all those crazy cabbies may be terrifying to some, New York City has adapted to the growing number of cyclists and created a number of designated cycle lanes, making it even safer to try. Plus, the city has tons of great green spaces where cyclists never have to meet an oncoming car, including the beautiful Hudson River Park Bikeway, which hugs the Hudson River on the West Side. What’s more, visitors can now rent a set of wheels from the largest bike-sharing system in the U.S. at any number of the Citi Bike docking stations.

Where to Stay: Eventi, Ink48, Muse Hotel


Denver bike riders

Former Denver Mayor (and now Colorado Guv) John Hickenlooper leads a biking event. Photo: Creative Commons/FreeWheelinBiker.

The state of Colorado (and more specifically Denver) is consistently ranked among the top bicycling destinations, in part because of the miles of mountain biking. The action doesn’t stop once you come down from the hills, though. Bicyclers traveling to Denver will find 800 miles of paved, off-road trails, some of which connect to additional dirt paths. One of the most notable trails is the South Platte Greenway, a 28-mile trail that runs through downtown Denver. Denver also has its own bike-sharing program, which is free for the first 30 minutes, $1 for 30-to-60 minutes, and then $4 for each additional 30 minutes (or $8 for the day).

Where to Stay: Hotel Monaco Denver


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