Biking offers a fun and healthy way to enjoy family time while experiencing a variety of locales.
By Briana Verdugo
Nothing pairs better with family vacations than fresh air and a bit of recreation, and biking is an ideal way to explore the outdoors while enjoying an exhilarating bonding experience. As kids zoom ahead feeling the freedom of the ride, parents pedal steadily along, relishing diverse scenes and landscapes.
When biking as a family, the activity is more about savoring the moment than racing to a finish line. Admiring nature along a trail or stopping for a bite to eat during a fun-filled ride offers ample opportunities to connect as a family. While Salamander Hotels & Resorts offer a host of exciting outdoor pursuits, renting bikes is an entertaining way to make lasting memories.
Whether Innisbrook Resort guests decide to stay on the grounds and peruse the more than 6 miles of property pathways, or venture off-site, there is no shortage of biking opportunities. Bikes are available by the hour, half day or full day, allowing for a quick lap around the resort or an all-day adventure. For those looking to explore the surrounding area, just outside the north gate of Innisbrook is the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, which stretches 47 miles from Tarpon Springs to downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. The city offers something for nearly every interest, from museums and galleries to boutiques, parks and eateries.
For those who don’t want to trek all the way to St. Petersburg—about a six-hour endeavour, round-trip—just a short jaunt from Innisbrook, the trail weaves through coastal areas, tree-lined paths and through nearby towns. Stop in at Thirsty Marlin in Palm Harbor, just a 20-minute ride from the resort, to refuel with fresh seafood, sushi and more.
Nothing says family time like an adventure in one of the Reunion Resort’s two- or four-person Surrey bikes. Standard, single rider bikes are also available and cyclists can rent one for a day or enjoy the transportation for a full week. Not far from the resort is the Florida National Scenic Trail. This congressionally-designated route traverses all around Florida and is nearly 1,300 miles long. Explore one part of the trail by venturing to Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee—about a two-hour or approximately 27-mile ride—and indulge at Broadway Pizza Bar before returning home to Reunion.
At the resort, cyclists can explore the property while pedaling past lakes, over bridges and around lush green golf courses. Throughout the ride, stop in at some of the on-site attractions such as the water park and tennis complex.
The long, flat trails near Hammock Beach Resort in Florida offer easy rides and the coastal breeze will keep you cool while pedaling toward your destination. Riders can tour the resort grounds or go out on a longer adventure. Upon exiting the resort, heading right will take you north along Flagler Beach to the Marineland Trail and along A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway. Follow this route for about an hour and a half or 19 miles and you’ll make your way to beautiful St. Augustine Beach. Alternatively, turn left along the same trail and have the option to ride all the way, about two and a half hours or 32 miles, to Daytona Beach. Whether you choose an all-day adventure or shorter jaunt, call the concierge desk to arrange a personalized picnic to take with you on the ride.
In spring, summer and fall, Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, offers all-terrain bikes for rent that can take visitors around the property or into the nearby village. There are several trails around the property and a trip to town is an easy adventure with a short ride along North Pendleton Street. Along the way, you’ll see charming rolling countryside and picturesque greenery.
A personalized picnic can be packed for you by Gold Cup Wine Bar or Market Salamander, and there are also plenty of opportunities for dining along cycle-friendly roads. Try an alfresco lunch and a local eatery for dinner. Pull over at the Red Horse Tavern in the heart of Middleburg for American cuisine or grab a sandwich at Upper Crust Bakery. Adventurous riders can also bike north about 15 miles from Middleburg to Purcellville and enjoy a bite in the quaint town.
Situated along the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast, The Henderson offers the very best of coastal living. The long pathways near the luxury resort are wonderful choices for families who want to bike while on vacation. A favorite of the locals is the route along Scenic Gulf Drive. The 5-mile stretch features a dedicated pedestrian and bike path. The route offers many access points to the beach and several restaurants also dot the strip. Consider stopping by Pompano Joe’s Seafood House, situated on the beach, for delicious seafood finds including several types of fish and surf and turf selections. The eatery’s kids menu will keep the little ones in your bike expedition happy as well.