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The 7 Bridges Walk in San Diego

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The 7 bridges walk in San Diego is a roughly six-mile urban loop through neighborhoods and parks, beside fountains and museums, and (obviously) over the top of seven bridges.

This is a very urban hike with plenty of places to stop for a coffee or lunch. If you’re looking for nature, this isn’t the right hike for you (try this Potato Chip Rock hike instead!) On the other hand, if you’re looking to get to know the city of San Diego, this is the perfect hike for you.

Check out the 7 Bridges Walk interactive map here:

Trip map created with Wanderlog, an itinerary planner

You’ll see the neighborhoods of Hillcrest, North Park, and Banker’s Hill on this beautiful and easy urban hike.

For a map of available homestays and hotels in San Diego, visit here.

The suspension bridge on the 7 bridges walk in San Diego
A suspension bridge along the way!

Let’s dive in!

Video of the 7 bridges walk

If you prefer video, here is my YouTube video of the 7 bridges walk:

The latest on Youtube:

How to walk the 7 bridges trail

Since this is a loop, you can start at any of the seven bridges. But the most common place to start is at Balboa Park. Get there early for easy parking (and to beat the San Diego sun in the afternoon!)

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Balboa Park is a destination in and of itself with 1,000 acres (more than Central Park!) and more than a dozen museums. For now, we’re going to walk right through the heart of the park.

Many people start with the Park Boulevard Bridge, but we headed into the park from Sixth Ave and El Prado, so we started with…

Bridge 1: Cabrillo

Bridge One on the 7 Bridges Walk: Cabrillo
Cabrillo Bridge

The long Cabrillo Bridge was built in 1914 and it used to have a pond beneath it. Now it crosses a highway instead of a pond, but (if you go the direction we did) it empties into the center of Balboa Park. At the end of the bridge, you’ll pass the Museum of Us and you’ll head for the Bea Evenson Fountain.

Bea Evenson Fountain: Balboa Park San Diego
Bea Evenson Fountain: Balboa Park San Diego

Bridge 2 on the 7 bridges walk: Park Boulevard Bridge

Find the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden and you’re passing over bridge number 2: the Park Boulevard Bridge.

It’s a beautiful bridge that empties itself into a desert-like garden. This bridge can get a little crowded, but it’s a beauty!

Pin for Pinterest on the 7 bridges walk in San Diego
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Bridge 3: Georgia Street

Georgia Street Bridge

Now you’re headed for 3850 Georgia Street and the Georgia Street Bridge. You’ll pass near the San Diego Zoo (some people park here for the 7 bridges walk) and right on out of the park to the place where the Georgia Street Bridge crosses over University.

This beautiful concrete bridge connects the neighborhoods of Hillcrest and North Park.

Related: Ramona Wineries and Cideries (a beautiful wine region just outside of San Diego!)

Bridge 4 on the 7 bridges walk: Vermont Street

The Vermont Street Bridge on the 7 bridges walk
I was diggin’ the quotes on the Vermont Street Bridge!

The Vermont Street Bridge is full of motivational sayings. Perfect at this halfway point in your walk!

A quote on the Vermont Street Bridge "YOU must do the thing that you think you cannot do" by Eleanor Roosevelt
A little inspiration on the Vermont Street Bridge

Bridge 5: Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

The Spruce Street Suspension Bridge on the 7 bridges walk in San Diego
The Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

Now we’re going to cross over Kate Sessions Canyon by way of a swaying suspension bridge!

The spruce street suspension bridge

Bridge 6: Quince Street Bridge

The Quince Street Bridge on the 7 Bridges Walk
The Quince Street Bridge

Next up is the Quince Street Bridge, which crosses over Maple Canyon.

The Quince Street Bridge in San Diego

And you’ve almost made it!

Last up on the 7 bridges walk: First Avenue Bridge

The First Avenue Bridge on the 7 bridges walk in San Diego
Beautiful views of the ocean from the First Avenue Bridge!

The First Avenue Bridge is the only steel-arch bridge in San Diego!

Great job…great walk!

How long does the 7 bridges walk take?

Budget three hours for this relatively easy, flat walk through San Diego! It’s a 5.5- to six-mile loop depending on your path and how long you need to walk to get to the loop. It was exactly 5.6 miles for us, starting at Sixth and El Prado with the Cabrillo Bridge.

Where to stay in San Diego

Homestays and hotels in San Diego:

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  1. John Quinn says:

    I’ve really gotten into urban hikes these years (not by choice) and I do enjoy them. Bridges are always an attraction, so I’m sure I’d enjoy this one too. Lovely city.

    1. Haha. Hey, some of the best ways to get to know a city are to get good and LOST. Thanks for reading, John!

  2. Great Post with great info. San Diego looks fantastic.

    1. It is fantastic, indeed! I hope you get a chance to explore!

  3. I’m so taking this 7-bridge urban hike the next time I’m in San Diego. Love Balboa Park so that’ll be a great way to start and end the loop!

    1. It’s a fun way to see the city. Honestly, you could make it a pub crawl and see some great places to eat and drink, too!

    1. Given your exploration strategies, this is one you could definitely make a pub crawl! Thanks for reading!

  4. I love San Diego but I didn’t know about this trail. What a great way to get to know the city! Putting this on my list for next time.

    1. Thanks for reading Lori! I hope you see some bridges on your next trip through the city!

  5. Looks like a great way to spend a day. San Diego has always been somewhere we would love to go and this will be added to our must dos.

    Looks like the perfect day for it also lovely blue skies

    1. It sure is! I hope you get a chance to see the city soon!

  6. How fun! I have never heard of this, honestly and I have family living in the area too. Seems like a fun urban walk ?

    1. It’s a good one! I hope you do it next time your visit family, Lannie!

    1. It was perfect. But then it usually is in sunny San Diego!

  7. This is such a fun way to see the cute little neighborhoods near downtown San Diego. Can’t wait to do it again!

    1. It was so fun to walk with you. Thank you for showing me the way!

  8. Wow that’s a very interesting post on 7 bridges! Really another must travel added to my bucket list!

    1. It’s definitely a fun way to see San Diego!

  9. Wow, incredible! You did it again and always will!

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