San Diego’s Pedestrian Bridge Tour

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Lace up those hiking boots or sneakers, we’re heading out for a walk. But this isn’t just a stroll through the park — we’re taking the Pedestrian Bridge Tour (aka the Seven Bridges Hike) that explores parts of Bankers Hill, Hillcrest + Balboa Park.

This laid-back, outdoor adventure is a 5.5 mile loop that blends natural elements of our city with urban life. You can start at any point to begin the circuit, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop, grab a drink, or pick up a snack. Best of all: This can be done entirely for free.

Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

A look over Kate Sessions Canyon. | Photo via @nomxsr

📍 Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

This 375-ft-long landmark is located at Spruce Street + First Avenue in Bankers Hill and is supported by steel suspension cables. It opened in 1912, and may wiggle a little as you cross — but don’t worry, that’s by design. And, at 70 ft high, you’ll get great views of the city as you make your trek.

Plan ahead: Beneath this bridge, you’ll find Kate Sessions Canyon (aka Arroyo Canyon). You’re probably tired by now, but you can hike this area.

📍 Quince Street Pedestrian Bridge

Built in 1905, this 236-ft wooden path is the oldest destination on the tour. It spans Maple Canyon to connect Third + Fourth avenues in Bankers Hill.

Try this: Need some energy? This bridge is very close to James Coffee Co.’s Bankers Hill location.

📍 First Avenue Bridge

A close walk from Quince Street, this 463-ft-long bridge is also used to get across Maple Canyon and rises 104 ft high. While its original construction dates back to 1911, it was replaced with a steel truss arch bridge in 1931.

Did you know? This bridge was nicknamed “The People’s Bridge” because it was built due to efforts from local property owners.

Balboa Park via Cabrillo Bridge

Heading to Balboa Park via the Cabrillo Bridge. | Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

📍 Cabrillo Bridge

Built in 1915 during the Panama-California Exposition, this bridge is one of the most scenic ways to get into Balboa Park. It’s nearly 1,500 ft long + 125 ft high, and goes over the Cabrillo Freeway — aka State Route 163.

Pro tip: If you can make it during sunset, you’ll find stunning views from all angles. Peep the city skyline, the San Diego Zoo’s Skyfari, or the historic California Tower.

📍 Park Boulevard Pedestrian Bridge

This short bridge in Balboa Park takes you over Park Boulevard to the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden — so plan some time to stop and smell the roses.

Try this: You’ll only be steps from Balboa Park’s Spanish Village. Check out the colorful tiles + grab a coffee at Daniel’s Coffee Cart.

📍 Georgia Street Bridge

This short, 69-ft-long passage has an important role in our city: it connects North Park + Hillcrest. It was built in 1914 to help pedestrians cross University Avenue where streetcars once traveled.

Did you know? The century-old bridge underwent renovations in 2016, but reopened in 2018.

📍 Vermont Street Pedestrian Bridge

Built in 1916, the neighborhoods of Hillcrest + University Heights are connected by this crossing. Once a wooden trestle bridge over Washington Street, it was demolished in 1979 and a new, steel bridge was opened in 1995 featuring quotes from local legends like Kate Sessions + Dr. Seuss.

Try this: You’ll find yourself at The Hub Hillcrest after a walk across this path. Feeling hungry? Nishiki Ramen is a great spot to fuel up.

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Psst: Remember our friend Jay Jay Maniquis? You can follow him on this tour on his Jaycation YouTube channel.

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