Julian, California
Credit: Vaughn Greg / Getty Images

The Cuyamaca mountains surrounding this gold mining town an hour east of San Diego give riders the choice of a laid-back jaunt or a hard-core bender – and the rare option of both desert and mountain terrain. The 30-mile Cuyamaca-to-Noble Canyon Trail has the distinction of being on the International Mountain Bike Association's list of best epic rides. [For info, sdmba.com]