Big Sur & the California Central Coast
California's Highway 1
Some Highlights of this Tour:
Join us for Spring cycling in the Golden Gate State! California has some of the most beautiful coastal vistas in the world. Couple this with the charming towns of Monterey, Carmel-by-Sea, Solvang and Santa Barbara and this tour has the makings of a dream vacation!Highlights include:
- Cycle along the famous 17-Mile Drive and the stunning California Central Coast
- Visit San Simeon and the Hearst Castle
- Stay in cliffside lodging with the Pacific lulling you to sleep
- Visit some of the most well-known, well-heeled and charming areas of the Calfiornia Coast
Here's a day-by-day tour description:
Saturday (Arrival Day): Meet in San Jose
Arrive independently by plane or car to San Jose.
Lodging: DoubleTree, San Jose
Sunday: Bike Monterey to Big Sur
40 miles – 2,700 ft gain & 2,500 ft loss
Our guides meet us this morning and we'll shuttle to Monterey. Today's route takes us along 17-Mile Drive through famous Pebble Beach to Carmel-by-the-Sea, then south along Highway 1 for our journey along the coast. You’ll pass over the iconic Bixby Bridge and into the welcoming embrace of Big Sur, eventually arriving at our lodging for the night, Glen Oaks. We’ll enjoy a group dinner this evening at a nearby restaurant perched on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific.
Lodging: Glen Oaks Big Sur
Monday: Bike Big Sur to Ragged Point
50 miles – 5,200 ft & 5,100 ft loss
Today we dive into the heart of Big Sur, witnessing the raw and rugged beauty on offer at every twist in the tarmac. The route is long and challenging, with three categorized climbs along Highway 1 and small rolling terrain in between. Today's destination is the Ragged Point Inn, perched on a cliff over the ocean with no shortage of memorable vistas. Every room has a full or partial ocean or mountain view to compliment the crashing sound of waves that are ready to lull you to sleep. We'll enjoy another group dinner this evening.
Loding: Ragged Point Inn
Tuesday: Bike Ragged Point to Cambria
21 miles – 900 ft gain & 1,200 ft loss
No rush this morning as we have a shorter course to tackle on mostly flat terrain to the quaint town of Cambria. Stop in at Hearst Castle if you’re interested in learning about the history and fame of this media magnate. Our lodging tonight is in Cambria at the Pelican Inn & Suites, a historic bed & breakfast style hotel. Take the time to get settled and kick the legs up before taking a walk of the town to check out the shops and cafés. A wine and cheese reception is held at the hotel in the late afternoon so don’t lose too much track of time. Dinner tonight is within walking distance and often a favorite of the week.
Lodging: Pelican Inn & Suites
Wednesday: Cambria to Avila Beach
43 miles – 1,700 ft gain & 1,700 ft loss
After breakfast, our route continues along the Pacific Coast Highway to the harbor town of Morro Bay. Enjoy lunch at the water's edge, where you can watch the fishing boats, sea birds and harbor seals search for dinner. We'll then continue to Avila Beach, a tucked away ocean gem. While our hotel is away from the ocean, we’ll enjoy dinner at a favorite spot nearby with some great water views.
Lodging: Sycamore Springs Resort & Spa
Thursday: Avila Beach to Solvang
68 miles – 2,800 ft gain & 2,300 ft loss
After a hearty breakfast, we pedal out of Santa Maria Valley and inland through the rolling pastures and oak studded hillsides that recline beneath the majestic San Rafael Mountains. Here we are treated to one of the best bike rides around, which courses along Foxen Canyon and Ballard Canyon. Remote and scenic, this route rolls past quiet pastures and wineries with unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains. Our destination is the Danish influenced Solvang, known for its quaint Scandinavian architecture and Old World hospitality.
Lodging: The Landsby Hotel
Friday: Bike Solvang to Santa Barbara
36 miles – 2,200 ft gain & 2,300 ft loss
Leaving Solvang we start our ride with a short 6-mile pedal to Nojoqui Falls Park. From there we’ll load up and shuttle 30-min to the start of the second ride in Goleta. From Goleta you’ll pedal through the UCSB campus and along the Pacific again before looping up through Montecito and into the heart of Santa Barbara. You’ll have some time this afternoon to enjoy walking around the city which has been called the “American Riviera”. We’ll enjoy a final group dinner tonight a short walk from the hotel.
Lodging: Hotel Milo Santa Barbara
Saturday (Departure Day):
After breakfast, you'll have the chance to pack up before we shuttle you back to San Jose where we'll say our farewells. (5-hr shuttle).
We are now taking bookings for this tour. If you are interested in this tour and would like us to send you a booking form, please Contact Us for more information or check out our info page to see what's included on a Tandem Bicycle Tour.
Tandem Bicycle Tours strives to find quiet, paved secondary roads/bike paths for cycling and to avoid busy roads as much as possible. The description listed here is a very good approximation of our trips, but hotels and routes may change marginally to improve the trip experience.