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Monterey & Big Sur to Santa Barbara Wine Country Bike Tour
Monterey & Big Sur to Santa Barbara Wine Country Bike Tour

It's the dream road. Suspended above the Pacific. Hugging the edge of the continent. It winds down the California coast, flirting with majestic redwoods, rugged cliffs and crashing waves. Yes, those ocean vistas are incredible. But did you imagine anything else? Like sea lions, lighthouses, historic missions and charming Carmel-by-the-Sea? Luxurious inns and sun-kissed Santa Ynez Valley vineyards? More than coastal scenery will take your breath away on this trip.

Day 1 Bike famous 17 Mile Drive to enchanting Carmel-by-the-Sea  Browse boutiques, art galleries, cafés and visit an 18th-century Spanish Colonial mission in this seaside haven. 

Day 2 Point Lobos, "the greatest meeting of land and water in the world," according to landscape artist Francis McComas  The call of playful sea lions invite you to take a break and explore the tide pools and bluffs Test your legs on the rolling ascents of the cliff-clinging Cabrillo Highway past wind-torn cypresses.

Day 3 The rugged Big Sur Coast, known for redwoods and staggering views  Pedal by Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, whose cove is a hangout for elephant seals Plans to remodel? Find inspiration at Hearst Castle, where optional tours reveal an astounding 58 bedrooms, 60 bathrooms, 18 sitting rooms and sublime grounds featuring formal gardens.

Days 4-6 Discover the vineyard-laden Santa Ynez Valley A pastoral inland route leads to Los Olivos, with Victorian buildings, eclectic artwork and alluring tasting rooms Get to know Solvang, a delightful dash of Denmark in California Ride through weather-worn mountains - with a steep climb and technical descent for the brave.

Trip Highlights
  • Bike along iconic Highway 1 on California's central coast
  • Rugged cliffs plunging into the deep blue Pacific: talk about stunning scenery!
  • Experience the epic beauty of land and sea at Point Lobos 
  • Taste award-winning wines in the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley
  • California cuisine at its best - as varied and exceptional as the rides themselves
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Premiere Inns

Tradewinds Inn Carmel  (1 night): Enjoy the serenity and ocean views offered by this magical Asian-inspired inn.

Ventana Inn & Spa (1 night): This luxurious getaway tucked in wooded hills overlooking the Pacific earns rave reviews from Condé Nast Traveler and the Hideaway Report. (pool, spa)

Blue Dolphin Inn (1 night): Ocean views abound at this cozy inn nestled in a grove of mature cypress trees on Moonstone Beach.

Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa (2 nights): Each room at this elegant boutique hotel, which dates back to 1888, features a private fireplace. (pool, spa) 

Routes For All Abilities

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.

Daily Route Options
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain
1 25 1500
2 31* 3500 40 3600 55 6500
3 31* 3700 47* 6000 68 7000
4 35* 2500 43 2700 58 3700
5 24 1200 35 1700 44 5100 58 5800
6 16 900 29 1800

There is less than 5% of riding on hard-packed dirt on this trip. Since the overwhelming majority of the trip is paved, we've elected to use standard road bike tires on our titanium road bikes. Most guests find this to be the right answer. If you prefer to skip the dirt, a shuttle is always a possibility.

* Includes a shuttle

2014 Dates & Pricing*

  • 5/25-30 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
  • 7/6-11 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
  • 9/7-12 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
  • 9/21-26 Price: $3098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
  • 9/28-10/3 Price: $3098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
  • 10/5-10 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
  • 10/19-24 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)

*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.

Private Trips Options & Pricing

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.

You can pick from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.

If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Pricing for Private Trips

  • 2 - 3 guests $4,798 pp dbl. occ.
  • 4 - 5 guests $4,198 pp dbl. occ.
  • 6 - 7 guests $3,898 pp dbl. occ.
  • 8 - 9 guests $3,698 pp dbl. occ.
  • 10 - 11 guests $3,298 pp dbl. occ.
  • 12 or more guests $2,998 pp dbl. occ.

Guest Trip Reviews

Like the other trips with Backroads, this was a wonderful trip with incredible scenery, exceptional leaders, an interesting and varied itinerary, and a really fun, nice group of people with various backgrounds but still very compatible. It was everything that was promised and more. We never worry when we are contemplating a Backroads trip.
Dave Rosenak - Highland Park, IL

I had never cycled and always said I hated riding a bike. My friend talked me into this trip. So 2 months before departure I borrowed a road bike and began riding twice a week. My goal was just to survive the trip. Not only did I survive but I loved every minute of it! The guides and the other guests encouraged and inspired me to push myself to new levels of strength and endurance. After a hard day of riding it was SO nice to arrive at a beautiful hotel with my bags waiting for me in my room.
Kim Dumas - Sarasota, FL