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 and historic missions? Charming Carmel-by-the-Sea and Spanish Colonial-flavored Santa Barbara? 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 invites you to 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 renovate? 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.
- 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
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)
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.
Routes For All Abilities
|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|
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 5/26-31 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $880 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/7-12 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $880 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/25-30 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $880 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/8-13 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $880 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/15-20 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $880 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/22-27 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $880 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/6-11 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $880 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/20-25 Price: $3098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $880 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Guest Trip Reviews
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.- Sarasota, FL
This is a truly excellent trip. Four great hotels plus challenging and interesting bicycling every single day. I can't immediately think of another Backroads- trip with such terrific hotels and riding. This trip reminded me of an amped up version of the California Wine Country trip.- Playa del Rey, CA
Overall, my friends and I loved the trip. The cycling, food, weather and accomodations were great!- Atlanta, GA