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San Francisco to Monterey Family Multisport Tour
San Francisco to Monterey Family Multisport Tour

This trip is currently unavailable. For a similar trip, see Santa Barbara & Ojai Family Biking.

Redwoods, Surf & Sea Lions on California's Central Coast
It’s an age-old question: mountains or ocean - which do you prefer? The fresh scent of evergreens or salty sea breezes? Redwood forests or kelp forests? Here on California’s Central Coast, you and your family will happily discover it all on foot and on two wheels. Hike through the Santa Cruz Mountains in the morning and stroll a historic oceanside boardwalk in the afternoon. Come face-to-face with sharks and sea turtles at the world-famous Monterey Aquarium. Chug through majestic redwoods on a steam train. Bike along coastal roads overlooking Monterey Bay, deep as the Grand Canyon. Mountains or ocean? You can have both.

Day 1 Explore a beautifully undeveloped stretch of California coastline  Start your ride at Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero, where you might be tempted by the array of freshly made artisan cheeses  Spin to Pigeon Point Lighthouse, home to a 115-foot tall lighthouse that has been guiding mariners since the 1800s.

Day 2 Walk among giants in a grove of coast redwoods, the world's tallest trees  Wildlife thrives here, so keep your eyes peeled - you may be lucky enough to spot sea otters frolicking just off shore  Grown-ups taste pinot noir at one of the region's oldest wineries  Kids check out the redwoods from a unique perspective: by train! Towering trees shade your descent to seaside Santa Cruz.

Days 3-4 The splendor of Monterey Bay spreads out before you on a hike through meadows and forest high above Santa Cruz  Kids get nose to nose with Marine Life on a kayaking excursion at the Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve   Pedal into historic Monterey, following a bike path through oceanfront sand dunes.

Days 5-6 Views of rocky headlands, wind-battered cypresses and azure ocean are yours to enjoy on undulating 17-Mile Drive  Hansel and Gretel-style meets the unabashedly posh - you must be in Carmel-by-the-Sea!  Linger in Carmel's chic galleries, boutiques and tasting rooms, hike in a dense Monterey pine forest in the hills above town or stroll on the beach  Ever peered into a kelp forest or looked an octopus in the eye? Now's your chance on a VIP tour at the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium  With its ruggedly stunning landscape and lively chorus of barking sea lions, Point Lobos State Reserve is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Trip Highlights
  • Savor freshly made artisan cheeses at Harley Farms Goat Dairy
  • Sea otters, harbor seals and birds abound in the estuary at Elkhorn Slough
  • Witness an amazing world beneath the waves at Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Point Lobos State Reserve, one of California's most iconic and stunning landscapes
  • Settle in at view-tiful hotels perched right above the ocean
big map

Premiere Inns

Costanoa Lodge (1 night): A stylish yet comfortable "eco-adventure resort" set amid acres of pristine coastal hills and secluded beaches. (spa)

Dream Inn (2 nights): Savor views of Monterey Bay from your private balcony at this beachfront inn, just steps from the historic Santa Cruz boardwalk. (pool)

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa (2 nights): Enjoy luxurious amenities including a rooftop fireplace and hot tub with stunning views over the bay. (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 Biking 9* 300
Biking 16 400
2 Biking 11 900 21 1300
Walking/Hiking 3 300 6 750 9 750
Kids Roaring Camp Steam Train Ride (1.5 Hours)
3 Walking/Hiking 3* 100 6* 200 11 1100
4 Biking 12 400
Kayaking On the Elkhorn Slough (2 Hours)
5 Biking 11* 400 27 1800
Biking 18 800
Other Monterey Bay Aquarium Tour (2 Hours)
6 Walking/Hiking 3 100

* Includes a shuttle

Recommended Kids Ages

Minimum Ages:

General Info on Minimum Ages:

We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria: Please note that a trip may feature an activity with an older age requirement than the minimum age recommendation for the trip. Younger kids are still welcome on the trip and while they will not be able to participate in the activity, the leaders will suggest an alternate activity. For safety reasons, children under 7 may not ride their own bikes and are required to ride on a Piccolo or in a Burley. For certain destinations, children must be 9 or older to ride their own bikes.

Private Trips Options & Pricing

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a Custom Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities. Please call for date availability and pricing.

Guest Trip Reviews

Gather your gang together for good times in the Golden State! This new multisport adventure along California's stunning central coast has something for everyone in the whole family, from easygoing beach walks to energetic rides. Kids will especially love seeing marine creatures up close at the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Riley Pearce - Regional Manager, California