Road bike the epic coastline road of California
Feel the wind in your hair as you road cycle this fabulous route
Enjoy a small-group guided tour and travel with new friends
Go on tour and explore this magnificent part of the world
Discover the magic of the Big Sur coast

Big Sur Road Bike Tour

6 days
$4,984 USD

Ride the Californian Coast from Santa Barbara to Big Sur over 6 days on a glorious road biking adventure. A highly influential, early 20th-century watercolorist and muralist, Francis McComas, defined California’s Central Coast, Big Sur, as “the greatest meeting of land-sea.” With that visionary exactness as a guide, the tour operator has shaped a virtuoso velo interpretation of the Golden State’s Central Coast: animated as much by sea cliffs and rolling wine country, iconic Highway One to Redwoods, breaching grey whales to far more furtive sea otters.

  • Category
    Road Cycling
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    6 days
  • Culture Level
  • Skill Level
    3 - Intermediate
  • Activity Level
    3 - Active
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
Best Price Guarantee
No booking or payment fees
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    6 days
  • Main Destination
    United States
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain

Route Map (click to view larger image)

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Santa Barbara

    Meet in Santa Barbara, an upscale tourist resort college town. Then a short shuttle to Los Olivos (pop. 1138): one of a handful of small communities dotting the bucolic Santa Ynez Valley. Saddle up for a legwarmer ride, sweeping past the rich vineyards mixed with humble farmlands of the Santa Ynez.

    Your second stage ends at Solvang, (Danish for “sunny field”). Some 46-miles northwest of Santa Barbara, Solvang (pop. 5245) is a 107-year old Danish-Lutheran colony, replete with windmills and characteristic half-timbered Scandinavian architecture. Besides Euro-centric shops next to handsome dining spots, the area around Solvang claims many wine and olive oil tastings.

    • 12.4 miles
    • 607 ft
      607 ft
    • Fess Parker Wine Country Inn, Los Olivos
    • Lunch and Dinner
  2. Day 2Pismo Beach

    Waking to the valley’s cool, embracing air, Day Two’s first stage shoots toward the coast. You'll stop in Los Alamos, hailed as “the coolest town in Santa Barbara County.” Picture Tuscany meets Taos: low slung, no-fuss Old West stagecoach stop turned hip getaway destination.

    The next stage follows gorgeous back roads, a superb cyclo-touring route that swerves into Pismo Beach, a classic Central Coast community (pop 7931). Stopping at the Monarch Butterfly Grove, you'll take in more orange and black than the Sturgisor Laughlin Harley-Davidson runs. Walking distance from the ocean, tens of thousands of Monarch butterflies gather here in stands of Eucalyptus and Cypress.

    • 32.9 - 62.8 miles
    • 567.6 ft
      567.6 ft
    • Inn at the Pier, Pismo Beach
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  3. Day 3Big Sur / Central Coast

    Day Three, surge up the ruggedly beautiful Big Sur/Central Coast, all bluffs, sea and sky: a holy trinity that blesses your ride. The area’s dramatic atmospherics, alternately bruised or golden viscous light and moody weather, not unlike Ireland’s or Scotland’s west coast drew the likes of Henry Miller, The Beats and Kerouac, finding a rich font of inspiration.

    Following the dotted line, you'll sweep toward Cambria (pop. 6000), a low-fi art colony tucked into the Pines. Passing Morro Bay, Estero Bay, as well as the Harmony Headlands State Park, your routing flows across rolling hills overflown by Giant Pelicans, not to mention a host of other sea and shorebirds.

    • 26.7 - 49.7 miles
    • 26.2 ft
      26.2 ft
    • Blue Dolphin Inn, Cambria
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  4. Day 4Ragged Point

    Egressing from Cambria the next morning, powered-up by great coffee and exhilarating sea air, Day Four’s first stage shoots north. Paralleling the coast you might catch glimpse of either Grey or Blue whales in the near distance. This stage is suffused with sights and Central Coast culture. At the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, you will roll up to a historic 70-ft light station. Built in 1874, atop white rocks on a jutting spit of headland, you’re welcomed to Piedras Blancas by a chorus from the resident, if occasionally raucous sea lion colony. At McWay Falls, amidst a secluded cove, you'll glimpse an 80-ft plume of freshwater emerge from a granite cliff, spilling onto the sandy beach below. Overnight in Big Sur Village, its seaside cliffs framed by Redwoods.

    • 23 - 73.9 miles
    • 1,072.8 ft
      1,072.8 ft
    • Big Sur River Inn, Big Sur
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  5. Day 5Monterey

    The day’s opener beelines from the Big Sur coast toward Point Lobos: a broad sweep of raw coastal park with a refreshingly anti-industrial tourism/keep-it-real vibe. A made-for viewing spot, you'll peer out, hoping to see Grey or Blue whales, harbour seals or sea lions.

    After lunch in the park, a short shuttle delivers you to Carmel by the Sea. You will overnight here on the ocean. From rare and unique shops, shaped by local ocean-going culture, your early afternoon might also fit in the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, the standard-bearer for viewing sea-life. A wonderfully repurposed sardine cannery, The Monterey Aquarium is defined by soaring glass-walled tanks that showcase 35,000 animals plus 550 plant species.

    • 21.7 miles
    • 1,925.9 ft
      1,925.9 ft
    • InterContinental The Clement Monterey, Monterey
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  6. Day 617 Mile Drive

    The closing stage transits the world-famous 17-Mile Drive. Privately managed and minimally travelled, this phenomenal cycling route follows a smooth roadbed that hugs the coastline, from Pebble Beach to Pacific Grove. Sweeping through a wind-sculpted grove of Cypress trees, you can take in visually arresting mansions and unique, architecturally significant dwellings. The trip culminates with a shuttle back to Santa Barbara, and warm and hearty goodbyes.

    • 16.8 miles
    • Breakfast and Lunch