Originally published in Global Travel Media October 7, 2023
Escape Adventures is excited to offer a six-day cycling tour of California’s Central Coast from Santa Barbara to Big Sur. Tour highlights include the iconic Highway 1, Piedras Blancas Light Station, Monarch Butterfly Grove, Harmony Headlands State Park, McWay Falls, Point Lobos, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and cycling the world-famous 17-Mile Drive. Tours run March-October and start at $4,599 per person. For more info, visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/california-coast-big-sur-road-bike-tour.
“This is an ideal tour of California’s Central Coast,” said Escape Adventures Director Jared Fisher. “In addition to the amazing cycling, wildlife viewing, and iconic sites, everyday guests will savor superb regional cuisine shaped by farm-to-table ethos.”
All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of the tour, including all transportation, food preparation, meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear. Permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and lodging are also included, along with at least two professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and support vehicles.
DAY 1: Meet in Santa Barbara and shuttle to Los Olivos. Cycle past rich vineyards mixed with the farmlands of the Santa Ynez Valley. Visit a 107-year old Danish-Lutheran colony, replete with windmills and half timbered Scandinavian architecture. Experience wine and olive oil tastings.
DAY 2: Stop in Los Alamos, hailed as “the coolest town in Santa Barbara County.” Picture Tuscany meets Taos. Follow gorgeous back roads, a superb cyclo-touring route that swerves into Pismo Beach, a classic Central Coast community. Visit the Monarch Butterfly Grove where tens of thousands of Monarch butterflies gather stands of Eucalyptus and Cypress.
DAY 3: Surge up the ruggedly beautiful Big Sur/Central Coast, all bluffs, sea, and sky. Passing Morro Bay, Estero Bay, as well as the Harmony Headlands State Park, the route flows across rolling hills overflown by giant pelicans, not to mention a host of other sea and shorebirds.
DAY 4: At the Piedras Blancas Light Station, roll up to a historic 70-ft light station built in 1874, atop white rocks on a jutting spit of headland. Check out the massive sea lion colony. At McWay Falls, witness an 80-ft plume of freshwater emerging from a granite cliff, spilling onto the sandy beach below. Overnight in Big Sur Village whose seaside cliffs are framed by Redwoods.
DAY 5: Cycle 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. Wildlife viewing opportunities abound, including whales, seals and sea lions. After lunch in the park, take a short shuttle to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Visit Monterey Bay Aquarium, defined by soaring glass walled tanks that showcase 35,000 animals plus 550 plant species.
DAY 6: Experience the world-famous 17-Mile Drive. Privately managed and minimally traveled, 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, take in visually arresting mansions and unique, architecturally significant dwellings. The trip culminates with a shuttle back to Santa Barbara