Half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles lies the California Central Coast. Often called America's "riviera" for its great combination of mild weather and expansive countryside, the Central Coast draws tens of thousands of bicycling enthusiasts every year. From the Great Western Bike Rally to the Solvang Century to the professional cycling teams, there seems no limit to the variety of great cycling opportunities.
At the northern end of the region lies the laid back Wine Country town of Paso Robles. South from here, the land stretches broadly across miles of valley farms and rolling hills to the historic town of Santa Maria. Continuing south, quiet country roads wind through broad canyons to the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country, its vineyard covered foothills resting beneath a backdrop of tall mountains. This area is home to the wine country towns of Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, and the Danish-inspired town of Solvang.
The roads, the scenery, the mild weather, the wine country, the inviting towns with quaint inns and restaurants: it’s no wonder that the California Central Coast region is such a popular cycling destination.
In keeping with the Undiscovered Country spirit, we designed a cycling experience befitting this grand terrain. We strung together a back roads route that spans the whole region, from Paso Robles to Santa Ynez, in six days of continuous biking. We built in mile after mile of lightly traveled roads for those who love to ride a bike. And we located the inns and restaurants that are both unique and authentic. But we did leave out a few things: wine tasting junkets, cooking classes, museum walks, shopping sprees. We still cling to a romantic notion that these "cultural" activities would only distract from an amazingly great cycling experience.
If you like taking cultural bus tours with some bike riding thrown in, this is not the tour for you. But if you’re drawn to the idea of day after day of spectacular routes, great food, and charming inns, our California Central Coast Bike Tour may be just the kind of trip you have been looking for.
My husband and I just completed a weekend bike tour with UDC tours cycling thru the Wine Country of Santa Ynez Valley and we loved it. It was our first guided tour and we choose UDC because they specialize in California and all the reviews we read, had nothing but positives to say about the experience. The tour was based in Solvang at The Hadsten House; which offered very nice and comfortable lodging along with a very much appreciated outdoor hot tub and indoor pool. We met our guides, Laura & Daryl, on Saturday where we, along with the other 5 cyclists in our group, were greeted with a backpack filled with cycling related "goodies", fitted with top-notch Scott bikes, personalized water bottles, and a meticulous route map with turn by turn directions. Both Laura & Daryl rode with us the first day to make sure we were acclimated to our bikes and the area. Over the next two days, either Laura or Daryl rode with our group while the other followed in the "sag wagon" to offer support as needed or to drive ahead and set-up a nice picnic lunch. Really fabulous riding over the weekend included pedaling along beautiful backroads past vineyards and farms, all while enjoying breathtaking views in Ballard and Foxen Canyon. Yes, those views provide a scenic distraction while climbing (ascending) the canyons and a beautiful "reward" while enjoying the downward descents! Each day of very satisfying cycling ended with a stop in town at the Bulldog Cafe to regroup and swap stories followed by a really nice dinner out with the whole group at two area restaurants in Solvang: Cecco's and Mirabelle's. UDC tours takes care of just about everything while you're on the tour; and truly, seems to put a lot of thought into ensuring that each rider has a successful and enjoyable experience, which includes the little things like having an ample supply of energy snacks "just in case" (which I ended up needing the first day out). Our guides were great, knowledgeable, very warm and friendly. The quality of the bikes is top notch and scenery hard to beat! We are considering booking another trip in California next Fall and would not hesitate to recommend UDC for anyone considering a bike tour.
TripAdvisor Review November 2013
|San Jose (start)
Santa Barbara (finish)