West Coast

Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara

Active / Recreational

Classic

Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara

California's Central Coast

Newly redesigned Trek Travel biking trip

Cycling the Central Coast offers a week overflowing with all the ingredients for a perfect bicycling vacation: sun, breathtaking views and delicious food and drink.

This is true California. The vibe is relaxed and the scenery is awe-inspiring. The Central Coast overflows with everything that makes California great, from the crash of the surf in Monterey Bay, to the vibrant green views along Pebble Beach, to the crisp mornings in small towns overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean. Every night you’ll stay in handpicked, unique hotels that capture California style, and every day you’ll uncover a new treasure along the Pacific Coast Highway. We’ll start our journey in the seaside town of Santa Cruz and make our way to Santa Barbara, known as the “American Riviera." Don’t be surprised if you find yourself deeply breathing in the sea and surf. That is, when the scenery isn’t taking that very same breath away.

From

$3099PP

Group Discounts [?]

Rider Type [?]

3 / 2

Active / Recreational

Hotel Style [?]

Explorer

 

Day-to-day

View Itinerary

Duration

6 days | 5 nights
See All Dates

Make it Private [?]

Go Private!

Start | End

Santa Cruz, California | Santa Barbara, California

Dates

2015
May
Jun

Daily Itinerary


Day

1

Today's Ride:

Santa Cruz to Monterey
Approximately 46 miles with 1,200 feet of climbing

Description:

Welcome to the Golden State! After everyone has gathered you'll be treated to a taste of California with a brunch featuring local specialties. Next, your guides will ensure you a comfortable fit to your bike and familiarize you with its features. Then it's time to ride! You'll head out of Santa Cruz, past famous surf breaks and farmland, enjoying dramatic views of the coastline and Pacific. The final 15 miles of today's ride take you onto a bike path which leads to Monterey and your accommodations for the night, which are perched above Monterey Bay. Take time to enjoy the views and freshen up before meeting your fellow travelers to enjoy a short walk to a nearby restaurant, where you'll get to know everyone better during a social hour. Your guides will also fill you in on the details of the days ahead and the upcoming rides down the dramatic and picturesque California Coast. Tonight a delicious meal of fresh local food awaits—the first of many on this Trek Travel adventure of a lifetime.

View meeting and departing information»

Hotel:

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
Visit Website

Included Meals:

Lunch | Social Hour | Dinner


Day

2

Today's Ride:

Monterey to Big Sur
Approximately 42 miles with 2,500 feet of climbing

Short Option:

Monterey to Carmel River State Beach
Approximately 15 miles with 400 feet of climbing

Today’s Activity:

Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium | Sea kayak through the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Description:

This morning you will awaken to the sights and sounds of Monterey in all its coastal glory. After breakfast you have two options for the first part of the day: walk down the street to tour the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium or get up close to marine life in the Bay with a self-guided sea kayaking adventure. Lucky kayakers may be rewarded for their paddling with a view of harbor seals, sea otters and pelicans in their natural habitat on the dazzling waterfront of the sanctuary. Then you'll board your bike to cruise along the famous 17-Mile Pebble Beach scenic drive to the artists' enclave of Carmel-by-the Sea, where you can fuel up at a local bistro of your choosing. After lunch the road narrows and the sweeping views of the Big Sur coastline come into view. There are several riding distances for you to chose from, so make it your day. This evening relax and soak in the quiet and comfort of the Big Sur Lodge, located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Hotel:

Big Sur Lodge
Visit Website

Included Meals:

Breakfast | Dinner


Day

3

Today's Ride:

Big Sur to Piedras Blancas Light Station
Approximately 57 miles with 4,100 feet of climbing

Short Option:

Lucia to Piedras Blancas Light Station
Approximately 33 miles with 2,700 feet of climbing

Avid Option:

Big Sur to Cambria
Approximately 69 miles with 5,500 feet of climbing

Description:

The poet Robinson Jeffers wrote that Big Sur is “the greatest meeting of land & sea.” Today, witness for yourself the views that inspired such a bold claim. As the ride begins, you'll tackle a climb to the community of Post. If you prefer to skip this first ascent, there's a seat in the van with your name on it! Whether you begin from the Lodge or from the town of Lucia, today's riding is spectacular. You'll stop for lunch at the Treebones Resort and continue on to Piedras Blancas Light Station just north of San Simeon. You’ll be biking long rolling climbs all day – the terrain is more challenging than the first part of the trip – so feel free to end your ride here. Those who pedal the full distance into Cambria will be rewarded with views of Hearst Castle in the hills to the left and the sounds of elephant seals barking on the beaches. Your home for the night is the breezy Sand Pebbles Inn on Moonstone Beach. You are on your own this evening to explore the nearby restaurants.

Hotel:

Sand Pebbles Inn
Visit Website

Included Meals:

Breakfast | Lunch


Day

4

Today's Ride:

Cambria to Pismo Beach
Approximately 48 miles with 2,100 feet of climbing

Short Option:

Cambria to Morro Bay
Approximately 22 miles with 800 feet of climbing

Today’s Activity:

Grand Rooms Tour at Hearst Castle

Description:

This morning starts with a tour of the Hearst Castle. Perched on “La Questa Encantada,” The Enchanted Hill, this amazing palace was designed by architect Julia Morgan for William Randolph Hearst on his family’s traditional camp site. This magnificent estate of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools, walkways and a private zoo commands a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean and was a significant upgrade from the Hearst family's original tents and camp fires. You will have a chance to see the most impressive rooms of the Casa Grande, which was inspired by the architecture of Spanish cathedrals. After the tour, you'll shuttle back to Cambria where you will board your bike and ride south along the Pacific Coast Highway to Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. Today's route typically enjoys much-appreciated tailwinds and relatively flatter terrain. Tonight your lodging is on the bluffs above Pismo Beach and are free to enjoy dinner on your own at the adjacent Marisol overlooking the ocean.

Hotel:

The Cliffs Resort
Visit Website

Included Meals:

Breakfast


Day

5

Today's Ride:

Goleta Beach to Santa Barbara with East Mountain Overlook Loop
Approximately 39 miles with 2,800 feet of climbing

Short Option:

Goleta Beach to Santa Barbara
Approximately 15 miles with 500 feet of climbing

Description:

Another rewarding day of riding awaits as you gear up to arrive in Santa Barbara. After a gorgeous 90-minute shuttle down the coast, you will start your ride just north of Santa Barbara, at Goleta Beach near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Your journey today will follow a bike path and residential roads that wind through the beautiful homes in Hope Ranch and down Shoreline Drive. Santa Barbara's famous State Street will tempt you with a variety of cafés and shops. After a lunch of your choice in town, feel free to unwind at your leisure after a week of fantastic riding. You might choose to explore Stearns Wharf, relax poolside at the hotel, or indulge in a bit more shopping. Should you want to ride further to explore a little more we have a great afternoon ride planned in the hills overlooking Santa Barbara. This evening you’ll toast your Pacific coast journey and revel in your “bucket list” achievement at tonight’s farewell social hour and dinner.

Hotel:

Hotel Milo
Visit Website

Included Meals:

Breakfast | Social Hour | Dinner


Day

6

Today's Ride:

Hope Ranch Return
Approximately 14 miles with 600 feet of climbing

Description:

Today sleep in or enjoy a final leisurely spin along the coast to take in more of the beauty and charm of Santa Barbara. The waterfront and bike path are just across the street from the hotel, so perhaps a last relaxing stroll to savor the sights and smells of the Pacific is in order before bidding your final farewells to this wonderful coast.

View meeting and departing information»

Included Meals:

Breakfast



Dates & Pricing

CURRENT PRICING AVAILABLE UNTIL JANUARY 7TH

We reward our guests with lower pricing and more dates to choose from the earlier you book. Rest assured, once you book your price and date are guaranteed.

2015


May
31st -
Jun
5th
/ 6 days / 5 nights
$3099 / Person, $700 / Single OCC.
Guaranteed *
Jun
7th - 12th / 6 days / 5 nights
$3099 / Person, $700 / Single OCC.
Guaranteed *
Jun
14th - 19th / 6 days / 5 nights
$3099 / Person, $700 / Single OCC.
Guaranteed *
Jun
21st - 26th / 6 days / 5 nights
$3099 / Person, $700 / Single OCC.
Guaranteed *

Hotels

Monterey hotel on Trek Travel's Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara bike tour

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

Monterey, CA

Relax on the water’s edge at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. Dramatically perched over the Monterey Bay and located on historic Cannery Row, the Plaza is the perfect place to enjoy the gentle sounds of the surf, the fresh scent of sea air and all of the activities that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer. A recipient of the coveted Forbes Four Star rating in 2013, the Plaza welcomes you with its warm Mediterranean ambiance and its legendary personalized service.
sfsb-bigsur

Big Sur Lodge

Big Sur, CA

This rustic lodge is located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, among towering redwoods and oaks. Nestled on the hillside above Highway 1, there are no phones or televisions in these basic but comfortable and spacious rooms. The park, which is the gateway to the Ventana Wilderness, makes for a peaceful stopover on your way from Monterey to Cambria.

Sand Pebbles Inn

Cambria, CA

The Sand Pebbles Inn offers a spectacular oceanfront location and a relaxing experience for all guests. Located directly on Moonstone Beach, just steps from the water and tide pools, accommodations at Sand Pebbles provide all the amenities you could want to enjoy the sights and sounds of coastal California.
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The Cliffs Resort

Pismo Beach, CA

Nestled halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, The Cliffs Resort perches atop bluffs overlooking beautiful pristine beaches. Enjoy the deck overlooking the ocean, heated outdoor pool and hot tub, and on-site spa. For an evening or early morning stroll on the beach you can walk down a flight of stairs just beyond the pool to sink your toes in the California sand.
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Hotel Milo

Santa Barbara, CA

The colorful grounds of Hotel Milo blend beach-chic décor and classic Spanish Colonial architecture in an enviable waterfront location. This cozy property is located just a short walk from the Marina, Stearns Wharf, State Street and many other Santa Barbara attractions and activities. Open your windows or sit in the courtyard or a poolside cabana to take in the refreshing sea breeze and the vibrant atmosphere along the oceanfront of this wonderful city.

What's Included

We Include More

Every moment of a Trek Travel bike trip has more than you could have ever dreamed. More romance. More scenery. More choice. It's the little additions to every Trek Travel cycling vacation that make it truly special. And that’s how we help you create more memories. See more

  • Gratuities for all scheduled special events, restaurants, hotels, local guides and transportation during your trip.
  • Private tours
  • Entrance fees to all group events/activities
  • All luggage transfers
  • All transportation during the trip, including private coaches
  • 5 nights of accommodation
  • In every region we travel, we uncover the area’s best, and most delightful accommodations. On our San Francisco to Santa Barbara trip, you will stay in a variety of accommodations, from the redwood forests of Big Sur to the Santa Barbara waterfront.
  • Daily breakfast, 2 lunches, 2 social hours, 3 dinners, and all snacks and drinks for each day
  • On our Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara trip, you will experience the elegance, innovation and attention to detail that has come to characterize California cuisine.There is a strong seasonal focus to California dishes, so in spring you can expect meals to be accompanied by early season produce from nearby farms.You will also be treated to an assortment of excellent and interesting salads, always made with the freshest hand-picked greens like radicchio, butter lettuce, and arugula, topped with fresh fruits and cheeses.
  • The knowledge, support, and camaraderie of experienced guides
  • Daily route support
  • The use of Garmin Touring Plus GPS cycling computer
  • Paper route guides also available upon request
  • Comprehensive trip literature and complimentary Trek merchandise
  • The use of a Trek Domane 5.9 carbon road bike with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting, or Trek Domane 5.9 Women’s Specific Design carbon road bike with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting(limited selection), or Trek 7.6 FX Hybrid bicycle
  • The use of Garmin Touring Plus GPS cycling computer
  • Trek Travel t-shirt and cycling socks
  • The use of Trek bike helmets and other gear and equipment to make your ride comfortable
  • Trek Travel water bottles
  • $300 Discount on a 5 or 6 series Trek Domane or Madone, or Project One purchased at your local Trek retailer

Thank your Guides, by tipping

Gratuities for your Trek Travel guides are not included in your trip price. Industry standard is 5-10% of the trip price which will be divided by your guide team. Please tip your guides at your discretion, based on their level of professionalism, guest care and service.

  • Airfare and transportation to and from the trip pick-up/drop-off locations
  • Lodging before and after the trip
  • Personal items purchased during the trip
  • Optional activities not scheduled by Trek Travel
  • On select trips some meals are not included. On these trips, Trek Travel invites you to explore the local cuisine at your leisure.
  • Gratuities for your Trek Travel Guides may be given at your discretion in response to their professionalism and leadership.Industry standard is for each individual guest to tip the guide team 5-10% of the trip price.

FAQs

Trip Changes

Our itineraries are an approximation of our trips. Trek Travel strives to offer each and every guest a vacation of a lifetime on every trip. At times routes, hotels, activities, etc. listed here may change at the discretion of the trip designer or guides to improve the trip experience.

  • Rider Type | 2&3
  • Average Daily Mileage | 40
  • Terrain | Hilly
  • Average Daily Elevation | 2,200

On all of our vacations, Trek Travel strives to find quiet, paved secondary roads or bike paths to experience a region; busy roads are avoided as much as possible. Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara is best suited for our Type 2&3 Riders. Our Trek Travel guides can also easily accommodate Type 2 Riders, who seek less mileage or fewer uphills, with a boost in the van. Type 4 Riders will enjoy the extra mileage the avid route options offer. The terrain is varied with rolling hills, at times steep and with strong coastal winds. See Itinerary for specific daily ride distance and elevation options.

Late spring usually means mild and pleasant conditions along California's Central Coast. Expect temperatures to warm during the day into the upper 60s to low 70s and to drop at night into the low 50s or upper 40s. While the chance for significant precipitation is low this time of year, coastal weather can often bring fog and light precipitation, so layers and rain gear are recommended nonetheless.

This destination is best suited to guests who want to cycle every day. Because of the terrain and/or remoteness of the hotels and riding routes, there are few, if any, non-riding options available. If a non-rider wants to accompany a rider guest on this trip, they would need to spend many hours in the van and/or at the hotels on the trip. Due to this, we strongly discourage non-riders from this destination.

For an additional fee you may request to upgrade to a race-proven Trek Madone 6.5 with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting for the ultimate riding experience. Upgrades to Bontrager Aeolus carbon wheels and Trek Ride Plus electric assist bicycle are also available. Contact our trip consultants for more details.

We understand things happen in life and sometimes you have to cancel or change your bike tour. We want to make it as easy as possible to do so and below you will find our timeline. If you ever have a question, just give us a call, 866 464 8735. Read our cancellation policy.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Check out our General FAQs section. You will find answers to all the most common questions that don't necessarily pertain to a specific trip.

Travel Services

How to get there

We suggest that you arrive at least one day prior to the trip start, which will enable you to adjust to the time zone and minimize the risk of missing the trip start due to flight-related delays. We recommend that you fly into San Jose International Airport (SJC), which is served by most major airlines.Various shuttle companies offer door-to-door service or shared ride shuttles from SJC to Santa Cruz.You may contact Santa Cruz Flyer (831 423 5937; SantaCruzFlyer.com); Early Bird Airport Shuttle (831 462 3933; EarlyBirdAirportShuttle.com) or Santa Cruz Airport Shuttles (831 421 9883; SantaCruzShuttles.com) to set up a charter or book a seat on an existing shuttle. Per person rates vary based on the type of service and the number of people in the party but generally range between $40 and $75 per person.

At the conclusion of your trip, we suggest flying home from the Santa Barbara Airport (SBA). You will say farewell to your guides in the morning at Hotel Milo. Trek Travel will provide a shuttle to the airport, which will leave at 11:00 AM. If you wish to spend some additional time in Santa Barbara you may depart at your leisure and arrange for your own transportation to the airport or to your next destination. Taxis from the hotel to the Santa Barbara Airport cost approximately $50.

Hotel Paradox | Santa Cruz, California

Your Trek Travel guides will meet you at the Hotel Paradox (611 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060) at 10:30 AM on the first day of the trip. The group will shuttle to a nearby location for a bike fitting and brunch. Please wear your cycling clothes and have a bag with your first day's riding gear so it will be easily accessible, separate from your luggage. After your light meal and a round of introductions, you'll begin the day's ride to Monterey.

If you will be late for the pick-up or are going to miss it altogether, please inform your guides. You will receive an email a week before the trip start with their names and contact details. If you cannot reach them, please call our first hotel, the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa (831 646 1700), and leave a message with your expected arrival time and contact details. Contact Arrow Luxury Transportation (831 646 3175; www.arrowluxurylimo.com) to book a transfer from Santa Cruz to Monterey. The cost varies depending on group size. From SJC, consider the Monterey Airbus (831 373 7777; www.montereyairbus.com). The service runs regular departures from SJC to points in Monterey and is the most economical option for getting to Monterey. The cost per person is about $40. Take a taxi from the drop-off in Monterey to the hotel.

Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) | Santa Barbara, California

You will say farewell to your guides at 11:00 AM at the Hotel Milo. You’ll then shuttle 20 minutes to the Santa Barbara Airport (SBA), arriving at approximately 11:20 AM. Please allow adequate connection time to accommodate possible traffic delays.

Before: SANTA CRUZ, California

Located on the northern edge of Monterey Bay, the seaside town of Santa Cruz embodies a laid- back, bohemian vibe that is quintessential California. Renowned as one of the world’s best surfing locations, life in Santa Cruz revolves around the ocean. If your travel plans allow, we encourage you to arrive a few days early to take in the sights and sounds of this not-to-be-missed town.Visit the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the only original boardwalk amusement park still operating on the West Coast; check out the sea life and views from the Wharf; snap photos from Lighthouse Field or Natural Bridges State Parks; take a surfing lesson; or cruise the diverse dining and shopping scene on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz’s vibrant downtown.We recommend the following accommodations for your pre-trip hotel:

Hotel Paradox

This recently opened hotel features stylish guest rooms, top-level service, and a full-service restaurant and indoor-outdoor bar. It's a quick walk to the boutique shops and stores of Pacific Avenue in downtown and a short drive to the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The Paradox also offers a swimming pool with cabanas and fire pit, as well as a poolside fitness center.

611 Ocean Street | 831 425 7100 | www.TheHotelParadox.com | ~$450

Santa Cruz Dream Inn

The Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre property, is Santa Cruz's upscale boutique hotel. Its oceanfront location on Cowell's Beach, just a few blocks from the Beach Boardwalk and the Wharf, makes it an ideal home base from which to explore the offerings of this eclectic town. Every room has a view of Monterey Bay and features retro-chic styling. Enjoy the on-site pool, spa, and full-service bar overlooking the water. A two-night minimum stay is required at this property.

175West Cliff Drive | 831 426 4330 | www.DreamInnSantaCruz.com | ~$300

West Cliff Inn

Experience the blending of modern amenities, upscale customer service, and the architectural style of a bed and breakfast at this conveniently located inn. This Four Sisters property is perched on a bluff overlooking Cowell's Beach and is within easy walking distance of the Beach Boardwalk and Wharf. Your stay includes afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres and well as a delightful breakfast.

174 West Cliff Drive | 800 979 0910 | www.WestCliffInn.com | ~$325

After: SANTA BARBARA, California

Santa Barbara is a lively cosmopolitan city with plenty of opportunities for shopping, nightlife, and outdoor recreation. You can also explore some of southern California's other coastal cities, including Ventura, Onxard, or the big one, Los Angeles, which is located approximately 90 minutes south of Santa Barbara. We recommend the following accommodations for your post-trip hotel:

The Canary

Located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara and just steps from bustling State Street, The Canary offers beautiful guest rooms with chic, modern styling. Complete with rooftop pool and fireplace, comfortable bar and elegant restaurant, the open design of this hotel offers a unique, tranquil backdrop for your time in Santa Barbara.

31 West Carrillo | 866 999 5401 | www.CanarySantaBarbara.com | ~$400

Inn of the Spanish Garden

Located in downtown Santa Barbara in the Presidio District, this adobe-style resort has all the modern amenities including a heated pool, relaxing gardens, and a beautiful courtyard for unwinding. State Street, with its world-renowned culinary scene and shopping, is just three blocks away.

915 Garden Street | 805 564 4700 | www.SpanishGardenInn.com | ~$425

Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort

Come enjoy the paradise of Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort—a dramatic mission-style Santa Barbara hotel on 24 beautiful beachfront acres. Enjoy the outdoor pool and state-of-the-art fitness center or walk across the street to the waterfront bike path or the beach.

633 East Cabrillo Boulevard | 805 564 4333 | www. FessParkerSantaBarbaraHotel.com | ~$325


* Hotels listed above are local properties we love. We do not have special rates available.

Experience It

Similar Trips

Trek Travel Difference

Our Bikes

Our unrivaled selection of Trek Bikes sets the bar for quality and comfort. From the full-carbon, ultra smooth Trek Domane 5.9, to the comfortable Trek 7.6 FX Hybrid–both included in the trip cost, to our numerous upgrade options, you deserve the best ride on your vacation.

Our Guides

Our guides are trained to make your trip magical. They aren't just experts in riding; they're trained in delivering uncompromising service in ways you won't believe. We know that it's the unexpected surprises that make a trip magical. That's why our guides pride themselves on anticipating your needs before you ask.

Your Day. You Decide.

Our vacations are built to deliver the ultimate in flexibility, from extreme relaxers to hard-core roadies. You pick your mileage, itinerary and experiences. We take care of the rest.

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