Join us as we take you along the undulating California coastline on our Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara vacation.
Our journey starts in the historic city Monterey, then visits the artsy town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, threads through Big Sur crossing the much photographed Bixby Bridge, continues on to San Simeon where you can visit the Hearst Castle, and finally makes it’s way through Cambria and Pismo Beach to the “American Riviera” of Santa Barbara. This unbelievable vacation will amaze even the most traveled cyclist with challenging routes, roaring surf, redwood forests, and historic state parks.
Day 2 of this vacation features the stunning (and flat) 17-Mile Scenic Drive, then winds its way along the coastline as you travel from Monterey to Big Sur.
This morning you will awaken to the sights and sounds of Monterey in all its coastal glory. Leisurely make your way down to the C Restaurant at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa to enjoy a fresh breakfast.
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. Located right on the coast, those who choose to visit the aquarium can view several spectacular exhibits both above and below the waterline. On the other hand, lucky kayakers may be rewarded for their paddling with a view of harbor seals, sea otters and pelicans in their natural habitat.
Board your bike to cruise along the famous 17-Mile drive to the artists’ enclave of Carmel-by-the Sea. Snaking it’s way through Pebble Beach Golf Course, this scenic ride passes Bird Rock with thousands of cormorants, the aptly named Seal Point, and Cypress Point with a grove that contains the largest and oldest Monterey Cypress trees in the world. Upon arriving in Carmel-by-the-Sea, explore your surroundings and fuel up at a local bistro of your choosing for lunch. Located on one-mile of white sand beach, this town touts the sophistication of San Francisco and glamour of Hollywood nestled in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
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. Along the way cross over the Bixby Bridge, which introduced automobile travel to the spectacular Big Sur coast in 1932. The terrain on our ride offers stunning views of the Santa Lucia Mountains rising abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. This area has been compared to the Amalfi coast, minus the bumper-to-bumper traffic and giant tour buses. By the end of the ride you’ll appreciate the saying that this area is the “Greatest meeting of land & sea”.
Upon arriving at tonight’s hotel, the Big Sur Lodge, relax and soak in the quiet and comfort of your surroundings. Located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, the redwoods around you will make it easy to escape and unwind after a long day on the bike. This evening, enjoy the cuisine made with organic ingredients and sustainable agriculture in the hotel dining room. Be sure to get plenty of rest tonight to prepare for another spectacular day tomorrow as your continue riding down the coast to your beachfront hotel in Cambria.