California: Santa Barbara Wine Country
6 Day Inn Tour
Come for the wonderful cycling in the town that the League of American Bicyclists bestowed with its “Silver Bicycle Friendly Community” award. Or come for the weather in this Mediterranean-like climate nestled between the coastal Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Or for the wine that the movie "Sideways" made famous. Unpack your bags and explore this beautiful area by bike with us, as we stay in only two different lodgings.
The tour still has space. Make your travel arrangements.
A mix of flat sections, rolling hills, and a couple climbs on a mix of paved bike paths, bike lanes and quiet roads. Moderate tour. Leisurely with an electric-assist ebike.
5 nights lodging, 5 breakfasts, 4 picnic and sack lunches, 4 dinners, snacks, train ride, park entrance fees, cue sheets, van support and trained guides.
$195 for Specialized road or hybrid bicycle designed specifically for women. $295 for electric-assist ebike.
Fly in and out of the Santa Barbara, CA airport. Then take a commercial shuttle or taxi to our starting hotel. Or take the train and walk to our hotel. WomanTours will provide a complimentary shuttle back to the airport by 3:00pm or train station by 3:30pm at the end of the tour. Or drive and leave your car at our starting hotel.
"Overall the tour exceeded my expectations for two reasons: 1) the excellent cycling in Santa Barbara and Solvang, and 2) the guides."
DAY 1: We’ll stay across the street from the ocean and the bike path in Santa Barbara. Unpack your bags as we’ll be here 3 nights. If you arrive early, walk the sandy beach, swim in the hotel’s pool, or take the trolley up State Street to browse the shops. We’ll have a rental bike fitting at 3:00pm, an orientation at 5:30pm and dinner at 6:30pm. 0 miles.
DAY 2: After breakfast, we head south on a beautiful paved bike path along the coast to the town of Ventura. We’ll cycle with views of the ocean all the way. Wear your sunscreen! After lunch in Ventura, you can decide to either cycle back or take the train for a more relaxing trip along the coast back to our hotel. 28 or 56 miles.
DAY 3: Today, we’ll start our cycling on one of the many bike lanes that line the streets of this city. We begin to ascend quickly as we head away from the coast, into the foothills and along quiet, winding Mountain Drive. We’ll have the road to ourselves as we marvel at the beautiful vistas of the city below, the ocean beyond, and the Channel Islands rising in the distance.
Then it’s down to the beach town of Carpinteria, named by the Spaniards for the Chumash Indians who lived and made their oceangoing boats there. They used the naturally occurring asphalt – or bitumen – to seal their wooden canoes. Your feet might pick it up if you walk barefoot on the sand, but it comes off easily with lotion. The bike path along the ocean takes us back to Santa Barbara. 42 miles.
DAY 4: We head north today on bike paths and bike lanes through the beautiful residential district of Hope Ranch and onto the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. You’ll need to follow the cues carefully, as there are bike paths everywhere! There’s a reason it was granted a Gold Award as a Bicycle Friendly University. Everyone is on a bicycle on this college campus, and parking lots are full of bikes – not cars. It’s exhilarating.
Afterwards, take a minute to stop at the Ellwood Monarch Butterfly Preserve to walk among the eucalyptus trees where butterflies spend their winter. Then continue on to Refugio State Beach Park for a picnic lunch and a chance to play in the waves before we shuttle the rest of the way to our overnight in Solvang.
Solvang was founded by the Danish in 1911 and has worked hard since then to keep its old world charm. There are probably more bakeries here than in any other town its size. You’ll have time to sample some of them as we’re here for the next two nights. 29 – 36 miles.
DAY 5: Today’s ride is completely different, but just as beautiful as what you’ve come to expect. Instead of ocean, we now bike past gently rolling hillsides covered in vineyards, ranch land dotted with huge Valley Oak trees, and steep ravines cut by creeks.
We’ll bike into Foxen Canyon and down through Alisos Canyon and then finish after a picnic lunch with a beautiful quiet ride through Drum Canyon. The region is full of some of California’s famous world class wineries. Once back in Solvang, we’ll enjoy our last dinner together. 44 miles.
DAY 6: We complete our tour with one last ride around the Santa Ynez Valley and through Ballard and Happy Canyons. We’ll pass lavender farms and apple orchards before ending with a picnic lunch back at our hotel. Then we’ll say our good-byes and shuttle you back to the airport by 3:00pm or train station by 3:30pm. 26 – 33 miles.