California Bicycle Tours: Explore Multi-Day Bike Rides

california bicycle tours

Why Travel With Us?


All our bike tours are private and our minimum group size is only two people. We have literally dozens of itineraries along the CA Central Coast and through Central Coast wine country to choose from and can modify them to meet your needs. We also offer several levels of service for our guided multi-day bike tours to fit your budget. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable a private bike tour with us is compared to many larger companies.


John and Virginia Flaherty, owners of Central Coast Outdoors, have been guiding bike tours all over the world since 1991. Both John and Virginia have lived and bicycled on California’s Central Coast for over two decades.


All our bike tours are custom designed to your specifications and all our bike tours are private! John Flaherty, one of the owners, personally designs each tour based on his conversations with you. Furthermore, virtually all of our guided multi-day bike trips are guided by one of the company owners, John Flaherty or Virginia Flaherty. We are 100% committed to making sure your bike tour is an experience you will not soon forget. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 805.528.1080 or send in a Custom Bike Tour Questionnaire and tell us what kind of a bike tour you have in mind!


California’s Central Coast is an amazing place to cycle. Highway One winds along some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the world, including the Big Sur coast. Just inland from the coast, you’ll find delightful wine country areas like San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and the Santa Ynez Valley. Many of our guided private bike tour intineraries feature a combination of coast and wine country. We also love going north of San Francisco to do guided coastal bike tours from Eureka through the redwoods south to the SF Bay Area. Please explore the links to different itinerary zones on this page to find out more about the dozens of different itinerary ideas we have to offer you.

  • San Francisco to Los Angeles
  • Monterey to Santa Barbara
  • Monterey to San Luis Obispo (SLO)
  • SLO to Santa Barbara
  • SLO County
  • Central Coast Wine Country
  • Coast North of San Francisco
Bixby Creek Bridge

“Throughout the planning of the trip your response to email and telephone messages was very timely, the food was great, and the routes were fabulous. I would recommend your program to anyone with no reservations.”

Dawn KellerMaple Grove, MN

Summary of Levels of Service

  • Guided – Vehicle Support Only – Best if you have your own bikes. Includes itinerary planning, accommodations recommendations, directions, and vehicle support. Daily rate based on vehicle size multiplied by number of days on tour.
  • Guided – Vehicle Support Plus Bikes and/or Lunch – Our most popular option. Best for groups of 2-6 people without their own bikes. Includes itinerary planning, accommodations recommendations, directions, and vehicle support PLUS bikes and/or lunches. Daily rate based on vehicle size PLUS rate for bikes and lunches multiplied by number of days on tour.
  • Guided – All Inclusive – Hassle free. Includes itinerary planning, accommodations, meals, bikes, directions, and vehicle support. Best for larger groups. Rate structure customized per tour.

We also offer Self Guided Multi-Day bike tours down the coast and in wine country.

How to Start Planning and/or Book a Tour

To get more information and/or pricing for an itinerary you are interested in or to begin the process of booking a multi-day bike tour with us, send us a Custom Bike Tour Questionnaire.

Guided – Vehicle Support Only

This is our most basic level of service and works well if you have your own bikes and are comfortable booking your own accommodations and meals. You’ll get our expertise in designing the itinerary and suggestions of where to stay and eat as well if you need it. Our rates for this are usually a flat daily rate depending on vehicle size and include just one guide who drives the support vehicle. Please inquire if you would like to add additional guide(s) on bike. All of our company vehicles have roof top bike racks to accommodate the bikes for the group sizes below as well as seats inside the vehicle for each person in the group plus space for a reasonable amount of luggage. We can also handle groups larger than 11 – please inquire for rates.

VehicleSuggested Group SizeDaily Rate
Ford Transit Van4-7$750
Ford Transit Van plus Trailer8-11$825

**The rates above are for the whole group, not per person. The more people in the group, the lower the per person costs usually is.**


  • Vehicle support (vehicle and driver)
  • Itinerary planning (if needed)
  • Accommodations recommendations (if needed) 
  • Directions (if needed)

Guided – Vehicle Support Plus Bikes and/or Lunch

This is our most popular level of service. It is the most cost effective level of service if you won’t be bringing your own bikes and works best for groups of 2-6 people. This level of service includes everything in the Support Vehicle Only level (support vehicle, itinerary design, accommodations recommendations) PLUS add use of our bikes (your choice of road or hybrid) for $25 per bike per day. We can also add lunches (usually picnic but sometimes at a local cafe) for another $25 per person per day. Don’t be intimidated by having to book your own accommodations! The recommended accommodations for each stop along the way that we provide to you are carefully selected to make sure they work with the bike route and are within walking distance of restaurants. Virtually all of them can be booked online.

Furthermore, we try to cover as many different price ranges and styles of accommodations as possible, from inexpensive youth hostels to nice B&Bs to moderately priced hotels to the very best hotels available. The goal is to give you as many options as possible so you can book exactly what you want. Our rate structure for this is the same as for the Vehicle Support Only level plus a la carte per person costs for bikes and lunches. If only some people in the group need our bikes, you only pay for the bikes you need. On special request we can also upgrade to full carbon road bikes for an extra fee – please inquire. We can also handle groups larger than 11 – please inquire for rates.

VehicleSuggested Group SizeBase Daily RateAdd BikeAdd Lunch
Prius1-3$475 per day$25 per bike per day$25 per person per day
Ford Transit Van4-7$750 per day$25 per bike per day$25 per person per day
Ford Transit Van plus Trailer8-11$825 per day$25 per bike per day$25 per person per day

**The rates above are for the whole group, not per person. The more people in the group, the lower the per person costs usually is.**


  • Vehicle support (vehicle and driver)
  • Itinerary planning
  • Accommodations recommendations
  • Directions
  • Bikes (if needed)
  • Lunches (if needed)

Guided – All Inclusive (Support Vehicle, Bikes, Meals, Accommodations)

We call this level of service the hassle free level of service. Some groups prefer us to work out all the details so whoever is the main contact of the group does not have to worry about negotiating hotel rates, deciding where to eat, etc. We usually work with the group to determine what level and type of accommodations would be best, then we go to work contacting hotels and setting up the package. Rates for this level of service vary widely and are most impacted by level of accommodations desired. This level also typically costs more once you add up all costs than if you were to book and pay for your own accommodations and meals. We can also be flexible in including all, some or no meals. Due to the higher level of complexity in putting together a proposal with firm price for these types of tours, we do ask for a non-refundable retainer fee to put together a proposal with firm price. The size of the retainer fee is determined primarily by the number of days in the itinerary and the number of people expected in the tour. The retainer fee is typically $100-300. We are happy to have an initial discussion and get you a range of possible costs before we get to the retainer level as well. 


  • Vehicle support (vehicle and driver)
  • Itinerary planning
  • Accommodations
  • Directions
  • Meals (if needed)
  • Bikes (if needed)

Comparison to Other Tours/Levels of Service

Many of our clients also enjoy our innovative Self Guided Multi-Day Bike tour program. Our self guided program is best suited for more experienced cyclists who can fix a flat or perform other minor bike repairs and who prefer to be on their own.

Another way to do a multi-day guided trip with Central Coast Outdoors is to simply do a series of our regular guided day bike trips with us, or mix a series of regular guided day bike trips with custom guided day bike trips. As always, all our bike tours are guaranteed private, so you can mix and match day bike tours without worrying about anyone else being on the bike tour with you.

Pedal to Perfection: California Bicycle Tours for the Eco-Conscious Adventurer

If you’re an avid cyclist or an eco-conscious traveler, California offers some premier cycling routes that will not only thrill you with picturesque views but also satisfy your wanderlust sustainably. From the amiable climes of wine country to the breezy coastal highways and the rugged terrains of its national parks, California’s varied topography is best explored on two wheels.

Cycling tours offer the unique opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the landscape, connect with local communities, and reduce your carbon footprint. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll steer you through everything you need to know to map out your dream bike tour in California—from the lushest vineyards to the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean, there’s a cycling route in The Golden State that’s tailor-made for every kind of cyclist.

The Allure of Bike Trips in California

Bicycles have long been a symbol of freedom and adventure—which makes them the perfect mode of transport for exploring a state that epitomizes the spirit of both. Imagine cruising through the golden glow of the morning sun, the fragrance of blooming orchards in the air, and the excitement of the open road ahead.

San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the majestic mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe, the ancient redwoods of the Pacific Northwest, and the sun-kissed beaches of Southern California are just a few of the many highlights that await on the adventure of a lifetime.

Selecting the Right Route: The key to an unforgettable cycling trip is choosing the right route. Are you seeking a challenging ride along winding mountain roads, or does a leisurely pedal through historic towns and wine country sound more your speed? We’ll explore the best of both worlds and help you decide which route is the best fit for your next bicycle tour in California.

Logistics & Packing Tips: Proper preparation is essential for an enjoyable cycling experience. From what to pack to tips for maintaining your bike on the road, we’ll ensure you’re fully equipped for your West Coast ride.

Sustainability & Safety: Cycling is not just a health-conscious way to travel, it’s also one of the most sustainable. We’ll discuss how to ensure your trip is eco-friendly and provide key tips for staying safe while on the road.

The Best California Cycling Tours

Ready to discover the curated list of cycling escapades that await in California? Below are some of the most sought-after bike tours for you to consider.

Napa Valley & Sonoma County

For those with a penchant for good wine and pastoral landscapes, Napa Valley and Sonoma County are idyllic settings for a cycling adventure. The region boasts a network of bike-friendly roads, many of which wend through the vineyards and offer splendid views of the Mayacamas mountain ranges.

The California Coast

Stretching from the north to the south, California’s coastline is nothing short of breathtaking. The Pacific Coast Highway, or State Route 1, has become iconic for its jaw-dropping views of the ocean and is a must-ride for any enthusiast.

Yosemite National Park

Cycling through the alpine meadows, forested valleys, and granite cliffs of Yosemite National Park is a bucket-list item for outdoor enthusiasts. The park provides a variety of cycling trails that cater to different skill levels, all amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of one of America’s most beloved natural wonders.

Death Valley National Park

If a challenge is what you seek, a cycling expedition through Death Valley may be just the ticket. The park’s rugged desert landscape and unforgiving climate offer an extreme experience for cyclists willing to push their limits.

Big Sur & McWay Falls

Riding through Big Sur, with its dramatic coastal cliffs and ancient redwoods, is the stuff of dreams. The route to McWay Falls is a favorite, leading you to a spectacular waterfall that cascades onto a pristine beach.

Lake Tahoe Loop

The 72-mile Lake Tahoe Loop is a fantastic intermediate ride that circles the entire lake, providing stunning panoramas of the Sierra Nevada and the famous blue waters of Tahoe. This loop is rich in both challenge and charm.

Joshua Tree National Park

For a surreal and incredibly unique experience, pedaling through the cactus gardens and sheer rock formations of Joshua Tree National Park is one of those adventures you’ll recount again and again.

Each of these tours offers a distinct experience, whether it’s the luxurious charm of wine country, the invigorating coastal winds, or the wild serenity of national parks.

The Eco-Traveler’s Handbook to Cycling California

Eco-conscious travelers not only want to minimize their environmental impact but also aim to leave a positive impact on the places they visit. Here’s how to plan an eco-friendly cycling tour:

Choose Green Accommodations: Look for hotels, inns, and B&Bs that are committed to sustainable practices. Many accommodations in California are now part of eco-tourism programs that promote environmental awareness and local conservation.

Support Local: Buying local not only reduces your carbon footprint but also directly supports the local economy. Enjoy farm-to-table dining, sip on wines from the vineyard you just cycled through, and cherish the crafts of nearby artisans.

Pack It In, Pack It Out: Reducing waste is a crucial part of sustainable travel. Always pack reusable water bottles, food containers, and any other waste you generate while on the road.

Respect Wildlife and Habitat: Remember to be an observer, not a disturber. Stick to designated paths and never feed wild animals. Ensure you leave the environment just as you found it.

Safety First: Tips for a Secure Cyclist Adventure

Safety is paramount when traveling by bicycle, especially when exploring unfamiliar territory. Here are some key safety tips to keep in mind:

Plan Your Route Carefully: Research your route in advance, taking note of road conditions, elevation changes, and potential pitstops. Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and cycling regulations.

Be Visible: Wear brightly colored and reflective clothing, especially if you’ll be cycling during low-visibility hours. Always use lights when riding at night.

Watch the Weather: California’s climate can be as diverse as its landscapes. Check the weather forecast before you go, and be prepared for sudden changes in weather, particularly in mountainous areas.

Emergency Preparedness: Carry essential tools for bike repairs, a first aid kit, and always have a charged cell phone with you. Share your itinerary and check-in times with a friend or family member.

Cycling tours in California offer an enriching and mindful way to explore the splendors of the state. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist seeking a new challenge or a casual rider looking for a unique travel experience, the diverse cycling options in California cater to every taste.

If you’re ready to swap crowded tourist attractions and carbon-heavy travel habits for a more peaceful and environmentally friendly touring experience, hop on a bike and hit the open road. With its combination of world-class natural beauty and a burgeoning eco-conscious mindset, California stands as the perfect haven for the modern bicycle adventurer. Pedal on, eco-warrior – the world is yours to explore.