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California: Wine Country & the Pacific Coast

America’s wine estates and vineyards are a bucket-list destination—and bicycling lets you experience it with all your senses. Vistas of rolling countryside blanketed with grapevines delight the eye. The lullaby of Pacific surf soothes the soul as you trace the coast. Smell the aroma of a farm-fresh picnic lunch spread out in a tall redwood forest. And, of course, taste the wines that have made California the toast of the nation. Plus, we’ve tucked in extras, including a tasting of olive oil and vinegar, time to explore some of the most charming Spanish Colonial towns in the West, and overnights in unique, centrally located accommodations. Don’t miss this chance to experience a sensory extravaganza that makes ours supreme among California wine country bike tours!

Tour Highlights

  • Sample California reds during a private tasting at Vintner’s Collective in Napa.
  • Experience West Coast hospitality at highly rated inns with sweeping views.
  • Learn why Alfred Hitchcock chose Bodega Bay as his film setting for The Birds.
  • Feast on an exquisite picnic lunch under the magnificent canopy of coastal redwood trees.
  • Cycle the Napa Valley Wine Trail, pausing for a tasting at some of the most renowned wineries in the region.

What to Expect

This tour offers mostly easy terrain with the occasional rolling hill and the opportunity for longer rides. The VBT support vehicle is always available.

  • Daily Mileage: 6 - 48 miles|
  • Biking: 1 - 5 hours|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Apr72º/43º

May78º/46º

Jun86º/50º

Jul90º/52º

Aug89º/52º

Sep87º/50º

Oct80º/46º

Nov65º/44º

Average
Precipitation:

Apr1.5 in

May1 in

Jun0 in

Jul0 in

Aug0 in

Sep0 in

Oct1.5 in

Nov2.6 in

Tour Only

5 nights in superb California inns Check
11 meals: 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners Check
Transportation from San Francisco International Airport or downton San Francisco to Napa Check
Transportation from Healdsburg to downtown San Francisco or San Francisco International Airport Check

Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Road Bicycle (Aluminum alloy frame) 2

Road Bicycle (Aluminum alloy frame)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Support Vehicle

Luggage Transportation

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Sun, Apr 16 to Fri, Apr 21 - 2023

Show Itinerary:

VBT provides a shuttle from San Francisco International Airport to the Napa River Inn in Napa, departing at 1:00 p.m. or join a shuttle from the Stanford Court Hotel at 1:40 p.m.

Meet at the Napa River Inn in Napa, California, located on the river in beautiful downtown Napa. Ask the reception desk for your welcome package at check-in. Meet your trip leaders at 3:30 p.m. for a safety talk and bike-fitting. Your California wine country bike tour officially begins with a short warm-up ride along the river. Tonight, you’ll dine at a neighboring restaurant for a taste of some of the region’s farm-fresh cuisine.

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon: Warm-up — Warm-up — 6 miles

What to Expect:

Ride directly from the inn on the Napa Valley Vine Trail, a dedicated bike path. Views of the Napa River are a constant companion on this easy familiarization ride.

Cumulative Distance Range: Warm-up — 6 miles

Included Meals: Dinner

After breakfast, roll through the heart of the Napa wine region as you ride north along the Vine Trail to Yountville. Here, you’ll pause for a picnic lunch and plenty of time to discover this charming town known for its food and wine before returning to Napa by bike or shuttle. This afternoon, you’ll have free time to browse downtown Napa’s shops and galleries, explore some more wineries, or relax in the day spa at the Napa River Inn.

In the late afternoon, join your fellow travelers at the nearby Vintner’s Collective for a private wine tasting. The tasting room, housed in a Historic Landmark, is a showcase for 18 of the region’s premier family-owned wineries. Continue to dinner on your own at one of Napa’s many restaurants.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Napa to Yountville — 20 miles

Afternoon: Yountville to Napa — 10 or 15 miles

What to Expect:

You can expect an easy ride, primarily on a dedicated bike path.  No significant climbing. Taking a slightly different route with several mileage options, you’ll return to explore more of Napa.

Cumulative Distance Range: 10 — 35 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning’s ride leads to the Carneros region, a viticultural district known for cooler-climate varietals and sparkling wines. The grapes benefit from ocean breezes, allowing the grapes to ripen more slowly. Before they were laced with vineyards, these Carneros (sheep) hills were once grazing pastures.

Arriving by bike to the picturesque town of Sonoma, enjoy an included tasting of family-produced olive oils and vinegars with our friend Frank Figone.  There is time for lunch on your own at one of the eateries on the historic plaza—the largest in the state. Afterward, board a shuttle for the 60-minute drive to Bodega Bay.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Napa to Sonoma — 20 miles

What to Expect:

Leaving Napa this morning, you ride west to Sonoma. Today’s ride is mostly on back roads. The VBT support vehicle is available to flatten the few rolling hills. After lunch on your own in Sonoma, the group boards a shuttle to Bodega Bay.

Cumulative Distance Range: 20 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning’s ride offers beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, following the coastline for ten miles before turning inland to Guerneville and Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Here, gather for a picnic lunch under the magnificent canopy of the Sequoia sempervirens or coastal redwood. The world’s tallest trees live 500-2,000 years, reaching heights of 350 feet.

After lunch, continue by bike or shuttle toward your hotel in downtown Healdsburg. Along the way you may choose to visit family-owned Gracianna Winery for an optional tasting.  Once in Healdsburg, you’ll have time to settle in and explore town. This vibrant destination is known for its historic Spanish Colonial plaza. Visit the museum, stroll along the river though Railroad Park, or perhaps explore one of the galleries showcasing art, photography, glassware, and jewelry.

Dinner is on your own with many choices in the neighborhood.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Bodega Bay to Armstrong Redwoods — 27 miles

Afternoon: Armstrong Redwoods to Healdsburg — 21 miles

What to Expect:

Today you cycle along the famous Pacific Coast Highway with breathtaking ocean vistas. Then you will head inland to ride among the coastal redwood trees following the Russian River. The morning ride ends in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve where your trip leaders prepare a picnic lunch. If you wish, after lunch continue cycling through redwood forests and into the Russian River Valley where pinot noir is king!

Cumulative Distance Range: 21 — 48 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today takes you on a ride through the kingdom of pinot noir in Alexander Valley. The valley is sheltered from the Pacific Ocean by low-lying hills. Because of this, it is one of the warmest areas in Northern California during the day, but at night the temperatures lower significantly, offering cool climate conditions for the grapes. The valley’s closeness to the Russian River allows for an early morning fog that covers the lower vineyard areas until it is burned off by the sun. This natural air-conditioning allows the grapes to develop full-flavor maturity over an extended growing season—often 15 to 20 percent longer than neighboring areas.

 

You’ll also ride the Geyserville and Lytton Springs roads within Alexander Valley. Along the way, you might take advantage of optional stops at tasting rooms, including the Coppola Winery—a one-of-a-kind experience.

 

All cycling finishes before lunch, which is on your own in Healdsburg. Take advantage of free time to swim or paddle in the river at Veterans Memorial Beach, or to take a dip in your inn’s pool.

 

Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner in a memorable setting and make a toast alongside your fellow travelers to your California wine country bike tour.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Alexander Valley — 23 miles

What to Expect:

You can look forward to a gentle ride through pinot noir country. You will cycle the beautiful West Dry Creek and Dry Creek roads, followed by Geyserville and Alexander Valley, passing through some of the most famous California vineyards, with optional fun tasting stops along the way.

All of the cycling today takes place before lunch (on your own) in Healdsburg, where you have the chance to explore local shops, hang out by the pool, or go on another bike ride.

Cumulative Distance Range: 23 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Your California wine country bike tour ends with one final scenic journey. Today’s route takes you through the Dry Creek Valley, a beautiful, winding landscape with a unique microclimate filled with an unusual mix of plant life, from redwood groves to live oak forests—even palm trees and cactus dot the landscape. Along the way, a couple notable wineries may interest you: Everett Ridge or Quivira Biodynamic Winery.

Return to your inn for a shower and lunch before your shuttle to San Francisco International Airport at 2:00 p.m. We recommend a flight out of San Francisco no earlier than 6:00 p.m.

If you drove to the start of the tour, the VBT van will take you to meet your vehicle.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Dry Creek Valley — 19 miles

What to Expect:

Enjoy a peaceful ramble through the Dry Creek Valley, passing beautiful vineyards and elegant tasting rooms. Upon returning to your accommodations, your trip leaders prepare a final picnic lunch.

Cumulative Distance Range: 19 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

California: Wine Country & the Pacific Coast

Download PDF Itinerary:

Tour Only (PDF)

Accommodations (May vary depending on departure date. )

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

2023 2022

2023 Pre-Trip Extension - San Francisco

2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $195

  • 2 nights at the Stanford Court
  • Transportation to tour
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

Make your own arrangements for travel to California. Take a bus or taxi to your Pre-Trip Extension hotel, the Stanford Court. There are helpful links in your Traveler’s Handbook under Tour Arrival and Departure Information.

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

2023 2022

2022 Pre-Trip Extension - San Francisco

2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $245

  • 2 nights at the Stanford Court
  • Transportation to tour
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

Make your own arrangements for travel to California. Take a bus or taxi to your Pre-Trip Extension hotel, the Stanford Court. There are helpful links in your Traveler’s Handbook under Tour Arrival and Departure Information.

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast, you have another morning to enjoy San Francisco. At 1:40 p.m., the shuttle company will transport you to the Napa River Inn. Please be outside the hotel watching for your shuttle, as the driver may not leave the vehicle. Please allow for traffic delays.

Meet at the Napa River Inn in Napa, California, located on the river in beautiful downtown Napa. Ask the reception desk for your welcome package at check-in. Meet your trip leaders at 3:30 p.m. for a safety talk and bike-fitting. Your California wine country bike tour officially begins with a short warm-up ride along the river. Tonight, you’ll dine at a neighboring restaurant for a taste of some of the region’s farm-fresh cuisine.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Reviews
167 out of 180 (93%)
4.9 out of 5 stars.
Read More Reviews

This was our 4th VBT trip and there is a reason we keep returning to VBT. This tour offered a perfect variety of scenery from ocean to redwoods to vineyards. Our trip leaders offered great options for riding and local activities. The lodging was very nice and the complementary beverages and treats were much appreciated. The lunches our trip leaders provided for us were lovely. I would highly recommend this tour!

Kitty, Rochester MN

California Wine Country & the Pacific Coast

How do you write a review saying your trip was perfection and make it sound plausible? Wine country was my first VBT, joining 5 friends for what was to become a fabulous week. Meeting13 new people who were all wild and crazy was a plus! But having to great ride leaders, Jonathan and Dan who were great domestiques added to the fun! I am sure that having great weather and just a "few" bottles of good Californian wine polished off what I would say was an A+ week. Thanks to everyone for making the week one to be remembered!

Candi1465, Steamboat Springs, CO

California Wine Country & the Pacific Coast

Dates & Prices

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6 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $895

Sun, Apr 16 - Fri, Apr 21, 2023

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Sun, Apr 23 - Fri, Apr 28, 2023

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Sun, May 21 - Fri, May 26, 2023

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Sun, Jun 4 - Fri, Jun 9, 2023

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Sun, Jun 18 - Fri, Jun 23, 2023

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Sun, Oct 29 - Fri, Nov 3, 2023

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Sun, Nov 5 - Fri, Nov 10, 2023

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Sun, Nov 12 - Fri, Nov 17, 2023

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Sun, Nov 19 - Fri, Nov 24, 2023

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Sun, Oct 2 - Fri, Oct 7, 2022

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Sun, Oct 23 - Fri, Oct 28, 2022

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Sun, Oct 30 - Fri, Nov 4, 2022

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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