Bicycling and Walking Vacations Call a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868

Santa Barbara & The Santa Ynez Valley

Ebikes Available on this TourIt can’t get any cooler than the Central Coast with its sprawling vineyards, horse ranches and villages like scandic Solvang and the pretty stagecoach town of Los Olivos. Sunny Santa Barbara is a palm and surf-studded oasis that blossomed around the Spanish Mission, built in the same colonial style as your plush, oceanside hotel.

  • Activity Level: Easy / Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 12 - 35 mi
  • Daily Biking: 1 1/2 - 3 1/2 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Ideal for energetic beginners to more experienced riders.

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available

Limited quantities —
first come, first served.

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Santa Barbara & The Santa Ynez Valley

Chic wine bars, creative MexiCali cuisine and art galleries are close by, with ample time for pier and beach strolling. We bike through the university campus, along the Pacific coastline, enjoying picnics and wine tastings as we roll. Crowning this bohemian beach rhapsody is a sunset wine cruise along California’s golden riviera.

Cultural Highlights

  • Savor a picnic lunch and wine tasting at Bridlewood Estate Winery
  • Learn about the wines of the Central Coast during two included vineyard visits and tastings
  • Enjoy 5 nights in superb California inns, each with a stellar location affording easy access to restaurants, museums and galleries
  • Be wowed by views of the Pacific Coast and the sound of the surf while cycling
  • Explore the impressive Santa Barbara Mission, considered the best of all 21 California missions, during a private, docent-led visit
  • See Santa Barbara from the Pacific during a sunset wine and cheese sail
  • Explore lively Santa Barbara and its exceptional art and food scene
  • Ride VBT’s Fuji Gran Fondo 1.5 performance road bike, at no additional charge

What to Expect

This tour offers options on easier terrain with the occasional hill and the opportunity for some longer rides and moderate climbing. The majority of the rides are on quieter roads alongside vehicular traffic, some with marked bike lanes. About a quarter of the riding is on bike paths. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available throughout the trip.

Average Daily Mileage: 12 – 35 miles
Average Cycling Time: 1 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Santa Barbara
Mar 66°/50°  Apr 69°/52°  May 70°/55°  Jun 71°/58°  Jul 75°/61°   Aug 76°/60°   Sep 75°/60°  Oct 73°/56°  Nov 69°/50°

Average Precipitation (in.) – Santa Barbara
Mar 2.9  Apr 1.2  May 0.3  Jun 0.1  Jul 0.0  Aug 0.1  Sep 0.1  Oct 1.9  Nov 1.8

What’s Included:

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available on this tour.

Limited quantities — first come, first served. Learn more.

Dates & Prices
Refine Your Tour Results
  • Select Months
    Close

Departure &
Return Dates

Now Showing:

Land Only

Air Not Included.
April
Sun, Apr 7
to Fri, Apr 12

Tour Begins: Sunday, April 7
Tour Ends: Friday, April 12

Close
From $2,545
  • From $2,545
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
May
Sun, May 5
to Fri, May 10

Tour Begins: Sunday, May 5
Tour Ends: Friday, May 10

Close
From $2,545
  • From $2,545
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
Sun, May 19
to Fri, May 24

Tour Begins: Sunday, May 19
Tour Ends: Friday, May 24

Close
From $2,545
  • From $2,545
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
June
Sun, Jun 16
to Fri, Jun 21

Tour Begins: Sunday, June 16
Tour Ends: Friday, June 21

Close
From $2,545
  • From $2,545
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
July
Sun, Jul 7
to Fri, Jul 12

Tour Begins: Sunday, July 7
Tour Ends: Friday, July 12

Close
From $2,645
  • From $2,645
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
August
Sun, Aug 25
to Fri, Aug 30

Tour Begins: Sunday, August 25
Tour Ends: Friday, August 30

Close
From $2,645
  • From $2,645
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
September
Sun, Sep 1
to Fri, Sep 6

Tour Begins: Sunday, September 1
Tour Ends: Friday, September 6

Close
From $2,745
  • From $2,745
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
Sun, Sep 8
to Fri, Sep 13

Tour Begins: Sunday, September 8
Tour Ends: Friday, September 13

Close
From $2,745
  • From $2,745
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
Sun, Sep 22
to Fri, Sep 27

Tour Begins: Sunday, September 22
Tour Ends: Friday, September 27

Close
From $2,845
  • From $2,845
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
Sun, Sep 29
to Fri, Oct 4

Tour Begins: Sunday, September 29
Tour Ends: Friday, October 4

Close
From $2,845
  • From $2,845
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
October
Sun, Oct 13
to Fri, Oct 18

Tour Begins: Sunday, October 13
Tour Ends: Friday, October 18

Close
From $2,745
  • From $2,745
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
Sun, Oct 20
to Fri, Oct 25

Tour Begins: Sunday, October 20
Tour Ends: Friday, October 25

Close
From $2,745
  • From $2,745
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
November
Sun, Nov 3
to Fri, Nov 8

Tour Begins: Sunday, November 3
Tour Ends: Friday, November 8

Close
From $2,645
  • From $2,645
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
Sun, Nov 10
to Fri, Nov 15

Tour Begins: Sunday, November 10
Tour Ends: Friday, November 15

Close
From $2,545
  • From $2,545
  • (800) 245-3868
Close
Sun, Nov 17
to Fri, Nov 22

Tour Begins: Sunday, November 17
Tour Ends: Friday, November 22

Close
From $2,245
  • From $2,245
  • (800) 245-3868
Close

Land Only Single Supplement: $795 (2018: $695)

Itinerary & Map
2019
Or, Expand All Days
Day 1: Arrive in Solvang / VBT Bicycling Vacation begins / Warm-up Ride

Your tour begins at The Landsby, our boutique hotel in Solvang. Solvang has long been a little piece of Denmark in California. More recently, it’s taken cues from the surrounding vineyards, orchards and farmlands and is developing a reputation for food, wine and beer.

VBT will offer a shuttle from Santa Barbara Airport to The Landsby which will depart the airport at 1:30 p.m. for the 60-minute transfer to Solvang. If you are arriving after this shuttle departs or if your flight is delayed, you must make your own arrangements to reach The Landsby. At the Santa Barbara Airport, please meet the shuttle at the curb outside the door closest to baggage claim. The vehicle will have a VBT sign in the windshield.

For guests driving to the tour’s starting point, parking is available at The Landsby for the duration of your stay in Solvang. You may need to move your car to a public lot in Solvang for the time that you are in Santa Barbara. Please check-in with your Trip Leaders, who will let you know where to leave your car.

Check-in at The Landsby, and ask the reception desk for your welcome package, full of information you might find useful on tour. After settling in, meet your Trip Leaders at 3:30 p.m. for a safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a warm-up ride on a quiet, scenic road. Tonight, enjoy a wine and cheese reception followed by dinner at your inn’s superb restaurant, Mad & Vin.

Hotel: The Landsby
Meals: D
Daily Options: 6 miles

Day 2: Los Olivos / Ballard Canyon Road / Foxen Canyon Road

Riding from the inn, you are soon outside the village and among the vineyards, riding the super-scenic Ballard Canyon Road. Ballard Canyon is now a recognized American Viticulture Area (AVA), with Syrah being the most prominent variety cultivated. Your ride continues north on beautiful, meandering Foxen Canyon Road. This is the preeminent cycling road in the valley, and you will have the option to either cover some additional miles, or slow down and slip into one of the vineyards to learn about and taste the wines of this fertile valley.

Meet up with the rest of your group in tiny, charming Los Olivos where you’ll be treated to an included lunch that showcases local produce. After lunch you’ll ride back to Solvang, but on a different route, via the sleepy town of Ballard. Ballard’s red schoolhouse was built in 1882 and is still in operation today. Stop off at Blackjack Ranch Vineyards and Winery before continuing on to your boutique hotel in Solvang. At Blackjack Ranch, relax in their welcoming tasting room and sample the vineyard’s outstanding Syrah and Bordeaux blends.

Tonight, dinner is on your own at one of Solvang’s eateries. You may be tempted to try a traditional Danish smorgasbord, or the famous pea soup served in a bread bowl. Your Trip Leaders will be happy to help you with recommendations and directions.

Hotel: The Landsby
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 18 or 24 miles

Day 3: Santa Ynez / Happy Canyon / Winery picnic

After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll start your day with a ride from Solvang, heading east through the village of Santa Ynez, and into Happy Canyon. This is the warmest grape growing area in the entire valley, and is home to horse ranch after horse ranch. The quiet beauty and the view of the San Rafael Mountain range rising in the distance make for a spectacular sight from the saddle!

Our late morning destination is Bridlewood Estate Winery. Riding up the long, tree-lined driveway, you’ll find that our Trip Leaders have found the ideal place, under the shade of the patio, or in the sunny courtyard, for a bountiful picnic lunch. We’ve included a wine tasting (of course!).

After lunch, board our shuttle for the 60-minute transfer to Santa Barbara.

Settle into the Santa Barbara Inn for the next three nights. Sitting across from Stearns Wharf and West Beach, the inn is well-appointed and ideally located for exploring the beautiful coastline and State Street’s shops and restaurants. You may wish to take a swim in the inn’s heated pool or relax in the Jacuzzi and watch the sunset.

Tonight, choose one of the town’s many excellent restaurants, all within a short walk, for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Santa Barbara Inn
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 18 miles

Day 4: Hope Ranch / Goleta Beach State Park / Sunset Sail

After breakfast, start your day with a ride from the inn, following the coastline and adjacent neighborhoods, cycling on roadways offering bike lanes, and on dedicated bike paths.

Then you’ll ride through the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where bicycles outnumber automobiles (our kind of campus!). Bike paths include their own rotaries and underpasses, ensuring efficient movement through this campus overlooking the Pacific.

On your return route to the inn we stop for an oceanside picnic at Goleta Beach State Park, then ride back to Santa Barbara via the seaside residential area of Hope Ranch.

In the late afternoon, you’ll walk across the street to the Santa Barbara Sailing Center and board a sailing catamaran to enjoy views of the harbor, Santa Barbara, and the mountains at sunset.

This evening, choose one of the town’s great restaurants for your dinner.

Hotel: Santa Barbara Inn
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 15 or 27 miles

Day 5: Montecito / Summerland / Carpinteria

Head east on your bike this morning, passing the peaceful Andree Clark Bird Refuge, a 42-acre saltwater marsh offering a potential peek at duck and heron. Continue alongside the beach before joining a new bike path and continue on to Summerland, a small beach community. Your final destination is Carpinteria State Beach, featuring 4000 feet of water frontage, much of it with gently sloping sands. You’ll return to Santa Barbara after lunch, with free time to explore. You may want to visit the impressive Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Built in 1929 after the earthquake of 1925, its four buildings cover an entire city block. The old Board of Supervisors room contains 6,700 square feet of murals depicting the county’s history. For great views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, visit El Mirador, the clock tower in the courthouse complex. Perhaps you’ll want to make use of the inn’s spa facilities, walk on the beach, or visit the shops and eateries on Stearns Wharf. You can also explore the former warehouse district now known as the “Funk Zone,” a trendy warren of artists’ studios, restaurants, and galleries.

Tonight, rejoin the group for a farewell dinner at our inn’s charming restaurant Convivo, where Chef/Owner Peter McNee will present dishes featuring the bounty of the area.

Hotel: Santa Barbara Inn
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 12 or 24 miles

Day 6: Santa Barbara Mission / VBT Bicycling Vacation ends / Depart for home

After breakfast, checkout of the hotel and board a quick shuttle across town. Here you’ll tour the Santa Barbara Mission, the largest (and many say) most beautiful of all 21 of the California missions. It is the only mission continuously operated by the Franciscans since its founding in 1786. You will be impressed by the beautifully preserved art and architecture, which includes a graceful Moorish fountain and a Chumash Indian-style altar encrusted with abalone shells. Your docent guide will bring the mission’s history to life for you during a 60-minute guided visit.

On completion of your visit to the Mission, shuttle to the Santa Barbara Airport, where you’ll arrive at approximately 12:00 p.m. We recommend a flight out of Santa Barbara no earlier than 1:30 p.m. There are two restaurants for lunch at the airport, one prior to security and one after security.

If you parked your car at the start of the tour, the VBT van will transfer you back to Solvang. Bon voyage with wonderful memories of Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley!

Meals: B
Daily Options: non-riding day

Santa Barbara & The Santa Ynez Valley Map

Download Itinerary PDF

Download Now
Accommodations

Santa Barbara & The Santa Ynez Valley

The Landsby

This stylish 41-room boutique hotel is the newest and most innovative lodging in the Santa Ynez Valley, boasting a clean, contemporary Scandinavian design reflecting the Danish roots of Solvang itself. Enjoy a craft cocktail or fine local wine at the inviting bar, or dine at the acclaimed Mad & Vin restaurant, serving creative cuisine with locally sourced ingredients The completely remodeled, bright and open guestrooms are finished with blonde woods, brushed brass accents, and comfortable, hand-crafted furnishings plus updated bathrooms, 47-inch flat-screen HDTVs, minibars, and stunning artwork commissioned from regional artists. A/C is available.
Free WiFi Included

Santa Barbara Inn

Surround yourself in luxury at this AAA 4-Diamond rated boutique resort, set right on the ocean. You will be just steps from the best that Santa Barbara has to offer—the beach, the shops and restaurants of State Street, the Urban Wine Trail and much more. All guest rooms include a private balcony with views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, television with free HBO, two terry cloth robes, hair dryer, and safe. A/C is available.
Free WiFi Included
Photos
Reviews

Request A
Free Catalog

Find your next vacation with over 200 pages of tour information
… yours FREE!

Get Yours Now

Talk to a VBT Tour Consultant

(800) 245-3868

Mon – Fri 8:30am – 6:30pm EST
Saturday 10:00am – 3:00pm EST

Search Tours Request a Reservation

Related Tours You Might Be Interested In

A Southern Reel bike tour

Charleston to Savannah: A Southern Reel

From only $2,395

Discoveries abound, by bicycle, on foot, and by kayak, on an active vacation that also allows you to slow down to the easy pace of Southern living.

7 Days
Take Me There
View of Fernandina Beach Marina, Amelia Island, Florida

Florida’s Historic Coast

From only $1,995

Before Jamestown and Plymouth Rock there was St. Augustine—America’s first settlement. Spain’s Ponce de Leon ‘discovered’ northern Florida in 1513 and our tour follows the trail of European nations who shaped early America at the dawn of a New World.

6 Days
Take Me There

California Wine Country & the Pacific Coast

From only $2,395
$2,195

Big. Bold. Beautiful. This is where the Gods go to drink. We bike, feast and imbibe in a cinematic landscape so stunning it brings tears to the eyes, stopping at legendary vineyards to savor such heavenly moments.

6 Days
Take Me There
Xanterra

© 2018 VBT. All Rights Reserved.
VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, 426 Industrial Ave, Suite 120 Williston, VT 05495
Talk to a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868

Travel + Leisure ® and ‘World’s Best Awards’ are trademarks of Time Inc. Affluent Media Group and used under license. From Travel + Leisure Magazine, August 2018 © Time Inc. Affluent Media Group. Used under license. Travel + Leisure and Time Inc. Affluent Media Group are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, Licensee.