Bike Tour | California 2017-03-09T19:08:53+00:00

California Wine Country Bike Tour

Spectacular vineyards, meandering roads, towering redwoods and the dramatic blue shore of the Pacific! Our tour invites you to experience all of this as we explore California’s Northern Sonoma County, one of the world’s premier bicycling destinations. We ride along wide valleys passing some of the most scenic and elite vineyards imaginable. Following the thread of the famous Russian River Valley, we immerse ourselves in a forest of awe-inspiring ancient redwoods. Then, as a final celebration, we reach the beaches of Bodega Bay where we stand at the westerly edge of the country taking in dazzling views while being entertained by cavorting seals, migrating whales and nose-diving pelicans. This is, of course, California’s wine country and you will quickly understand why this year Trip Advisor named Sonoma as the best wine destination in the country (and number two in the entire world).

There are literally hundreds of superb laid back family owned vineyards in and around our route, and we offer innumerable opportunities for visits, a sensation-filled experience even (or especially) for those of us whose wine interest is weekend casual. We are guests at three inns that are the very best and delight in Northern California cuisine inspired by local organic ingredients. We also enjoy a professionally guided kayak tour along the estuary where the Russian River meets the Pacific. And yet the essence of this tour is still the incomparable bicycling experience as we enjoy scenic roads winding through rural countryside, visit iconic small towns like Geyserville, Healdsburg, Guerneville, and Occidental, and treat ourselves to beautiful vistas, redwood forests and the blue blue ocean.

California Biking Tour Itinerary

SUNDAY – ARRIVAL DAY  |  Distance: 7 miles  |  Terrain: Easier
We begin our tour at the Geyserville Inn in Geyserville. If you are flying to the tour, Discovery Bicycle Tours will meet you at the Sonoma County Airport (also known as Santa Rosa Airport and Charles M. Schulz Airport) which is serviced by Alaska Airlines and is easily accessible by an hourly bus shuttle from San Francisco’s airports, and has several rental car options available.

At the inn we will fit you to your bike, discuss bike safety and riding techniques, and then lead you on an easy and beautiful get-acquainted ride along Chianti Road to a wine tasting at Silver Oak Winery. Here we will treat you to a wine tasting (featuring their superb Alexander Valley Cabernet) which you can enjoy while strolling through their gardens and admiring the gorgeous views over the vineyards. Dinner tonight is at Castelli’s, a renowned local restaurant,

MONDAY  |  Distance: 32 or 39 miles  |  Terrain: Easier
We begin today with a meandering ride along lovely Dry Creek Valley. This is home to some of the most picturesque roads, dramatic scenery and fabulous vineyards imaginable. Dry Creek, renowned for its idyllic undisturbed beauty, was originally coveted as exceptional farming country. But it was soon discovered that the valleys’ soils, and uniquely warm days and cool nights, made the area perfect for growing a wide variety of premium grapes. So now the farms and orchards are mostly gone, replaced by a number of small unpretentious vineyards that produce some of the world’s most prestigious wines. Our ride today takes us along the winding roads that connect all these vineyards. We follow Canyon Road to Dry Creek Road and enjoy a visit at the Dry Creek General Store (est. in 1880). Our route next takes us past the stunning Ridge Winery where you can taste their exceptional zinfandel and petite syrah while enjoying their solar-powered tasting facility made entirely from local straw bales and vineyard clay. After that visit we ride into the Alexander Valley where we will stop to shop at the iconic Jimtown Store, a valley fixture since 1895. We are then treated to a catered lunch and wine tasting at the Robert Young Winery before winding our way back to the Geyserville Inn.

This evening we will dine in downtown Healdsburg, a very pretty town that has obviously prospered with the world’s interest in local wines, and has experienced a pleasant transformation from a sleepy farming hamlet in the 1960s to an upscale village with a bustling town square and innumerable wine tasting rooms, trendy boutiques, and art galleries.

CroppedTomTUESDAY  |  Distance: 31 or 38 miles  |  Terrain: Easier to Intermediate
Today the easy roads of the Alexander Valley take us back through Healdsburg and then westerly along the Russian River as it gently meanders its way through vineyards and open meadows, and then gives way to groves of oak, shady pine and majestic old growth redwoods. The cooler climate and wooded hills provide a dramatically different experience from your first days and indeed this valley, cooled by breezes from the Pacific, is mostly famous for its cool growth grapes such as chardonnay and pinot noir. Our ride takes us to the Korbel Winery for a tour of their beautiful property and a lunch at their renowned deli. Then we continue with a short ride into Guerneville, a decidedly funky town that merges modern tourist elements with a sense of roughness from its heyday as a frontier town and loggers’ mecca.

From Guerneville we cycle into the Armstrong Redwoods Natural Preserve where we wander on groomed paths among some of the tallest living things on our planet. The magnificent stately redwoods include the 310 foot high Parsons Jones Tree and the magnificent Armstrong Tree which is estimated to be over 1400 years old! As you walk these canopied trails, you will be totally awed by the serene, majestic beauty of these towering giants, dramatic reminders of the primeval redwood forest that once covered so much of this area.

After our visit to the redwoods, we again follow the Russian River to Monte Rio. From here some will opt to bike along the quiet but more challenging “Bohemian Highway” to the small picture postcard village of Occidental. This small sleepy town was also a frontier railroad and timber town and it still retains a sense of that past. Here we stay at the Inn at Occidental, a friendly rambling and luxurious Victorian inn with fun whimsical folk art, antiques, family heirlooms and beautiful rooms and common areas. We enjoy a wine and cheese reception and then you are on your own for dinner, choosing from four excellent small restaurants all within a very short walking distance from the inn.

WEDNESDAY  |  Distance: 34 or 41 miles  |  Terrain: Intermediate
Pacific ocean! That is our destination today, but first we want to explore the rolling hills and vineyards on our way to the tiny village of Bodega (not to be confused with the seaside village of “Bodega Bay”). This village is home to a few antique stores and a nice coffee shop/general store, but the most notable landmarks here are the Potter Schoolhouse and St. Theresa’s Church, both featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 movie “The Birds”. We next ride westerly passing the Joseph Phelps Winery and then along beautiful Dillon Beach Road where we are treated to magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. By mid-afternoon, we arrive at the luxurious Four-Diamond Bodega Bay Lodge, our home for the next two nights. From its seaside perch, the Lodge offers unobstructed sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the calm Bodega Bay and the rugged Pacific shoreline, and every excellent room has an ocean facing private balcony (plus down comforters and a fireplace). We plan to arrive here so as to allow plenty of time for you to stroll the beautiful beach, take a swim in the heated pool, or immerse yourselves in the outdoor whirlpool and sauna. You might even opt for the ultimate pampering at their delightful spa. Dinner tonight is at a fine local restaurant

Cylist1CalifTHURSDAY  |  Kayaking and Biking | Distance: 14 miles  |  Terrain: Easier to Intermediate
Today includes a professionally guided kayaking experience along the estuary formed where the Russian River flows into the Pacific Ocean. After kayaking, a fun option is to ride out to Goat Rock Beach to watch the seals, sea lions, dolphin, eagles and other wildlife.   We will have lunch in the small village of Jenner and then enjoy a 14-mile ride on the dramatic Coastal Highway as we weave our way back to Bodega Bay Lodge. You can then spend the rest of the afternoon strolling Doran Beach, relaxing by the pool or sauna and enjoying your delightful surroundings. Our farewell dinner tonight is at the Lodge’s highly celebrated Duck Club Restaurant where the chef highlights seasonally available farm fresh local produce, seafood and meats.

FRIDAY  |  Distance: 11 miles  |  Terrain: Easier
Following a delicious breakfast we bike through Bodega Bay Village and then down past a working harbor where colorful local fishing boats are moored. From here we bike out to the far end of Bodega Head and can take in an unsurpassed view of the broad blue Pacific. An easy walking trail loops around the dramatic headlands to an overlook that offers dazzling views along a rocky promontory, and gives access to a small rocky beach. Be on the lookout for cavorting seals, migrating whales (in season), cranes, sea lions, brown pelicans, egrets hunting on the bluffs, as well as fishing boats out at sea. It is a wonderful place to settle back and celebrate your splendid week in California.

Inns

logo-geyersville-inn

Tucked amidst the picturesque vineyards and mountains of Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, The Geyserville Inn is the quintessential Northern California Wine Country getaway and the only area hotel located in a vineyard. Locally owned and operated by two generations of Christensen family members, our AAA-rated Inn blends all the comfort and elegance of a contemporary boutique hotel with the intimacy, warmth and unhurried ambiance of a rustic bed and breakfast.

geyservilleinn.com

logo-inn-at-occidentalSecluded beneath towering redwoods in the charming village of Occidental, this bed and breakfast in Occidental is centrally located to the spectacular vineyards, orchards of Sonoma wine country, the stunning beaches and cliffs of the Sonoma Coast and the meandering Russian River.

innatoccidental.com

logo-bodega-bayThe Bodega Bay Lodge is the quintessential California coastal retreat… romantic and serene. From its seaside perch, the Lodge offers sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the calm Bodega Bay and the rugged shoreline. A beautiful one-hour drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Lodge is the only AAA Four Diamond hotel on the Sonoma Coast. Our warm and cozy rooms have private balconies, down comforters, and real fireplaces.

bodegabaylodge.com

What’s Included

5 nights lodging, 5 breakfasts, 4 dinners (you are on your own for dinner one night in Occidental), 2 lunches, a picnic at Robert Young Vineyards, kayaking on the Russian River, wine tasting, entry fees, bicycle and helmet, experienced professional tour guides, full van support; detailed maps and directions. Free transfer provided from/to Sonoma County Airport.

FREE USE OF BIKES

We are happy to provide you with a bike to use at no charge. Our bikes come equipped with a front handlebar bag, rear carrier, water bottle, mirror and flat pedals. Pedal cages and soft gel seat covers are available on request. We are also happy to put your own clipless pedals (pedals that attach to your biking shoes) and seat on your bike if you wish. Specific details and styles of bikes available in each location are indicated under each photograph below. The make of bikes provided varies by location.
Bikes-for-Web-Site

FREE SHUTTLE FROM/TO SONOMA COUNTY AIRPORT – Arrival: 2:00 PM pickup at Sonoma County Airport. Departure: 1:30 PM from Bodega Bay Lodge

Virtual Tour of California

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Make your reservation with confidence. Your tour is completely 100% refundable up to 60 days of the tour date.

 

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May 14–19, 2017: $2495
Reserve with $300 deposit

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May 21-26, 2017: $2495
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reserveMay 28–June 2, 2017: $2495
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reserveSeptember 10–15, 2017: $2495
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reserveSeptember 17–22, 2017: $2495 
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reserveSeptember 24–29, 2017: $2495
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Final payment due 60 days prior to your tour (personal check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover)

Single Supplement Fee: $640*

Default Supplement Fee:$320*

*Single Traveler? We are the most affordable tour company for single travelers, and our policies and rates are the very best. Please see our single traveler policies.

Our Straight-Forward Price Guarantee: If you find a less expensive, non-discounted, price for a biking tour in the same general area, for the same number of days,  in a comparable season, with comparable accommodations and meals, we 1) will be amazed and 2) will match the price! All you need to do is tell us before or as you are making your reservation.

Cancellations: If you cancel your tour reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined as follows:

  • If you cancel 60 or more days prior to the start of your tour, there is no cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel between 45 and 59 days prior to the start of your tour, you will forfeit 50% of all tour payments.
  • If you cancel between 0 and 44 days prior to the start of your tour, all tour payments will be forfeited.