This famous phrase describes Big Sur, the 90-mile stretch of rugged and awesomely beautiful Pacific coastline, bordered by Carmel to the north and San Simeon (Hearst Castle) to the south. Scenic Highway One winds along its length, tucked between the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains and the rocky Pacific Coast.
Cycling the breathtaking coastline of Big Sur might just be the ultimate California bike touring experience, rated a Top Ten Touring Area by Adventure Cyclist Magazine. Such a special place demands a special biking tour, which is what we have in store for a few fortunate cyclists. It starts with the times of year, Spring and Fall. This is when the weather is ideal for cycling: not too hot, not too cold, not too wet. It's also when the summertime tourists are gone, leaving the roads less traveled. Springtime brings the emerald green hillsides and colorful wildflowers. In Fall, the hills turn a golden brown, and the leaves begin to show their colors.
Then there are the places we choose to visit. We begin at the historic waterfront in Monterey Bay. We make our way through the waterfronts of Monterey and Pacific Grove to the world famous 17-Mile Drive, a fitting start to our trip. No other expanse offers the combination of natural splendor and refined elegance of 17-Mile Drive through Pebble Beach as this road hugs the dramatic Pacific coastline.
Highway One takes us along the rugged cliffs and through the coastal forests of Big Sur, where we spend the night under the towering redwoods at the Glen Oaks Big Sur. Then we continue south as we roll past Hearst Castle and on to the charming coastal town of Cambria, loaded with quaint shops and award winning restaurants.
From Cambria, we head inland to the bountiful winery region of Paso Robles, where we will spend the night at the relaxing and historic Paso Robles Inn. The tour completes with one of our favorite rides through Paso Robles Wine Country.
The Big Sur region and Paso Robles Wine Country are truly grand spectacles of natural beauty, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of our favorite places to share with fellow cyclists.
This was my third UDC bike tour and they just keep getting better! The views of Donner Lake from Old Donner Pass Road are absolutely breathtaking!! Our hosts, Mike and Kim went out of their way to make this a fun and enjoyable trip. They looked out after our every need and were great riding companions. The hotels we went to and the restaurants we went to were first class. The attention paid to our bikes and nutritional needs was top notch. We went on some truly undiscovered roads such as the back way up Luther Pass. Absolutely a great trip!
TripAdvisor July 2012