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Explore California Pacific Coast by Bike

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  • Santa Monica, California

  • 4 nights


Grade 3 - Brisk
Brisk

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Highlights

Seemingly worlds away from LA, the California coast is home to some of the most spectacular natural scenery in all the USA. Spend five days on this tour powered by Intrepid, cycling through forests and getting sweeping views of the California coast with a cliff-top hike. Explore the local life and wildlife along the exhilarating Pacific Coast Highway. In between all that active adventure, indulge in locally sourced treats like olive oil, craft beer, and a few glasses of wine along the way. 

The Basics

  • Start and Finish: Santa Monica, California
  • Minimum Age: 15
  • Group Size: Minimum 1, Maximum 12
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Experience

Ride the famously spectacular Pacific Coast Highway that twists and turns up the California shore – one of the most scenic drives in the world, and best of all you get to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

  • Swap your van for a bike and cycle the stunning landscape between the artsy village of Ojai and historic Ventura Beach.
  • Spot wildlife, with expert eyes to guide you, as you walk the cliff faces of the spectacular and ancient Channel Islands.
  • Sample local delights on a walking food tour of one of Santa Barbara’s most eclectic neighborhoods, discovering the tasty secrets easily missed on your own.
  • Learn about the region’s organic farming movement – and enjoy the delicious results – with a farm-to-table experience in Ojai.

Itinerary

Welcome to the City of Angels! Your Pacific Coast adventure begins with a welcome meeting tonight at 6 pm. If you arrive early, take time to explore LA, perhaps by stargazing around Hollywood, wandering the famous Venice Beach or hopping the Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier, which is just steps from your hotel. After the meeting, you might choose to head out to dinner with your new travel friends – the ideal way to get to know the group.

  • 1-night accommodation in hotel
  • Please note, there are no meals included on this day.

Special Information

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as Intrepid will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Today, travel north up the famously scenic Pacific Coast Highway, where ocean waves roll in on one side and mountains stretch high on the other and stop to stretch your legs at the Carpinteria Bluffs. From the vantage point of these protected bluffs, you’ll catch great views of the Pacific, and maybe even see some harbor seals sunbathing on the beaches below.

Drive onwards to Santa Barbara, a beautiful town known as the “American Riviera.” Here, you’ll meet a local guide for a food tour through Santa Barbara’s eclectic Funk Zone neighborhood. Your included lunch will be a sampling of the area’s lesser-known but very tasty treats, from handmade chocolate to lobster bisque. Take a free afternoon to visit the landmark Mission Santa Barbara, walk down Sterns Wharf, or relax on the beach just steps away from your accommodation.

  • 1-night accommodation in hotel
  • Included Activities: Santa Barbara walking lunch tour and Carpinteria Bluffs walk
  • Meals Included: breakfast and lunch

Today is a day to explore all that Santa Barbara has to offer on the food and wine scene. Make your way north to the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, put back on the map thanks to Hollywood’s attention in the early 2000s. Get your first taste of the local vintages with an included wine tasting, then make a stop at the seemingly out-of-place village of Solvang, which looks like it’s been picked up from Demark and dropped here in the heart of Santa Barbara County wine country.

In the afternoon, visit a winery with quite the story. Hear all about how the owner is seen as a pioneer among female winemakers and taste the results of her decades of work on getting the best out of two distinguished grape varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

  • 1-night accommodation in hotel
  • Included Activities: Santa Ynez Valley wine tasting, Lopac wine tasting, and Solvang village walk
  • Meals Included: breakfast

Hop a ferry across to Scorpion Cove on Santa Cruz Island for a walking adventure among the ancient Channel Islands. These islands were first colonized some 13,000 years ago and are the earliest evidence of humans in North America. You’ll be embarking on an easy hike (2 kilometers or 1.5 miles) along the Cavern Point Loop for sweeping views of the California coastline.

Stop for a picnic lunch along the way and – if you want to paddle along clear waters, among soaring cliffs and stunning sea caves – there's the chance to book an optional extra1.5 hour kayaking trip.

Continue on to Ventura in the late afternoon and join your group for an optional food truck dinner at a local brewery that’s not only a community favorite, but that also donates 1% of all its sales to environmental non-profits.

  • 1-night accommodation in hotel
  • Included Activities: Channel Islands hike
  • Optional Activities: Chanel Islands Sea Kayaking (USD$170)
  • Meals Included: breakfast

Head inland today to the small town of Ojai, set in a valley within the Topatopa Mountains, and explore the village center dotted with art galleries and New Age shops. Enjoy an olive oil tasting at a multi-generation family farm, where the olive trees are 150 years old and the olives are all picked by hand.

After an included organic lunch at a local cafe, hit the road on two wheels with a leisurely cycle to historic Ventura Beach (approximately 25 kilometers or 16 miles). From Ventura hop back in the van and return to Los Angeles, where your Pacific Coast adventure will come to an end around 5 pm.

  • Included Activities: Ojai Olive Oil tasting, bike ride Ojai to Ventura, and Ojai farm to table lunch experience
  • Meals Included: breakfast and lunch

FAQ

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers, taxes and excess baggage charges
  • Travel insurance (mandatory and must be taken out at the time of booking)
  • Optional activities and all personal expenses

All travelers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy Intrepid's style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of the group leader or local guide any traveler is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. Intrepid recommends that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while traveling.

Intrepid will not require a negative COVID-19 test before joining a trip unless it is a requirement of entry for the country. If you are unwell prior to traveling, please stay at home and notify to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, Intrepid will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. Intrepid asks all travelers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader.

To allow flexibility in showing your appreciation, gratuities are not included. If you're happy with the service you receive, providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations. Please note Intrepid recommends that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.

Hold on to your smaller notes and coins to make tipping easier. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from the past travelers:

Local Guides:

Throughout your trip, you may at times have a local guide. Intrepid suggests $3-5 per passenger per day.

Drivers:

You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. Intrepid suggests $3-6 per day for drivers.

Your Tour Leader:

You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $2-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

In total, Intrepid recommends you budget approx $5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

While travelling with Intrepid you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule, the groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company.

Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There may be some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavors to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Your leader will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to their local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. Intrepid aims to support local guides who have specialized knowledge of the regions you visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Besides your essential clothes, here’s a checklist of other items you should take:

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Warm sweater/fleece
  • Casual ‘evening out’ clothes
  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Comfortable day shoes
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Warm hat/gloves
  • Swim wear
  • Sun hat/sunglasses
  • Camera/binoculars
  • Small flashlight/torch
  • Sunscreen/insect repellent (20% DEET)
  • Travel power adaptor (optional)
  • Toiletries/personal medicine

Luggage Restrictions:

All luggage is carried in trailers or inside the vehicle so please don't bring more than one medium-sized bag, backpack or suitcase (20kg maximum) per person, plus a sleeping bag where required on your trip. Your suitcase/rucksack may get some rough handling, so make sure it's a tough one. A small daypack and camera may also be carried inside the vehicle.

Climate & Clothing: 

Keep in mind that the dress tends to be informal. Take a practical selection of clothes for both warm and cool climates to suit the season. You may encounter a wide variety of temperatures en route due to altitude and unforeseen weather conditions - so be prepared! Make sure to pack a warm fleece and a waterproof jacket as well as comfortable walking shoes.

Closed-in Shoes:

If this trip includes camping and/or national parks Intrepid highly recommends that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.

Water Bottle: 

Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1-liter plastic bottle takes 2 liters of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfills or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

Laundry:

You will have the opportunity to wash your clothes while on tour. This can often be done at the hotel or in another place in town. Ask your tour leader for local information.

Intrepid's itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure Intrepid travelers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.

Terms

This trip is provided by Intrepid Travel. Minimum age requirement is 15 years old. Minimum of four people total must book this trip for it to happen. Maximum 12 people allowed on the trip in total. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability.

Deposit:

Lock in your trip with a deposit and then pay the rest in instalments whenever you like, with no interest or fees. Just make sure you've paid in full by 21 days before your trip is scheduled to depart. If you cancel your trip up to 21 days before departure, you can transfer your deposit to another available trip or hold your deposit on file indefinitely.

Insurance:

Travel insurance is compulsory on all Intrepid trips for those travelling internationally. Intrepid requires that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. They strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

Authority on Tour:

Trips are run by a group leader. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund.  Intrepid may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited

Health:

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy Intrepid's style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of the group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. Intrepid recommends that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling.

Any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving the leaders, partners or local people, will not be tolerated. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, drink responsibly  and abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.