Road trips by car are nice, but why not up the adrenaline by biking through that postcard-worthy landscape? Cycling tours put you closer to the scenery and let someone else do the planning—including prime pit stops such as wine tastings, snorkeling and river rafting. Consider traveling on two wheels this summer from coast to coast with our list of five great bike tours—then get pedaling.
1. Oregon Bike Tour, DuVine Adventures. This six-day tour takes you through the Willamette Valley and the Columbia River Gorge—you’ll start in Oregon’s pinot noir region, riding past wineries and then tasting their harvest at night during a wine reception and dinner at Jory, a local farm-to-table restaurant. On day three, cycle by the Sandy River and through evergreen forests, and on day four, bike around the north side of Mount Hood and to the Hood River Valley. Next, ride along the popular Historic Columbia River Highway route—a third of the road is closed off to cars and the views of the Columbia River Gorge are unmatched. Before returning to Portland, you’ll stop at the 620-foot Multnomah Falls.
2. Vermont’s Lake Champlain Valley Bike Tour, Sojourn Bicycling & Active Vacations. Cycle your way through this farmland-covered valley that lies between the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks. Over the six-day trip, you’ll brake for stops including the National Historic Landmark Shelburne Farms—sample cheddar cheese from the farm’s Brown Swiss cows—and the charming town of Middlebury, where you can fuel up at a local chocolatier. There’s plenty of biking on the itinerary (on country roads and over covered bridges), but there are also other diversions (think a cruise on Lake Champlain, kayaking and visiting Revolutionary War site Vergennes).
3. Healdsburg, Calif. Farm Fresh Tour, Getaway Adventures. Novice cyclists (or those pressed for time) can see California’s wine country by bike on this day trip in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. Start in the town of Healdsburg—about an hour-and-a-half drive from San Francisco—and head onto country roads, stopping at wineries and sustainable farms including Quivira Vineyards and Winery, where you’ll check out the chicken coops and vegetable gardens. Other farm and winery stops vary by the season—like everything else in the organic-focused region. The tour includes a picnic lunch, but no lodging; stay overnight at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Meadowood Napa Valley.
4. Tour of the Tetons, Teton Mountain Bike Tours. Old Faithful, herds of buffalo and a float down Snake River are highlights of this Wyoming mountain ride. Begin the five-day trip on the eastern borders of Grand Teton National Park in the Jackson Hole valley, and then bike through pine and aspen forests with views of the Wyoming and Gros Ventre Mountain Ranges. On your third day, take a break from the bike seat: Raft through canyons on mild rolling currents. Then visit Yellowstone National Park, including a stop at the most famous geyser of all, before finishing the trip with a ride through the meadows of Buffalo Valley.
5. Hawaii Classic Bike Tour, Bicycle Adventures. Pedal around the perimeter of the Big Island on this weeklong trip and still have time to spare for go-to Hawaii activities (snorkeling, golf, beach lounging). You’ll meet in Kona and ride along the Kohala Coast and through banana and papaya plantations, stopping for a hike to Akaka Falls. Along the ride, you’ll see recent lava flows, black sand beaches and rocky cliffs, and will get a chance to soak your road-weary body in thermal pools. On day six, ditch the bike for a catamaran—the group will sail to a snorkeling and diving spot known for humpback whale sightings.
Photo courtesy of Sojourn Bicycling Vacations