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Slow down and take life easy as you ride your bicycle through Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley while exploring Santa Barbara county wine country.
Experience adventures as you cycle through the Central Coast of California. Pro-cycling, training camps, mountain biking, we have it all here.
Take a bike tour, explore bike shops, enjoy great rides on scenic country roads, stay in bicyclist-friendly places, or just rent a bike or surrey to ride in and around Solvang.
Easy ride along bike path or in bike lanes with stops for picnicking and sightseeing.
Length: As little as five miles, up to ten miles, depending on turn-around location.
Park at the Mission Santa Inés, 1740 Mission Drive. Children will enjoy the beautiful grounds and displays of early life in the Mission era. Ride east on Mission Drive (Highway 246) but take care, as there will be cars for the first half mile until the painted bike path begins at Alamo Pintado Road. A rustic windmill is located to your right, one of five in the Solvang area (others are located downtown; the children can do a windmill hunt to find them all). The bike path continues to the intersection of Refugio Road.
Turn around here and ride back towards Solvang, or turn right on Refugio, and proceed 0.9 miles to the entrance of Kalyra Winery (Open daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., (805) 693-8864), one of the locations of the film "Sideways", which was filmed in and around Solvang. It is kid-friendly and relaxed, a nice place to eat a picnic lunch – and its deck has one of the finest views in the valley. A little further on is Sunstone Winery (Open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., (800) 313-9463), a beautiful winery built in a Provencal French style, featuring two stone barrel-aging caves built into the hillside. The Rice Family farms their 78-acre vineyards in an organic, bio-sustainable manner.
Returning to the bike path adjacent to Highway 246, turn left and continue to Alamo Pintado Road and turn right. Approximately one-half mile north (along a bike lane, watch for traffic) is a new playground with a Danish theme in Sunny Fields Park. Built by community volunteers, it is a delight for kids.
If the kids are feeling ambitious, leave the park and continue north on Alamo Pintado Road for 1.5 miles to the charming Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch (1555 Alamo Pintado Road) where waist-high horses are bred and raised. Free viewing daily from 10am-3pm. Return by retracing your path back Alamo Pintado to Highway 246, then take a right turn back to Solvang.
For travel accommodation information or a free copy of the official Solvang & the Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Guide, the public can contact the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau at (800) 468-6765, (805) 688-6144; fax (805)688-8620. Visitor information is also availableat the Visitor Information Center located at 1639 Copenhagen in the heart of the city, via www.SolvangUSA.com or by e-mail at: info@SolvangUSA.com
Combines the charm of a ride through Solvang, the Alamo Pintado Valley, and the country feeling of Ballard Canyon. Moderately easy. 12.5 miles, little elevation change. Adapted from www.sb-outdoors.org
Begin at the corner of Highway 246 and Atterdag Road in downtown Solvang. From Highway 246 heading west, turn right (north) on Atterdag and up Chalk Hill Road, the first of several climbs. At the top knoll, take one last look back over the river valley before a fast downhill section to the Ballard Canyon Road intersection.
After the stop sign, bear left, then curve to the right onto Ballard Canyon. A short climb brings you up into the upper canyon, which is not actually a canyon but a very pretty valley. The road is very quiet and rustic, level for the first part then rising steadily to a high point looking out to Los Olivos and the San Rafael Mountains. A quick drop leads to Highway 154, turn right and look for Mattei’s Tavern to the right. Just past Mattei’s Tavern, turn right on Grand Avenue into the town of Los Olivos and go south 0.9 miles, curve right across the creek and then turn left and follow Alamo Pintado Road for 4.2-mile return trip to Highway 246 (there is a bike lane the entire stretch). Turn right on 246 and ascend the slight rise into Solvang. For a slightly longer and more strenuous trip: rather than turning on Atterdag, start on Highway 246 in Solvang and follow it two miles west to the lower end of Ballard Canyon Road.
Turn right onto Ballard Canyon. This adds 3.5 miles to the ride and several miles of riding next to fast moving cars on Highway 246. However, the lower section of Ballard leads through a narrow and very pretty canyon for a mile then rises several hundred feetbefore dropping down to the Chalk Hill intersection. Bear left here andfollow the original route on Ballard Canyon Road.
A great yet demanding country ride. Strenuous; 2,200’ elevation gain, 850’ climb in Drum Canyon and 600’ in Ballard Canyon; 41.5 miles. Adapted from www.sb-outdoors.org
Begin at the corner of Mission Drive/Highway 246 and Atterdag Road in downtown Solvang. From Highway 246 heading west, turn right (north) on Atterdag and up Chalk Hill Road. After a fast downhill, bear left after the stop sign at the Ballard Canyon intersection, then curve to the right. The road is very quiet and rustic, then a quick drop down leads to Highway 154. Carefully cross it and proceed onto Foxen Canyon Road.
The ride follows Foxen Canyon for just a bit more than 10 miles, with several climbs and long stretches of country road. Two miles beyond the Fess Parker Winery, the road crests and from there it is a half-mile downhill to Zaca Mesa Winery—a very nice place to stop for a break. A mile of gentle downhill past the winery brings you to the Alisos Canyon turnoff (left). The first mile of the ride up Alisos is a bit of a workout but before long, you will be cruising downhill the next six miles to Highway 101. Once you reach the highway, look for a side road on the east side of 101. Turn right onto that road for about a mile, then turn left on the road that goes under Highway 101 and enter Los Alamos. There are a number of places to eat in Los Alamos as well as a small park right in the middle of town. Los Alamos County Park is a half-mile up Centennial Street aka Drum Canyon Road, and a nice place for a lunch break. Look for the Centennial/Drum Canyon turn at the flagpole. This is the gateway to Drum Canyon, a 3.5 mile, 850’ climb to the top of the ridge, with lots of switchbacks. On the other side, there is a sharp downhill into a long, open valley dotted with cows and horses and ranches. Five miles of mellow riding bring you to Highway 246, where you turn left (east). The next six miles to Buellton will be the least fun part of the ride, though the shoulder is wide, there are many cars. Once you reach Buellton, continue ahead over Highway 101, three miles back into Solvang.
A challenging out and back ride from Solvang takes you north to locations used in “Sideways” and offers wine tasting opportunities. (Please drink and bike responsibly.)
Strenuous. 32+ miles. Up to 1000’ elevation change.
Adapted from "Sideways" Bicycle Ride, Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition
Start from the corner of Highway 246 and Alisal Road in Solvang. There is a bike path adjacent to 246 from Alamo Pintado Road to Refugio Road, where you turn right and proceed 0.9 miles to the entrance of Kalyra Winery (Open daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., (805) 693-8864).
While tasting wine at Kalyra, Jack (Thomas Haden Church) and Miles (PaulGiamatti) meet a flirtatious wine pourer, Stephanie (Sandra Oh), who Jack woos.
Return back up Refugio Road, pass 246, and continue 2.1 miles to Baseline Road (there is a bike lane for the first mile), turn left on Baseline and proceed one mile to Alamo Pintado (there is a bike lane for its entire stretch). Turn right on Alamo Pintado and follow it 1.2 miles, then turn left on to Grand Avenue and follow it into the town of Los Olivos. Stop at the Los Olivos Café (2879 Grand Avenue, (888) WINES4U)
Miles, Jack, Stephanie, and Maya (Virginia Madsen) enjoy dinner and several bottles of wine at the Los Olivos Café.
Continue on Grand Avenue to Highway 154. Carefully cross the highway, follow Foxen Canyon Road north for several miles up over a 300’ rise, and down to Zaca Station Road. Turn left and proceed one-half mile to the entrance of Firestone Winery on the right (Open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., (805) 688-3940).
The foursome sneaks out of a wine lecture to share a romantic walk through the Barrel Room.
Turn around and follow Zaca Station Road to Foxen Canyon Road and turn left. Proceed 1.4 miles, climbing to a point that overlooks the upper Foxen Canyon, a land that has changed little in time. Drop steeply downhill into the valley and Fess Parker Winery’s entrance on the right (Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., (800) 841-1104).
Called “Frass Canyon” in the film, it is the site of the wine tasting where Miles, despondent after a call from his agent, guzzles the spit bucket.
Had enough? Return to Solvang via the same route.
The adventurous can continue another 11 miles and up another pulse-pumping rise and through gorgeous scenery to Foxen Vineyard (Open daily, noon to 4 p.m., (805) 937-4251).
During the split-screen montage, Miles and Jack help themselves to full glasses when the pourer’s back is turned.
Return via the same route, knowing there will be some challenging climbs but exhilarating descents with fine views.
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Solvang, CA, has more than a dozen wine tasting rooms and there are 80 wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley.