Transportation

The following are transportation options for getting to and away from multi-day bicycle tours on the California Central Coast.

 

San Francisco

There are three major airports (San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose) serving the San Francisco Bay Area. Most major airlines fly to all three airports. San Francisco (SFO) is the most convenient if you are starting your tour in San Francisco. Oakland (OAK) is close as well.

Amtrak also offers train service to the San Francisco Bay Area. The main trains stop in Oakland and you usually transfer to a bus or BART to get to/from San Francisco itself.

There are multiple car rental agencies in the San Francisco area.

 

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is actually very close to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) - about 30 minute drive time. It's not too far from San Jose Airport (SJC) either - about 50-60 minute drive time. Airport shuttle services such as SuperShuttle can shuttle you from either of these airports to Half Moon Bay.

It's possible (but not convenient) to take public transit buses from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay via San Mateo County Transit.

No direct Amtrak train service to Half Moon Bay.

There is at least one car rental agency in Half Moon Bay - Enterprise.

 

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is closest to San Jose Airport (SJC) but is also accessible from San Francisco Airport (SFO). Santa Cruz Airport Flyer offers shuttles from both airports to Santa Cruz. Drive time is about 1 hour from San Jose Airport and 2 hours from San Francisco Airport.

While it is possible take Amtrak to Santa Cruz, the Amtrak route to Santa Cruz usually involves a transfer to a bus in San Jose.

There are multiple car rental agencies in Santa Cruz.

 

Monterey/Carmel

The Monterey Regional Airport (MRY) is very close to Monterey and is served by several major airlines. There are flights to Monterey from San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Denver. The nearest major airport to Monterey is San Jose (SJC). Monterey Airbus picks up at the San Jose airport (SJC) and drops off in downtown Monterey. Shuttle time is usually 1.5 hours. If you are flying into San Francisco (SFO), Monterey Airbus also picks up there and drops off in downtown Monterey. Shuttle time is usually 2.5 hours.

While it is possible take Amtrak to Monterey, the Amtrak route to Monterey usually involves a transfer to a bus in nearby Salinas.

There are multiple car rental agencies in Monterey.

Monterey and Carmel are very close together. Once you are in Monterey, it's a short cab or Uber ride to Carmel.

 

San Luis Obispo

The San Luis Obispo Regional Airport (SBP) is quite near town. There are non-stop flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver and Phoenix. The nearest major airports to SLO are San Jose SJC (about 3 hour drive) and Los Angeles LAX (about 3.5-4 hour drive). There are no airport shuttle services from SLO to either aiport.

San Luis Obispo is also well served by train. Amtrak has several trains/buses per day north toward the San Francisco Bay Area and south toward Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

Many people assume you can rent a car in most of the towns in SLO County, but this is not the case. There are no places to rent cars along the northern SLO County coast (i.e. Cambria, Cayucos, Morro Bay). There are multiple car rental agencies in the town of SLO. One way car rentals can often be the most cost effective way to get to/from SLO, especially if you have 3 or more in your group.

 

Paso Robles

Paso Robles does not have as many convenient transportation options as nearby San Luis Obispo (SLO). The nearest major airport to Paso Robles is San Jose (SJC), which is about a 2.5 hour drive away. The regional airport in SLO is about a 40 minute drive away from Paso Robles. There are no airport shuttle services from nearby airports to Paso Robles.

Amtrak has some service to Paso Robles.

There is one car rental agency in Paso Robles - Enterprise.

 

Solvang

Solvang and the rest of the Santa Ynez Valley does not have as many transportation options as other towns where our tours usually start and end. Santa Barbara is the closest airport, but it is about a 45 minute drive and there is no airport shuttle service from Solvang or the rest of the Santa Ynez Valley to Santa Barbara Airport. There is a shuttle service to Los Angeles Airport (LAX) called Central Coast Shuttle Service. They pick up in Buellton (3 miles from Solvang) and drive time to LAX is a little less than 3.5 hours.

While it is possible take Amtrak from Buellton (3 miles from Solvang), the Amtrak route usually involves a bus to another town like Santa Barbara and then a transfer to a train.

There is one car rental agency in Buellton (3 miles from Solvang) - Hertz.

 

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara has a regional airport (SBA) served by several major airlines. There are non-stop flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, Portland and Phoenix. The Santa Barbara Airbus offers transportation from several Santa Barbara area locations to Los Angeles International (LAX) as well. Shuttle time is usually 2-2.5 hours.

Santa Barbara is also well served by train. Amtrak has several trains/buses per day north toward the San Francisco Bay Area (with San Luis Obispo along the way) and south toward the Los Angeles area.

There are multiple car rental agencies in Santa Barbara.

 

Santa Monica (LA)

The Santa Monica/LA area is served by several airports, the main one being Los Angeles International (LAX). LAX is very close to Santa Monica. Airport shuttle services such as SuperShuttle can shuttle you from any of the airports in the area to most local locations.

Santa Monica/LA is also well served by train. Amtrak has several trains/buses per day north toward the San Francisco Bay Area (with Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo along the way) and south toward San Diego.

There are multiple car rental agencies in Santa Monica/LA.

If your tour is ending at the Santa Monica Pier and you are not staying near the pier that night, it is often most convenient to get a cab or Uber to your hotel or nearest airport/train station.