50 Active Vacations for the Fitness-Conscious: Biking

Try out these twelve biking vacations.

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Biking in Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine.

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Try out these biking vacations:

  • Hugging the Maine Coast
  • Through the Sonoma Valley
  • Mountain Biking in Idaho' Backcountry
  • A Family Tour of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket
  • On Nova Scotia's Cabot Trail
  • Mid-Coast Maine Four Island Bike Trip
  • A Trip Through the Loire Valley
  • Cycling in Italy
  • Mountain Biking the Maze
  • Biking the California Coast
  • Mountain Biking the Maah Daah Hey Trail
  • Cross-Country Bike Trip
  • Hugging the Maine Coast

    Where: Rockland to Castine


    Duration: 6 days
    Distance: 15 to 38 miles a day
    Cost: $2,380
    Operator: Bike Riders ( www.bikeriderstours.com; 800-473-7040)
    Difficulty: Moderate You'll mount your road bike in the harbor town of Rockland, skirt Penobscot Bay, pedal along the island beach roads of Islesboro, and wrap up with a two-night stay in Castine. Along the way, there's plenty of opportunity to ogle lighthouses, chow down on lobster rolls, and soak up the salty air. Boston-based Bike Riders trips are designed as a vacation, not as a race, so the pace is stress free. Nevertheless, you bike or walk every day, so pretrip training—six weeks of biking until you can do 35 miles at a time—is recommended. You can bring your own bike or rent one.

    Through the Sonoma Valley

    Where: Healdsburg, Calif.


    Duration: 3 days
    Distance: 66 to 72 miles
    Cost: $949
    Operator: Escape SF Tours ( www.escapesftours.com; 866-372-2735)
    Difficulty: Easy to challenging Besides exercise and scenery, this tour offers full exposure to the region's chardonnays, pinot noirs, and zinfandels (with a 15-passenger van at the ready in case the wine goes to your head). The ride kicks off with a tour through the Alexander Valley and a stop in the town of Geyserville. You visit Lake Sonoma and pedal at a pace of roughly 20 miles a day through the Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley, stopping at wineries along the route. "We can only lie on the beach so long," says Belinda Tips of Southlake, Texas, who took the trip with husband Steve. "This was a nice way to learn about part of the country, get some exercise, and meet other cyclists."

    Mountain Biking in Idaho' Backcountry

    Where: Boise, Idaho


    Duration: 5 days
    Distance: 90 miles
    Cost: $990
    Operator: Escape Adventures ( www.escapeadventures.com; 800-596-2953)
    Difficulty: Easy to moderate Geared to beginning and intermediate riders, this ride takes advantage of Idaho's extensive network of jeep roads, so van support is available. But there is no cell service, and nights are spent in campsites with no running water and no showers. (There are hot springs, however.) The first day, you follow a dirt road between Steel Mountain and Bald Mountain as it makes a gradual 7-mile climb and an equal descent. A final short climb brings you into the 1860s gold-mining town of Atlanta. Day 2 brings a hike into the Sawtooth Wilderness. Leaving Atlanta, your ride dips down along the middle fork of the Boise River for 15 miles before you hop in the van to shuttle across the mountains to Banner Ridge. There, legs rested and stomachs full, you get back in the saddle, descend 3,000 feet to the tiny town of Lowman, and get back on pavement for a 5-mile ride to camp. The last day's leg is 18 miles long, a series of switchbacks with 360-degree views of the mountains, all on winding jeep roads to Idaho City.

    A Family Tour of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket

    Where: Edgartown, Mass.


    Duration: 5 days
    Distance: 15 to 35 miles per day
    Cost: $2,280, adult; child 15 to 20 percent off (6 minimum age)
    Operator: Bike Riders ( www.bikeriderstours.com; 800-473-7040)
    Difficulty: Easy Turn off the computer games and get back to basics—this biking trip is pure fun for the whole family. (For riders under 8 years old, a trailer cycle, which attaches to the adult bike, is available; kids can help pedal without tiring out.) The riding is on flat and gently rolling seaside bike paths and country roads, with breaks aplenty for homemade ice cream, lemonade, and chocolate-chip cookies. You start in the 19th-century Martha's Vineyard town of Edgartown, set on Chappaquiddick Harbor. From there, you bike "up-island" to West Tisbury and Chilmark. At Beetlebung Corner, you ride out to the red clay cliffs at Aquinnah, or hop the ferry to Menemsha for some swimming and sand-castle building. On the third day, after a morning ride into Oak Bluff, you'll catch the noontime ferry to Nantucket Island, for a trip to the fishing village of Sconset and to Madaket.