Fall is a great time to take a cycling vacation. The sights, the cooler air – the lighter vacation traffic. All of these aspects are great for those wanting to get away and cycle to their hearts’ content. Whether you are looking for a small-town getaway or a big-city shebang, there is something for you. Below are the best cities to take a cycling vacation in the US.
Located in Colorado’s western slope, this peach-growing mecca is great for those wanting a quiet cycling getaway. The new Fruit and Wine Byway – a well-marked, 25-mile loop is set in the shadow of the 11,000-foot Grand Mesa and the iconic sandstone cliffs known as the Book Cliffs. It guides both motorists and cyclists along scenic back country roads to more than 50 vineyards, orchards, farms, and fruit stands.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Yup, it’s probably still really warm in Santa Fe in the fall, but this scenery is well worth the sweating. In 2012, the Santa Fe Metropolitan Planning Organization created detailed maps of the area’s bike ways. For the most stunning rides of your life, plan to see at least a portion of the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway – gorgeous, not very crowded, and it can test your cycling skills.
Travelers Rest, South Carolina
This small southern town is great for those wanting a different kind of scenery. In 2013, retired 17-time Tour de France competitor George Hincapie, who lives in nearby Greenville, opened Hotel Domestique atop a hillside draped in vineyards. The European-style boutique hotel, complete with a fitness studio, Olympic-size pool, and gourmet French restaurant caters to cyclists who want to bike the winding roads through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Hincapie also coordinates group rides at certain times – so be sure to book one if you are heading to Travelers Rest!
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has transformed more than 20,000 miles of defunct railways all across the U.S. into bike paths. Pennsylvania is one of the conservancy’s most utilized states, with nearly 100 rail-trails spanning more than 1,000 miles – which leads to a great weekend of cycling.
Hipster paradise is somewhere that you would expect a lot of bicycles – but great biking trails for savvy cyclists? Maybe you didn’t expect that, but it exists. Burlington contains the paved 7.5-mile Burlington Bike Path, which follows the Lake Champlain shoreline in view of the Adirondack Mountains, linking six waterfront parks (great for taking a quick dip!). It’s a pleasant ride on its own, or use it as connector to the Lake Champlain Bikeways system, which a 1,300-mile network of bike paths linking the New England scenery in New York, Vermont, and Quebec. So whether you are in Burlington for one day, or if you are trekking to Canada, this is one of the best cycling vacations you can take.
Great for slow living, Louisville is the perfect place for a slowed-down cycling trip. Louisville is home of one of the oldest and most active cycling clubs in the nation, the Louisville Bicycle Club (formerly the “Louisville Wheelmen”).