5 Flat Paved Bike Paths in Florida Bicycle Tour 2019

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  or 706-363-0341 or 800-490-2173
 
Celebrating 11 years leading bicycle tours in the best of all 50 states, where will you go next?
 
2019
 
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  • Each day we ride a different, unique and beautiful paved bike trail.
  • The 5 flat paved bike paths are:
  1. Pinellas Trail
  2. Suncoast Trail
  3. Withlacoochee State Trail
  4. West Orange Trail
  5. Van Fleet State Trail/Auburndale TECO Trail
  • We ride each path only one way, no doubling back or repeating on the path, so we get to see the most that each path has to offer.
  • Florida holds the title for the most days in a row of sunshine - 768 days!
  • The State of Florida puts in $25 million per year into the state's bike paths. You will love them!
  • We get nice temperatures (or fabulous temperatures if compared to the temperatures up north in February); take a look at Florida temperatures in the parts we will be visiting: 74° average high in February!
  • Not only will we see the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, but also have to see beautiful farmland, wide open fields, palm trees and swamps all from your bicycle!
Day 1, Saturday - February 16, 2019
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Dade City/Zephyr Hills is where we start. Dade City is a small town an hour's drive northeast of Tampa. You have probably tried or at least seen Zephyrhills water at the grocery store. Zephyrhills 100% spring water comes from five springs right in Florida. Don't get thirsty fellow cyclist -- be sure to drink your water! We are staying at the Hampton Inn Dade City/Zephyr Hills. While we are there, you should also notice your beautiful surroundings. The Giraffe Ranch is a popular place. You will have time to relax and begin taking in your fun bike vacation. Vacation Bicycling welcome dinner and get together scheduled for 5:00pm.
 
Dinner:
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A Matter of Taste
- Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor -
Dade City, Florida
 
Salad:
  • Spinach Salad - Baby spinach, feta, walnuts, cranberries, raisins and Vidalia onion peppercorn dressing
Entrée Choices:
  • Shrimp-n-Grits - One dozen gulf shrimp, sautéed in A Matter of Taste's homemade Charmagne Sauce (tomato sauce with white wine and fresh vegetables) over a bed of yummy cheese grits.
  • Fish Charmagne - Hand floured and lightly fried white fish with Charmagne sauce and crumbled feta cheese over yellow rice
  • Ybor City Chicken - Grilled chicken breast covered with homemade tomato sauce over yellow rice with black beans & plantains
  • California Chicken Salad on Croissants - Two croissants filled with A Matter of Taste's delicious California Chicken Salad, served with lettuce and tomatoes
  • The Classic Grand Champion Burger - 1/2 Pound Fresh Black Angus Burger, hand formed and topped with Applewood bacon, cheddar &/or pepper-jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and sliced red onion; grilled to order and dressed your way. Served with endless French fries. (Note: one of the best burgers we have enjoyed at any restaurant in the U.S.)
Lodging:
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(Yes, this is the only Hampton Inn that shares a backyard with cows!)
 
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Hampton Inn Dade City - Zephyrhills
Dade City, Florida
 
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Day 2, Sunday - February 17, 2019
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1 of 5 Bike Trails - Pinellas Trail
 
The first bike trail on your bike adventure in Florida is taking in the Pinellas Trail from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. This route is sometimes a paved bike route along side, but separated from the road and sometimes it is using the rail corridor not sharing the road at all. St. Petersburg glimmers between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. It is beautiful! St. Petersburg is known for its warm weather and for holding the title of the "most consecutive days with sunshine" - 768! The road crossings that we are using allows the Pinellas Trail riders (us) the right of way, which we can all agree is a nice plus for bikers. The Pinellas Trail also allows riders to trigger lights and signals to motor vehicles anytime we are in the company of motorists along the trail. In Tarpon Springs, you can visit A.L. Anderson Park - this is a Tarpon Springs favorite and located across the street from our hotel. Do not forget to get a Sponge from Tarpon Springs Sponge Docs so you can always remember your visit.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, taking the SAG vehicle to the next hotel; or 36 miles, taking the van to the North Shore Park in St. Petersburg, overlooking the water of Tampa Bay and riding to the next hotel; or 41 miles taking the van to the North Shore Park in St. Petersburg, overlooking the water of Tampa Bay and riding to the Tarpon Springs tourist area and docks and then continuing onto the hotel. [The route is primarily on the paved Pinellas Trail bike path with a little low traveled road riding at the end to get to the hotel and/or the Tarpon Springs tourist area.]
 
Dinner:
On your own
 
Lodging:
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Hampton Inn Tarpon Springs
Tarpon Springs, Florida
 
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Day 3, Monday - February 18, 2019
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2 of 5 Bike Trails - Suncoast Trail

Today is bike path number 2 - The Suncoast Trail that is part of Florida's Greenway and Trails System. The riding begins on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail and parallels the Suncoast Parkway. It passes through a gathering of suburban, agricultural and natural areas where you will see the trail's historic significance. You will want to check out the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Preserve on your ride through this area. There are waterways and amazing views of natural areas that will be beautiful from your bicycle. Crystal River is a great place to view or even swim with the manatees (Captain Mike's Manatee Tours: http://swimmingwiththemanatees.com)

Breakfast provide by the hotel each morning

Bicycling Route: 0 miles, taking the SAG vehicle to the next hotel; 46 miles, taking the SAG vehicle to the trailhead and riding the complete route on the Upper Tampa Bay and Suncoast Trails and then taking the SAG vehicle to the next hotel at the trail end. [The route is on the paved Upper Tampa Bay and Suncoast Trails.]

Lodging:
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Hampton Inn Crystal Springs
Crystal River, Florida
 
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Dinner:
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Margarita Breeze
- Overlooking Kings Bay and King Spring, popular areas for Florida Manatees -
Crystal River, Florida
 
Salad:
  • Garden Dinner Salad - Fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions with your choice of dressing.
Entrée Choices:
  • Ribeye Steak - Served with vegetables, fries, slaw, three bean salad, red bliss potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes
  • Stuffed Grouper - Stuffed and baked with crab meat then topped with hollandaise sauce. Served with vegetables, fries, slaw, three bean salad, red bliss potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes
  • Fried Shrimp - Lightly battered and fried to perfection. Served with vegetables, fries, slaw, three bean salad, red bliss potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes (Note: the best fried shrimp was delicious - one of the best in recent memory)
  • Smothered Chicken - Tender breast of grilled chicken topped with sautéed mushrooms, onions and provolone cheese. Served with vegetables, fries, slaw, three bean salad, red bliss potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes
Day 4, Tuesday - February 19, 2019
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3 of 5 Bike Trails - Withlacoochee State Trail
 
Today is the third bike path, the Withlacoochee State Trail. It is a wonderful experience from your bicycle. On the paved trail you can see the equestrian trail...be sure you are saying "on your right" to a person and not a horse on this trail. You will pass through many beautiful Florida cities and food and drinks are never too far. This trail parallels the Withlacoochee River, which is a state-designated paddling trail. Keep an eye out for deer on the path. They (the deer) are sharing the same views. This area has a state of the art overpass that leads safely across the popular Ridge Manor trailhead, just off US 98.SR 50. The path designers and builders have thought of everything, so you can take in the beauty from your bicycle. There are not many road crossings or driveways. Just relax and enjoy the scenery from behind your handlebars.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, taking the SAG vehicle to the next hotel; 56 miles, riding from the hotel on the Norvell Bryant Bike Path and then Continuing on the Withlacoochee State Trail  [The route is on the paved bike paths with a little road riding to transition to and from the hotels at each end.]
 
Lodging:
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Hampton Inn Dade City - Zephyrhills
Dade City, Florida
 
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Dinner:
On your own
 
Day 5, Wednesday - February 20, 2019
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4 of 5 Bike Trails - West Orange Trail
 
Wake-up and travel on the fourth bike path, the West Orange Trail and the paved part of the Lake Apopka Loop Tail. This is one of the most popular trails in all of Florida. The trail passes through the small towns of Killarney, Oakland and Apopka. See glimpses of Lake Apopka or view the lake up close. Stop and see the Historic railroad exhibit before venturing across the restored railroad bridge. Make a stop at the Oakland Nature Preserve, "a hidden gem," a 128-acre preserve offering environmental education and ecotourism activities, including a visitor's center featuring live fish and turtle exhibits.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; 34 miles, riding on the complete route of the West Orange and Lake Apopka Trails; taking the SAG vehicle to and from the bike paths. [The route is on two paved bike paths.]
 
Lodging:
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Hampton Inn Dade City - Zephyrhills
Dade City, Florida
 
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Dinner:
On your own
 
 
Day 6, Thursday - February 21, 2019
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5 of 5 Bike Trails - Van Fleet State Trail and the Auburndale TECO Trail
 
On Thursday, enjoy the fifth bike trail, the Van Fleet State Trail and the Auburndale TECO Trail. This trail connects Lake Myrtle in Auburndale with Polk City and travels through part of central Florida's 322,000 acre Green Swamp area. The nice thing is there are no turns - just straight as an arrow. In the southern end of the trail there is an observation area where you may be lucky and catch sight of a beautiful bald eagle. The total ascent of the trail is ...5 feet, so a perfect day with no climbing!
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; or 36 miles, riding on the complete route of the Van fleet State Trail and the Auburndale TECO Trail; taking the SAG vehicle to and from the bike paths. [The route is on one continuous paved bike path.]
 
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Hampton Inn Dade City - Zephyrhills
Dade City, Florida
 
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Dinner:
On your own
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Kafe Kokopelli
Dade City, Florida
 
Soup or Salad:
  • Organic Baby Greens - With cucumber ribbons, house dressing, crustini and herbed goat cheese
  • Minestrone Soup - vegetable broth, tomato, celery and pasta
Entrée Choices:
  • Chicken Marsala - Wild mushroom, marsala wine sauce and fresh pasta
  • Eggplant Parmesan - Roasted red pepper, tomato puree, fresh mozzarella, bail, grated Parmesan and fresh pasta
  • Ybor City Chicken - Grilled chicken breast covered with homemade tomato sauce over yellow rice with black beans & plantains
  • Hereford New York Strip - Roasted garlic mashed potatoes, wild mushroom sauté and brown butter béarnaise
  • Meatball Arrabiatta - Handmade-all-natural meatballs, garlic & pepper flake spiced tomato sauce, Parmesan and fresh pasta (or order regular tomato sauce for a less spicy dish)
Day 7, Friday - February 22, 2019
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Enjoy beautiful and warm Florida one last time before starting your journey home.
 
Breakfast provide by hotel each morning
 

Please note all trip information is based on previous trips and/or contracted lodging and restaurants and is subject to change based on availability or specific trip needs.
 
Riding difficulty:
  • Riders who are comfortable riding at least 10 miles per hour should have an enjoyable trip. The routes are primarily on bike paths with a little riding on bicycle designated or low traffic roads. Please see the daily routes descriptions for additional information. Of course, if a rider is tired or does not feel like riding, the SAG vehicle will transport the rider to the hotel. All riders may ride at their own pace, slow or fast or anything in-between.
Arriving by Automobile:
  • Drive to the Hampton Inn Dade City-Zephyrhills, 13215 US Hwy 301, Dade City, Florida 33525, leaving your car at the starting hotel for the duration of the trip.
Arriving by Plane:
  • Fly directly in Tampa International Airport (TPA), 45 miles from the starting hotel, or fly directly into the Orlando International Airport (MCO), 75 miles from the starting hotel; and then rent a car to trip start.
Deposit:
  • $200 to reserve your spot and the remainder due 45 days before the trip start.
What is Included:
  • Hotel lodging
  • Ride packets, including maps & cue sheets (directions)
  • Fully sagged, including ride leaders, luggage transport, SAG vehicle transportation and rider assistance
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Dinner with the group three nights (see above)
  • Great riding, scenery, fun and enjoyment!
Bicycles:
  • Most participants bring their own bicycles
  • To ship your bike to the hotel: Hampton Inn Dade City-Zephyrhills, 13215 US Hwy 301, Dade City, FL 33525
  • To rent a bicycle, please contact Citrus Park Bikes, 7424 Edgemere Rd, Tampa, Florida located about 11 miles from the Tampa International Airport https://citrusparkbikes.com
  • If you fly Alaska Air then a bicycle can be considered luggage for $25 each way, please see Alaska Air for complete details https://www.alaskaair.com/content/travel-info/baggage/special-baggage/tr...
Weather on February 16-22 in the 5 Flat Bike Paths in Florida area:
  • Average High 74° in Dade City/Zephyrhills, Florida
  • Average High 71° in St. Petersburg & Tarpon Springs, Florida
  • Average High 72° in Crystal River, Florida

 

Contact Information:

Vacation Bicycling, LLC
1860 Barnett Shoals Rd, Ste 103-514
Athens, GA 30605
Phone: 706-363-0341 or 800-490-2173 or email your question to our short Contact Form
 
Celebrating 11 years leading bicycle tours in the best of all 50 states, where will you go next?
 
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