Discover Story Ideas Details Back to Story Ideas

Alternate Transportation in the Golden State

California is a great place to jump in the car and take an unforgettable road trip, but there are many alternatives if you don’t have a car when traveling in the state. Below is a sampling of some of the convenient ways to explore California, from cycling and hot air ballooning to Tesloop and public transit.

Shasta Cascade
Siskiyou resides in the northernmost region of California and offers visitors a unique car-free experience while they discover the adventurous destination. During the summer months at Mt. Shasta Ski Park, tourists can enjoy the beautiful trails of the mountain on a bike - but not just any bike, an electric bike! Mt. Shasta Ski Park is one of only two e-bike parks in California that offer visitors of all riding levels a chance to keep up with (or even beat) mountain biking enthusiasts. Tourists can explore 25 miles of amazing trails by renting an e-bike at the park or by bringing their own e-bike. Visitors can also spend the weekend camping for free at the park and discover the mountain from sunup to sundown.

Gold Country
Gold rush era towns might not bring alternate transportation to mind, but in Calaveras County, you can always catch a ride from Murphy’s Taxi, Courtwood Wine Tasting Tours or Calaveras Public Transit. For epic views of the Middle Yuba River, take an off-road vehicle tour in Sierra County. Folsom is lined with new smart bikes, so trekking through this stretch of Gold Country has never been easier. Soar through the region with the zip lines at Moaning Cavern Adventure Park. Hop on the Tuolumne County Adventure Trolley to tour Historic Towns and State Parks. Near South Yuba River, the Yuba Bus shuttle service provides multiple pickups per day from downtown locations to mitigate parking challenges and provide an eco-friendly transportation alternative.

High Sierra
Offered seven days a week, Tenaya Lodge’s Luxury Yosemite Tours depart from Tenaya Lodge with a local guide and spend the day touring Yosemite Valley with stops and short hikes at scenic landmarks. Once in Yosemite Valley, ride the Yosemite Area Regional Transit System (YARTS) bus to iconic locations. Make your summer trip to Sequoia National Park more affordable and convenient by hopping onto Sequoia Shuttle. From bike paths to seaplanes, such as Fly Blackbird, Lake Tahoe offers alternate modes of transportation to and around the lake. The North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail is an interactive map connecting the region’s best bars with various modes of human-powered transportation, and the Lake Tahoe Bike Coalition’s Interactive Map details the best bike paths around the lake. Public transportation services include TART, Nifty 50 Trolley and Express/Sand Harbor Shuttle. Travelers can even take to the skis at Squaw Valley this summer and climb over 2,000 feet via the Aerial Tram.

San Francisco Bay Area
Current eBikes are easily accessible throughout Sonoma County for on-the-go transportation. Combining the sleek new Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) trains with the cycling routes available for all ability levels makes the perfect car-free Wine Country adventure. One of the “greenest” ways to see the Napa Valley is through Laces and Limos eco-friendly tuk-tuks tours, with kid-friendly itineraries as well as pricing. Begin your day in the early morning and experience Sonoma Valley from new heights aboard a hot air balloon from Sonoma Ballooning Adventures. Explore the Bay Area through Sonoma Adventures’ guided Segway tours or Santa Rosa Getaway Adventures, offering tours such as the wine-centric Sip ‘N Cycle, Pints ‘N Pedals for beer lovers and a Bike ‘N Safari. Travel to world-class Sonoma wineries while seeing the greatest sights of the Valley along the way aboard a Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley. With Pure Luxury Transportation, guests can explore the beauty this region has to offer from the backseat of a luxury sedan or charter bus – no group is too big or small.

Central Coast
Multiple destinations in this region are encouraging visitors to explore via Amtrak’s Coast Starlight or Pacific Surfliner trains, including Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Solvang. As an incentive, riders enjoy deals on their ticket, hotels and more. For those flying into the region, there are numerous shuttle options to take advantage of, including Roadrunner Shuttle, Smart Shuttle, Ventura Transit or Ventura County Airporter. Goleta-bound LAX visitors can take the Santa Barbara Airbus—speedily transporting them from Los Angeles’ sprawling airport to California’s breathtaking central coast. While in Oxnard, visitors can sightsee with Gold Coast Transit or VISTA, Ventura Intercity Service Transit Authority. Foodies can find the top restaurants through Central Coast Food Tours, or for a wine-centric experience, hit six wineries and tasting rooms on the Santa Maria Valley Wine Trolley. Trolley rides are available throughout summer at stop-off destinations with MST Monterey Trolley, Old SLO Trolley and the Morro Bay Trolley.

Orange County
Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) is a public transportation system operating within The Anaheim Resort™ District and connecting you to theme parks, hotels, restaurants, shopping, dining, and other destinations within the Anaheim Resort area. The Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, better known as ARTIC, provides rail, bus, taxi and other services for daily commuters, visitors and leisure travelers. Keep in mind Tesloop, the first service offering city-to-city shared-car transportation in Teslas, when planning your weekend escape in SoCal. Pickup and drop-off locations are conveniently located throughout Orange County and Los Angeles, along with Palm Springs and San Diego.

Los Angeles
In Beverly Hills, visitors can explore the lush neighborhoods and mansions by foot or on one of Beverly Hill’s Bike Share rentals. Within Santa Monica and neighboring Venice, Breeze Bike Share has more than 80 rental hubs and 500 bicycles stationed. Coming soon, the city welcomes the Metro Purple Line to connect downtown Los Angeles to Westwood in time for the 2028 Olympics. The Santa Monica Free Ride hotel-sponsored shuttle service managed by Santa Monica Travel & Tourism is complementary for visitors and residents alike. Also running year-round is the public Metro Expo Line and the Beach Shuttle. Catch the summer-season WaterBus from any of eight stops in the Marina, or Santa Monica’s award-winning Big Blue Bus serving Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, LAX, and 10 neighboring communities. Take advantage of complimentary services, such as The Garland’s trolley that transports to and from popular tourist destinations, The Balboa Peninsula Trolley in Newport Beach, or West Hollywood’s free nighttime shuttle that runs every 15 minutes.

San Diego
Launched in April 2018, The Hopper™ in San Diego is a new integrated transportation and attraction service that provides visitors and locals alike the opportunity to “hop on and off” at any of six iconic stops: Old Town, Little Italy, Balboa Park, Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village and Embarcadero. Using a similar designated boarding model, Old Town Trolley’s narrated sightseeing experiences have showcased the best of San Diego and Coronado. For oceanic exploration, discover the sights of San Diego Harbor on San Diego’s Speed Boat Adventure Tours or board one of San Diego’s Hornblower cruise ships. Adventurers can take in bird’s-eye views of San Diego at Torrey Pines Gliderport, America’s most popular coastal soaring site.

TAGS: