SAN DIEGO ( TheStreet) -- If you have the summer doldrums or just need a break from the grind, a luxury biking tour may be just the pace-slowing antidote. VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, founded in 1971 and billed as America's oldest bicycling vacation company, specializes in deluxe bike vacations.
The company, ranked the No. 2 tour operator in the world in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for 2014, has put together some unique offerings.
You can ride through a forested landscape of gently rolling hills in Mississippi, where battles were raged and peace was won, along the Natchez Trace Parkway, carved through wilderness by Native Americans and pioneer settlers. Or through Vermont's verdant rolling hills and lush valleys, stopping to discover villages that seem frozen in time, cruising through covered bridges and learning about maple syrup production and sampling locally made artisanal cheeses.
But the tours aren't cheap, costing anywhere from $1,745 to more than $2,000 for a five- or six-night trip. For that price you get all accommodations, gear, bicycles, many meals, two expert local trip leaders and unique sightseeing.
"This is how I see it. It's not about money. I want our people going home thinking 'My life is a little different having just returned from a VBT vacation,'" says Gregg Marston, president of VBT. "It's about stimulating your senses, it's about you tasting something you don't forget, smelling something you don't forget. It's about listening to the Pacific Ocean and putting your feet in the Pacific Ocean. On bike tours you taste, feel, smell and touch, stimulating your senses and creating a memory that lasts a lifetime."