Bicycle touring is a great, green way to explore the country. From cycling the West Coast, touring New England, or braving the trek across the U.S., there are destinations for the beginner or seasoned cyclist. Many companies specialize in guided tours that plan your routes, meals and accommodations - or go at it alone with a group of friends.
Wild Heart Cycling offers sustainable cycling tours in Oregon, California and Vermont with guides who plan your meals, accommodations (often camping) and make local purchases.
Adventure Cycling offers guided tours, both self contained (you carry all of your own gear) or supported (a van carries your belongings).
Should you prefer to plan your own trip, Adventure Cycling also offers detailed bike touring maps of some of the most popular routes in the U.S. I'd highly recommend their maps as they include the most bike friendly routes, campsites, bike shops, points of interest and topography.
To cover more distance, consider working in a ride on Amtrak to get home from your tour. It's a great way to see the countryside and relax in comfort after a few days in the saddle. And they're bike friendly!
There are also hundreds of regional bike tours, allowing you to explore your own backyard. The East Bay Bicycle Coalition (California) hosts a Build It Green Home Tour bike trip which tours some 17 homes in the area for green home ideas.
Have you ever toured by bike? If so, share your experience!
Outside Magazine Gear Guide for Bike Touring