Sounds like a good trip.
The best part of the coast is between Cambria and Monterey. Heading south on that section means you will be next to the cliffs for a better view (or worse view, if you don't like heights
I think it is $5 now to cross the Golden Gate, so be prepared with a bunch of dollar bills for the bridge tolls. If you are coming all that way, it is worth it. The other bridges have tolls too, but I think they all charge going into San Francisco.
Just north of the bridge, there are a few cool things to see:
- There is a visitor's center that shows how the bridge was made, and lets you get up close to a piece of the huge cable that carries the weight of the bridge.
- There is an old battery (military cannon outpost) on the north side of the entrance to SF Bay. You can walk around and see the overlook, but the guns are gone.
- In the Muir Woods, there is a little Bed & Breakfast called The Pelican Inn, which has a fairly authentic English pub. Fairly expensive place to stay, but away from crowds.
- In the Marin Headlands, there is an old military base that has been converted into a youth hostel (http://www.hiusa.org/
) which is a cheap place to stay. There are other good hostels, but your bike will be pretty safe at that one.