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  1. #1

    Default Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz

    Hi, my girlfriend and I are going to be traveling from San Diego to San Francisco in mid July. Most of our trip is going to center around the area from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz traveling along Highway 1. We've completed the entire East Coast along 95 last year from the bottom of Florida to Mid-Coast Maine and are both very excited about exploring a piece of the west coast. We've already looked at alot of the highlights between Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz but I was looking for any insight that I could get that I'm not going to find on the tourist websites. The Channel Islands look beautiful and we're going to be sure to stop there. Big Sur is also going to be a highlight. We'll be tenting and staying in hotels depending on the conditions at the time and where we are when we decide to stop for the night. We don't like large tourist traps and we prefer the quiet beaches and the scenic views to the party atmosphere of many coastal destinations. Also, where would be the best places to get off the highway and go see the redwood forests and some of the wineries that California is well known for. I appreciate any feedback the members of this sight could give me.

    Gerard

  2. #2
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default

    The Giant Artichoke restaurant in Castroville.
    It was time Magazines restaurant of the year a few decades back.
    All kinds of ways they have prepaired artichokes.
    Good and reasonable priced, casual.
    Worth a look and a taste.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I love it when....

    Quote Originally Posted by gerard.h View Post
    Most of our trip is going to center around the area from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz traveling along Highway 1.
    Gerard, It is so great when roadtrippers choose a relatively short distance to wander and explore. Lots of cool stuff along that route!

    So, here would be some of my picks, in no rational order:

    Cayucos is a cute little beach town -- still reasonably priced and calm. Great walking/fising pier and provides a nice place to hang out.


    (Photo by Roadie)
    This waterfall is unique along the western coast -- falling directly into the surf here is more info about this location.

    Moss Landing and Phil's Fish Market -- where the local's go
    We don't like large tourist traps and we prefer the quiet beaches and the scenic views to the party atmosphere of many coastal destinations. Also, where would be the best places to get off the highway and go see the redwood forests and some of the wineries that California is well known for
    The central coast is just recently coming into its own as a wine growing region. There is a brand new guide book to this area and I will be writing the review later in the month (I haven't received the book yet). You really don't reach any redwoods until you pass Santa Cruz going north. There are a couple of stand-alone coastal redwood groves south of Santa Cruz, but you have to know where to look. Most of what folks consider to be coastal redwoods are north of San Francisco.

    Here is a thread with several more ideas

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-05-2007 at 01:40 PM. Reason: added a link to a thread

  4. Default let me add a few places...

    Here are a few of my favorites -- I'll ignore some of the more well known ones (Hearst Castle, etc.)

    Channel Islands National Park -- You can take a day boat out of Ventura harbour over to several of the islands. The largest island is Santa Cruz, which has a pretty good campground on it, and has water at the campground (the other islands don't...). Campground at Scorpion Bay is about 1/4-1/2 mile walk from the boat dock, so you have to carry or pull all your stuff. For a day trip, there are a couple of kayak outfitters who work with Island Packers (the concessionaire for the boat trip) and you can pick up the kayak at Scorpion Bay and then explore the coast, including a huge ocean-facing cavern, only accessible by boat.

    Solvang. For the Danish pastries. Enough said.

    Jalama Beach, south of Lompoc. This is reached by about a 14 mile winding 2 lane road through the hills and farmland. But the beach has nothing else around it, other than the county beach & campground. Snackbar, cold water showers, and first-come-first served at the campground. Big surf... on one of the more isolated beaches south of San Francisco.

    Surf Beach, west of Lompoc. This is right in the middle of Vandenberg Air Force Base, and besides being a nice public beach, is one of the few places in the country where you can sit out on the beach and look at space launch gantries in both directions.

    Casmalia -- the Original Hitching Post. Really really good food, in an old western bar. There's a branch restaurant in San Ynez that was used in the movie "Sideways" -- but this is the original restaurant. Check out the stickers on the bar from all the space launch crews which have come through and have had a traditional pre-launch dinner here...

    Guadalupe Dunes -- Big sand dunes and not very visited. Look around, you might some of the old Cecil B. DeMille movie sets from the 20's which have been buried by the moving sand dunes coming back to the surface. They filmed a bunch of silent movies including many of the Valentino "Shiek" movies here.


    Elephant Seal Colony at Pedros Blancas. BIG (volkswagon sized) seals along the beach.

    Wineries in several places. San Ynez of course, and near Monterey. But the big new concentration is in Paso Robles -- like 120+ of them now.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-05-2007 at 01:39 PM. Reason: added a photo

  5. #5

    Default Thanks

    Those were some really good suggestions, and definantly along the lines of what I was looking for. We're definantly stopping at the Channel Islands and I had noticed Solvang in my internet browsing and think it looks worth a visit. I'll be looking alot more into the other places mentioned. I really appreciate the feedback.

  6. #6

    Default Last minute camping

    I looking for any advice people could give me on securing a campsite last minute. No more than 2 or 3 days in advance. It's going to be in the middle of July which I know is an extremely busy month. I'm sure some road trippers have some tricks/techniques they use when they need to get a campsite last minute. I know that reserving one a month or more in advance is ideal, but our stops are going to be fairly impromtue and our travel intinerary is very fluid. We'll be on Highway 1 in California from Santa Barbara to San Francisco. The option to stay at hotels will also be there for us.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Get Paige R. Penland's book

    Quote Originally Posted by gerard.h View Post
    We'll be on Highway 1 in California from Santa Barbara to San Francisco.
    There are some little-known campgrounds set back from the highway a little (all of the beach campgrounds will likely be full) and Paige's book is probably the best source for finding these places.

    Mark

  8. #8

    Default Thanks

    That looks like an ideal resource. It's in the mail now. I appreciate the assistance.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    234

    Default my 2 cents

    I've always wanted to camp in Limekiln State park in the Big Sur. I've done the short hike to Limekiln falls last year. It was spectacular then. 2007 is a bad waterfall season so far. Still, all the campsites are near the creek & you can see it join the ocean a few feet away.

    It is not unknown or uncommon, but I loved the moonstone drive boardwalk(about a mile) in Cambria.

    My personal favorites:
    Montana de Oro SP
    Morro Bay SP
    A 10 min hike down to Partington cove
    If you have the time, pull over at most of the viewpoints. Everything is unique!

    Enjoy your trip!
    cool

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Pelican Feeding

    ...And I will add another one. There is a park across the highway from the entrance to the Hearst Castle (Willilam R Hearst Memorial State Beach) and once in a while the brine shrimp population explodes just off the beach in this location and I have twice seen a pelican feeding frenzy here. It is amazing to watch. I was standing on the pier and birds were diving repeatedly on the bait school between me and the beach.

    Mark

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