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  • Supun Edirisinghe
  • "Hidden gems on the drive from L.A. to the Bay"

Supun Edirisinghe

Carson (California), California

Hidden gems on the drive from L.A. to the Bay

I've driven from Los Angeles to the San Francisco a million times. I usually stop for gas and food some where in between Buttonwillow and Santa Nella and just keep going.

Lately I've been wondering about what I'm missing out on. Any suggestions on what interesting places and things to do you think are worth a short look-see en-route? 

thanks

PS:
Any little gems along the I-5? All the answers below are a great reminder to take the 101 from time to time. I'll still probably still take the 5 a lot and any little thing along there would be appreciated since that'll be the way I go most of the time. Any fruit stands? little restaurants where the staff is especially nice or a an area where it's nice to rest

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  • Jim Geier

    top answer by

    If you have traveled between Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay many times on the central coast, I-5 route, slow down a little, and take the coast highway, Highway 101 to Santa Barbara, then Highway 1 up to Santa Cruz. Along the way, you will go through Vandenberg Air Force Base, past Santa Maria, through San Luis Obispo, then you pass close to Hearst Castle, (definitely worth a side trip), and along one of the most beautiful scenic coastal highways in the world. Before you get to Monterey, stop at Nepenthe Restaurant at Big Sur. This is a stunningly beautifu place to stop and have a tasty lunch and take in an unbelievably dramatic scene. Then on to Monterey, Carmel By the Sea, and Santa Cruz (the brussels sprout capital of the world).

    I understand being in a hurry and taking I-5 and have done it many times. The coast is rich with beautiful scenery, and every time I have driven the coast, I love it and do not regret the extra time spent in such beautiful scenery.

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    • Supun E.

      Supun E.

      Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to take the 101 up next time. I haven't been up that way in years · (0 likelikes)

    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      Great suggestions--Hearst is one of my favorite attractions! · (0 likelikes)

    • Carina C.

      Carina C.

      +1 on stopping at Nepenthe! Few views can rival it! · (0 likelikes)

    • Eoghan V.

      Eoghan V.

      Looking forward to taking this route in november , coming all the way from Ireland for the road trip · (1 likelikes)

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    1. Los Angeles (city)
    2. Santa Barbara (city)
    3. Santa Cruz (city)
    4. Vandenberg Air Force Base (attraction)
    5. Santa Maria (attraction)
    6. San Luis Obispo (city)
    7. Hearst Castle (attraction)
    8. Monterey (city)
    9. Nepenthe Restaurant (restaurant)
    10. Big Sur (city)
    11. Monterey (city)
    12. Carmel By the Sea (city)

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  • Courtney Robinson

    answered by


    I absolutely LOVE Cambria. It's a funny, quirky little town on the coast that reminds me of the fictional Vermont town that was the setting of The Newhart Show. So many funny, eccentric characters here--it really feels like a sit-com come to life. Cambriaimage from christiekiley.wordpress.comI stayed at the Burton Inn and thought it was great--the rooms were very big and the tub had a great Jacuzzi. The owner also has two adorable little dogs who I was tempted to steal.

    Burton InnI would also try Lombardi's for dinner. Not a to-die-for meal but reliable and decent.

    I also really liked this little English-themed tea room called The Tea Cozy. It looks like kind of place where Charles and Camilla might share a spot of tea on a rainy day. Good food, although light--all finger sandwiches and that kind of thing (don't expect hearty burgers or anything like that).

    The Tea Cozy My favorite store there is a yarn shop called Ball & Skein & More. The owner's name is Oz and he's a riot. He's a very nice guy and a total character who's really worth meeting.



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    • Carina C.

      Carina C.

      LOVE these recommendations. I do this drive about every other month to and from school, and my final big drive home will be sometime in May- DEFINITELY going to be making a stop in Cambria! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Jeff Mills

    answered by

    Besides the amazing drive up Hwy 1 alone, some of the things I think are worthwhile to check out.


    Depending on how long you want your stops to be and if you want to give wine a shot, stop by the Lompoc Wine Ghetto and do a little tasting. One of my favorites there is Black Sheep Finds.

    Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur State Park and the Golden Arch Door. It is beautiful especially if you can see it near sunset, it is amazing. If you like photography, it is one of the best photos you can get.

    In San Luis Obispo, if you want a great sandwich place to swing in, check out High Street Market & Deli - the prefect California Deli.

    Carmel By the Sea is a great town to just sop in and spend a couple hours walking around.


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    • Supun E.

      Supun E.

      thanks. the Carmel By the Sea recommendations is a good one. I probably can't stop for wine as I'm usually driving solo. cheers · (0 likelikes)

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    5. High Street Market & Deli (restaurant)
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  • Tina Aoun

    answered by

    Hey Supun!

    Although it's a little out of the way, it really is worth the time to visit San Simeon - it's a beautiful city with an amazing beach. Also, it's home of the historic Hearst Castle which you MUST check out once in your life. There is a small price to pay to reserve a tour, but it's a must see!

    Also, I stopped by Cambria and grabbed lunch at a really small restaurant with a live band called Indigo Moon Cafe (1980 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428).

    Here are a few iPhone photos from my trip:

    Below is the indoor pool at the Hearst Castle which is made with 24k gold! Stunning!

    Hearst Castle


    Below is the outdoor pool at the Hearst Castle. Absolutely incredible. Hearst Castle


    Here's the only photo I had from the Indigo Moon Cafe. Through the window you can see the live band and the very cozy, backyard style seating.

    Cambria

    Hope this helps and hope you enjoy these places if you get the chance to go!

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    • Supun E.

      Supun E.

      please do come back to let us know what the name of the restaurant when you remember it · (1 likelikes)

    • Tina A.

      Tina A.

      I'm back! I found the name of the cafe in Cambria! It's called the Indigo Moon Cafe. Here is the address if you make the time to visit: 1980 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428 Enjoy! · (1 likelikes)

    • Supun E.

      Supun E.

      Thanks for the address. Indigo cafe is now in the system if you want to recommend it using the @ tag. Cheers · (0 likelikes)

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  • Clément Rousselle

    answered by

    Have you tried to take the 1 ? This is the most beautifull road ! Stop at Big Sur and Morro Bay ;)

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  • Bo Nobel

    answered by

    McWay Falls http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McWay_Falls

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