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Central Coast Road Trip Report

Tempe, AZ
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10,289 posts
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Central Coast Road Trip Report

First of all, thanks for the helpful replies while I was planning this trip. Everything turned out perfectly.

Day 1 - We (gf and myself) depart from Tempe, AZ (where it was 112 degrees the day before) at 6am, and arrive at the Marina Beach Motel in Santa Barbara 8 hours later. This place has free bikes to use, so we grabbed a couple of those and hit the beach bike path.

Went down to the wharf and had a late lunch at SB Shellfish Company. This place was awesome, and pretty cheap. Crab, chowder, and wine and I was happy. After, we cruised down the rest of the beach path, then retreated back to the room. Dropped the bikes, and his State Street for happy hour, and were done by about 11pm.

Day 2 - Our truck was turning over a bit slowly the previous afternoon, so we took it to O'Reilly's where it was determined we needed a new battery. Not that big of a deal, and it only took an hour out of our time. Hit the road, stopped for some ceviche in Pismo, and arrived in Cambria later that afternoon. Checked into the Bluebird Inn, then went next door to Indigo for some wine.

We had scheduled the Hearst Castle tour for 5pm, so we made our way over to Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill for a quick snack of oysters and more wine. Off to the castle. The scale of this place was amazing. Headed back to town, stopped at the beach to watch the sunset, had a wonderful dinner at Robin's, then back to the room.

Day 3 - This was the day I was looking forward to the most, the drive up Big Sur. First was the Elephant Seal Rookery. Those animals are entertaining, and there was a guide/docent there answering questions. We took our time on the drive, about 4 hours, stopping along the way several times, and once for a nice picnic lunch. We then stopped at Point Lobos, and hiked around for 2 hours, seeing the sea lions and all manner of sea critters in the tide pools. My gf absolutely loved this. We had another small picnic there, and took off.

We headed into town, and checked into the Red Roof Inn. It was a very busy weekend there with the Concours, and even our low end motel had Ferraris, Aston Martins, and Mercedes in the parking lot. Beautiful cars everywhere. We had already ate, so we hit Cannery Row for drinks. Ended up at Sly McFly's, which was very lively with a band playing.

Day 4 - Fast forward to the next morning, and we hit up the Aquarium. Incredible. We were able to see feedings of the penguins, and also at the Open Sea exhibit. Watching a school of 20,000 darting sardines eat was pretty spectacular. We tried to go whale watching afterward, but everyone was done for the day due to choppy conditions.

So, we decided to hit up Sandbar & Grill. Another excellent meal for a very reasonable price. Had oysters, sand dabs, and a crab salad sandwich. We walked around for a bit afterward, then went to the room to relax for a bit before the drinking for the evening started again while watching the sunset at Carmel City Beach. Cannery Row for more drinks after that, and a taxi ride back to the motel.

Day 5 - Heading to wine country, Paso Robles. We took the inland route back south, stopped a couple times, and arrive in Paso Robles in the late morning. I had recommendations for wineries, so we got right to it after checking into Adelaide Inn. First off was Le Cuvier. Wow. It was so good, I joined the club and took a bottle with me. Next was Adelaida, then Stanger/Poalillo, then Proulx. I was having a great time by now, and had a growing gathering of wine in the backseat.

The girls at Poalillo recommended Robert's for dinner, so we decided to walk. It was only 1 mile, but it was not a scenic mile and it took longer than expected after all that wine. Oh well. We arrived, and dinner was amazing and also a very good value. Taxi cab took us home for the evening.

Day 6 - This was my birthday, so after checking out we went back to the wine tasting. First up was Venteux, where I grabbed a couple more bottles. Then was Turley, where the very nice lady pouring served me everything on the list and more. It was an excellent start to the day. After that we hit Cypher, and Farmstand 46 for lunch. At this point it was time to head back to Santa Barbara.

We got to SB and checked into the Inn at East Beach. The rooms were a little bigger, although slightly stuffy during the day, but I liked the location of Marina Beach Motel better. Not a huge deal, and we walked down to the wharf for another meal at the SB Shellfish Company. We really liked that place. Lobster, wine, then State Street for all manners of drinking. Drunken stumble back to the motel along the beach was quite nice.

Day 7 - Woke up, packed, and headed back to the desert that is Tempe, AZ. Overall, a fantastic trip. Thanks again, everyone.

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Central Coast Road Trip Report

Great trip report! Thanks!

So. Cal
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2. Re: Central Coast Road Trip Report

FUN read! Thanks!

Pacific Grove...
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for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
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3. Re: Central Coast Road Trip Report

Great report! Glad you had such a good time.

4. Re: Central Coast Road Trip Report

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