Region: Central Coast / Filter: city


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As one travels from San Luis Obispo towards the coast  you will see a sign for the town of Avila. In addition to a lovely white sand beach, nostalgic pier, surf boutiques and restaurants, this pretty little beach town is also popular for its Bob Jones Bike Trail.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Leave Solvang and rejoin Hwy 246, following signs for Santa Barbara. This is another gorgeous region of horse ranches and neighboring vineyards. The towns are small, charming and country-western: Santa Inez, Los Olivos, Ballard—all with a main street, a few charming shops and re... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Believe everything you ever read about the beauties of the Big Sur Coastline: it is truly sensational. However, hope for clear weather, because on foggy or rainy days an endless picture of stunning seascapes becomes a tortuous drive around precipitous cliff roads. If you choose only o... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Leaving Lompoc, follow signs for Buelleton, which has the redoubtable fame of being the home of split-pea soup—you come to Andersen’s Pea Soup Restaurant just before Hwy 246 crosses Hwy 101. The menu has more to offer than soup, but it is still possible to sample a bowl of... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Cambria was once a whaling station and a dairy town that shipped butter and cheese to San Francisco. Now the main town lies away from the coast and encompasses two streets of art galleries, gift shops, antique stores, and restaurants. Wonderful hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts can ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Carmel lies just a few miles beyond Pacific Grove and there is no more perfect way to arrive than along the famous Seventeen-Mile Drive, which meanders around the Monterey Peninsula coastline between the two towns. The route is easy to find as the road that leads to the “drive&r... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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When fog settles on the coastside, sun seekers travel approximately thirteen miles east along the scenic Carmel Valley Road into Carmel. In addition to a beautiful drive through some magnificent horse country, your journey will be rewarded by the charming, intimate country village of ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Ten miles south of Año Nuevo you come to the cluster of houses that makes up the town of Davenport. Fronting Hwy 1 is the New Davenport Cash Store, which sells everything from handmade jewelry to local pottery and whose restaurant offers a varied and healthful menu with excelle... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

In Felton you can board an old steam train of the Roaring Camp Railroad, a train that winds up into a redwood forest. The train leaves several times a day from its main station in Felton (except on Christmas) along narrow-gauge tracks built to carry lumber out of the forest. The condu... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Los Olivos has a main street, a few charming shops, restaurants, and the ever-present horse and feed store.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The main sightseeing attractions in Monterey are in two areas: the old town and the marina, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row. A bayside walking and biking path runs from the Marina beside Cannery Row to the Aquarium and beyond to the adjoining town of Pacific Grove. A fun... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Monterey is all hustle and bustle (especially in summer) and it is nice to continue on to the neighboring, much quieter town of Pacific Grove. To reach Pacific Grove, follow the road in front of the Aquarium up the hill and make a right turn onto Ocean View Boulevard, a lovely drive l... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Once known for cattle ranches and grain fields and historically as a mineral springs resort area, the Paso Robles region has a rich history of winemaking and grape growing—the first grapes were introduced to the region by Spanish conquistadors and the Franciscan missionaries and win... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

This sleepy farming community has not changed much in the last 100 years. A grocery store selling half baked Garlic Artichoke Bread and a restaurant serving world famous Artichoke Soup are two reasons to stop by.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

About 10 miles south of San Luis Obispo, Hwy 101 returns to the coast where you take the exit for Hwy 1 and Pismo Beach, a 12-mile arc of white-sand beach backed in part by dunes. This is the home of the famous Pismo clam, which has unfortunately in recent years become rather scarce. ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Leave Santa Cruz heading south on Hwy 1 and travel for about 20 miles to Hwy 129 where you head east. Continue on the 129 for approximately 16 miles through small farms and rolling hills to San Juan Bautista and its most attractive mission. There is far more to see here than just an o... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

In San Juan Capistrano you will find the old mission. Watch for signs directing you off the freeway two blocks to Mission San Juan Capistrano. This mission, founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1776, has been carefully restored to give you a glimpse of what life was like in the early d... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Locals use the acronym of San Luis Obispo as its endearing name of reference, “SLO” which perhaps is also a reflection of the wonderful low key ambiance.  Set in a beautiful region of rolling hills just a few miles distant from the Pacific Ocean, both ranching and agriculture lay... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

san simeon historic town and park (15)

The one street historic town of San Simeon is on the east side and just north of the entrance to the fanciful Hearst Castle off Hwy 1. Like the castle, Julia Morgan is responsible for the design of many of the buildings in town. The largest building with its distinctive bell towers w... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Just outside Santa Inez, Hwy 246 merges with Hwy 154, which takes you through the heart of this beautiful landscape and the lush green valley gives way to hills as the road climbs through the mountains up the San Marcos Pass. Rounding the crest of the pass, you see Santa Barbara stret... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Downtown Santa Cruz, was badly damaged in the 1989 earthquake, but a newly revived Pacific Avenue exhibits all the laid-back charm the town is noted for, with outdoor cafés, a variety of shops and galleries, and numerous street performers. Years ago this busy seaside town, with its b... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Leave Solvang and rejoin Hwy 246, following signs for Santa Barbara. This is another gorgeous region of horse ranches and neighboring vineyards. The towns are small, charming and country-western: Santa Inez, Los Olivos, Ballard—all with a main street, a few charming shops and re... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From Buelleton it is just a short drive into Solvang, a town settled originally by Danish immigrants, which has now become a rather Disneyfied version of how the perfect Danish village should look—a profusion of thatch-like roofs, painted towers, gaily colored windmills, and cobbles... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended