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#mycaliforniaroadtrip: Santa Barbara to Monterey

Day 4

Day 4 was a big driving day. You can see our starting and ending point on the map. A lot of great things were found along the way!

We started day 4 in the best possible way – driving through Santa Barbara Wine County! Breathtaking views overlook valleys and mountains studded with ancient oaks, brilliant flowers and magnificent vineyards. Driving leisurely through the country allows one to fully appreciate the winemaking experience.

Our first stop was at Koehler Winery. With award-winning wines, Koehler offers a quant, personal experience. They are a smaller vineyard that makes 5,000 cases a year and everything is grown on the property.

The next winery we visited was Firestone Vineyard. Established in 1972 as Santa Barbara County’s first estate winery, Firestone Vineyard specialized in Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. We really enjoyed their Rose.

Firestone Vineyard has some BEAUTIFUL views!

After a little wine tasting we headed to Cambria for lunch and whale watching. Cambria is a quaint little town. We ordered lunch to go from Linn’s Fruit Bin and then drove to find a spot to look for whales. What began as simple fare based on fresh fruits and vegetables from Santa Rosa Creek and neighbors’ farms in 1989 has grown some over the years, but Linn’s Restaurant in Cambria still retains it’s country roots with contemporary American recipes, unsurpassed hospitality, and value.

If you love jam, this is the place for you. All made locally.

After our sandwich and dessert bars were ready, we headed to the local beach and enjoyed our lunch with great views. Cambria is a great place to go whale watching – we didn’t see any on this trip but still fun!

P.S. – our turkey sandwich was total kick ass!

After Cambria we started our scenic view along highway 1. We stopped at Ano Nuevo State Reserve first. This reserve is the largest mainland breeding colony in North America for elephant seals. It was pretty incredible to see hundreds of elephant seals basking in the sun taking a nap.

The next part of the drive was probably my favorite legs of our trip. We drove up the Big Sur coastline along Highway 1 and the views were absolutely stunning. This narrow strip of paradise, ninety miles long and twenty wide, holds fascination around every bend.

“The beauty that is focused here and indeed visibly and overwhelmingly surrounds us as we look at the mountains and down to the sea below–transcends time. Beauty is always timeless. Beauty is forever.” Rosalind Sharpe Wall ~ A Wild Coast and Lonely

I mean. Seriously. Wow.

There were a lot of great twists and turns along the drive. I even got a little car sick but we stopped a lot to take pictures so that helped alot!

Check out these views!!

The Bixby Bridge. If you’ve seen car commercials in the past 20 years or so, you’ve seen this wonder of engineering. Built in 1932, it’s integral to passage along Highway 1. It’s an amazing view – 714-foot marvel 260 feet in the air.

We ended our day in Monterey. More on that tomorrow!

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