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The Central Coast is the Original Road Trip!
The Central Coast is a great place to vacation!
When road trippin’ from San Francisco to Los Angeles looking for a Wellness Experience…
Arrive at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and drive to Santa Cruz County (75 mi/120 km; 1 hour 25 minutes).
Santa Cruz County
• Move over, hot stone massage; there’s a new treatment in town, and it can only be found at the Spa at Chaminade, built high on a scenic mountain ridge. The Hot Shell Massage uses all‐natural Tiger Clam seashells and other elements from the ocean along with a mixture of purified water, salt and lavender essential oils. The heat from the shells penetrates muscles, helping achieve a deep state of relaxation. The shells are also used in various deep‐tissue and effleurage massage strokes to soothe tired muscles. This new trend in spa treatment is found exclusively at the Spa at Chaminade, which offers a menu that reflects the Santa Cruz County landscape: vineyard, farm, mountain and ocean‐themed treatments. A signature scent has also been custom‐designed for the Chaminade Resort, bringing guests the scents of aloe and the sea. Guests of the spa have access to Chaminade’s hiking trails, pool, tennis courts and gym during their visit. www.santacruzca.org
Overnight in Santa Cruz County.
Drive to Monterey County (42 mi/68 km; 47 minutes). Recommended drive: Hwy 1 South.
• Rooftop hot tubs overlooking Monterey Bay and serene tropical gardens are some of the picturesque environments that calm the soul naturally in Monterey County spas. They pride themselves on pleasing even the most discerning of customers in this world‐class spa destination. The highly skilled and educated practitioners hold certifications from locally acclaimed programs, such as Big Sur’s Esalen Institute, which boasts natural hot springs and baths perched on the cliffsover the Pacific Ocean. Treatments are available in Shiatsu and Reiki as well as cranial‐sacral therapy, aromatherapy, and Swedish, sport and La Stone massage. Several types of facials, body treatments and beauty services like Vichy showers and hydrotherapy in specialized tubs are also offered. Truly a heaven on earth experience. www.esalen.org
Overnight in Monterey County.
Morning: drive to San Luis Obispo County (145 mi/233 km; 2 hours 20 minutes). Recommended drive: 68 East & 101 South.
San Luis Obispo County
• Relax in California’s natural escape by soaking in one of San Luis Obispo County’s hot mineral springs. This type of rejuvenation began as a healing practice with ancient Egyptians and Romanroots and continues to serve our contemporary worldwide culture. The water found in the natural mineral springs are rich in sulfur compounds and trace minerals, which assist healing in a variety of ways. San Luis Obispo County offers visitors two distinct regions in which to experience the natural hot springs. In the northern portion of the county, the Paso Robles Inn offers guests a relaxing stay in their choice of Spa Rooms, complete with a private hot springs mineral spa tub. And since the inn is conveniently located in Paso Robles Wine County, your relaxing experience will be complete with a glass of local wine. In the southern portion of the county, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort offersguests the full wellness experience. Complete with mineral springs, yoga classes, and a meditation garden, this resort is a true escape. www.sanluisobispocounty.com
Overnight in San Luis Obispo County.
Continue to Pismo Beach (13 mi/21 km; 15 minutes). Recommended drive: 101 South.
• Pismo Beach’s newest hotel, the Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa, is an elegant all‐villa resort. The La Bonne Vie Spa is a member of the Preferred Boutique Hotels. The Sea Venture Resort and Spa is one of the premier California beachfront hotels, offering luxury accommodations and a full range of body treatments, such as deep‐tissue massage, aromatherapy, Swedish massage, sea salt body scrub, seaweed wrap, essential oils face wrap, and more. www.classiccalifornia.com
Drive to Santa Barbara (94 mi/151 km; 1 hour 30 minutes).
• Santa Barbara is famous for its active, outdoor lifestyle and its vast array of recreational opportunities. But exercise is only part of the equation. The body needs pampering after exertion. And for that, Santa Barbara is a dream‐come‐true. Rich in health and wellness options, from yoga classes to fitness clubs, the county is a genuine paradise of day spas. Treatments range from every style of massage to wraps, chocolate scrubs, acupressure in water, and beyond. Santa Barbara offers both day and overnight spas in all price ranges. If you are interested in a tasteful hotel spa, make your reservations at: Harbor View Inn, Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, Bacara Resort and Spa, orFour Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. www.santabarbaraca.com
Overnight in Santa Barbara.
Drive to Los Angeles (95 mi/150 km; 1 hour 40 minutes). Recommended drive: 101 South & 405 South.
Depart from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Deals on a great Central Coast getaway may be found here. For example:
Cypress Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea
Champagne upon arrival
Mention this ad on the CCTC website when booking and receive a bottle of champagne. Our thank you gift to you!
Roaring Camp Railroad Season Pass
For $70, you get a season pass to BOTH the Redwood Forest Steam Train and the Santa Cruz Beach Train!
Click on photo to enlarge
Arrive in Los Angeles.Drive north on 405/101 for overnight accommodations in Oxnard (62 mi/100 km; 1 hour10 minutes)
Half Day in Oxnard and Ventura• Central Coast wine tasting begins in Oxnard, just an hour north of L.A., at Herzog Wine Cellars, the nation’s largest producer of kosher wines, and home to award‐winning Mediterranean‐inspired seasonal cuisine at Tierra Sur Restaurant. Herzog is the starting point for the Ventura County Wine Trail, which includes a stop at the newly opened, picturesque Rancho Ventavo Cellars Tasting Roomat Oxnard’s Heritage Square. Across the brick walkway, La Dolce Vita Restaurant is a great spot for lunch, dinner and monthly cooking classes. Stop by the California Welcome Center in Oxnard to pick up the Ventura County Wine Trail map, and recommendations on great local restaurants. www.visitoxnard.com
•An array of restaurants dishing up delectable delicacies satisfying every craving while in Ventura. You’ll find menus from all corners of the globe—California, the Mediterranean, Thailand, France,India, Ireland, and Argentina, just to name a few! In addition to these restaurants, you’ll findbakeries, coffee shops and many wine bars for tasting and shopping and other necessary indulgences. Wine Bars: Wine Rack, The Westside Wine Cellar, Paradise Pantry. Restaurants with seating capacity for 50+ people: Jonathan’s, The Sidecar, The Greek, Tutti’s. http://www.ventura‐usa.com
Continue north on Hwy 101 to Santa Barbara (28 mi/45 km; 30 minutes).Santa Barbara
• Santa Barbara is uniquely self‐sustaining when it comes to food, and offers a truly regional culinary experience. Fresh, seasonal produce is readily available at daily farmers’ markets and local grocery stores. Fresh seafood from the Santa Barbara Channel is served up in local eateries, and you can even buy seafood right off the boat at the Santa Barbara Harbor. Learn how to eat like a locavore (eating food grown within a 100‐mile radius of where you live) on a guided culinary tour of Santa Barbara with market forays. After collecting ingredients at the Fishermen’s Market, Farmers’ Market, and local stores, Slow‐Foodie guide Laurence Hauben will teach you how you can prepare dishes easily at home. The experience concludes with a delicious meal paired to local wines. Tours are customizable. http://www.santabarbaraca.com
Overnight in Santa Barbara.
Morning: drive to Santa Ynez Valley/Solvang (35 mi/56 km; 50 minutes).*Recommended to take Hwy 154/San Marcos Pass into Santa Ynez Valley to experience breathtaking natural vistas.Santa Ynez
• When touring and tasting in the scenic Santa Ynez Valley, visitors quickly work up an appetite. Now, there are four 4‐diamond properties in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s famed wine country—the Petersen Village Inn & Café Provence in Solvang, with charming antique‐filled accommodations; the Ballard Inn & Restaurant, with chef/owner Budi Kazali’s fusion cuisine; Santa Ynez Inn, offering Victorian elegance and Chef Heather Henry’s gourmet breakfasts; and luxe dinners at Willows Restaurant at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez. http://www.santaynezvalleyvisit.comSolvang
• New this year, Master Chef Bradley Ogden brings his James Beard Award‐winning culinary expertise (including One Market San Francisco) to Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley wine country with Root 246, a restaurant owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Ogden’s newest restaurant features his signature farm‐to‐table gourmet dishes and extensive selection of local wines from the heart of Solvang. Individuals and groups welcome. http://www.solvangusa.com
Overnight in Solvang.
Half Day in Solvang• Solvang: a walking smorgasbord. More than a dozen wine tasting rooms and 30 charming eateries and authentic bakeries dot this undeniably Danish‐themed town. Food lovers enjoy a diverse array of Danish, American and ethnic cuisine from gourmet to economical cafes. Scandinavian fare is readily available, including Danish aebleskiver and pastries, as well as smorgasbords. http://www.solvangusa.com
Drive to Santa Maria (36 mi/58 km; 37 minutes).
*Recommended to take Hwy 154 to Zaca Station Road. Follow the Foxen Canyon wine trail through the Santa Ynez Wine Country/Santa Maria Valley. This drive will take you through the patchwork of farms, orchards, and vineyards that encompass the valley.Santa Maria• Savor the sizzling flavors of Santa Maria‐style barbecue at a number of legendary restaurants in the Santa Maria Valley on California’s Central Coast. This 150‐year‐old regional culinary tradition is founded on native ingredients and local methods for a uniquely flavorful dining experience. Local landmark barbecue restaurants include the Hitching Post, Far Western Tavern and Jocko’s, all of which have been going strong for more than 50 years. Today, no Santa Maria‐style barbecue meal is complete without a glass of Pinot Noir or Syrah from the Santa Maria Valley wine country.www.santamariavisitor.comDrive to Pismo Beach (20 mi/32 km; 22 minutes).Pismo Beach
• Splash in for a bowl of award‐winning clam chowder! Splash Café has been a Pismo Beach destination, attracting visitors and locals alike since the late 1980s. With a consistent line of hungry guests stretching around the block, it is easy to understand how this world famous creamy clam chowder has been winning awards for over 10 years. This casual beach‐oriented café has been featured in several national publications and received requests from Gourmet and Bon Appétit magazines for the secret clam chowder recipe. Splash Café serves more than 15,000 gallons of clam chowder a year in their Pismo Beach café! This must‐stop destination is definitely worth the wait. www.classiccalifornia.com
Overnight in Pismo Beach.
Drive north on Hwy 101 to Paso Robles (40 mi/64 km; 42 minutes).Paso Robles Wine Country
• Located along California’s famed Central Coast is Paso Robles Wine Country. In Paso Robles, a day of wine tasting and touring begins with a scenic drive along the country roads. The rolling hills and rural setting make for a truly authentic wine country experience. Guests will discover an array of wineries—many, family owned and operated—with the owner or winemaker greeting you upon arrival. Pack your picnic lunch to enjoy on the winery grounds, chat with the winemaker, and explore California’s fastest‐growing wine region. A long growing season of warm days and cool evenings give rise to vibrantly ripened fruit with dynamic flavor that translate beautifully in your glass of Paso Robles wine. You’ll experience premium wines and discover what makes Paso Robles Wine Country distinctly different. http://www.sanluisobispocounty.comDowntown Paso Robles
• Along your journey through Paso Robles Wine Country, take time to stroll the historic downtown to shop and dine. Boutique stores, restaurants featuring wine country cuisine, and tasting rooms fill the blocks surrounding Paso Robles Downtown City Park. A scene right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, Paso Robles’ downtown completes the picture of your wine tasting experience.
Overnight in Paso Robles.
Drive to Monterey (116 mi/180 km; 1 hour 50 minutes).Monterey
• Monterey County’s Salinas Valley is the home of the “Salad Bowl of the World.” Take an agricultural tour, wine trek or visit the nation’s first (and largest) working organic farm—Earthbound Farms. Take public transit—Grapevine Express—to the organic gardens and 10 wineries on Carmel Valley Road. Wine experts have identified the areas as “uniquely suited to raising high‐grade grapes.”There are 85 vintners and growers with over 40,000 acres to learn about. Year‐round temperate climate, rich soils, and unparalleled infrastructure make this area an ideal place to learn best practices and to discover new ways of preparing Mother Nature’s best. http://www.seemonterey.com
Overnight in Monterey.
Drive to San Francisco (113mi/170 km, 2 hours).Depart from San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
This was a fantastic event created by the SLO County VCB and Sunset Magazine! There are just too many good things to say about this in such limited space that I will just refer you to their website for more info about the first event in 2010 and the exciting plans for 2011:
See the Central Coast on You Tube at:
7 Day Road Trip traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles
DAY 1: Arrive at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and drive to Santa Cruz County (75 mi/120 km; 1 hour 25 minutes).
DAY 2: Santa Cruz County• History doesn’t have to be stuffy! Explore a unique California Historic Landmark: the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk seaside amusement park. http://www.beachboardwalk.com. This park is home to two National Historic Landmarks, the 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster, and the 1911 Looff Carousel. Admission to the park is free (rides are extra), a walking tour brochure costs $3. Interpretive signs are located throughout the family amusement park, and a historium is located upstairs in Neptune’s Kingdom. Enjoy on‐site restaurants, shops, a great beach, and of course, fun rides! http://www.santacruzca.orgOvernight in Santa Cruz County.
DAY 3: Morning: drive to Gilroy in Santa Clara County (43 mi/69 km; 48 minutes).Recommended drive: Hwy 1 and 101 South.Gilroy• Chitactac Adams Heritage County Park offers a unique view into the Native American culture of Santa Clara County before and after the arrival of the Spanish. A self‐guided interpretive walk around the site, including eight stations with interpretive panels, is supplemented by an interpretive shelter with panels and displays. The trail panels include photographs and original art depictingOhlone village life, Ohlone buildings, petroglyphs, Ohlone food processing, and the natural history of Spanish California and Ohlone culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. Open daily year‐round from 8 a.m. to sunset, this four‐acre site is located just minutes from the cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill on Watsonville Road. Admission is free. http://www.gilroyvisitor.orgDrive to Monterey County (40 mi/64 km; 45 minutes).Monterey County• Walk Monterey’s Path of History as a free self‐guided tour of Old Monterey, marked by easy‐to‐distinguish yellow tiles set in the sidewalk. This walk explores the fully restored historic adobes, gardens and sites of interest, such as Colton Hall, where the California Constitution was created and California’s First Theater was built. Guided tours are also available to such sites as the Cooper Molera House and Garden, Custom House, Larkin House, Casa Soberanes. Prior to going on the Path of History, view a short film at the Monterey Maritime Museum that provides a good introduction to the history of the area. http://www.seemonterey.comOvernight in Monterey County.
DAY 4: Morning: drive to Hearst Castle in San Simeon (94 mi/151 km; 2 hours 10 minutes).Recommended drive: Hwy 1 South.Hearst Castle• Set atop the rolling hills in San Simeon is Hearst Castle®, one of the most popular tourist destinations in California. Originally built as the private estate of art collector and publisher W.R. Hearst, today it is recognized worldwide for its glamour, elegance and authentic art pieces. As a California State Park, it is open to the public daily for guided tours. Feel the allure of this fascinating country house, where Mr. Hearst entertained movie stars and business tycoons with lavish dinners, private film screenings and glittering parties. Tour reservations are strongly recommended and may be made by phone at 800‐444‐4445 or online. http://www.hearstcastle.orgContinue on Hwy 1 South/101 South to Pismo Beach (54 mi/87 km; 1 hour).Pismo Beach• The Great American Melodrama & Vaudeville offers visitors an atmosphere of old‐time theater complete with cabaret tables, sawdust on the floor, and honky‐tonk piano music. Professional performers present top‐notch productions of great classic comedies, melodramas and thrillers. www.classiccalifornia.com Overnight in Pismo Beach.
DAY 5: Drive south on Hwy 101 to Santa Maria (20 mi/32 km; 21 minutes).Santa Maira• Hollywood props fly high at the Santa Maria Museum of Flight. Among the museum’s featured movie props are an H1 Racer from The Aviator, a full‐scale Wright glider from Winds of Kitty Hawkand a large radio‐controlled model airplane that flew in the Flight of The Phoenix. Even the museum’s main building is an original wooden hangar that was featured in the movie The Rocketeer. A custom acrobatic plane from The Rocketeer is also featured. However, there’s much more than Hollywood at the heart of this little museum, which features a variety of planes, models, photos, memorabilia and exhibits, including a restored F4 fighter jet that served in Vietnam and a 1929 Fleet biplane. http://www.santamaria.comContinue on 101 South to Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang, (36 mi/58 km; 37 minutes).Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang• Wildling Art Museum’s new facility in Los Olivos is one of eight Santa Ynez Valley Museums. The new building in Los Olivos opened in February 2009 and celebrates the nation’s wild places as seen through the eyes of its finest painters, printmakers, photographers, and sculptors. It is the only museum in the United States with this sole focus. Other Santa Ynez Valley cultural attractions include the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Carriage House in Santa Ynez; History Rooms in Los Alamos and Buellton; Elverhoj Museum of History & Art; Hans Christian Andersen Museum; Vintage Motorcycle Museum and Old Mission Santa Ines Museum in Solvang. http://www.syvva.com• Every summer from June through September, the PCPA’s (Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts)productions of live, professional plays, musicals and comedies are performed under the stars at the Solvang Festival Theater, a 700‐seat venue in the half‐round. Located downtown within easy walking distance of hotels and restaurants, numerous overnight packages and dinner specials are available—for both individuals and groups. http://www.solvangusa.comOvernight in Solvang.
DAY 6: Drive to Santa Barbara (33 mi/53 km; 45 minutes).Recommended drive: 154/San Marcos Pass Rd.Santa Barbara• Don’t miss the Old Mission Santa Barbara, the 10th of the California Missions founded by the Spanish Franciscans and the only one to be continuously occupied and used since its founding in 1786. Self‐guided tours begin in the gift shop and explore eight restored rooms, the cloister gardens, chapel, historic cemetery, and beautiful Moorish fountain and courtyard. Its beautiful setting, unique twin bell towers, and lovely façade have earned it the title “Queen of Missions.” Customizable docent‐led group tours are also available and provide a memorable experience for visitors. http://www.santabarbaraca.comContinue south along the coast to Ventura (28 mi/45 km; 30 minutes).Recommended drive: 101 South.Ventura• The Olivas Adobe is an outstanding example of a two‐story Monterey‐style adobe. Don Raymundo Olivas built the Olivas Adobe after he received a Mexican land grant in 1841. Visitors can tour the Adobe’s lovely garden, which contains 100‐year‐old fuchsias and a grape arbor dating from the early California Mission period. Visitors can also see exhibits of the Olivas family photographs in the parlor and period furnishings in the other rooms. The Adobe’s outside grounds are open daily, with docent‐guided tours on Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. http://www.ventura‐usa.comContinue south along the coast to Oxnard (11 mi/18 km; 15 minutes).Oxnard• Fresh. Fabulous. Retro. You’ll find all three in downtown Oxnard at Fresh & Fabulous Café and Bakery located in the restored Woolworth Building. Retro‐style vinyl booths and ’60s‐style lighting mix with modern‐day healthy treats for a one‐of‐a‐kind dining experience. After your meal, tour the nation’s only Woolworth Museum located adjacent to the café. On display are lunch counter menus and memorabilia, original signs from the ’30s, and a 1940s take‐your‐own photo booth. Journey further back in time to Heritage Square, just three blocks away, to tour an impressive collection of late 19th and early 20th century houses. http://www.visitoxnard.comOvernight in Oxnard.
DAY 7: Drive to Los Angeles (62 mi/100 km; 1 hour 12 minutes).Recommended drive: 101 South & 405 South.Depart from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).