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Your Masterplan For The Ultimate California Road Trip In 2018


One thousand two hundred and fifty-two. That’s how many miles of great American highway we cruised on our once-in-a-lifetime, two-week road trip up California’s famous Pacific coast.

One thousand two hundred and fifty-two miles of ocean-hugging, city-navigating, mountain-climbing, national park-crossing American highway that everyone should experience. Especially because hitting the asphalt of Highway 1 and Route 101 allows you to tick off a roll call of sights – the skyscraping redwoods and dramatic seascapes of Big Sur, the rolling surf of Venice Beach, the spiritual vistas in Yosemite – without burning through all your annual leave.

From urban hikes in San Francisco to paddleboarding with sea otters in Santa Cruz, as well all the retreats to rest your weary bones in and restaurants feed your energy levels at, here’s where you need to park for an unforgettable road trip along California’s breathtaking Pacific coastline.

Santa Barbara

Why? This is where the vineyard-strewn Santa Ynez mountains plummet into the Pacific Ocean and it’s as dramatic as we hoped it would be. Stroll along the historic wharf and golden beach before lunch, then immerse yourself in the small but buzzing city’s healthy obsession with local food, wine and craft beer as the sun drops behind the horizon.

Stay: Give your Instagram a heads-up before you pocket the keys to your motel-style room at the Goodland (from £126) in Goleta, because it’s going to take a beating during your stay. This ’50s surf shack-inspired spot sits a 15-minute drive away from Santa Barbara, and looks as if every nook has been designed with your Insta-filters in mind. Thankfully it manages to deftly swerve the “style over substance” trap, in part due to a super restaurant, a gorgeous pool, excellent service and a fantastic bar. It earned the much-coveted title of our favourite hotel of the trip.

Eat: Enter the Funk Zone, a hipper-than-it-sounds district bursting with wine tasting rooms, shops and restaurants. Sample the craft beers of Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co and/or the vino from the harbourside Deep Sea, the rock ’n’ roll DV8 Cellars and, our top pick, Municipal before soaking it all up with a feed at the Lark. There, you’ll find family sharing plates (that’s American for “giant portions”) bursting with hearty and healthy local fare (apart from the desserts – but rest assured they’ll be no room left in your stomach by then).

Do: There’s a long a picturesque cycle path hugging Santa Barbara’s beachfront and Wharf, and your name is on it. Think you’re riding a bicycle, though? Nuh huh, bud. Partner up and jump inside one of Wheel Fun Rentals’ surrey bikes – a double-seat four-wheel pedal-powered cycle-car hybrid thing. Yep, it’s what the Chuckle Brothers drove. But you’ll look a heck of a lot better in yours. Trust us. (No really, honest).

Article by Chris Sayer of Coach Magazine. View Original Article Here