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Ballard
Buellton
Carpinteria
Casmalia
El Capitan
Gaviota
Goleta
Guadalupe
La Conchita
Lompoc
Los Alamos
Los Olivos
Mussel Shoals
Orcutt
Oso Flaco
Santa Barbara
Santa Maria
Santa Ynez
Solvang
Summerland
Surf Beach
Vandenberg
 

 

 

Weekend Get-a-Way! 

Port San Luis . 
Sea Lions relax near the Harford Pier  in Port San Luis

next to Avila Beach..   

California poppy 
Photos © Debbie Stock . 

California State Flower, the Poppy, is in  bloom

along the Central Coast highways.

 

     

    soup and saladFresh Choice offers food that looks like this but this gourmet meal came from Robin's in Cambria. It included Salmon Bisque soup and Curry Chicken salad. Robin's is next door to the famous Brambles which is not open for lunch. Robin's has outdoor covered patio dining as well as indoor tables in a converted house.

 
    Back on  the road again, don't stop until you reach the rest stop past Gaviota and Goleta. If you prefer more breaks but don't wish to lose time, there are several scenic coastal view pullovers but no bathrooms on the west side of 101 .  Hilltop vistas past Santa Barbara looking out to the blue Pacific are photo opportunities when the skies and weather are right.  

     

    Get going again and within one to two hours, you can reach such exotic spots as Lompoc, Solvang, Santa Maria, Pismo Beach, Cayucos and Cambria.  All you need do is hone in on which city you want to use as home base and then you are set.  Best ocean views are in Pismo Beach but Cayucos, Los Osos, Morro and Cambria have some offerings, as well.

     

    In 2 short days, I visited most of the cities mentioned and about four more, taking photos, buying items such as bead jewelry and a sculpted iron pelican, drinking  iced lattes and gathering up local maps, magazines and literature on shops and entertainment. I never made it to the Lompoc Chili Cook-Off, Santa Maria Strawberry Festival or San Luis Obispo Street Painting Exhibits. But I managed to be in Cambria just as a local fairy festival for children let out. 

     

    Other highlights included touring the studios of artisans in the Creamery building in tiny, little Harmony near Cambria. I nearly got splashed off a rock as I stood at the base of Morro Rock. I went to the reception area of Hearst's Castle in San Simeon and felt like I was in New York's Grand Central Station. And on the way home, I finally found the beaches of Oxnard, including Silver Strand Beach. Port Hueneme escaped me this trip but next time.... 

Central Coast is halfway between Huntington Beach and San Francisco. Santa Maria is 210 miles from Huntington Beach.  Most cities mentioned are within 50 miles of Santa Maria, one of the largest cities in that region.  

    If you want to visit these cities, check them out on my web site. Let me know of your finds on the Central Coast.  I am always seeking new adventures on the weekend get-a-way.