Then again, maybe not

After I posted yesterday I started actually researching the trip to San Simeon from LA and discovered that it’s a lot more difficult than I initially thought. I had remembered it being just north of SB, but it’s in fact 150 miles up the coast. And we’ll be driving up from LA, so it’s 250 miles north of LA. That’s at least $50 in gas just to get there, plus another $50 to get back to LA on Sunday, plus the cost of the tour ($24 each), plus we’d have to leave LA at oh-dark-thirty to get up there in time to take a two hour tour and drive back down to SB in time to do anything.

I walked home with a heavy heart yesterday afternoon, and told Dan the bad news. He immediately said, “OK, not this trip.” And I felt really bad, because we’ll be closer to San Simeon than we’ve been in years, but won’t be able to afford (either time or money) the trip. Wah.

So instead, I need to come up with some other ideas for adventures to have in and around the LA/SB area (or just slightly north of SB, but not 150 miles north). Anyone in the Southern CA area have any suggestions? Wineries, places of interest, the best place to see marine mammals? I know very little about the stretch between LA and SB, having only driven it once in the dark in January 2003. Any suggestions welcome.

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2 responses to “Then again, maybe not

  1. Santa Ynez Valley is filled with wineries – Fess Parker’s, I believe Firestone, among others. SB is also a great day trip in and of itself. There are a few wineries that have tasting rooms in SB proper, but I’ll always recommend cellar 205 (at 205 Anacapa, cellar205.com) as it’s owned by a friend of my cousin’s – and my cousin also sells his wine there.I don’t know if it’s a proper day trip, but there’s also the Madonna Inn and the SLO/Pismo beach area to check out as well!

  2. The drive between LA (Sta Monica) and Port Hueneme is lovely as is the stretch between Ventura and SB. It is a lot of windy driving, and you have to go through Oxnard which is boring and time consuming.You might be interested in heading up I-5, or the 405 to Sta. Clarita and then heading west on SR 126. A deviation to the north takes you to the town of Ojai which is a crossbreed of high-end spa town and crunchy-granola hippieville. EG most businesses are owner operated and there is no McDonald’s.The Santa Ynez valley (North of SB) should have recovered from most of its “Sideways” fame by now, and yet is still a nice winery region. I’d check to see whether the wineries are charging for tastings a la Napa.Beachwise, Santa Monica has a very enjoyable stretch of sand. Just north of Malibu you can ogle the surfers at Zuma beach, or you could stop slightly earlier at Ft. Dume where they filmed scenes from Planet of the Apes. Expect to pay for parking. Way north of there the beaches just north of Ventura are also nice, if by nice you mean clean and somewhat more rustic.Whatever you do, don’t go to Solvang. Expensive and lame. I promise.

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