Day-Tripping in Central California - The Road Less Traveled

Day-tripping along the Central California coast - the road less traveled.

Google map, SF to Santa Barbara CAWith a college student living in Santa Barbara California, not infrequently do we find ourselves traveling the 325 or so miles from the San Francisco Peninsula to Santa Barbara for an overnight visit. Keeping on Highway 101 is the most direct way, and a nice drive through suburbs, cities, small towns, farm lands, ranch lands, vineyards, rugged hills and along the Pacific Ocean, arriving about 5-6 hours later.

Google map, Paso Robles to CarmelOn a recent trip, the weather was perfect, and our time ample, so we decided to venture off the tried and true route home, and take the road less traveled, adding about 2 hours to our journey, but also adding memories we won't forget.

Leaving Highway 101 just north of the town of Paso Robles, we struck northwest on the desolate Jolon Road taking us through Fort Hunter-Liggett, then onto the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, winding up into the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Ventana Wilderness.

Road through Ft. Hunter-Liggett, CA   On the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, CA

Road sign to Highway 1

Before plunging down to the famous Big Sur Coast, near the top of the pass, we saw the trail head for Cone Peak, the most spectacular vista point in the Santa Lucia Mountains (that's trip for another day!) We headed north on Highway 1, past Big Sur to Carmel for a quick dinner before heading back to the San Francisco area. The road is now paved all the way; the terrain through Fort Hunter-Liggett is gentle allowing for easy travel. Twisting up to the crest in the Ventana Wilderness, and then down to the coast with hair-pin turns and hair-rising drop offs was another story. Great trip in a study car like our Subaru Outback on a clear, dry day.

Big Sur Coast and Santa Lucia Mountains

While the San Francisco Bay area has many nearby adventures, going a bit farther afield is sometimes the answer. We live in such an amazing area, it's great to get out and explore, and be reminded over and over again just why we live where we do.

--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®

Pacific Union International

CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547

Lottie@LottieKendall.com

www.LottieKendall.com

Peninsula Living Business Page

www.SFCondosForMe.com

 

 

Comment balloon 14 commentsLottie Kendall • November 08 2012 09:36AM

Comments

Love road trip voyaging...great photos...very inviting!

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) almost 6 years ago

Love that trip down the Coast, Lottie... one I'm happy I'll be taking at the end of the month - great photos!!

Posted by Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc., SF NYC LA (pha logistix inc) almost 6 years ago

Hi Lottie....I love your little trips through California.... where are we going next?

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 6 years ago
Hi Li, Highway 1 along the Big Sur coast is a world famous route; hardly anyone drives the back road from Lucia to Highway 101. It was a fun exploratIon.
Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) almost 6 years ago
Peggy, enjoy the drive! It's a gorgeous one.
Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) almost 6 years ago
Hmmmmm...let's see Barbara......perhaps we'll take a hike next maybe through the San Francisco Presidio.
Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) almost 6 years ago

Hey Lottie.... if you're in the Presidio, take a walk up to the top of Upper Simonds Loop - the view is breathtaking!! (not too many people know about this street)

Posted by Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc., SF NYC LA (pha logistix inc) almost 6 years ago

Lottie, We make the trip to San Luis Obispo often because I have two sisters who live there.  And our son went to school at Cal Poly also.  It's a beautiful drive any time of year.  The Big Sur Coast along Highway 1 is spectacular but the driving is too intense for me now.  101 is perfect.   

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) almost 6 years ago

Hi Peggy, I'm often hiking or jogging in the Presidio -- running down the Symonds Loop is one of my favorites--I feel like a kid again!

 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) almost 6 years ago

Lloyd, I love the drive to SLO and then to Santa Barbara. Last Saturday was a perfectly beautiful day, and I'm glad we spent the time for the back road detour. I wouldn't want to be on the Nacimiento Road in foggy or rainy weather, but we loved the remoteness and adventure of that road-less-traveled.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) almost 6 years ago

We enjoyed the tour along the Central California's coast. What a beautiful area this is!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) almost 6 years ago

Hi Lottie ~ It was fun to read your post because I grew up in Carmel, did a lot of camping at Big Sur during the summers, and went to UC Santa Barbara.  I made that drive many times, too and it's so scenic.   I can do without the hairpin turns and steep drop-offs, though!

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 6 years ago

Hi Larry and Sheila - the Big Sur Coast is a classic. How are things with you? Thinking about you all, hoping you're safe, warm and housed!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) almost 6 years ago

Maureen, you were a brave soul! I believe much of the Jolon - Nacimiento-Fergusson road was gravel surface until sometime in the last 10 or so years, right? It was a great trip for us, but not one I'd relish on gravel, in fog, or in rain.  A fun adventure!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) almost 6 years ago

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