I didn’t want our Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip extravaganza to end. It meant I had to leave California the next morning, to come back to Virginia. But, we made the most of our last day—not surprisingly, with coastlines and delicious meals.
We started off in Solvang, a Danish village about half an hour from Santa Barbara. The town was founded in 1911 by Danish expats. It’s now mostly a tourist destination with bakeries, restaurants ad merchants offering Europe on the West Coast. And the bakery we went to was authentically Danish, and truly delicious. For breakfast, Tom and I each ordered a pastry at Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery. It was one of the best pastries I’ve had, with light, buttery dough surrounding a rich cream cheese filling.
Three days! We’re still working out the final details of Roadtrip 2012 up the Pacific Coast Highway. Tom and I will be spending four days, three nights, exploring the area between San Diego and Monterey, just south of San Francisco. After much debate back and forth, we decided to skip San Fran, because it would have added at least $250 to the trip and cut out a lot of the other nature-y things we could have done in our short time span. But we like doing fun things and saving money and seeing pretty things, so this is the rough itinerary we’ve planned so far:
Friday: Drive through Los Angeles, up to Santa Barbara. Visit a vineyard and have a picnic. Visit Solvang, a Disney-fied Danish village with supposedly awesome bakeries. I like bakeries. Stay in a fun sounding, cheap mom and pop hostel in San Luis Obispo. Visit a brewery in town.
Saturday: Head north to the Big Sur area to check in at a no-reservations campground. Drive up to Monterey, then to Carmel and the Carmel Mission.
Sunday: Do some nature-y things in Big Sur, including seeing McWay Falls and elephant seals. Camp on the lower end of the Central Coast.
Monday: Head back toward San Diego. Find fun places to stop along the way.
Like I said, it’s definitely a rough itinerary. But I’m very, very excited. We do have at least the one night booked. And I’ve got a few books, maps from AAA, and most importantly, a West Coast Road Food guide book.
(P.S. Our trip was great fun! Here are details on Day 1 (San Diego to San Luis Obispo), Day 2 (Big Sur), Day 3 (Big Sur to Santa Barbara) and Day 4 (Solvang to Santa Barbara to San Diego). We didn’t get to do nearly everything we had hoped, but it was still an amazing drive, with amazing views. If you’re trying to plan a trip, I’d love to help you out!)