Hiking at Cuesta Ridge in San Luis Obispo
We wanted to get away for the Thanksgiving long weekend without breaking the bank and decided on Santa Barbara since neither of us had visited before. We stayed in a quaint Airbnb just a five minute drive from bustling downtown SB, which was just the right amount of time to hit up all of the town’s hot spots: its historic county courthouse, the pier, Mission Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.
Traversing the coast from the San Francisco Bay Area reminded me of just how lucky we are to live in this state. Driving down Highway 1 means not one moment goes by without a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. We camped in Cambria for one night and stopped at scenic Morro Bay, beautiful San Simeon, and the small Danish-themed town of Solvang on the way to Santa Barbara. Filled with Danish comfort food, baked goods, and Hans Christian Andersen memorabilia, the town is a must see. It’s funny, my friend asked me yesterday, “how do you find out about all these random places?” When planning, I literally Googled “secret California travel spots”.
Highlights Along the Coast…
The giant elephant seals in San Simeon
The zebras on the Hearst Castle estate! Taken right on the highway.
“The Rock” at Morro Bay
Solvang: The Small Dutch Town of California…
Casual times with a big clog
With Hans Christian Andersen at his namesake park
The Little Mermaid statue
Bit o’ Denmark Restaurant
Solvang’s iconic windmill
Santa Barbara Moments…
Juicy big burrito from Taqueria Cuernavaca at Butterfly Beach
Wonderful sign at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Another wonderful Pets on Leash sign
A pelican at the Santa Barbara pier
Historic Mission Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara county courthouse
View of the city from the top of the Santa Barbara courthouse
Have any suggestions for any other hidden travel gems of California? Let me know below!