Thanksgiving Weekend Down the California Coast

12355288_10153772331609819_483882196_nHiking 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…

12355155_10153772331489819_1023962081_nThe giant elephant seals in San Simeon

12319673_10153772331464819_1604368707_nThe zebras on the Hearst Castle estate! Taken right on the highway.

12358358_10153772331539819_1862948551_n“The Rock” at Morro Bay

Solvang: The Small Dutch Town of California…

12358262_10153772331579819_378016098_nCasual times with a big clog

12248609_10153772331564819_1344848552_nWith Hans Christian Andersen at his namesake park

12336367_10153772331574819_495928567_nThe Little Mermaid statue

12358480_10153772331584819_536428979_nBit o’ Denmark Restaurant

12351185_10153772331589819_1216714662_nThumbelina Shop

12346781_10153772331604819_65743092_nSolvang’s iconic windmill

Santa Barbara Moments…

12358530_10153772331479819_1113283668_nJuicy big burrito from Taqueria Cuernavaca at Butterfly Beach

12346848_10153772331504819_589589071_nWonderful sign at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

12348614_10153772331514819_643337954_nAnother wonderful Pets on Leash sign

12336128_10153772331509819_1015438873_nA pelican at the Santa Barbara pier

12358358_10153772331524819_1870836996_nHistoric Mission Santa Barbara

12351005_10153772350704819_1807872155_nThe Santa Barbara county courthouse

12348477_10153772331519819_1458951541_nView 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!


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