4 Days Roadtrippin' the PCH
What better way to spend Labor Day Weekend that roadtrippin' up the coast from San Diego to Big Sur hitting some of the most iconic stops along the way?! Having decided on this trip a week prior, our sleeping options where slim to none with a majority of lodging options full. We elected to attempt something new setting out with a few highlighted areas to explore and relying on the comfort of our 2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon to provide the rest.
Thoroughly impressed with the existing capabilities and comfort we took it to the next level spending 3 nights camping in the back. For this reason we are coining the name 'Jamping' as Jeep Camping. Two 3" foam pads from Home Depot cut down to size made for the perfect mattress. Details in a later post..
We completely lucked out with all 3 campsites along the way.
Kirk Creek was hands down our favorite site along the way. There is not a single site without cliff side ocean views but we stayed at site 12A which is reserved for VW Buses / Juicey Vans / Jampers (like us). We woke up to a cool ocean breeze and the distant sight of dolphin pods off the coast. There is a hidden hike / trail off this campsite bringing you down to the beach that is truly remarkable.
Day 1: San Diego -> RT-1 Santa Monica up to Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Downtown has A LOT to offer. There is a wide variety of bars and restaurants along with many boutique small shops. The area is very well maintained and has a very unique look and feel to it. We spent a good 3-4 hours walking around and enjoying the area.
Zaytoon offers a comfy spot for Lebanese & Middle Eastern fare with an outdoor fire pit & weekly live entertainment. Definitely not typical cruise for us which was nice for a change. Most of the restaurant is outdoors where they have firepit tables for parties of 3 or more. Regardless of where you sit, they do offer snuggies for added warmth. (Yes - Snuggies)
Day 2: Santa Barbara -> Solvang -> Pismo Beach
Not too far from Santa Barbara ~45 mins north-east is this unique town called Solvang. You will feel as if you traveled around the world as every building and structure in town is modeled after a Danish town. It is a really neat little place to visit on the way.
Worth Stopping to See:
Lost Point Winery Tasting Room is located in the windmill. You really can't miss it given the fact that its a Danish Windmill in the town center. They offer wine tastings from their vineyard which are really good.
Copenhagen Sausage Garden was another favorite giving us a taste of Oktoberfest. The beer is HUGE and comes in two sizes 1/2 of full (meaning 1/2 liter or full liter). They also have a huge selection of sausages from around the world.
Whether you are looking for the perfect spot to catch sunset, ride the dunes, or simply not have to carry your beach gear, Pismo Beach is going to come in as paradise. Nowhere else in California are you given the unique opportunity to drive out on the beach. Naturally CA charges a usage fee but if you are camping at either site in Pismo, it is included.
Day 3: San Luis Obispo -> Big Sur
San Luis Obispo has many things to offer. One that we couldn't pass up on was a dip in the hot spring tubs at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, because when else are you going to be able to dip into natures finest water? I would definitely recommend a reservation during the busy season. We HIGHLY recommend putting this on the 'to-do list'.
There are a total of 23 open-air naturally heated mineral spring hot tubs line in their peaceful tree-canopied hillside. Each hot tub is surrounded by a rich wood fence with lattice detail to ensure privacy from other guests while still providing majestic views and a serene environment. They don't allow glass on the hillside despite their website showing a bottle of champagne next to a tub however they will pour it into a nice plastic cup for you. Clothing is optional once you reach your tub.
Bubble Gum Alley was our next stop with one task at hand - Epic Photos. Yes the place is real (gross) and relatively easy to find. Literally it was on apple maps. This alley is quiet the collective of gum past its prime and you are bound to step in some.
Blast 825 Taproom offers a blend of our favorite things - beer and pizza. The pizza is create your own personal sized brick oven and the beer is pour your own. They give you a wristband and you are free to pour what you like giving you the option to taste all 30+ beers they have on tap.
Big Sur could honestly be a post in-itself. Photos do not do this place justice. We were a little bummed that a majority of the State Parks were closed due to the Sorberanes Fire but we knew that heading into the trip. Despite the park closures, the coast line was still open providing breathtaking views of the Pacific.