Having lived in LA now for just over 3 years, I haven’t been back to Big Sur since 2011, when myself and the husband did the PCH drive all the way to San Francisco, so when he told me he was hosting the Runclub there recently, I immediately envisaged a plan coming together. Why not drive up I said, we could stop in Big Sur for the night to break the journey up. Bear in kind this was going to be a whistle stop trip and the drive is pretty long, but off we went early on a Sunday morning to begin our quick adventure.We decided to take the 101 for the first part of the drive and made a quick pitstop at Green Table in Santa Barbara for a matcha latte (with almond milk) pick me up.
Green Table on W.De La Guerra St. in Santa Barbara, delish vegan and gluten free options, perfect for a pitstop and definitely insta worthy!
Armed with our lattes, it was time to continue our journey. Heading out of Santa Barbara, you begin to climb through the Santa Ynez mountains which give way to stunning views of Santa Barbara county and the beaches on side and the vineyards and mountains on the other.
It’s well worth stopping off at one of the vista points along the way to capture the sweeping views of the Santa Ynez valley, you won’t be alone!!
The 101 freeway goes more inland as you continue, but the views are quite impressive. Along the way], we had to stop off at The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, a crazy one of a kind hotel with decor that is so fantastically kitsch.
Pink, pink and more pink at The Madonna Inn. www.madonnainn.com
After leaving the Madonna Inn, we joined the PCH (highway 1) to start our steady climb up through the mountains to enjoy some of the most breathtaking scenery that California has to offer.
As stunning as it is, it’s also a little bit of a white knuckle ride at times if you are of a slightly nervous disposition , at times you feel you are right on the edge of the cliffs (you pretty much are!) and I was driving at a snails pace, especially when the road narrowed in places, but those awe inspiring views are just too incredible to miss and I definitely conquered a fear or two.
Cabin number 9, our home from home for the night.
We eventually arrived at our destination for the night, Lucia Lodge. There are just 10 cabins, most with full ocean views, perched high upon the cliffs, which make for spectacular views to wake up to.The decor isn’t fancy, but then it could never compete with the surrounding scenery. Most accommodations in Big Sur are on the opposite side to the ocean, so views would not be as perfect as there ones these offer. There is no television and sparse internet connections, so bring your favourite book and remember what its like to just be.
Pull up one of the Adirondack chairs outside your cabin and enjoy the sounds of the ocean below, make it your very own happy hour.
A short walk from your cabin is the restaurant and shop. A continental breakfast is included with your stay, however, if you are vegan, like us, then you might be advised to bring your own provisions. The restaurant is more focused on home style cooking and those with dietary preferences should stock up on their favourite foods before arrival, there really isn’t anything close by, so be prepared. We found a fantastic cafe in San Luis Obispo on the way called Bliss Cafe, with delicious vegan food and the portions were HUGE!( www.blisscafeslo.com ) The shop at Lucia Lodge has all the essentials (wines, beers, soft drinks, snacks, toiletries) and you can help yourself to teas and coffees while open (it closes at 9pm, along with the restaurant ).
Take out dinner in hand, we settled in to witness the beauty of a Big Sur sunset. Bring a cosy knit to wear, it can get chilly at night, even in the height of summer. We went to sleep (soundly) to the sounds of the ocean and awoke to them too, simply perfect. Looking forward to the next time.
Where will your road trip take you?