Sometimes, when I drive north, I like to take the inland route along the 154 up over the mountains into the Santa Ynez Valley. It’s beautiful scenery, and I love the view as I go up over the mountains and come back down again. Solvang is always a good stop if I need some pastries.
But the real draw, for me, is kind of a weird spot. It’s called Ostrichland USA. It’s a farm that raises, you guessed it, ostriches and emus and other birds. The gift shop is full of weird ostrich things. You can buy eggs and feathers and pictures and all sorts of stuff.
For a few bucks, you can also feed the birds, and that’s where things get really wonderfully weird. You get a dustpan with a dog food bowl bolted to it, and then they put some kibble into the bowl. Go outside to the pens and hold out your pan full of kibble. The birds will come along and positively crash their beaks into the pan in an attempt to gobble up the most food.
They’re aggressive birds, and the whole thing feels violent and primal and a little scary. It’s also totally fun and worth the money every time.
At the end of day two, I arrive in Morro Bay and head for the state park there. This is another one of my favorite campgrounds. It’s very flat and filled with tall, shady trees. I feel very small here.
It’s a great spot for resting after a long day of driving and adventures. It’s also near the water, so you can rent a kayak and paddle around with the otters for a while. Morro Bay has several great little restaurants where you can get a hot bowl of chowder and enjoy the view of the water.
Anyway, that’s my quick and easy weekend road trip itinerary. There’s lots of room to add more, or to tack on a few more days and head even further north. You can see a lot in Cambria, Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey, and Santa Cruz, too.
Wherever your wanderings take you, be safe and have fun. I’ll check in later.
If you wanderings take you to Buffalo, NY and you need some good Electricians in Buffalo, be sure to get in touch with my buddies at Electricians Buffalo.
After my hike to stretch my legs, I got in the car and took a leisurely drive up PCH. If you time it right, the traffic isn’t even noticeable, especially once you get out of Santa Monica. The further north you go, the emptier the highway gets, and by the time you reach the northern edge of Malibu and the county line, the road is often almost empty. Lean into those curves and turns.
Just over the county line is my favorite local campground and my first stop for the night: Sycamore Canyon. It’s right on the beach and nestled into the hills. Bring a jacket – sundowner winds barrel through at night even in summertime, and it can get surprisingly chilly.
I pitched a tent, started a fire, and made myself some dinner. In springtime, the campground is usually only half full, which is really nice if you’re hoping to escape the city noise.
I slept like a log.
When I woke up in the morning, I took a walk on the beach with my coffee. You can get to Sycamore Cove by crossing under PCH at a bridge on the edge of the campground. Make sure the tide is out far enough and that the creek isn’t flowing too much before you attempt it.
I started my three-day weekend on a Friday morning in Los Angeles, where I went for a quick hike up the Baldwin Hills Overlook. If you’re feeling masochistic, you can take the steep stairs straight up the hillside. I was not feeling masochistic.
Instead, I took a gentler, winding path up the hill, which took me about 20 minutes. It’s a smooth, well-worn pathway, but it’s definitely still a steep incline. Wear clothes you can move comfortably in.
At the top, I celebrated with a picnic lunch and breath-taking, 360-degree views of Los Angeles. It’s starting to get a little crowded there on weekends now, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the hiking spots up in the Hollywood Hills, where it feels like you might suffocate from all the people swarming everywhere.Too many trees or trees that are badly overgrown can also feel suffocating. If the tree growth around your place is starting to feel like it’s suffocating you, be sure to call the Buffalo tree removal | Olive Branch Tree.
I wanted this to be a quick and easy trip, just two days up and one day down. To keep costs down, I picked out a couple good camp sites and mapped an easy driving route. This itinerary is bare bones, so you can add more to it if you want to take a similar road trip yourself.
After breakfast, I got back in the car and headed northward again to one of my favorite hidden gems: Ventura. Nobody seems to know about this place, but it’s great. It has beaches with good surf, hills for hiking, and lots of fresh seafood and killer burritos.
Whenever I’m in town, I always head for the pier to get myself some fish tacos. Ventura’s pier is an old wooden pier that was built in 1872, and until a storm knocked off the end of it in 1995, it was the longest wooden pier in California. There’s a taco shack at the beginning of it with some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever had.
I like to get some tacos, wander out to the end of the pier, and watch the boats go by for a while. It’s a great place for people-watching, too–lots of fishers and kids and grandparents.
Ventura’s gone through a major drought, so people have redone their landscaping to use less water. If you need to redo your landscaping, too, get in touch with Buffalo Landscaping Service.