Thursday, October 13, 2022

Carefree Highway

Continuing my recap of our road trip up the California coast...

Day 5-Santa Barbara to Cambria

This was one of my favorite parts of the trip because I had no idea we'd be driving through the mountains. For some reason I pictured us driving entirely along the coast but we scooted up and around on this part of the journey and it was spectacular. 

The weather didn't hurt. 

Before leaving Santa Barbara we visited the mission there. I've always heard about the California missions but had never been inside one and thought it was beautiful. 

The weather didn't hurt. 

Did I say that already? 

The scenery on the road to Cambria was stunning and we stopped at a couple of spots to take in the views. In a funny turn of events at one of these vista points we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere admiring the view along with another group of travelers, 4 adults preparing to bike some of the PCH. We chatted for a few minutes and when one of them used the word y'all (dead giveaway you're not a west coaster) I had to ask where they were from. He said, 'Oh a tiny little town in South Carolina'. 

Well how about that? A tiny little town in South Carolina just up the road from our tiny little town in South Carolina. It's a small big world and I am here for it.  

When planning our trip hubs and I briefly considered doing a side wine thing since we were very near, and some of the time in, wine country. After looking at the map we decided we could either do wine or we could do the coast but we couldn't do both and we opted for the coast.

Okay, one small sip...

We were cruising along under the bright blue sky when we passed the entrance to  Gainey Vineyards. What an absolutely lovely little stop this was. 

Gainey is a family owned winery and they've been in the wine making business for decades. The current owner happened to be in the lobby when we walked in so we heard the history and then shared a tasting in their gorgeous tasting room. 

We liked it so much we joined their club, shipped some home, and bought a couple of Christmas presents from the gift shop before moving on down the road. Up the road? Onward to Cambria! 

Wait! Before Cambria there was one more stop in Morro Bay for an up close look at the famous Morro Rock. 

The rock is the remnant of a once active volcano and was named by a Portuguese explorer back in the 1500's. Nature is so cool...

Everybody thinks so. 

We peeled ourselves away and checked into our beachfront hotel in Cambria, then promptly went for a stroll to see what we could see. 

We had a lovely dinner in town that evening at The Sow's Ear Cafe, then sat on the hotel rooftop patio to admire the nighttime ocean view. 

It was a very good day. 


  1. A wonderful trip and you picked some great spots to stop. Your place at Cambria looks just right!

  2. You really did a very beautiful trip ! What a wonderful blue sky and I bed the wine was very good. I preferred Californian or Australian wine to French wine. We of course also liked Italian wine. There was even an uncle in Italy who had a winery.

  3. I have always wanted to go to a vineyard. That is a very unique shell

  4. What gorgeous views and I completely agree with that small big world sentiment. When we were in Disney at the end of August we got to talking with our waiter at EPCOT; turns out he grew up just an hour away from our tiny town and his whole family still lives there.

  5. Another awesome day!!! I'm loving your pictures and of course you had to have a sip of wine.

  6. How fun to meet someone from right up the street!! It sure is a small world! So beautiful, Joyce. You are sharing California with us and it is not what I always think of when someone says California. You make me want to go there and that is something I've never wanted to do before. Beautiful!! Thanks for changing my mind!!