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Old 11-14-2007, 09:50 AM   #1
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Big Sur to Santa Barbara Suggestions

We will be in Freson on Wednesday, November 21 to get some work done on our new SMB (battery separator not wired properly, rattling spring in PH, other minor stuff). We plan on spending Thursday (Thanksgiving) and Friday exploring the Big Sur area. We will probably spend that Wednesday night in the Fresno area (Millerton Lake) or heading over to Arroyo Seco - depending upon what time we can leave Fresno.

My tentative plan is to head up Naciemento-Ferguson Road (just East of Kirk Creek campground) and either stay at Ponderosa campground and do some hiking from there, or drive along Prewitt Ridge.

On Saturday, we were hoping to do a bit of wine tasting in the Santa Ynez/Los Olivos area and then find some remote camping relatively nearby in the Los Padres National Forest and hopefully enjoying a good bottle that night.

Does anyone have any specific suggestions for these areas? Wineries we shouldn't miss? Areas we shouldn't miss?

I'll be sure to post a trip report once we return.
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:00 AM   #2
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For wine tasting, don't miss the numerous wineries along Foxen Canyon Road Santa Ynez/Los Olivos.

Camping in the Los Padres can be fun, but remember that the second largest forest fire in california's history just burned that forest this summer.
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:37 PM   #3
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SDWINDANDSEA,

We just drove a similar route a couple of weeks ago. Upon finding Jalama beach full, we did a u-turn on Highway 1 and headed back down for some backroads travel.

Look up Figueroa Mountain and consider that for an overnight stay. You can access this from the Los Olivios turnoff from 101 S. Jeffrey Sipress may have more info on this, since it's his backyard. We stayed in Figueroa Mountain CG, then drove Fig Mtn Road out to 154, then down to Santa Barbara. Really beautiful part of SB County that I had never seen. During the weekend, we saw three other vehicles while on the graded dirt roads...I expected more traffic.

-Jeff
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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They have reopened much of the Los Padres forest. However, it appears that some areas are still closed.

General Information
Closure Map

Jeff - thanks for the suggestion on the Figueroa Mountain area. It looks like the closures are close and/or include that area. However the campground you mentioned appears to be open. Did you do your trip before or after the fires? I have a feeling we will be heading that way after exploring (e.g. tasting & buying wine) in the Los Olivas / Santa Ynez area. Jeffrey S., thanks for the tip on the wine road...any particular wineries we can't miss?

-Geoff
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:02 PM   #5
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Jeff is right. Figeuroa Mtn. road is great!
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:07 PM   #6
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places to visit

SDWINDANSEA,

Congrats on the new SMB!

As far as camping goes, I highly recommend Jalama Beach. I was there in March right before I got my SMB. I tent camped and can't wait to go back there with my SMB. It is a secluded part of the coast with only the campground (which is quite big). You can stay at the beach level where most people tent camp and then walk right up on the dunes (which block the view and wind from the campground), or up higher where some of the larger RV's stay with a beautiful ocean view. (and more wind). Try the Jalama cheese burger at the snack shop/store. BTW, the drive to Jalama Beach from the 101 via the 1 is beautiful so take your time.

As far as where to eat:

Santa Barbara-I like the casual and nice view right on the water at Brophy Brothers. Good Fish and Chips.

Hitchin Post is a very good steak place right off the 101 in Buelton (made famous by the movie Sideways) It is busy so I suggest a reservation.

You can go in towards Solvang and then to Los Olivos where there are several wineries. I like Kalyra Winery, which is a young crowd and run by Australians. It is a fun, relaxed atmosphere. I am only crazy about one of there wines, the Old Vine Zinfandel. I bought 3 cases and they may be out of it.

Sunstone Winery is nice and I suggest you go for lunch. Wines are OK.

In Los Olivos is Mattei's Tavern, an old stage stop that is a good restuarant.

Further north and in my opinion a better steak (one of the best around last time I was there 5 years ago) in the town of Nipomo is Jocko's. it is a casual place with huge rib-eye steaks cooked over white or red oak. Excellent.

As far as another place to go that is south of Big Sur is Cambria. I never camped there but stayed on beautiful Moonstone Beach. Try the Sow's Ear for dinner. Excellent cream of mushroom soup. Had a glass of the Latetia Pinot Noir-quite good.

Then go Hearst Castle if you have never been. This is a must see. Go on one of the tours and see how the other half lived. I have been 4 times and it is worth it.

That is all I can think of for now. Let us know how it goes and if you try any of these places.

Enjoy!

Steve
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:52 AM   #7
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Re: places to visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by cellularSTEVE
SDWINDANSEA,

Congrats on the new SMB!

As far as camping goes, I highly recommend Jalama Beach. I was there in March right before I got my SMB. I tent camped and can't wait to go back there with my SMB. It is a secluded part of the coast with only the campground (which is quite big). You can stay at the beach level where most people tent camp and then walk right up on the dunes (which block the view and wind from the campground), or up higher where some of the larger RV's stay with a beautiful ocean view. (and more wind). Try the Jalama cheese burger at the snack shop/store. BTW, the drive to Jalama Beach from the 101 via the 1 is beautiful so take your time.

As far as where to eat:

Santa Barbara-I like the casual and nice view right on the water at Brophy Brothers. Good Fish and Chips.

Hitchin Post is a very good steak place right off the 101 in Buelton (made famous by the movie Sideways) It is busy so I suggest a reservation.

You can go in towards Solvang and then to Los Olivos where there are several wineries. I like Kalyra Winery, which is a young crowd and run by Australians. It is a fun, relaxed atmosphere. I am only crazy about one of there wines, the Old Vine Zinfandel. I bought 3 cases and they may be out of it.

Sunstone Winery is nice and I suggest you go for lunch. Wines are OK.

In Los Olivos is Mattei's Tavern, an old stage stop that is a good restuarant.

Further north and in my opinion a better steak (one of the best around last time I was there 5 years ago) in the town of Nipomo is Jocko's. it is a casual place with huge rib-eye steaks cooked over white or red oak. Excellent.

As far as another place to go that is south of Big Sur is Cambria. I never camped there but stayed on beautiful Moonstone Beach. Try the Sow's Ear for dinner. Excellent cream of mushroom soup. Had a glass of the Latetia Pinot Noir-quite good.

Then go Hearst Castle if you have never been. This is a must see. Go on one of the tours and see how the other half lived. I have been 4 times and it is worth it.

That is all I can think of for now. Let us know how it goes and if you try any of these places.

Enjoy!

Steve
Another vote in favor of camping at Jalama beach. Excellent location and a nice scenic drive. I'm 99% sure that campsights there are first come first served (except a few group sites), and it can be very crowded on weekends. Plan your arrival accordingly.

Another favorite is Pfieffer state park near Big Sur. A beautiful and secluded campground, with some very nice day hike options.

Enjoy the trip.
Rob
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:00 AM   #8
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Thanks yet again everyone. Steve, your post made me hungry . We are actually going to Pfeiffer State Park this May to meet up with some friends, so we'll probably skip it on this trip to just try something different. We may check out Jalama Beach, although I have a feeling that getting a campsite will be really tough and more of a hassle than we are willing to deal with. It is sounding like Figeuroa Mountain is an almost definite for us now. We may also head over to the Frazier Park and Mt Pinos area since I have a friend that lives there and I've heard great things about it.
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:37 PM   #9
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I've stayed at Prewitt Ridge a couple times. There is a great rock formation with a picnic table that has great ocean views (if there is no fog). Exit Hwy1 at roughly 35°59'19.02"N 121°29'38.53"W and camping at 35°58'12.85"N 121°27'7.95"W. Coordinates off of Google Earth, so they should get you close. It is windy paved then windy graded dirt road, so no good 4wheeling. There was another camp of hang gliders there too. Unfortunately, we had to get going before they launched, but we saw them down next to Hwy 1 when we came off the ridge.

I've then traveled the South Coast Ridge road (graded dirt again) and stayed at Alder Creek campground which is very secluded. The road down into it was a little overgrown and washed out some when I went. There wasn't another soul in site down there and there was a great trail leaving the camp ground that looped out to the front of the range with good ocean views.

Again, no real great 4 wheeling, but a beautiful area to explore. Go to this link for the map I used to find my way around.
http://www.totalescape.com/GIFS/maps/bigsur/prewitt.jpg



Heading down to Alder Creek.



Alder Creek Camp



Prewitt Ridge Camp



Prewitt Ridge hang gliders.

Have a good trip!

Phil
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