California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 41

17

San Luis Obispo
to Ragged Point
At just over 60 miles, it's not a long drive. But the
trip from San Luis Obispo to Ragged Point on
Highway 1 packs an awful lot into a short distance.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

RAGGED POINT

With beach towns, long stretches of unspoiled coastline, and the
magnificent Hearst Castle along the route, you'll definitely want to slow
HEARST CASTLE

down to savor the panoramic views. Trust us: At the end of this road
trip, you'll want to get right back in the car and relive the adventure all
over again-this time in reverse.
Hip and historic, San Luis Obispo is a college and mission town in

PIEDRAS BLANCAS
ELEPHANT SEAL
ROOKERY
CAMBRIA

one, with open space perfect for hiking and mountain biking just a few
minutes from a walkable downtown. Wake up with an almond croissant
and double espresso made from locally roasted beans at Scout Coffee.
Cruise downtown and along Mission Creek before visiting the 1772
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, where you can stroll beneath a
shaded grape arbor in the serene gardens.
As the rolling hills of Highway 1 lead out of SLO, look for Bishop
Peak, home to the area's best hiking (and views!) off to your left. Next,

MORRO BAY

drive north to the harbor town of Morro Bay. In about 20 minutes,
you'll reach the eclectic, often ocean-inspired shops and restaurants
on Morro Bay's Embarcadero. Follow the waterfront boardwalk to the
SAN LUIS OBISPO

iconic 581-foot Morro Rock, where you might spot nesting peregrine
falcons splashing offshore. Or look for sea otters and other wildlife as
you paddle the bay with a rental from Kayak Horizons.
Continuing north, Highway 1 overlooks the surging waves at
Morro Strand State Beach, then passes through the charming town

Depending on the time of year, you'll also see newborn pups with their

of Cayucos. Stop in to Brown Butter Cookie Company to pick up

mothers, and docents are onsite to explain the seals' behavior.

melt-in-your-mouth specialties before continuing on to the old dairy
town of Harmony (population: 18). Taste wine at the family-owned
Harmony Cellars, or learn how to make your own art during a one-hour

legendary architect Julia Morgan, Hearst Castle is positively enthralling:

glassblowing workshop at Harmony Glass Works.

a collection of art and antiques from all over the world, exquisitely

Your next stop is Cambria, an artsy coastal village about six miles
PHOTOGRAPH: RYAN DONNELL

Continue a few miles north to the visitor's center for one of
California's most famous landmarks, Hearst Castle. Designed by

assembled in a mountaintop Mediterranean estate. Take your pick of

north. Browse the many galleries, including The Vault Gallery, which

nine different ways to explore the castle, or splurge on your very own

specializes in works by acclaimed West Coast artists, and Ephraim

four-hour private tour.

Pottery West, featuring beautiful handmade vases, bowls, and lanterns.
A piece of olallieberry pie at Linn's Restaurant is a Cambria tradition, as
is lunch on the patio at Robin's Restaurant.
Drive north on the coast-hugging stretch of Highway 1 (so close to

On the way to Ragged Point, take in the stunning coastline views to
your left as Highway 1 twists and climbs up the southernmost cliffs of
Big Sur. This is some of the most untouched, serene, and picturesque
stretches of road you'll encounter on this trip. Stroll through the

the water you can feel the ocean spray on a big-swell day) and pull

gardens at the Ragged Point Inn & Resort to see what's blooming, or

over to get close-up looks at giant elephant seals as they battle for

work your way down the short but steep 1.2-mile round-trip Ragged

territory along the beach at Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery.

Point Cliffside Trail to reach a secluded black-sand beach.

41



California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover2
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Contents
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