A great northern escape from Los Angeles is through Ojai and the Los Padres National Forest, which is commonly considered the “better way” of getting to the Pacific Coast Highway from LA (between Cambria and Carmel). Best rides are in the fall when central valley temps drop below 100 degrees.
Approximately 350 miles
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Malibu, 3835 Cross Creek #7, food and good scenery with fuel available nearby.
Pine mountain passes to dry lakes, this route is California gold. Scenery is nice; roads are stellar.
A California sampler, heavy traffic can be found along the freeways, but every other mile is open.
While the twisty parts are a joyous 4 (occasionally pushing toward 5), the highways are a difficult 2 by volume.
Farm roads to freeways put this route at a 3. Bumpy where you would expect it but primarily a 4.
Santa Maria is known for BBQ and makes for a good early stopping place. Or for a later lunch, try Sides Hardware and Shoes- a Brothers Restaurant, 2375 Alamo Pintado Ave, Los Olivos, CA.
Points of Interest
Pistachio Farm in Ventucopa
A locally owned organic pistachio farm. Pistachios are packed and shipped daily, always farm fresh.
Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café
An award winning café and wine merchant, made famous for their scene in the movie Sideways.
Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum
View an impressive array of vintage and rare motorcycles, along with European racing bikes. Bikes rotate monthly, so there’s always something new to see.