California Road Trip requires a lot of driving in order to see this vast state.
We took this trip two years ago when gas was almost $5 a gallon in California. We flew to Los Angles and drove the famous California Pacific Coast Highway Route 1 to San Francisco then took Route 99 to Fresno to Route 5 and back to Los Angeles area, basically making a loop. In the next couple of posts you will see our many stops along the way as we explored over 1300 miles of California. We spent hours in the car. If you do not like being cooped up, then this trip is not for you.
We booked a direct flight from IAD to LAX using our frequent flyer miles that were about to expire. Now that I play the mileage game, we no longer use our frequent flyer miles for these types of tickets. We save our miles for more expensive tickets to Europe.
We booked an early flight, allowing us to arrive in Los Angeles around 10:00 a.m. After picking up our car, we drove to the In N Out Burger that was near the airport before beginning our drive. I had read about the In N Out Burgers and wanted to try it while we were in California. This place was packed at 10:30 in the morning. The food hit the spot (as our body was on east coast time) and we were on our way.+
It was a Friday morning, the start of Labor day weekend. The roads were jammed with cars bumper to bumper as we made our way to Santa Barbara. I thought DC traffic is bad, but California has them beat.
Evidentially, traffic gave way and caught views of the pacific ocean.
It took longer than we expected to reach our first stop because of the traffic we encountered in the Los Angeles area. When we finally arrived in Santa Barbara, we immediately went the visitor’s center down near the pier. After we picked up our maps, we made our way to the wharf and walked the beach area.
We wondered through many of the cute shops.
We made our way along the beach, but there were not many people out.
We got back into our car and drove to Old Town Santa Barbara. This town is very quaint with plenty of stores and outside cafes.
It was getting late and it was another hour and twenty minute drive to where we were spending the night. We grabbed a bite to eat before getting back on the road to go to Vandenberg AF Base. J is retired from the National Guard after 20+ years of service. One of his benefits is being able to stay on a base when we travel. We have stayed at numerous places throughout the United States, but this would be our first time in California.
Most people do not realize the benefits available to them. But if you are retired (with a military ID) or currently in the service, definitely check into staying on a base, as they offer nice accommodations at a reasonable cost. If you are interested in learning more ways to travel as a military benefit, send me an email through the Lets Connect on the toolbar. If I get a lot of interest, I will do a post on how to travel around the world using “space a resort rentals” for $349 for a week.
We had been up since 3:30 and were starting to get tired, especially with the 3 hour time change. Not much to see on our way to the base.
After clearing through security we finally arrived.
The room offered plenty of space to spread out for the one night we were staying. It had a refrigerator, microwave and coffee machine. It offered a separate room for the sink, shower and toilet. We paid only $53.24, but the price now is $57. Where are you going to rent a room like this for $57 a night?
After checking into our room, we headed to the commissary to pick up supplies for our ride up the coast. We purchased a styrofoam cooler along with water and food to be able to have picnic lunches and snacks to munch on as there are not many places to stop along the way. We ended up going to bed early as our bodies were still on east coast time. Tomorrow would be another long day as we were going to be exploring the Paso Robles wineries and then spending the night in Cambria as we make our way up the coast.