an evening drive from san simeon to arroyo grande

Thursday, January 9:  After leaving Hearst Castle, I drive to San Simeon where I get blown about by the wind on a bit of California coastline as the sun is going down.

San Simeon
San Simeon
San Simeon
San Simeon
California coast at San Simeon
California coast at San Simeon
Coast at San Simeon
Coast at San Simeon

My original plan is to drive to Santa Barbara or Ventura, but as the sun slips into the Pacific Ocean, I figure I may as well stop so I can at least enjoy the drive down the coast in sunlight. As it is, I’m just able to get a peek at Morro Bay’s biggest claim to fame, Morro Rock, a volcanic peak that’s one of the Nine Sisters, a 21-million-year-old chain of rocks stretching all the way south to San Luis Obispo.

Morro Rock
Morro Rock

It just so happens I find a Hampton Inn at a reasonable price in Arroyo Grande, so I check in there.  I ask the hotel receptionist for a good local place to eat, and she recommends Rooster Creek.  She tells me I must try the salad: arugula and mixed greens, red and golden beets, sliced apples, goat cheese, shrimp and sherry vinaigrette.  I do just that, and I’m quite pleased.

Rooster Creek in Arroyo Grande
Rooster Creek in Arroyo Grande
Beet, goat cheese and shrimp salad at Rooster Creek
Beet, goat cheese and shrimp salad at Rooster Creek

While I’m at Rooster Creek, I post a picture of my dinner on Instagram and Facebook, and I get a comment that while in Arroyo Grande, I must go to Doc Burnstein’s for some ice cream.  I don’t usually treat myself to dessert, but how can I miss this enthusiastic recommendation?   I enjoy a mini-dip Mexican chocolate on a sugar cone.

Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab
Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab
Inside Doc Burnstein's
Inside Doc Burnstein’s

Outside of Doc Burnstein’s, I see this pretty church still decked out for Christmas.

Harvest Church in Arroyo Grande
Harvest Church in Arroyo Grande

I head back to Hampton Inn, which I’ve always found to be a reasonable and comfortable accommodation. This is the only hotel I stay in during my trip to California, as I’m here mostly to visit friends and family.

The next morning, I head down the coast in the sunshine, making my first stop in Santa Barbara.

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27 thoughts on “an evening drive from san simeon to arroyo grande

    1. Yes, do take notice it was a MINI-dip! I liked that church too, Jo, still in the Christmas spirit. I am so ready for the warm weather I had in California to visit us here on the East Coast. 🙂

    1. Haha, Sylvia, have you ever known me to starve myself? I didn’t bother starting my diet till I returned home, and after this trip I reached the highest weight I’ve been in a long time. California has wonderful food. 🙂

  1. Great article! My wife and I love choosing an arbitrary “destination” along the coast, then exploring our way to the spot we chose. Thanks for sharing this, we are inspired.

    1. I live in Virginia, so this was just a 10 day trip to California to visit my sister and my closest friend and to meet a fellow blogger. I love choosing random destinations too, but usually in my Virginia area. This was a planned circular trip, but it was fun! Glad I could inspire. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and commenting. 🙂

  2. OMG your photos of San Simeon….! My dream my whole life since I was a kid was to take the drive down PCH! San Simeon and Hearst Castle, Morro Bay, Mavericks, oh I wish I could drive!!!! Your photos are stunning!! How can anyone who can live in California want to live anywhere else? Then again, there are so many stunning places in the USA … Oregon coastline, NYC, Cape Cod….! Wow, but these photos are truly amazing! Made my day! Thanks!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Mona Lisa. I wish I had had more time for the coastal drive. This trip was more about visiting my sister and my friends, so I didn’t get to see as many sights as I would have liked. Did you see my earlier post about Hearst Castle? You might enjoy that too. 🙂

  3. Even though I live in California, you can’t imagine how much I’m enjoying your road trip. The pictures are so lovely and I’m learning about these towns as you go. Thank you so much!

  4. Wow, those beach photos are stunning. Simply stunning. I’ve not spent enough time in CA to appreciate just how beautiful it apparently is. Thanks for sharing these amazing images. Hope the job search is going well.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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