Better late than never, right? A year ago, I embarked on an ambitious two week road trip with friends up the west coast of America from LA all the way to Seattle. After a fairly unpleasant motel welcome, we escaped Los Angeles as soon as possible on day two, and had a brilliant day driving through the picturesque towns of Santa Barbara, Solvang, San Luis Obispo, Cayucos and more before staying the night in Morro Bay.
The first stop out of LA was Santa Barbara Shellfish Company for super fresh lobster tacos on the pier. From there, we drove to the Danish town of Solvang (of “Sideways” fame) for some pastrami melts at Succulent Café and giant jenga at Solvang Brewing Company. After that, we settled in to Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks taproom in Buellton and drank some phenomenal sour and barrel aged beers. It was hard to leave.
We parked briefly in San Luis Obispo to check out bubblegum alley (as gross as it sounds) before rushing over to the tiny beach town of Cayucos to reach the highly recommended Ruddell’s Smokehouse (as it shuts unexpectedly early). We made it just in time for sublime smoked ahi and albacore tacos, washing them down with cans of Anderson Valley Brewing’s Kimmie, Yink & Holy Gose from a standard shop round the corner. When will the average British off-license start upgrading their beer selection from Zywiec and Corona?
After some fun on Cayucos beach, we followed the Morro Rock back to Morro Bay where we stayed the night, though we did sneak out to Pasa Robles (quite a fun drive inland) to check out the impressive set up at Barrelhouse Brewing Co before bed time. We accidentally turned up after they had shut, but the magnificent Rustle showed us around anyway, poured us some limited edition brews on the house, and sent us packing with a crate of beer to drop off at Cascade in Portland! That’s some serious trust right there. And so, for the rest of the trip, our beast of a Chrysler was renamed Rustle. Day 2 – not too shabby.