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The Only Central California Coast Road Trip Guide You'll Need
Nathan Mueller
byNathan Mueller

From sunny Southern California to crisp Northern California & all the inland forests and beach towns in between, our Media Design Manager, Nathan Mueller, just took the perfect road trip from San Diego all the way up the coast of Central California and is sharing his itinerary with you. An easy four-hour drive from Los Angeles with stops in Santa Barbara and Ojai for drinks, farm-to-table eats and a stay at a little beach lodge in Cambria, get ready to take notes because this is the only road trip itinerary up the California Coast you'll ever need. 


First Stop: Sama Sama Kitchen | Santa Barbara, California
If there's ceviche, mezcal, avocado & brussels sprouts on the menu, it's a major win for me. At Sama Sama you can enjoy Indonesian food inspired by the offerings of local farms and markets. Oh, and the interiors are beautifully California minimalist.

Book a table or your next event at Sama Sama Kitchen → 


Second Stop: Ojai, California
We a made 'pit stop' in Ojai where the air is perfumed with citrus and every shop or restaurant interior is fresh California chill. From interior designer Channon Roe, stop by Ojai Harvest for afternoon craft cocktails, draft beers, wine and a rustically styled bohemian bar and restaurant. Ojai is shaping up to be a city known for it's beautiful curated lifestyle boutiques. Visit In the Field, where shop owners Channon and Bianca Roe combine bohemian fantasy and great taste. For a fun collection of summer camp inspired patches, posters and gear, stop into the converted gas station of Shop Summer Camp.

Inside tip: Pick up an illustrated city map from In the Field with directions to visit the Meditation Mount and enjoy the best views of the city.

See more venues in & around Ojai → 

Stay at: Cambria Beach Lodge
Stay at this newly designed beach lodge in the quaint little town of Cambria along the stretch of the Central Coast to find unspoiled beaches and the smell of coastal pine filling the air. Rent yellow beach cruisers and ride along the bike path on Moonstone Beach to the nearby shops and fresh seafood restaurants. Watch for whales on the lodge's rooftop balcony or just relax on the day beds and sunbathe. 


Cambria Beach Lodge is the perfect home base for your Central Coast weekend road trip. Plan a tour of Hearst Castle (just a fifteen-minute drive from Cambria Beach Lodge), go for a coastal afternoon drive through the winding coast of Big Sur (thirty-minute drive to start of the scenic highway) and see the picturesque Morro Bay Rock (just thirty-minutes away from Cambria Beach Lodge).

Third Stop: Big Sur, California
Just a thirty-minute drive from the Cambria Beach Lodge is the start of the Los Padres National Forest. Primitive lands with 1,200+ miles of trails, a scenic byway, mountains, rivers and beaches that are the perfect coastal afternoon drive through the winding coast of Big Sur.

The Venue Report designed a special camping luggage label collection in honor of National Park preservation. Connect with nature this fall and head outdoors. Friends don’t let friends sit at home. Book your next camping trip here now.

See more venues in & around Big Sur
Shop the Camp Collection Luggage Labels →

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