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Old 04-17-2015, 09:55 PM   #1
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Hollywood to Gilroy on the 101

Sunday morning we leave Hollywood in our toad to go to Gilroy, CA. We want to take the 101 for a scenic drive along the ocean.

What sights, sounds and tastes should we make sure to experience along the way?

Thanks in advance.


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Old 04-17-2015, 11:21 PM   #2
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Highway 1 goes along the Ocean. Hwy 101 is inland.

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Old 04-18-2015, 01:19 AM   #3
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Practically speaking, you can take 101 to San Luis Obispo (and stop at some of the wineries north of Santa Barbara), then pick up Hwy1 and drive the coastline (and past Hearst Castle, another notable spot) to Monterey (you could hit Cannery Road if you want). Then you'll take Hwy 61 inland (and if you are a car person, you can stop through the park that surrounds Laguna Seca and see the track) to the 101 and north to Gilroy... stopping to try garlic wine if you are brave!

Now, if you are trying to this all in one day, you will have to cut a lot out, as the drive will easily be 7-8 hours alone.

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Old 04-18-2015, 07:20 AM   #4
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Doggy is correct. 101 is only adjacent to the ocean (off and on) to San Luis Obispo. And although you can take highway 1 from SLO to Monterey (then 156 to 101 to Gilroy), the section from San Simeon to Carmel is a narrow, curvy and nauseating road (albeit with dramatic cliffs and views) that I avoid even in a car. I would just stay on 101 and not take Highway 1, with one exception. If you haven't seen it before:

San Simeon/Hearst's Castle, just north of San Luis Obispo, on Highway 1. $25/each adults. Currently the castle is wrapped in scaffolding, but still an experience.

Also, about 4 miles north of San Simeon is Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery (right off Highway 1, on the beach).

(If you don't want Highway 1 all the way to Carmel/Monterey, after seeing Hearst Castle/the rookery, backtrack the short distance to 146 to get back on 101 northbound.)

On the pier in Santa Barbara is a seafood restaurant where the locals actually eat, with some very fresh seafood, served in a very informal seafood "shack" (no disrespect intended; can't recall the name and it's been several years since we've been there, so YMMV).

Just north of Santa Barbara, on the 101, is Solvang, a charming Danish village, worthy of a stop.

Sadly, you are a little late in the season for the best wildflowers, but may see some.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:03 PM   #5
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Dinghy be good. One day not be. And from Hollywood, you can take Highway 1 along the coast thru, as my DW calls it, Malibu-bu. She's a Pepperdine grad. That campus is spectacular. You could take Malibu Canyon Rd over from 101. That's where they used to film alot of the TV show MASH. (First time we drove thru, we stopped and watched them filming.) Remember 'The Rockford Files'? His beach front trailer site is right next to a restaurant she took me to. The Troubadour Club, where John Lennon got into trouble while watching The Smothers Brothers . . . She was there on a date and saw the whole thing happen.
But I digress. Highway 1 weaves off & on 101 many times with many great things to see. Hearst Castle is one north of SLO. Were I doing it, I'd stay on 1 as much as possible. First night in the Madonna Inn in SLO. Second in Monterrey. The Monterrey Bay Aquarium is fantastic. Play tourist, lunch at Forrest Gump's place on the Wharf. Then I'd take 152 to Gilroy. Not in an RV, but definitely in the dinghy.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies guys.

We had a good day considering the time frame.

We stopped at Carpinteria and hung at the beach a while. We ate at Esau's Cafe, which is a totally awesome place to eat.


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