Day Two: Santa Barbara – Cambria
Nothing beats getting up in a new city and hitting the streets for a quick run. You get to discover the area and workout at the same time. On day 2 I got up for a short run around Santa Barbara boulevard with the ocean to my left running past the pier, harbour and up the hill to the look out. This is really worth the run or walk as the views back across the bay are spectacular.
I still had 326 miles (524 km) to go to San Fran and had a couple of stops to make along the way.
Paul de Gelder had connected me with author and presenter Bill Poett (The Warrior Heart Project). I was heading to meet Bill in Goleta before driving up the coast. If you ever get a chance to meet Bill make sure you have the time to really sit and enjoy the conversation. We talked awareness, accountability, motivation and how we work with clients to empower them to make great decisions – it was enlightening, fun and an instant connection. Within minutes Bill and were lining up great interview for my new podcast series – stay tuned!
Bill’s family own one of the oldest ranches in California (San Julian) which is near the Hollister Ranch (if you’re a keen surfer you will have heard of that one…). I was extremely fortunate to be invited up to San Julian for a tour of the ranch, the original historic main house, the sustainable veggie garden and a site often used to film movies and shoots. RSJ’s Beef is also famous for the most incredible organic, sustainable farm to table beef . I met the two labradors, Bills gorgeous family and the area was out of this world. Thanks for the Cali hospitality Bill!
At the end of the day it was time to hit the road on my way up to San Fran via Big Sur and I chose Cambria Moonstone Beach as the stop off for the night. Still on highway 1 winding around the coast – it was a stunning drive at sunset.
It’s a good hour and a half at least from the ranch Cambria – and not much is open on the way there so stock up for the drive with water and gas. Depending what season you go in Moonstone Beach can get busy – Oct was great as it’s shoulder season and there was plenty of last minute availability. I opted for the aptly named Fogcatcher Inn.
This little area was amazing – I arrived at night to be greeted by friendly hosts and a lovely large room with built-in fire-place. Although it was still pretty mild weather, a couple of weeks on and you would be glad to have this rustic addition to the rooms. Once again free parking and WIFI are included which is fantastic if you need to connect, work or just figure out your next days plan.
I would highly recommend staying here if you need a night on the way up the coast – it’s dog friendly too! My only comment would be if you’re health conscious then bring some of your own food for breakfast or let the hosts know in advance if you’d like to have some healthier options. Whilst there was plenty of quantity it was mainly highly processed foods, waffle mixture ready to pump and grill etc. The couple sitting next to me were excited to buy the same free standing waffle mix for back home. Hmmmm.
If you’re prepared it’s not an issue to get an early start. (I traveled with BSC naturals protein powder, super greens, MACA vegan protein bars from WholeFoods etc, so had something to hand before hopping on the road).
Day Three: Moonstone Beach – Big Sur – Mill Valley San Francisco
I woke up and took a small run along the boardwalk of this incredible area. A rugged coast with the most incredible wildlife!
This area is already much cooler than it’s Santa Barbara and you’ll notice the change in climate almost immediately – however it has an amazing feel to it and is a great break along the coast.
Fit Tip: If you are arriving late in and have to get on the road early, then just do some basic core exercises as soon as you get up or build an extra 15 minutes into your morning regime.
It’s worth doing something that involves walking, running or movement before you’re back in the car for a few hours.
On the road to San Fran and it was Big Sur as the next point on my list. This is where the Pacific Coast drive gets really spectacular. If you can only drive one way (i.e flying out of the end destination then maybe the reverse San Fran to LA is great. It will have you on the best side of the road to pull over easily and take photos etc).
Do expect a slow drive with some road works and people sight-seeing. When you get into Big Sur, if you have the time hop out and take one of the trails this is an amazing walk/run is well worth the stop!
Note: Gas is expensive along the more touristy areas like Big Sur as they are well off the main highways – so refuel before you leave your latest overnight stop if needed as well.
I had a San Fran deadline so had to keep on going…winding my way up the Pacific Coast, via Santa Cruz I drove into San Fran around 2pm on Friday, dropped off my rental car, hopped on the Marin Airporter and was about to start the main part of my adventure!
Overall it took me 2.5 days, 2 nights, 4 official stops, meeting up with some wonderful people, fantastic views, super friendly staff and ideal accommodation. During those 2 days I have cycled, ran, walked, and even done some yoga, amongst all the driving. There is so much on offer to combine fitness into the drive. Keep your walking/running shoes handy as the area is made to hike and trail run.
You can also consider horse riding, stand up paddling, kayaking and surfing along the Pacific Coast destinations.
I can’t wait to share the Magic of Marin County with you on my next blog – and 2 INCREDIBLE green smoothie recipes that will knock your socks off!:)
Health & Happiness