Sunday, September 30, 2012

California's Central Coast

When I looked at my road log, I was surprised to see that we'd been roaming around the central coast of California for over a month. Time flies.
We love returning to this area and always seem to have some new adventures. Santa Rosa was a new stop for us and we liked it a lot. We were centrally located in our spot at the Sonoma Country Fairgrounds. Among other things we toured some of the many wineries in the area. Most of them were dog-friendly but Tilly wasn't impressed.

Our next stop was Petaluma which is about 35 miles north of San Francisco. From there we were able to take the car into SF. Our friends Kathy and Dan moved there from Santa Barbara and are leasing a condo in the North Beach area. It's a great location within walking distance of Fisherman's Wharf, the Embarcadero, Washington Square and many other interesting areas. And they have off-street parking for us which is a huge plus!
It only took a minute to walk to this view that included Alcatraz and the Golden Gate, so it was easy to bring along some refreshment. It was really fun to have our own personal tour guides while there.
Of course we have the all-important picture with the Golden Gate in the background.
Another great thing about staying in Petaluma was the proximity to Sonoma. We spent some time in Napa a few years ago and it was so crowded thatI couldn't wait to leave. Brian suggested going to Sonoma at that time but I was done with crazy crowds and traffic and wanted to move on. My mistake. The two areas are totally different. I loved Sonoma and the laid-back atmosphere there, even at the larger wineries. We were able to chat with the people in the tasting rooms while sipping some wonderful wines and even met a few winemakers. 
Our other stops after leaving the Bay Area included Moss Landing near Monterrey, Lodi and Paso Robles for more great wine (sensing a theme here?) and Cayucos near Morro Bay for one of our favorite dog beaches.
We wrapped up our central coast tour with a few days in San Luis Obispo (rated the happiest town in America last year), Lake Cachuma, and Santa Barbara. We love this entire area and will be back.
People have been asking for maps of where we've been, so I'll try to start adding them. Here's where we were for this post.

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