A Few Days on the Central Coast

In my opinion, few things in life are better than a great motorcycle ride, especially with a wonderful riding partner like J, incredible scenery, and some great food!  After watching the weather reports carefully, we figured we could time a four day ride up to the central coast of California between storms.

So, off we went!  Our first first stop was Paso Robles, a great small city with some wonderful restaurants, great wineries, and the Paso Robles Inn!  We highly recommend the Paso Robles Inn.  Located on Spring Street just across from the town square, the Inn has delightful rooms, many with hot tubs that tap into the hot springs which are located underneath the property.  Plus, there are several great wine tasting establishments within stumbling distance of the Inn!

A Beautiful Place to Stay
A Beautiful Place to Stay

The mineral water did wonders for the achy muscles as did a great walk around town.  The next morning we decided to ride the “G” roads through the central coast mountains.  This is great riding.  Mile after mile of sweeping twisties, vineyards, and very little traffic.  We stopped here for coffee and conversation with the manager who told me he has lived his entire life here.  “I’ve been around, but I’ve always comeback.  Why leave?”  When you consider the beauty of the area, you can understand his decision!

Great coffee and conversation
Great coffee and conversation at the Bee Rock Store!

After the Bee Rock Store we were eager to see where the “G” roads would lead us next…we headed higher into the fog-shrouded mountains where the temps dropped into the forties.  Thank you Gerbing Electric Jackets!  Eventually we headed through Fort Hunter-Liggett an active Army base.  We turned for Jolon and US 101 for a few miles of slab.  Following the GPS, we quickly got off the freeway and found a “back” way to Carmel Valley Road which would eventually take us to our second night’s lodging.

A Gorgeous Valley
A Gorgeous Valley

The Carmel Valley is a beautiful place….lush rolling hills, incredible pastoral scenery, and narrow very twisty roads can make Carmel Valley Road a motorcyclist’s delight!  A word of caution-potholes and animals abound.  Keep your eyes open because this lonely road is no place to deal with a broken motorcycle or body!

It seems all too soon that we rolled into Carmel-by-the-Sea, a beautiful coastal village filled with art shops and beautiful zillion dollar homes.  We pulled into the Best Western Bay View Inn for our nights lodging.  We enjoy staying here because it’s nice, it’s reasonable, and it is two blocks from Ocean Ave., the main street.  It is also almost across the street from the employee owned “The Forge in the Forest,” my all time favorite restaurant!

Looking out from our Room
Looking out from our Room
Carmel is a great place to hang out, especially if you like restaurants, art, wine, people watching, and incredible scenery.  In fact, one of the prettiest drives in the world is between Carmel and Cambria.  This is the “Big Sur” area of central California and CA Highway One is a must-do motorcycle trip.  Take your time, ride sensibly, and stop often for pictures, at least the first few times you ride it.  CA1 is heavily enforced by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) with good reason; the drop-offs to the sea are spectacular and leave no room for error!
About halfway down the ride take a breather at Lucia, a quaint market, restaurant, and inn.  Lucia is perched percariously on the side of CA1.  It looks like it could all slide down into the ocean at any time!  Fortunately it hasn’t!  The restaurant here is very good, albeit a bit expensive.  But, the view is one-in-a-million!  Well worth the stop!  Also, if you go into the little market you’ll find a shelf near the coffee loaded with the pastry of the day…these goodies are baked locally and offered only here for sale.  Sometimes I’ll just grab a cup of coffee and a pastry if I’m not looking for a full meal!
Overlooking Lucia and Pacific Coast Highway 
From Lucia, the Pacific Coast Highway continues to wind along the cliffside for miles until the road eventually leaves the cliffs.  While the scenery stays spectacular, I always wish I was turning around here and going north again, just to play in the twisties!
Until next time, enjoy the ride!

2 Replies to “A Few Days on the Central Coast”

  1. It is motorcycle heaven…one of the best roads anywhere, especially if ridden before the herds of RVs get on the road!


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