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towards the most stunning section of the
Paci c Coast Highway. If you have time,
take a detour to explore Santa Cruz and
the Monterey Peninsula, stopping for lunch
at one of the taco trucks en route. The
iconoclastic Bonny Doon winery is here,
where winemaker Randall Grahm has been
marching to the beat of a di� erent drum for
his entire career (bonnydoonvineyard.com).
Much of California is only just starting to
catch up with his interest in an eclectic range
of grapes from the Rhône, Italy and Spain.
If things piscine oat your boat (so to
speak), the other place that's worth a visit
while you're in the area is the Monterey
Aquarium, where you can get up close and
personal with all manner of sh and other
marine life in their watery habitats.
As you continue south, you'll hit the best
part of the Paci c Coast Highway. The drive
between Monterey and Morro Bay is truly
magical, so it's no wonder many people
choose to prolong the pleasure by staying
around Big Sur for a couple of days. If you're
in the area between December and February,
HOW TO GET THERE
British Airways ies from
London Heathrow to San Francisco
and Los Angeles several times a day.
Return ights from London Heathrow
to San Francisco, returning from
Los Angeles, start at £807. Flight
time is approximately 11 hours.
HOW TO GET AROUND
Rhino Car Hire o� ers a handy
price comparison service with links
to most major car hire companies.
WHEN TO GO
The best times to visit are either
in spring/early summer (April-June)
or autumn (September-October).
Bear in mind that if you're there
during harvest, the smaller wineries
may not be open for visits.
WHERE TO STAY
Anderson Inn, doubles from
Duchamp Hotel, doubles from £255,
WHERE TO EAT
The Fremont Diner, thefremontdiner.com
Ichi Sushi, ichisushi.com
State Bird Provisions, statebirdsf.com
Zuni Café, zunicafe.com
FIND OUT MORE
or July to September, the odds of catching a
glimpse of migrating whales are high.
The working town of Morro Bay is a good
place to break the drive, especially if you book
a seafront room at the charming Anderson
Inn, where you'll be serenaded by the colony
of elephant seals that live on the bay.
The last leg of your journey runs down
past the Santa Rita Hills and through the
Santa Barbara American Viticultual Area,
where there's a growing
appreciation of the
potential to make re ned,
cool-climate Syrah as
well as silky Pinot Noir
and precisely balanced
Chardonnay. There are
a number of tasting
rooms that line the route to Los Angeles,
including Qupé in Los Olivos (qupe.com) and
Au Bon Climat in Santa Barbara (aubonclimat.
com). It's also worth making a detour to the
unprepossessing town of Lompoc, where a
number of boutique wineries o� er tasting
facilities in an industrial park known as the
Lompoc Wine Ghetto on the outskirts of
town. The stars of the show are Domaine de
la Côte (domainedelacote.com), a specialist in
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and Piedrasassi
(piedrasassi.com), which focuses on Syrah.
From there on in, seasoned road trippers
will nd it an easy cruise down to the City
of Angels - and its gastronomic delights -
a more than tting destination for any
four-wheeled American dream.
IN THE SANTA BARBARA AREA THERE'S A
GROWING APPRECIATION OF THE POTENTIAL
TO MAKE REFINED, COOL�CLIMATE SYRAH