Go West, Young Man (or, what should Paul do on Spring Break?)


So, in a week and a day, I’m boarding an airplane and voyaging westward. Specifically, I’m flying to Los Angeles, hanging out for a few days, then driving up through the central coast to the Bay area, where I’m meeting up with my brother.

Pretty much the only two definitive stops on my itinerary are this place* and this one (no, I haven’t seen that movie yet). And I’ll probably stop here, too.

But what are the other “can’t-miss” destinations (particularly in the southern half of the journey)? What’s going on in Santa Barbara? Carpenteria? Hidden gems in LA (I’m staying in up in Topanga, so enthusiastic recommendations for “the greatest fish taco place ever” in San Juan Capistrano will be taken under advisement but may not actually followed-up upon)? Any west-coast-based-readers (both NoCal and SoCal) interested in meeting up to raise a glass or two?

*Their 2000 Logan Pinot Noir is truly astonishing; unfortunately, the only place I can find it in NYC only sells half-bottles.


Dude, if you've never been to Hearst Castle (http://www.hearstcastle.com/), you should not pass up the opportunity. We did tours 1, 3, and 4. Although all were fascinating, I would sacrifice number 4 in favor of number 2, which I regret not doing.

Well if you're in Topanga, you're not too far from that crazy fish shack/biker bar way up PCH to the north. It's right across the street from the ocean. Good hiking spots around there, too.

Definitely check out Hearst Castle.

Monterray Bay Aquarium is always popular.

If you're interested in Spanish history, there's always the Missions.

Hi Paul - We were just formerly neighbors - I lived in 2A - Lynn D. told me about your blog - but I just left the Walton for more space in Brooklyn.

I used to live in So. Cal, so I have to tell you that...the world's best fish taco is now in LA: http://www.wahoos.com/
I don't know what the other place someone suggested, but these really are the best (at least they were a dozen years ago, when I lived there.)

If you are a wine guy - in Napa (St. Helena to be exact), you will find Heitz Cellars, which is one of my favs.

Hearst Castle is nice, but only if you don't mind lots of tourists swarming from buses, but most things up the coast are that way. You are probably going to stop in Clint Eastwood's town, Carmel. That can be touristy, but still too beautiful to pass-up - the Cypress trees on the ocean are an unforgettable site.

You are probably already covered on things to see in S.F. but if the bar at the Top of the Mark (hotel) is open, give it a visit for the views.

That's all I can think of right now. It's been a while. Have fun.

as a native santa barabaran/carpinterian, let's just say the best place to get a taco or other tasty item is "la superrica" on milpas street in santa barbara.

Paul! When in Nor Cal, if there are any glasses being raised, may I suggest we hook it up? deano and the vino are far from being strangers.

My personal home-vinted hootch was called Moong Cha Cha - how's your cantonese these days?


Paul--Would enjoy meeting you if you want to try to have a drink, or to sample some of the amazing Vietnamese, Mexican, or Thai food in the Bay area. I live in San Jose, but am in SF regularly--like tomorrow.
Get in touch if you have time and want to meet up.
best, susan

PaulF, silly me, I should have mentioned at brunch to follow our honeymoon travelogue (see my right hand side navigation).

I second the La Superrica recommendation... literally the best tacos John and I have had and we've eaten our way around the country.

Also, I'm just nutty for Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz.. we went to their Halloween party and had a great time. Their tasting room is lovely and the staff is helpful and very knowledgeable. We joined their DEWN wine club.

Have a great trip, you deserve it.

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