Everyone knows the feeling of relief associated with watching "the big city" disappear behind you in the rear view mirror… and the anticipation that can grip you as you head for a serene rural countryside. Nowhere are these sensations more strongly felt than they are as you head north out of Greater Los Angeles on scenic US 101 toward the sandy beaches, golden hills and verdant fields of flowers and vineyards along the coast toward San Simeon. Concentrating on the highway is increasingly difficult as you are constantly distracted by the sandy, sun-drenched beaches, the surf pounding against the rocky coast, hillsides totally bedecked in flowers of every imaginable color, vineyards stretching for as far as the eye can see, and quaint little communities, lazily watching the time go by while God tends to the crops. This is a beautiful, peaceful place to be a lovely stretch of California coast tucked snugly between the mountains and the sea. With slight variations, it is the route followed by the Spanish conquistadors in the 18th century the glorious El Camino Real. All of the surrounding communities are explored Ventura, the Channel Islands, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, San Luis Obispo, San Simeon and more. For each one the authors detail the things you should see, the adventures you can discover, the unforgettable places to eat, the most luxurious and the most affordable places to stay. Where to take in a baseball game, rollerblade the boardwalks, browse an art festival, people watch at the beach, sport fish near offshore islands or see world-class performances by street entertainers. This guide explores the region fully, with an emphasis on outdoor activities, from golf and birdwatching to wine tours, watersports and hiking. Touring chapters take you to all the well-known sights, and then lead you off to unusual attractions that will amuse and delight you. Accommodation sections cover all, from camping to B&Bs to historical houses. Restaurants and cafes are chosen for their charm and impressive cuisine. Often, doing something that you've done a dozen times before, but doing it in a different place, at a different time, or with a different person can make all the difference. Under the right circumstances, even the routine can become an adventure. Everything in life is an adventure. At least, it is the first time you experience it. Every sight, every sound, every scent, every taste, every sensation is an adventure that once. Why? Because it is a discovery . And every new discovery is an adventure. So, the authors dedicate this book to discovery: to experiencing new places, new people, new activities, new sensations, but above all, to discovering new dimensions within ourselves.