Highway 101: Best hotels between San Francisco and Santa Barbara


The stretch of Highway 101 from San Francisco to Santa Barbara offers a vast array of lodging options, from chain motels to boutique inns. Sure, you could do the 300-plus miles in a single day, but it’s more fun to dabble along the way. You can go tasting at some of the stunning wineries in Paso Robles, Pismo or down near Los Olivos or Los Alamos. Grab lunch or dinner at a terrific roadside spot and then bed down at one of these wonderful inns. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. 

———  

1. Paso Robles: SummerWood Winery & Inn  

Paso Robles boasts plenty of hotel options, from the historic Paso Robles Inn to the SummerWood. This contemporary farmhouse-chic hotel boasts nine varietal-themed guest suites, each with a private patio and a platform bed topped with custom-made, pillow-top mattresses. The outdoor dining space offers farm-to-table cuisine, and your room tab includes a sensational, made-to-order breakfast.  

2. Pismo Beach: Seacrest Oceanfront  

Pismo’s snazziest, budget-friendly hotel is perched high atop a bluff overlooking the Central California coast. The place offers a fun retro vibe and cheerful, family-friendly atmosphere with 158 light, bright rooms — plus hot tubs, a pool, fire pits and barbecues. And don’t forget: Pismo may be known for its soft sandy beaches, but this is wine country, too.  

3. Solvang: The Landsby  

There’s a reason the movie “Sideways” featured so many sights in Solvang and Buellton. This is Santa Barbara wine country, and while you could stay at a spot by the freeway, a boutique hotel awaits just a few miles down the road. Solvang’s The Landsby was the former Petersen Village Inn, before a major renovation in 2015 transformed it into this cool, contemporary Danish-themed hotel with 37 rooms and four suites, plus the Mad & Vin restaurant and bar.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

After the wildfires, raising a toast

Chris Morano settled into the pillow-strewn bench in the lobby of the Sandman, surprisingly relaxed after all he has been through. Behind him, singed shrubs appeared through the hotel window. Near the swimming pool, a concrete wall bore the black eye of a fireball. On the coffee table, by his knees, sat the most recent issue of Sonoma Magazine, which...
Great castles of the United States

Think only Europe has the lock on castles, coats-of-arm and other royal trappings? Pish-posh — the United States has its castles, too. And visitors may tour the grounds, enjoy a sumptuous repast and, in some cases, overnight in guest rooms that will make you feel like royalty.  — The Kentucky Castle, Versailles, KY   Kentucky...
Tallahassee a great outdoors launching point

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — North Florida is rife with options for outdoor enthusiasts and Tallahassee is a great place for your adventure base camp.  Whether it’s diving into the state’s deepest freshwater spring, checking out the state’s tallest waterfall or trekking through the state’s only guided cave system, there are...
Starting an intimidating world tour in the Big Easy

On my first trip to New Orleans, eight years ago, I bought a new pair of sneakers. By the end of a week I had danced in the streets so much I’d worn holes through the bottoms of each of them, straight through to my socks. That, more than Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest or oak trees or gumbo, is my indelible image of the city: The only place in the world...
Tips and tricks from a veteran British flyer

British writer Tilly Bagshawe is the New York Times best-selling author of more than a dozen novels. Her first, "Adored," was a Jackie Collins-style blockbusting bodice-ripper, and she's also written multiple officially sanctioned novels in the style of Sidney Sheldon. Her latest book is the first in a murder mystery series set in her beloved...
More Stories