Enjoying the freedom of the open road is a priceless luxury. And what better place to savor exquisite ocean views and fascinating pieces of history than cruising the California coast? While preparing for your visit to the Sonoma private residence club Mayacama, build an extra day or two into your itinerary to leisurely make the drive north from San Diego to your private luxury vacation home. Explore these four stops along the way, and you’ll come away with a whole new understanding of the phrase “stop and smell the roses.” Grab a map and put your sunglasses on — may we suggest renting a convertible to get the full effect?
Stop 1: Santa Monica Pier
The ramp at the intersection of Ocean and Colorado in Santa Monica will lead you directly to the historic Santa Monica Pier, first built in 1909 and now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. Health-conscious early birds can join in on the free Saturday morning Run + Yoga classes the pier offers on Saturdays at 8 a.m. Be sure to peek at the Pier’s famous 1922 carousel — you can hop on for a ride when it opens at noon. Another fine option: Simply relax on the beach, gaze at the expansive views of the Pacific Ocean, and watch the dedicated fishermen try to reel in a prize mackerel.
Stop 2: Lunch at San Ysidro Ranch
Come midday, take advantage of the rustic fine-dining experience that the Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara presents. Originally a 19th-century citrus-packing house, Stonehouse offers outdoor dining on an ocean-view deck; indoors, a wood-burning fireplace and soaring wood beams impart a cozy lodge-like atmosphere. As for the cuisine, locavores will appreciate the origin of the menu’s herbs and vegetables: All are grown in the restaurant’s organic gardens. For lunch, sample the three-course market menu, which includes selections like a local wild mushroom risotto with organic pea shoots and oven-roasted tomatoes. On weekends, a champagne brunch is served, with entrees like the grilled prime Wagyu hanger steak, ready and waiting to be washed down with a glass of bubbly.
Stop 3: Hearst Castle
Once you’re in San Simeon, turn right on San Simeon Road and step into a real-life fairytale with a guided tour of the Hearst Castle, the brainchild and estate of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Completed in 1947, the castle boasts 165 opulent rooms (including a movie theater and a giant dining hall) built on 127 impeccably landscaped acres (think: vivid pink bougainvillea, a massive outdoor pool, and an airport), all intended to showcase Hearst’s vast collection of art. The eclectic works are still on view, ranging from a 3rd-century Roman mosaic to an exquisite 19th-century Tiffany lamp. Come for the tour, but stay for the view: “The Enchanted Hill” overlooks California’s rugged Central Coast and the Pacific Ocean.
Stop 4: San Jose Rose Garden
Farther north, the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden is a true vacation for the senses (especially the olfactory system), with 4,000 rose shrubs that showcase 189 rose varieties. Stroll through the grounds and past the reflection pool and two-tiered water fountain while taking in the color and scent of eye-popping blooms surrounded by California redwoods. Grab a brochure to track which roses are planted where — and appreciate the wacky variety names, like Voo Doo and Olé.
Pleasure awaits after a full day of exploring the California coast. Once you’ve reached Mayacama, the only decision you have to make is which relaxing activity you’ll indulge in first. Hit the links on Mayacama’s immaculate 6,761-acre golf course; choose a spa treatment to unwind from the drive, like the Mayacama Signature Massage, designed to soothe tired muscles; sip a glass of cabernet sauvignon, poured from a bottle retrieved from your private wine locker; or make a dinner reservation to feast on Chef Scott Pikey’s seasonal selections, like clam fettuccine or the bacon-wrapped veal loin. Enjoy.
To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.393.1819 (toll free) or 707.569.2950 (direct) or via email at email@example.com