Trip To Hearst Castle
We were driving up the coast and decided to stop in. What a great place! We were seated in their outdoor patio area, which was very nice (especially with the weather). The service was very quick and friendly. We ordered a couple appetizers, which were all delicious.
Then, I ordered the sandwich. If it wasn't for this sandwich, I would give this place 5 stars. But it was just too bland. Maybe my expectations were high, but for what they were promising, they really should not have had such a bland sandwich. Also, it's a bit more pricey then it needs to be. But overall, a great experience.
And it's located in a really cool little neighborhood with a bunch of weird shops. If you have the time, definitely check them out!
The Inn is really fun and weird, but the bakery was fairly disappointing. Maybe it was because I wasn't that hungry, but the cake just wasn't that good. It wasn't bad, by any means. It was moist and it was fairly rich, but it really didn't stand out much... The cake itself would have warranted 4 stars, but the lady serving us must have been having a really bad day, because she was simply mean... so 3 stars it is!
I loved this place! I took the second tour, which took us through the pools, the library, the study, a couple guest rooms, and Hearst's private rooms. I definitely recommend this tour. Our guide was a bit weird... meaning he acted as if he lay awake at night imagining what it would be like to hang out with Hearst, but he was also very knowledgeable (or at least confident about the facts he told us).
It's not a place you'll go to many times, but its definitely worth at least one visit. If I go again, it will definitely for an evening tour (which are restricted to certain days).
I think I came here as a kid, but can't remember it at all. I feel like I appreciate it much more as an adult (am I really an adult?)... so maybe don't put your kids through it. However, it probably is a good family vacation... But that's neither here nor there.
Unfortunately we went during the time of year when most of the seals are in the ocean. So instead of seeing thousands of seals, we saw dozens. But it was still a very cool view. Also, they weren't where the official signs were, but were a little ways down the road. So make sure to look around for other cars parked in the area to find the best viewing spot!
Yay, first to review!
I was worried when I booked this place. I saw reviews of it (yelp failed me and I had to go to other websites) and they were not too flattering. So I was actually pleasantly surprised. For $70 we had a king sized bed and a FIREPLACE!!! Bring your own log, we brought one of those that burns for three hours with no hassle, and it was awesome.
Yes, the place wasn't that nice, the bathrooms were sort of dingy and everything was old, but that's why its a motel. It was fairly clean, close to the beach, the a reasonable price. Plus, it had a fireplace!!!
P.S. It's actually a motel, not a hotel, but yelp doesn't have a "motel" category.
This was a GREAT restaurant. It was a bit pricey, and perhaps meant for older people (based on who I saw around us), but the food was simply delicious and the service was very nice and friendly.
We tried a bunch of different dishes, and they were ALL good. I don't mean that some were good and some were OK, or all were palatable, I mean all of them, without exception, were amazing.
Not sure what else I can say... Oh, it looked like it had a cool patio outside area, but unfortunately there was a big group that had reserved it. Check it out if you have the chance!
I was only so-so about this place. I mean, the fish was actually very fresh and good, but the salad wasn't that good and the place itself didn't leave much of an impression. When people said that you had a great view of "The Rock" I thought it was a view you wanted... but it's just a rock. So while it's cool to look at at first, about 30 seconds later it's still a rock. The three stars doesn't mean I didn't like it, I would just probably try something else if I was in the area again.
17 reviews and all 5 stars? Yup, it's simply that good! That atmosphere is great for dates, groups, or whatever. You seated outside (Santa Barbara weather always permitting) and if your group is large enough you'll have your own little fire pit. If not, then you're still in the very nice surroundings. Cold? Turn on the heat-lamp right next to you. Not cold? Keep that lamp off...
The food was ALL delicious. Great meats, great pita, great dipping sauces. If I'm in the area, I'll definitely be back!
This is a cool little area with a bunch of intersecting trails. But first you have to get there. When you're driving down the road, there is a small unassuming parking lot. Yup, that's it. That's all there is to it. So you park, enter the brush, and eventually come to a sign post and a fork in the road (is it starting to sound like a fairytale yet?).
You choose your path, but be careful not to stray too far from it, or you'll get lost. Seriously, these are not your typical hiking trials. You actually feel like you're in the thick of things, and that road you just came from, well don't expect to hear it for long. So its easy to mistake something that is not a path for a path, make a couple wrong turns, and bam, you're lost. Definitely needs more signs.
But otherwise it's a really awesome area. You feel like you're a part of the place, instead of just a visitor (like in my HUGE industrial trials) and its very secluded and peaceful.
Next time, I'm bringing some bread crumbs to find my way back... that's bound to work, right?
I tried to make reservations for this place and was rudely told that 8:30 was the latest possible reservation. So we risked life and limb to make it on time, only to discover that the place was not at all full. So that wasn't a great start.
It got better from there. The waitress was very helpful and friendly. We got a bowl of clam chowder (unfortunately, no bread bowls) and their fish tacos. Both were incredibly good and very filling. We also got a half bottle of their wine, which was reasonably priced and perfect for two people.
View would have been better during the day, but since it was night and too cold to eat outside, we could only see our own reflections in the windows. Which, now that I think about it, means we had an amazing view!
We came here for the view so we insisted on sitting outside. Since they only have four outdoor tables, this meant putting our name on a wait list and waiting. While waiting we decided to do some wine tasting at a tasting room nearby (more on that in a different review), but by the time we got back our names were already crossed off. We did some more waiting and finally, right before we were about to cave and sit inside, we got a table!
We got the shrimp tacos and... I can't remember what else. The tacos were good. The other thing was not that memorable (obviously). I wouldn't say this is a foodie destination, but its definitively great for a relaxing day when you have plenty of time to see the sites.
This is an awesome little cheese shop. They give out free samples, are very knowledgeable, incredibly friendly and have a great selection of cheeses, jams and cheese plate related knickknacks. Pretty much exactly what you're looking for and expect when you go to Solvang.
This is a great tasting room. You can get 6 tastes (3 red and 3 white) for $10, or just 3 tastes for $5. They weren't overly chatty, but were very nice and attentive when we wanted their attention, which was exactly what we wanted since we were here more for the view and the atmosphere. I'm not a wine connoisseur, so I honestly have no idea if their wines are any good, but I liked two of the three whites we tried and the third was just a little too sweet for my taste.
The view is incredible. Boats floating on the water, birds sitting on lamp posts just begging to be instagrammed, what else can you ask for?
Awesome little Inn. They clearly care about little details to make the stay worthwhile. Also, it was really clean, which is a big concern when you're looking at motels. My only complaint was that the towels were really rough. Get some softer towels and you'll be set!