SANTA BARBARA TO BAY AREA In between tasting pinots along Santa Barbara’s urban wine trail, hole up at the Canary (below, right and left), with a sunny Spanish-colonial boutique vibe. The swanky rooftop pool lends beachto-mountain views, and salmon with pork-belly and potato hash is a standout item at the hotel’s Finch & Fork restaurant. From there, legendary Big Sur twists along a 90-mile stretch of Highway 1.
Fill up on gas before hitting the road, and stop for a perfect photo op overlooking the 80-foot waterfall that drops into the ocean at Julia Pfeiff er Burns State Park. In charming Monterey, refuel with a soothing Bliss on the Bay lavender and chamomile treatment at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. At dusk, dress up for a seafood dinner in the glass-domed conservatory of The Sardine Factory before cozying up next to the crashing surf at the hotel’s fi re pit.
Hit the shops at nearby Cannery Row, then ask the hotel to arrange rental bikes or kayaks to spot sea lions along the coastal trail. Back on the road, stop at The Picnic Basket in Santa Cruz to grab lunch and snacks for the drive north. The Bay Area awaits to ease into city life, spend a night at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay (right), just south of San Francisco, where the bluff s overlooking the Pacifi c are a majestic backdrop for golf or horseback riding.