Morro Bay/Santa Ynez/Solvang – Day 5 of a 8-Day California Road Trip
Day 5 Road Trip was Morro Bay to Santa Ynez to Solvang! It was a gorgeous day for Day 5 (where was this weather for Day 4??). We were past the half way point of our trip and progressing closer and closer to Los Angeles.
To start the day, we had breakfast at Carla’s Country Kitchen and Gift Shop. Half of the store is a restaurant, whereas the other half is a gift shop. I ordered the eggs with bacon with hash browns and toast, whereas he ordered the eggs with hash, hash browns and biscuits and gravy. The gravy was very thick, but delicious. This was a heavy meal, but a great way to start the day.
After breakfast, we walked along the pier and admired Morro Rock, a volcanic plug that formed over 23 million years ago. There were sea otters joyfully playing near the pier as well.
Afterwards, we drove to the Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. I was not able to capture any clear photos of the Monarch butterflies, but there were very many of them at the grove. The butterflies migrate to the trees in this area due to the protection from cold temperatures, storms, and wind.
Nearby the grove is Pismo State Beach – we walked out to the sand to take some photos!
Next destination was a hike at the Lovers Loop Grassland in Santa Ynez. The entire loop is 2 hours, but it was already past noon and we had a few other stops, so we only walked about 40 minutes of the trail before turning back. The trail took us through the grasslands and was hot – make sure to bring water!
After our hike, we visited Saarloos and Sons Winery in Los Olivos. This was only the tasting room and did not have a vineyard. We shared a wine flight and relaxed on the patio chairs. Down the street, there are quite a few more tasting rooms that can be visited.
We were still quite full from breakfast, so we skipped lunch and headed to Nojoqui Falls. The trail is quick – only about 30 minutes. The waterfall was pretty bare with only a slight trickle against the lush greenery.
Next – another winery tasting at Sunstone Winery. Sunstone Winery was absolutely gorgeous and the wines were lovely.
After the winery, we drove to Solvang, where we were staying for the evening. Solvang is known for its Danish architecture. There are a lot of Christmas stores at the city centre, which is great because I love Christmas. After checking in at the hotel, we strolled around Solvang and headed to Copenhagen Sausage Garden for dinner.
Copenhagen Sausage Garden is an outdoor restaurant, with a variety of sausages, mustards, and garnishes. We ordered the 4 sausage sampler and two buns. They had so many mustards to choose from, I wish I could try them all!
To end the evening, we decided on Osteria Grappolo for drinks, since High Roller Tiki Lounge was closed on the day of our visit. We ordered two glasses of wine and a plate of meatballs (I wanted a snack).
Complete Day 5 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
8:00am: Breakfast at Carla’s Country Kitchen and Gift Shop.
9:00am: Walk along the pier in Morro Bay (3 minute drive from Carla’s Country Kitchen and Gift Shop). Visit Morro Rock.
10:00am: Visit Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove (35 minute drive from Morro Bay). Explore Pismo State Beach.
11:00am: Go on a hike at Lovers Loop Grassland (58 minute drive from Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove).
1:00pm: Enjoy a drink at Saarloos and Sons Winery (13 minute drive from Lovers Loop Grassland).
2:00pm: Hike the Nojoqui Falls Trail (21 minute drive from Saarloos and Sons Winery).
3:00pm: Have a drink at Sunstone Winery (21 minute drive from Nojoqui Falls Trail).
4:00pm: Wander Solvang (8 minute drive from Sunstone Winery).
5:00pm: Dinner at Copenhagen Sausage Garden (5 minute walk from Solvang Area).
7:00pm: Drinks at High Roller Tiki Lounge (5 minute walk from Copenhagen Sausage Garden).
8-Day California Road Trip Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 8-Day California Road Trip Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip in California!