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Trip Report Scenic Drives in Santa Barbara County

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We recently took some beautiful drives in Santa Barbara County. Highlights included spectacular scenery, dozens of wineries, charming Cold Spring Tavern, and the delightful towns of Los Olivos, Solvang, and Santa Ynez. Get good maps:

*We took 154 east from Santa Barbara to Painted Cave Road.
*We took Painted Cave Road (and other roads) to Cold Spring Tavern.
*We got back on 154 and drove east to Los Olivos.
*From Los Olivos we took Ballard Canyon Road south to 246.
*We took 246 west to Solvang and then on to Santa Ynez and Highway 154.
*We took 154 back to Santa Barbara.

The total drive was about 100 miles.

(Alternatively, you could start the drive by taking 192 to Old San Marcos Pass Road. If you do so, drive north on Old San Marcos Pass Road to 154 where you will pick up Painted Cave Road. Then, continue as described above.)

Also, north of downtown, Gibraltar is a hard-to-find road, popular with bicyclists. It gives sweeping views of the ocean on the way up and on the way down. Drive 192 west and make a left on Mountain Drive, which connects up with Gibraltar.

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