The Mayberry Road Trip

Highway 1 is an epic journey of food mixed with a fair amount of quirk.

“I drive because the lure of the open road is irresistible. And because the diversity of people, sights, and food are captivating,” says Brigit Binns, who may very well be the queen of the road after various cross-country jaunts. To boost her frequent joyrider status, Binns recently explored twisty West Coast roads and out-of-the-way restaurants with her dog, Stella, in Eating Up the West Coast. The part narrative, part cookbook was released in April. Her pointers are in the Big Sur part of the journey.

EUTWC_FrontCover.inddImage courtesy of Oxmoor House

Starting point: San Francisco, circa 1950s, at bright-yellow motor lodge Hotel Del Sol—near the beach but with its own saltwater pool and hammocks strung to palm trees.

Recommended route: Highway 1. Brake for beaches and small towns on the stretch from Pacifica to Half Moon Bay. If, like Binns, you have a Stella, Coast Side Dog Park is off-leash.


Detour: Pescadero. Duarte Tavern recalls scenes of Mayberry with its famous olallieberry pie. Follow that with LunaSea Gallery for a shopping break, and Harley Goat Farm for goat tours and cheese.

harley-farms_dee_goatsDee Harley with her goats. Photo by William Milliot, courtesy of Harley Goat Farm.

harley_warm_ricotta_largeImages courtesy of Bonny Doon

Davenport. Choose to stroll one of the four beaches in its vicinity, followed by a wine tasting at Bonny Doon Vineyard.


Overnight: Ten miles south of Davenport in Santa Cruz is midcentury seaside Dream Inn—walking distance to the pier and boardwalk for old-school amusement.

Detours in Big Sur, according to Binns: The clifftop Esalen Institute, a haven for alternative lifestyle workshops that has seen architect Buckminster Fuller, musician Joan Baez, and mythologist Joseph Campbell. The mineral baths are only open to the public in the wee hours. The postmodern Nepenthe Restaurant, where Liz and Dick filmed The Sandpiper. Big Sur Bakery, where a cabin in the woods has turned foodie pit stop.

Detour a smidge south: Sebastian’s in San Simeon for a tri-tip sandwich (across from Hearst Castle). “The beach at old San Simeon is a snapshot of the unspoiled past that cries out for a swimming dog and a surfboard,” Binns says.

Sebastian's Interior_p83Image courtesy of Oxmoor House

Chicken Tortilla Soup_p84Image courtesy of Oxmoor House

Eating Up the West Coast explores 12 delicious routes that cover California, Oregon, and Washington, with recipes to bring the experience alive at home.