USA ’17 – Day 4 – Santa Monica, Santa Barbara & Solvang

When we planned this trip we gave ourselves a few nights in LA to help us get over any jet lag before heading out into the road trip itself. Today that started in earnest. We set out from our B&B and headed for Santa Monica. No paper maps for us but instead the trusty Google Maps and you really do have to trust it. In its efforts to avoid traffic it took us, once again, through some “interesting” areas of the city. It was beginning to make me think I was going to be in the staring role of a remake of The Bonfire of the Vanities!

It got us onto the freeway eventually and every other car seemed to be a Tesla. I’m not sure what the collective noun for a group of Tesla’s is, a Coil maybe? Anyway, there were plenty of Model S’s but we also saw a Model X too. To be fair only one occupant of our Mitsubishi was excited by this sighting!

Santa Monica & Santa Barbara

As I said in the previous posts Hollywood is a bit of a dump but, thankfully, other areas of Los Angeles are much nicer and Santa Monica is lovely. There is a sandy beach with a funfair filled pier – you could think you were in the UK if it wasn’t for the 30 degree temperature. The streets leading up to the beach are attractive and clean.

A little further up the coast is Santa Barbara which is even prettier with the Mediterranean influenced buildings.


Our stop for the night was at a place called Solvang and it is something of an anomaly. Founded in 1911 by some Danes it has been built to look like a Danish town – if Walt Disney been the project manager. As you can see from the pictures below all the town is built in a European style along with windmills and churches but the clean, wholesome nature of it all really did remind me of the stylised version of England that is in Epcot at Walt Disney World. It just doesn’t seem real somehow.

Solvang is in the middle of the wine valley here and there are plenty of places in the town to do some wine tasting. What there doesn’t seem to be, if our experience this evening is anything to go by, are facilities for those of us that don’t drink. In two places we went to this evening for a pre-dinner drink neither served any soft drinks. The second place was the hotel we were staying at and I was told I could go back to my room and take something out of the room fridge and bring it back to the bar! I can’t say that I felt like a welcomed guest.

Tomorrow we move further up the coast.