Highway 101: Best hotels between San Francisco and Santa Barbara

The stretch of Highway 101 from San Francisco to Santa Barbara offers a vast array of lodging options, from chain motels to boutique inns. Sure, you could do the 300-plus miles in a single day, but it’s more fun to dabble along the way. You can go tasting at some of the stunning wineries in Paso Robles, Pismo or down near Los Olivos or Los Alamos. Grab lunch or dinner at a terrific roadside spot and then bed down at one of these wonderful inns. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. 

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1. Paso Robles: SummerWood Winery & Inn  

Paso Robles boasts plenty of hotel options, from the historic Paso Robles Inn to the SummerWood. This contemporary farmhouse-chic hotel boasts nine varietal-themed guest suites, each with a private patio and a platform bed topped with custom-made, pillow-top mattresses. The outdoor dining space offers farm-to-table cuisine, and your room tab includes a sensational, made-to-order breakfast.  

2. Pismo Beach: Seacrest Oceanfront  

Pismo’s snazziest, budget-friendly hotel is perched high atop a bluff overlooking the Central California coast. The place offers a fun retro vibe and cheerful, family-friendly atmosphere with 158 light, bright rooms — plus hot tubs, a pool, fire pits and barbecues. And don’t forget: Pismo may be known for its soft sandy beaches, but this is wine country, too.  

3. Solvang: The Landsby  

There’s a reason the movie “Sideways” featured so many sights in Solvang and Buellton. This is Santa Barbara wine country, and while you could stay at a spot by the freeway, a boutique hotel awaits just a few miles down the road. Solvang’s The Landsby was the former Petersen Village Inn, before a major renovation in 2015 transformed it into this cool, contemporary Danish-themed hotel with 37 rooms and four suites, plus the Mad & Vin restaurant and bar.

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