Above the 101 about 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara, the Gaviota State beach is an awesome getaway with a spectacular hike.
AJ and I decided to hike to the caves on top of the large hill in Gaviota park. The drive out was half of the fun. We went out there in the proper fashion, windows down, music on, admiring the scenery and trying not to stare at the ocean too long before swerving off the road. Really, this section of the 101 is so beautiful, probably one of my favorite paces on earth.
The entrance is clearly marked on the left side if you are coming from the south, and there is no entrance fee if you are hiking and not camping.
We aren’t great hikers by any means, so I don’t know how accurately we could judge the difficulty. The hike seemed very steep but the path was easy to follow and the caves at the top were breezy and in the shade. We made it up, ate our lunch (pack one, there’s nowhere to get food anywhere close to Gaviota), watched hawks and planes fly by, and admired the ocean.
Really, a moderately difficult hike but all worth it for the end scene. All and all a spectacular mini adventure!