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This motorcycle route through the Los Padres National Forest and Santa Ynez Mountains is chock full of twisties with stunning views of the shoreline, river gorges, valley's, forest, oil fields, mountains and farmland. The road weaves from Santa Barbara to Ojai through Cuyama to Santa Maria then back to Santa Barbara. It can be completed in 229 Miles (367 KM) in 4 and a half hours.
Santa Barbara is West of Los Angeles and between the Los Padres National Forest and the Pacific Ocean. It's a town of 88,000 people with History going back 13,000 years. The native Indians living here were discovered by a Portuguese explorer in 1542 and the town was colonized by Spaniards in 1769. The town has beautiful beaches and views of the Santa Ynez Mountains in the distance. Santa Barbara has retained a number of historical buildings including the chapel at Mission Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Presidio: the last military outpost built by Spain in 1782.
From Santa Barbara start your motorcycle route heading South-East on the 101 Freeway then North on Highway 33 towards Ojai. The road along Highway 101 is straight with a few turns. When you reach Highway 33 that's where the fun begins! Go North on Highway 33 past the Ventura Oil Fields. From Ojai to Cuyama the road is full of zig zags through the Los Padres National Forest. You'll know you're half way through when the the zig zags stop. From there it's a straightaway road towards Cuyama. This route varies in elevation from sea level to 1500 metres. Make sure you top off your gas in Ojai before heading in to the forest, the only other place to fill up on this route will be in Santa Maria 124 miles (199km) away.
Photo Credits: Daveg Travels - http://esr.cc/JzE1Fp
Reaching Cuyama merge onto Highway 166 heading west to Santa Maria. Now you're in the Cuyama Valley, the Eastern part of Hwy 166 is very straight with slight turns, the Western part has a few twisties all downhill. Cuyama is a very small town in a valley filled with farmland, not really much to see, but worth stopping for some decent grub at The Burger Barn in Cuyuma.
From Cuyama go to Santa Maria, popular for its wine industry and Santa Maria style Barbeque. Visit the many wineries in this area for a taste of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which grow well in Santa Maria benefiting from its location near the ocean and valley. For more information on the wine region see: http://esr.cc/JT9oRl
In Santa Maria you'll want to try the barbeque at the Maverick Saloon, a western style restaurant located at 3687 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez. This place is known for their authentic tastes of the Old West http://esr.cc/KRNqdT Another notable restaurant is Cold Spring Tavern located at 5995 Stagecoach Road, Santa Barbara, known for their delicious Tri Tip Sandwicheshttp://esr.cc/LS9aUT
While you're digesting, take in some theatre. Santa Maria is home to The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, a highly regarded theatrical school with notable alumni including Robin Williams, Kathy Bates, and Zac Efron, http://esr.cc/M4qFp2
From Santa Maria to Santa Barbara, merge onto Highway 101 South-East, a fairly straight road with slight turns. Once you reach Lake Cachuma there's a short road with twisties heading south into Santa Barbara.
The motorcycle ride through the Los Padres National Forest and Santa Ynez Mountains is full of twisties and straight-a-ways. You rarely see so many types of scenery in one route. This ride includes stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, river gorges, valleys, oil fields, mountains, forest and farmland. From Santa Barbara to Ojai through Cuyama to Santa Maria then back to Santa Barbara this 229 mile (367 KM) route is a stunning experience. Enjoy the ride! #EatSleepRIDE