From the bloggers at The Los Angeles Times.
Los Prietos Campground, nestled among the massive old oaks of the Santa Ynez Mountains, feels worlds away from city life. It’s about 19 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, off California Highway 154 along Paradise Road in Los Padres National Forest, one of a few campgrounds near the Santa Ynez River.
Los Prietos is a family-friendly campground suited for tent and RV camping. The campsites are along a paved road, and each has a table, grill and campfire ring; flush toilets and running water are within walking distance of each campsite. Large oaks offer a decent amount of shade at most of the sites. There are nature trails and hiking opportunities, with river access across the main road.
Cold Spring Tavern began as a stagecoach stop in the 1800s and has been operating continuously as a restaurant/tavern since 1941. We arrived on a quiet Thursday and sat down to a late lunch in the tavern.
We each enjoyed a sandwich — I tried the tri-tip special while my partner ordered the French dip — along with a glass of local Chardonnay. Both sandwiches were piled high with the roasted tri-tip, the dip served with creamy apple horseradish and au jus, and the special served with little bowls of the horseradish, salsa and barbecue sauce.
On our way back to town, we stopped by the Paradise Store & Grill which has live music on the weekends, with a stage and outdoor seating. We enjoyed two massive cheeseburgers, piled high with fixings, a large side of thick-cut fries and a cold beer on the patio overlooking the Santa Ynez Valley.
To read the full story by The Los Angeles Times, click here.