Monday, February 20, 2006

Hwy 154 - the San Marcos Pass

Completing the Santa Barbara series is my recommendation for a scenic alternate route in and out. Hwy. 154 runs from 101 in Goleta to 101 just above Los Olivos, bisecting Los Padres National Forest.

As you head north out of Goleta, the highway winds up the hills and provides spectacular views of the coast and the Channel Islands. It stays curvy for a few miles and then runs next to Lake Cachuma and numerous ranches as it flattens and straightens. In the final stretch you pass vineyards and the small town of Los Olivos.

It is a two-lane road, so you can get stuck behind slower traffic, but is a nice alternative to the congestion you often encounter afternoons in north Santa Barbara.