Who's ready for a road trip?
The Earthquakes are on their way to their second home aka the Central Coast on Saturday. On tap is a match against the Chicago Fire at UC Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium at 6 p.m. PT (BUY TICKETS).
Now, as a Cal Poly grad I have biased opinions about UC Santa Barbara. That being said, they know how to do soccer on the Central Coast (See: Blue-Green Rivalry and fans storming the field). And, a drive down the 101 to CenCal isn't exactly torture.
If you are planning to make the trip, here's a few tips to keep in mind (and, if you want a more Santa Barbara-slanted perspective, be sure to Tweet @SamGarza17):
Lodging: Travelzoo has this deal available in Los Osos ($159 for one night, dinner and a bottle of wine). Los Osos is west of San Luis Obispo and tacks on an extra 40 minutes of total travel, but you're right on the coast and close to a popular tourist spot, Morro Bay.
Other spots worth considering include: San Luis Obispo (1 hour, 30 minutes from UCSB), Pismo Beach (1 hour, 20 minutes from UCSB) or Solvang (45 minutes from UCSB). If you're thinking about Pismo Beach, also take a look at Avila Beach; it's a hidden gem about 10 minutes north of Pismo.
Food: Two words: tri-tip. The Central Coast does beef and you can be sure if you stop at Firestone's in San Luis Obispo, you'll be back.
San Luis Obispo - Firestone Grill (get the tri-tip sandwich and a side of fries, thank me later), Pizza Solo (the best pie in town and the Solo Stix are on point), Louisa's Place (breakfast spot in Downtown SLO with big portions and plenty to choose from)
Pismo Beach - Splash Cafe (famous for its clam chowder), Del's Italian Restaurant (actually located in Shell Beach, sit-down spot with lasagna that rivals any mom's home cooking), F. McClintock's Saloon & Dining House (steakhouse in Shell Beach with the most talented wait staff in the Golden State)
Sunday Adventures: On your way back to the Bay, make sure to drop by at least one of the aforementioned eateries and check out the outdoor scene. Inspiration Point in Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Morro Rock, Hearst Castle, Bishop's Peak in San Luis Obispo - you can pull of the road just about anywhere and find something worth laying eyes on.