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US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

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London, United...
posts: 12,153
reviews: 145
US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

I'm going to be travelling north along US-101 from Los Angeles to Lompoc.

It seems there is very little difference in time or mileage between taking CA-1 (at Las Cruces) and CA-246 (at Buellton) so I wondered if anyone had an opinion on which would provide the nicer driving experience.

Thank you.

13 replies to this topic
Southern California
posts: 6,557
reviews: 1
1. Re: US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

Have taken both and both are very nice. Hwy 1 will take you past some beautiful beaches north of Santa Barbara and you go through a tunnel past Gaviota.

London, United...
posts: 12,153
reviews: 145
2. Re: US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

Thank you. But the route options I have only come north of the Gaviota Tunnel so I will get to see those beaches regardless which I choose. I simply want to compare Highway 1 between Gaviota and Lompoc and Highway 246 between Buellton and Lompoc.

I'm sure it isn't a particularly important decision but if there's anything favouring one over the other I would like to hear about it.

Thank you.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 10,265
reviews: 87
3. Re: US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

Hi, LDN. In my view, Highway 1 is more interesting, due to geological features/hills etc. along the road and probably a little slower going. 246 is across flat agricultural land (there are probably some wineries along that route).

There are traveler services at Buellton (restaurants), so if time of day dictated that you needed something to eat, you'd probably want to go through Buellton (and of course the controversial town of Solvang is next to Buellton, our family loves Solvang, we have a Solvang resident on TA who also loves it, but some people find it tediously touristic). Highway 1 would leave you in less contact with human beings by avoiding Buellton/Solvang. There is one roadside attraction near Buellton (Nojoqui Park - you can read about it here on Trip Advisor, some people love it - as we do - others think it is a miss), that you would not be able to visit if you went by the 1.

But, if you aren't interested in eating, Nojoqui Park, Solvang or wineries, I'd recommend the 1, as its one of those classic California scenery drives through rolling hills with low mountains behind the hills, and a few wildflowers at the right time of year, and a peaceful, quiet mien.

Don't know if you have time to visit Jalama State Beach (a great place for beach combing, especially for agate), it's off the 1, but would add quite a bit of time to your drive (a couple of hours if you got out and walked around at all), but thought I'd mention it.

Have fun, either way! Your drive on up north of Lompoc will be very enjoyable, hardly anyone goes that way, but it's a local favorite.

London, United...
posts: 12,153
reviews: 145
4. Re: US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

Thanks, Cookie.

We've been to Buellton and Solvang before, and liked them, but don't need to go back.

We're definitely just looking for the drive with the best views, rather than opportunities to stop, as we've got a packed schedule both sides of this newly-added diversion. So maybe Highway 1 is the, erm, one!

Because of those scheduling reasons we won't make it out to Jalama State Beach, either, although beach combing does sound fun.

Agree with you about the driving in this area. We've driven Highway 1 from Pismo Beach through Guadalupe to Santa Maria and Foxen Canyon Road to Santa Ynez and really loved being off the 101. And we're excited about this Lompoc loop, regardless of which route we end up taking.

Which will probably be Highway 1.

Thank you.

Lompoc, California
posts: 59
reviews: 8
5. Re: US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

Someone mentioned that Hwy 1 takes you north of Santa Barbara along the beaches and then through the Gaviota tunnel. .... I think they meant to say Hwy 101 takes you past the ocean and beaches, as hwy 1 intersects with the 101 *after* the tunnel when heading north.

If you are looking for the quickest route to a certain part of Lompoc, rule of thumb is:

-Vandenberg Village, Mission Hills, La Purisima Mission, or Vandenberg Air Force Base - quicker to take 101 to Buellton, then Hwy 246. This will put you to area's of Northern Lompoc.

-Lompoc itself - take hwy 1 into Lompoc. Hwy 1 continues through town.

More scenic would be hwy1. Both routes will get you into Lompoc :)

Hope this helps some :)

London, United...
posts: 12,153
reviews: 145
6. Re: US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

ihealthi, as you may have figured out from getting involved in my other thread, I want to get to Ocean Avenue and V Street.

You will also see that I'm only interested in which route is the most interesting and not quickest. I think I'm pretty set for Highway 1.

Lompoc, California
posts: 59
reviews: 8
7. Re: US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

The "pretty/scenic" Hwy 1 will be the one for you (although more scenic in Spring)! :)

Pretty much take a left at the stoplight coming into Lompoc (Right becomes hwy 246 to Buellton; straight on 12th will take you into the "Ghetto" (wine tasting if you like); and left has you continue on Hwy 1 (Ocean Ave) into the city. The streets will count numbers down from 12th - 1st, then it works into the alphabet A st. - Z st. as you head west on Ocean Ave. Keep going west on Ocean and within 5-10 minutes, you will be at V st. and Ocean Ave.

If you like, I can take a picture this week of the intersection and post it here. Let me know :)

Edited: 7:03 pm, December 25, 2011
London, United...
posts: 12,153
reviews: 145
8. Re: US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

Thanks, ihealthi, I'll be making this drive in mid-June, when I hope the flowers will be in full bloom. However, if the Flower Flag isn't there I won't be making the trip at all. So watch this space!

I appreciate the offer of a photo but there's no need to go to that trouble on my behalf, although it is very kind. I've seen what Google Street View offers, as well as my Rand McNally road map, and beyond these I'm excited to wait until I see it for real.

Ta.

Lompoc, California
posts: 59
reviews: 8
9. Re: US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

Your welcome. And although the Southwest corner at V and Ocean is currently just dirt, it will most likey be in full bloom come June.

If in the future any new talented growers take on this challenge once more, it's hard to appreciate it as much from 'street view' as it is at an elevated standpoint. With that in mind, if you do have the opportunity to see this particular parcel in full floral flag fashion it would be best to consider a hike up "Look OUt Point" (pretty much a proverbial "lover's lane" from many years past with a great view of the valley). The steep, narrow, and windy road is now closed to traffic, but you can still walk up there. Give yourself about 20 miutes to get up there once you park your car. This road is just south of that parcel of land. It's Z st which becomes Bodger Rd going up to the point.

Bodger Rd pretty much 't-bones' into the land of the floral flag which had been owned by the Bodgers (Bodgers seeds) who I think is now out of business. However, someone still grows flowers there, although I have no idea if they will this year.

Good luck in your research. Hope you trip in June is safe and happy! :)

Lompoc, California
posts: 59
reviews: 8
10. Re: US-101(N) to Lompoc... CA-1 or CA-246?

For others reading this eventually, you can find a 'piggy back' conversation of this thread at:

tripadvisor.com/…37572946

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