Don't you kind of love it when a mountain or lake or something you live by is named "most beautiful" or "perfect to watch a sunset from" or "greenest peak"? We do, because we proceed to swell with an almost unbearable local pride, like we had a anything to do with the mountain forming or its craggy rocks or wildflowers.
Where's our giant foam hand? Yay, we're number #1!
Or, rather, yay, we're one of 50 on a brand new list from a major outlet! Hooray! It's a good list. It's a global list, with nods for the Amalfi Coast and the North Island of New Zealand. It's a list that spells out 50 "Drives of a Lifetime" as chosen by National Geographic Traveler (kudos, Newser). And here's the one that got the shout-out in Southern California: The Santa Barbara Loop.
You know the drive and its sights. It's mission-y. It's got a picturesque, wave-lapped wharf. The be-fogged hills of our own American Riviera. There are wineries (hi, Santa Ynez Valley) and windmills (goddag, Solvang). And rolling, balm-to-weary-city-eyes vistas all around.
You can call it "Sideways" country. If you want. It would be accurate.
If you don't know the drive, well. What can we say? It's practically in our laps. Or it is lap-adjacent. An easy Saturday. If you're feeling more ambitious, and have a few extra days, National Geographic Traveler tapped another California asphalt-y ribbon: PCH around Big Sur.
Of course, right? Swelling with pride. Like we personally know all those seals.