The next morning we retrieved our missing clothes and headed off down route 1 to Santa Barbara (via a washing stop at Pacific Grove). There were moody clouds and fog in the air as we drove the coast making the journey very atmospheric.
We stopped for lunch at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and took the short walk out to see McWay falls, the only waterfall in Cali that falls straight onto the beach/ocean depending on tide.
Hotel prices in California in July are not cheap, and in particular in Santa Barbara. After many hours (well at least 1) of research we had settled for the Aviana Inn.
It was a bit above our budget but the best we could find. As we walked into reception, a couple jumped in ahead of us and asked if they had any rooms available, the receptionist said yes -they had one remaining room and quoted a price over twice the figure we had paid online... but said that she could do them a deal and knock $20 off, delighted they took it at just shy of $300 for the night!!! Fortunately, they had our reservation and we were shown our room.
We liked it so much we booked in for another two nights, on-line and for just over $115 a night.
Santa Barbara is a great, true Californian beach town. It has good restaurants & bars, good shopping and a lovely beach. We spent a really good couple of days enjoying the sunshine, jogging and cycling along the beachfront path.