Tesla road trip from Cardiff to Hearst Castle

This car is built for road trips. Super comfortable seats: check. Tons of storage space: check. Extensive music options: check. Traffic-aware cruise control, built-in navigation, and auto pilot: check, check, check.

Having just finished my cross-country jaunt, I was eager for my next trip, so three friends and I planned a getaway to Hearst Castle. (The storage space in the Tesla definitely came in handy here: helloooo, four women with tons of stuff filled the trunk and the frunk and then since you’re in wine country, you have to buy wine to bring home.) We spent three nights in Cambria, did three tours at Hearst Castle, toured Paso Robles wineries, saw the elephant seals, shopped, ate, drank, checked out the huge waves and had a great time.

We left Cardiff around 8:30 on Wednesday morning, so that we could avoid peak morning rush hour traffic in LA. We cruised up to San Juan Capistrano, where we stopped for Starbucks and charged at the SJC charger. We could have skipped it, but topping off meant I wouldn’t have to worry about getting low on charge if we ran into any hideous traffic. My friends were amazed by how quickly the car charged—literally, by the time we grabbed our drinks and used the ladies room, the car was charged and ready to roll.

We stopped again in Oxnard (just in time for lunch – tons of choices at The Collection at River Park) and then in Buellton before we arrived in Cambria, where we settled in at the Fireside Inn. They have a cute little patio out front facing the beach as they are right across the road from the beach and boardwalk. The Fireside Inn is planning on installing a Tesla charger, but for now you can charge at their sister hotel, the El Colibri, which is just under a mile down the road.

The trip was the epitome of the perfect Tesla roadtrip. We never had to wait for the car to charge – literally, by the time we grabbed coffee (1st stop), grabbed lunch (2nd stop), or used the ladies room (3rd stop,) the car was ready to go.

While in Cambria, I only had to charge once overnight and then I topped off for about an hour the day before we left. The El Colibri’s manager, Don Cleave, was very accommodating and super nice: He made sure the Tesla spot was open before I brought the car down to charge, and I left it there overnight the second night we were there. There are a few other hotels that have Tesla chargers also, but the El Colibri is the newest. Don was nice enough to show me one of the rooms and it was gorgeous! Beautiful tile work and a jacuzzi tub, nice greenery views from the room and literally just a two minute walk down the boardwalk to the beach. They also have a cute little wine bar and a nice fireplace and lots of seating, so I enjoyed a glass of wine and then took a walk to the beach and back to the Fireside Inn.

On our third day in Cambria, we drove to Paso Robles and stopped at a few wineries. We checked out J Lohr Winery, where we did wine tasting and bought a few bottles; LeVigne, where we sampled wine and cheese, had some lunch and bought a few more bottles; and on the way back to Cambria, we stopped at Summer Wood Winery, specifically because they have a HPWC (high power wall connector) Tesla charger. They also have an inn if you are looking for a wonderful place to stay in wine country. While the car got close to 60 miles of charge/hour, our amazing host Lindsey poured some fabulous wine and we checked out their wine distillery and tasting room which were decorated for the holidays. The tasting room has a nice fireplace and great gifts too, so of course we bought a few more bottles of wine and some wonderful gifts. Thanks Lindsey for our gorgeous holiday wine boxes!

We did two daytime tours at Hearst Castle, but the evening tour the next night was my favorite. The castle was decorated for the holidays and there were people in period dress in a number of settings just as if they were guests of William Randolph Hearst himself. Our tour guide told us Hearst was quite the techie for his time—electric lighting and extremely modern bathrooms for the 1920s and 30s—and he hosted guests like Amelia Earhart, Edwin Hubble, Howard Hughes, and Charles Lindbergh. She mentioned that, were Hearst alive today, he’d likely host guests like Elon Musk in the castle and would probably have a fleet of Teslas.