Davenport Run - Saturday July 13, 2024

Join the Norcal Minis club for an epic drive from San Jose through the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains! Enjoy stunning vistas and wine tasting a...

Paso Robles & Pismo Beach Weekend Run - April 28-30, 2023


Paso Robles City Park

Your Host(s) For The Event:

Tim & Kim Nye

Register at MotorSport Registry:

Click here for link to MSR registration page

Run Details:

Please note that this is not a normal one-day run event. NorCal MINIs will be driving to the wine country and the Central Coast beaches over the course of a 3-day weekend with 4 sprint runs! Over the course of three days, the club will drive the scenic bends and curves along the Southern Coast Ranges to Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, and Pismo Beach. Epic roads, epic views, and epic fun are sure to be had by all drivers and passengers.

We'll start our day on Friday, April 28, by meeting up at the Peetz Coffee in Morgan Hill (755 Cochrane Road Suite 100, Morgan Hill, CA 95037). After everyone has a chance to arrive and use the restroom, we'll hold our first drivers' briefing of the weekend, and convoy down US 101 southbound.

Please have a radio tuned to Channel 7-21 CTCSS to hear alerts during all runs! The Club has loaners if you don’t have your own. Leaders will use the club radios to alert drivers to hazards, so please have your radios or borrow the club radios to listen in.

Friday Sprint Run 1 Details (Morgan Hill to Paso Robles):

Sprint Run 1 Route Map

Departing the Peet's Coffee parking lot Friday morning, we'll head south on US 101 to Salinas, taking Exit 330 for Laurel Drive. Passing through west Salinas on N. Davis Road to Reservation Road will bring us onto River Road. River Road follows the hills along a gently winding route with views of the fields and vineyards outside of Salinas. Our first pit stop will be at an Exxon Station after about an hour of driving along River Road.

We will then continue to motor through the pristine Salinas valley agriculture land following the Southern Coast Ranges. Depending on our morning driver's briefing discussion, we may also stop at the historic Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad. From River Road, we will turn right onto Arroyo Seco Road to drive across the historic one-lane Arroyo Seco Green Bridge if the county has kept it open following recent storm damage. We will continue through the rolling vineyards and into our lunch stop at King City with several options for franchise fast-food and gas stations.

After our pit stop, we will drive about 10 miles south on US 101 before taking Exit 271 for Lockwood/Paris Valley Road just past the town of San Lucas. This low-traffic, winding road passes through the hills to Jolon Road and our next rest stop at the Pleyto Store in Bradley. Here we will debrief before heading to Paso Robles and checking into our hotels. We will gather in the evening (time to be determined) at Firestone Walker Tap Room and Restaurant in Paso Robles for dinner to close out our first day.

Firestone Walker Taproom in Paso Robles

Saturday AM Sprint Run 2 Details (Paso Robles to Oceano Dunes):

Sprint Run 2 Route Map

Sprint 2 Morning Meetup: 9:00 – 9:30 AM at Starbucks, 2429 Golden Hill Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446 Run Details: Leaving Starbucks, we will turn left onto CA 46 E for 15 miles, turning right onto CA 41 S toward Shandon Road. Over the hills and through the vineyards we go, stopping midway at a small boutique country bakery in Santa Margarita. There is also a planned stop in San Luis Obispo to refresh supplies and shine up our rides for showing off to our Southern California California MINI Club friends in Pismo Beach around noon. We'll meet up at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area with Fin's Seafood Bar and Grill nearby.

Oceano Dunes SVRA

Saturday PM Sprint Run 3 Details (Oceano Dunes to Frank's in San Luis Obispo):

Sprint Run 3 Route Map

Run Details: From Oceano Dunes, we will drive south on CA 1 and cut east near Orcutt to enjoy the backcountry highways and roads curving back north to San Luis Obispo and Frank’s Famous Hot Dogs for a quick bite before evening events.

Frank's Famous Hot Dogs in SLO

Saturday PM Optional Event (Sensorio in Paso Robles):

Group Event (optional): Terrace Experience at Sensorio Light Show  5:30 – 9:30 PM. There is an additional cost for this event of around $100 (estimate) per person to join the club at the light show terrace for a drink and a choice of char­cu­terie or cru­dité plat­ter. If you want to see the light show without joining the club for the Terrace food and drink option, you can purchase a general admission ticket for $43 online. Advance reservations are strongly recommended, as they do sell out.

Sensorio Light Show in Paso Robles

Sunday AM Sprint Run 4 Brunch Details (Paso Robles to Morro Bay):

Sprint Run 4 Route Map

Sprint 4 Morning Meetup: 9:00 – 9:30 AM at Starbucks, 2429 Golden Hill Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Run Details: From Starbucks, we will turn right onto CA 46 West across US 101 and continue onto 24th Street and Nacimiento Lake Drive. We'll turn left onto Adelaida Road where epic twists and turns flow for miles until reaching the roundabout and right onto CA 46 W. Shortly after we will stop for scenic views and pictures along the ridge before proceeding to the coast. At CA 1, we turn north toward Cambria. In this sleepy romantic seaside town, we will do a slow cruise showing off our MINI pride pausing at Leffingwell Landing State Park for their restrooms and fresh salty air blowing off the Pacific Ocean. We will do a second slow cruise back through the main Cambria thoroughfare on CA 1 S, picking up speed as we leave town on the Pacific Coast Highway to Morro Bay. We'll end at Morro Bay's T-Pier for brunch, sea otter viewing, or even fishing off the pier if you like. 

Morro Bay Options (on your own):
Tognazzini's Dockside Restaurant
Harbor Hut Steak and Seafood Grill
The Great American Fish Company
Morro Bay T-Pier Fishing

Morro Bay

Registered members attending may coordinate pre-meeting locations to join up from different parts of the region. We will all meet as a club in Morgan Hill.

Lodging and Logistics Information:

Make hotel reservations as early as possible, and please make reservations
that you can cancel, if necessary. 

Although Paso Robles is the primary destination, there are also hotels around Atascadero, Templeton, and Morro Bay. Some hotels club members have stayed at before include:

- Adelaide (in town, close to freeway, 3 stars and $$)

- Allegretto (4 stars, but $$$)

- La Bellasera (4 stars, $$$ , nice bar)

- Courtyard by Marriott Paso Robles (typical Marriott, $$)

- SpringHill Suites Paso Robles/Atascadero (Marriott, $$)

- Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles (Hilton, $$)

- La Quinta Inn & Suites Paso Robles (dog-friendly, $)

- Hotel Cheval Paso Robles downtown (dog-friendly, only 16 room boutique 5 star, great
   outdoor bar, $$$$$)

- Several AirBnBs in Paso Robles (some dog-friendly, $$ to $$$$)

*Please bring your radio*, fully charged, turned on, and tuned to Channel 7, Subchannel 21 CTCSS before you arrive at the start. If you don’t have a radio, ask for a loaner at the driver’s meeting. For radio recommendations, please see https://www.facebook.com/legacy/notes/728353274556164/ 

Be sure to turn the “VOX” voice-activated setting OFF, or we will hear the wind from your AC, your conversations, and any noise in your car broadcasting to everyone.

Please use the restroom and fuel up your MINI before the drivers' briefing. There are planned restroom stops along the way at locations that can handle one or two folks who urgently need relief (not the whole crew), but if possible, we will drive for 1.5 hours to our midway point in King City.

Recap - Marin to Bodega Bay Run - Feb. 25, 2023

(Click to enlarge - by Duane C.)

Your Hosts for this Event:
Gordon & Alison Lee

It was an overcast day with occasional rain showers, but that did not dampen the spirits of the NorCal MINIs members who brought 37 MINIs and their enthusiastic occupants to Corte Madera on the morning of February 25. Everyone was excited to hit the twisty backroads through the hills and valleys of Marin on our way up to Bodega Bay.

Our Run Hosts, Gordon and Alison, worked for months to plan and pre-run a fun route incorporating some new paths through Lucas Valley and some older favorites through Hicks Valley and Chileno Valley on our way to the bay.

Gordon Lee gives the rundown at the drivers' briefing
(Click to enlarge - by Mary Wolgamot)

Thanks to MINI of Marin for Hosting our Meetup!

Special thanks go out to MINI of Marin for hosting our meetup and breakfast, and for putting together a drawing with door prizes of MINI swag for some lucky NorCal MINIs run participants. Door prizes included MINI-branded umbrellas, bags, hats, and license plate frames. Sales Manager, Alex, Service Manager, Jesus, and the whole dealership team went the extra mile to welcome us all, provide parking for our cars in the back lot with an easy exit onto the road for our run, and laid out a tasty spread of bagels and hot coffee for all attendees.

Many of NorCal MINIs' members have been MINI of Marin customers, and we want to give special recognition to the dealership for being one of the MINI USA Golden Bulldog Award winners for 2023. This award is given annually to several MINI dealerships around the country to recognize outstanding MINI sales, service, and parts. Congratulations to the entire MINI of Marin team on this achievement!


Mary Wolgamot packed her Bo up with an impressive number of cases of Girl Scout cookies for those wishing to support her troop. I wonder how many of the boxes sold made it all the way home at the end of the day? LOL

Mary W. sells Girl Scout cookies
(click to enlarge - by Duane C.)

Run Recap

Thanks to Alex and Jesus at the dealership, the back gate at MINI of Marin was opened up for a more direct route out onto the access roads to northbound US 101. With 37 cars on hand, we split into three groups of 12 to 15 cars each. Gordon and Alison led Group 1, Duane Caldwell led Group 2, and Pat and Michelle Lewis headed up Group 3. Traffic on 101 wasn't too bad, so all three groups were able to stick together as they headed north past the Marin Civic Center to our exit at Lucas Valley Road.

Lucas Valley Road quickly leaves the businesses near 101 for the suburbs of Marinwood on the way into the hills of Lucas Valley. This stretch of road is two lanes, twisty, and treats the driver and passengers to oak-covered hills, redwoods, and the old West charm of Nicasio village before heading north past Nicasio Reservoir and our halfway stop at Marin French Cheese Company.

Redwoods along Lucas Valley Rd.
(Click to enlarge - by Mary W.)

Our halfway stop at the Marin French Cheese Company is a familiar hangout for NorCal MINIs members who have made this run in the past. Marin French Cheese is the oldest continually operating cheese manufacturer in the United States. It was founded as Marin French Cheese Company in 1865, but claims to have had its earliest operations as far back as 1854. The store welcomed our members for tastes of their various flavors of brie and allowed us to use their restrooms and scenic grounds to stretch our legs. The skies chose this moment to open up and sprinkle us with some rain, so we didn't get to enjoy the beauty of their picnic area along the pond. Still, it was a welcome rest stop.

Marin French Cheese Company
(Click to enlarge - by Duane C.)

From the cheese stop, we split back into our 3 groups and headed up through the farms of Hicks Valley before climbing up over the ridge (and its panoramic views!) and dropping back down into Chileno Valley. The rolling, winding roads through here are always a joy to drive, with lots of livestock to see along the way. 

We headed west on Tomales Petaluma Road to connect on northbound CA 1 through the quaint town of Tomales and continued up to our destination at the Tides Restaurant in Bodega Bay. Bodega Bay is famous among other reasons for being the location of Alfred Hitchcock's horror-thriller "The Birds." This year is the 60th anniversary of the release of the film. Fittingly, we saw quite a variety of birds on our drive up from Corte Madera to Bodega Bay, spotting wild turkeys, a pair of Golden eagles, Cooper's hawks, and a peregrine falcon in addition to numerous vultures and chickens, of course. A few of us slow eaters (or long talkers, LOL) were even fortunate to see a bald eagle hunting just outside the Tides restaurant after lunch.

Bodega Bay from the Tides Restaurant
(Click to enlarge - by Duane C.)

"I can only recall all the smiles, the thank yous, familiar faces, and Girl Scout cookies. 

Thanks to Duane, Pat, Michelle, and Paige [Lane] for supporting our event.  Thanks to Mary, Duane, and Tim [Nye] for the photo coverage."

-- Gordon Lee

For more photos from the day, see the albums on Facebook or in this Google Photos album from Duane Caldwell.