Price From $45
The drive to the Hacienda, over the Santa Lucia Range, is so narrow and windy that it’s impossible to go faster than 20 mph.
The 17-mile journey from Highway 1 takes at least an hour, but it’s worth it for the views of the Pacific and Los Padres National Forest.
Built in the 1920s by William Randolph Hearst, the Hacienda was sold to the Department of War in 1940. A division of the Army now runs the California-mission-style house as a hotel.
Rooms retain many original features—carved wooden doors and star-shaped windows—but the furniture is basic at best.
Since it’s within an active military-training base, the Hacienda has a peculiar set of amenities: Guests can play tennis, go bowling, pick up light meals at a café, and knock back $2 beers at the hotel bar (but only military personnel can shop at the commissary and the gas station).
Call ahead to find out about any military exercises, because roads and gates may close.
Rate includes breakfast.