Disturbing Sculptures Art Gallery — It’s a Real Place

Disturbing Sculptures Art Gallery (that’s really the name)
1100 Highway 101
Crescent City, California

Well, if you’re gonna name your art gallery “disturbing,” you’d better deliver. And this Northern California roadside attraction earns its name. One minute you’re cruising north on Highway 101, almost to the Oregon state line and promised nirvana, and the next minute you’ve U-turned so fast your dog yelps.

 

According to a Roadside America article, this gallery is the home of 3 artists, two of whom appear to be quite normal (driftwood sculptures and chainsaw sculptures). But the third, who luckily was not on-site the day I visited, has some issues.

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My Day Off…Big Sur

Photo by Stephanie Roberts, http://ObsessiveHobbyist.com

When I lived in Los Angeles, a day off in August was spent in the air-conditioning, avoiding triple digits. Now, Big Sur is my back yard, and Highway 1 is my lifeline. The road from Carmel to Cambria is one of the most beautiful road trips in the world, topping travel lists globally. It attracts motorcycles, Mustang convertibles, and suicidal cyclists with its spectacular ocean views, sexy curves, and the I-dare-you-to-go-55 mph speed limit. But…SLOW DOWN. Take your time. And stop at every pull-out and vista point so you don’t miss a thing…

 

 

 

McWAY FALLS at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park…(yes, the water really is this color)…

 

KEEP OUT Cove (OK, I made that name up)…

 

 

The smartest people I saw all day…

Photo by Stephanie Roberts, http://ObsessiveHobbyist.com

 

 

MORE BIG SUR PIX

 

 

Summerland Beach Cafe (is awesome)…

Summerland Beach Cafe
2294 Lillie Avenue
Summerland, California
805-959-1019
http://summerlandbeachcafe.com

An idyllic beachside location in an 1893 Victorian home in an adorable California coastal town just south of Santa Barbara…what else does a cafe need? How about a giant DOG FRIENDLY sign??? That’s all it took to grab my attention. I love dog people. They’re the best kind of people persons. I think I would walk into a burning building if it had a DOG FRIENDLY sign on it (wait a minute…I would definitely do that!). So I was SO pleasantly surprised that the Summerland Beach Cafe is not only DOG FRIENDLY, but also a charming, homey, adorably-decorated cafe with REALLY GOOD FOOD. Bonus!!!

I love restaurants in old houses, and this one sits just around the corner from the iconic Big Yellow House, a long-shuttered house/restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway. The Summerland Beach Cafe has occupied a very cool old Victorian house, originally built in 1893, since 1981, and the walls still boast the original painted murals. A super-nice guy we ran into on the way out turned out to be owner Jeff Melnik, who told us that one of the original artists is now a Disney artist. Not surprising. The walls are whimsical in a very story-book way, and I love that they’ve been protected and are cherished.

But I guess you go to a cafe to eat. And for puppies. (There was a dog adoption in the parking lot when we visited). Both the puppies and the food were delicious. I had the La Rosa grilled chicken sandwich with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, jack cheese, onions, and pesto on a Ciabatta roll. I’m still dreaming about it.

I spend a lot of time (though never enough) on Pacific Coast Highway between LA and Santa Barbara, so it’s great to find another magical stopover. I can’t wait to go back!