I'm fine-tuning our July/August trip and am hoping y'all can help me with the most scenic route from Santa Monica to Morro Bay. We're actually staying in Laurel Canyon, but I know I want to drive up the PCH when we head north to Morro Bay. My question is Google Maps wants to route me on the 154 at Santa Barbara over to the 101 through Santa Maria. Would there be an advantage to staying on the 1/101 to Gaviota? Is it better to take the 101 up from there or would there be anything to see along the 1 to Lompoc and Vandenberg AFB? Can you even drive through Vandenberg or is it locked down? (I'm from NC and we have a lot of big military bases, so somewhat familiar with them, but there are different procedures.)
Thanks for any tips!