Three Very Cool Biker Bars in California

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When it comes to a beautiful spring day, there is nothing better than jumping on our Harley Davidson for a weekend road trip to check out biker bars. Riding, playing with our Go Pro and eating at cool biker bars is all part of the experience when we go on a weekend road trip.

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This week I decided to check out some of the best biker bars in the United States, and after doing some research have realized that it will take more than one blog to talk about them all, so this week, I decided to talk about biker bars in California.

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Cook’s Corner in Trabuco Canyon, Southern California is one of the most well known biker bars in California with live music on Saturdays and Sundays and great food. One of the most popular events is Wednesday Bike Night and Spaghetti Wednesdays.

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Cook’s Corner is actually one of the first biker bars in the state and was named after Andrew Jackson Clark. After receiving nearly 190 acres of Aliso Canyon around 1884, he and his son converted a rundown cabin into a restaurant for ranchers and miners. Once prohibition ended, Cooks Corner became a fully-fledged bar. When Cook purchased an old mess hall from an Army Air Base in Santa Ana and converted it into a restaurant and bar, the old-fashioned roadhouse with its rugged exterior became what it still is today, one of the best biker bars on the planet.

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There are quite a few famous biker bars in California including Johnny’s Bar and Grill in Hollister. Serving great food and drinks, Johnny’s Bar and Grill has been around since 1946 and was originally known as the New Deal. Businessmen and farmers alike came to Johnny’s for steaks and cheeseburgers for lunch. The entire town of Hollister was taken off guard on the fourth of July weekend back in 1947 when a biker gang, known as the Boozefighters, rolled into town doing burnouts and wheelies while virtually ignoring the races that were sanctioned in Memorial Park.

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With the locals lining the streets to witness the party, it wasn’t too long before the local police force, all five of them, became overwhelmed. This raucous display was featured in Life Magazine and became the inspiration behind the film, The Wild One with Lee Marvin and Marlon Brando. Ever since 1947, the Boozefighters come back every Fourth of July weekend to celebrate.

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I’m running out of time, but I did want to mention another one of the great biker bars in California that has some interesting history behind it. Apple Jacks Inn is one of those biker bars that riders come to visit from all over the United States. Located just off Highway 84 in La Honda, California, the building was built back in 1879 and originally housed a blacksmith shop. Apple Jacks Inn became a bar in the 1930’s and is one of the most popular biker bars in the San Francisco bay area.

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Another popular stop, Alice’s Restaurant, is one of those California biker bars that is nearly always mentioned, but we’ll talk about that famous establishment next week when we visit a few more famous biker bars in California and Nevada.

Harley Davidson Road Trips in Kentucky

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Last week I talked about a few Harley Davidson road trips that were closer to home, which really made me thirsty for Harley Davidson road trips of our own. Maybe a three-day weekend where Jim and I could travel a bit further from Washington, Missouri, but still be close enough to get back without having to rush. With that being said, I started checking out some Harley Davidson road trips in Kentucky, which isn’t too far from us, that I would sure like to venture out on.

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Eastern Kentucky is known for its great Harley Davidson road trips and the Hillbilly Ridge, or the Newfoundland-Elliottville route, is certainly no exception. According to what the other riders have said it’s what Eastern Kentucky Harley Davidson road trips used to be like. It’s kind of scary with its narrow twists and turns. The route actually runs along the ridge, hence the name, and has some fantastic views, however, according to one rider you don’t dare take your eyes off the road for very long!

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Known as the Bluegrass State, Kentucky has some excellent Harley Davidson road trips that will take you through the Appalachian Mountains into the Kentucky River region towards the north and some scenic water land in the west. Because it’s the home of the Kentucky Derby, there are some excellent historical places to visit including the Trail of Tears and the Underground Railroad.

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Fat Daddy’s Little Country Dragon, don’t you just love the name, has lots of curves and bends while giving you a glimpse of Kentucky’s sweeping hills. Perfect for beginners to advanced riders, the best time to take this route is in the fall. The roads are great, have been repaved, and include everything from flats to straights. You won’t find many places to eat along the way, but once you get to your destination you will be met with the Fat Daddy’s Bar and Grill in Land Between the Lakes, which is actually in Tennessee. Located in what is known as the Little Keys in Tennessee, it is the place to stop, as it is right on the edge of Kentucky Lake. The shrimp jammers sound yummy, as does the Tennessee River Dawg. I know that we will be stopping here when we venture out on one of our many Harley Davidson road trips.

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Route 32 is another great Harley Davidson road trips in Kentucky. The Morehead to Louisa ride features great views of the mountains, especially during the fall and spring. Once you get to Lawrence County, you are right alongside Yatesville Lake. The twisty roads take you through gorgeous Eastern Kentucky and are well maintained. I like the selection of amenities along the way as well.

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According to one rider the B & C Market, located in Blaine, is a must. Apparently, Louisa has quite a few cafes including the Down Home Grill that used to be called Lisa’s Front Porch. The menu is loaded with feel good favorites including homemade chicken and dumplings.

If Jim and I had the time, we would retire and be on permanent Harley Davidson road trips!

Get out and Enjoy an Illinois Motorcycle Road Trip

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Jim and I really look forward to getting away for a motorcycle road trip, even if it is just for the day. For the past couple of weeks we’ve been putting a California motorcycle road trip or two on our bucket list, but this week we decided to stick closer to home so that we can hopefully get out and enjoy the sunshine this spring.

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Known as the Land of Lincoln, Illinois has some great scenery for a day or weekend motorcycle road trip and isn’t too far from us. Some nice places to enjoy include the Anderson Japanese Gardens, the Amish villages that are dotted throughout Illinois, the Starved Rock State Park, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, and the Illinois Railway Museum.

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One of the more interesting Illinois motorcycle road trip adventures is called, “Baby Face Nelsons Last Day.” This is supposedly the route that Baby Face Nelson took when he was being tailed by the FBI who eventually caught up with the infamous Mr. Nelson in November of 1937.

The route begins at the quaint Lake Como Inn on the south end of Red Chimney Road. The food is very good with an excellent brunch buffet on Sundays. Some folks who take the ride begin on a Sunday to get in a good meal before they head out.

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Traveling east to Lake Geneva you can stop and enjoy the little village that has plenty of places where I get to enjoy two of my favorite activities, eating and shopping. Because the majority of the route takes place on U.S. and state highways, it can get quite busy, but it is still a great place to go for a motorcycle road trip. Other places to stop for a bite include Kookers for gyro’s in Barrington, Illinois and Dari Ice Cream in Hebron, Illinois.

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Another great place to enjoy a motorcycle road trip takes you along the Mississippi River and is full of beautiful views. The Scenic Mississippi River Byways motorcycle road trip is so easy as you just take the Illinois Route 96 between Nauvoo and Hamilton to be met with the mighty Mississippi for the entire motorcycle road trip. The road is smooth with nice and slow corners that hug the river the whole time. Although there aren’t any diners or restaurants along the way, there are some excellent places to stop for a picnic.

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The Three Corners Scenic Loop takes you through Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa and has plenty of small towns to explore along the way. The motorcycle road trip starts in Belvidere, Illinois before heading out of town northbound on Route 76. Along the way you’ll ride through several towns before heading to New Diggings, Wisconsin, which is a great little biker town.

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Once you get into Savanna, Illinois, you will want to head over to Poopy’s Pub and Grub Biker Bar where you will find good eats, souvenirs, and clothing. The scenery on this motorcycle road trip is full of small mountains, rolling cornfields and glimpses of the Mississippi river. Some of the best eateries on this 304-mile motorcycle road trip include the Boon Family Restaurant for breakfast, located in Caledonia, Illinois, Baumgardners in downtown Monroe, WI where you will find awesome German food and the Ridott Corners Tavern in Ridott Illinois for tasty burgers.

More Motorcycle Rides in California

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Ah, Motorcycle Rides in California… although it has warmed up considerably here in Washington, Missouri, we are having our fair share of rain, in fact, we’ve got a flash flood warning right now. Needless to say, this has had me, “California Dreaming,” once again.

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One of the best Motorcycle Rides in California during the summer, mostly because it takes you through the snow country, is the Mount Rose to South Lake Tahoe ride. It’s a quick little day trip that takes you around the east side of the lake via beautiful Mount Rose. This is a nice place to stop for a picnic. The route is 51 miles long and takes you through the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe to the California side.

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Another great example of Motorcycle Rides in California is one that Jim and I would like to try. The Old Highway 30 Cisco Grove to Donner Lake is best during spring, summer, or fall.

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Because the only places to get food are at the Rainbow Lodge, the Soda Springs Store and the gas stations, it’s best to pack a lunch and stop along the way to enjoy Donner Lake vista point and the historic old Rainbow Bridge. The road follows the south fork along the Yuba River and has some awesome mountain views.

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If you like Motorcycle Rides in California as much as Jim and I do, the Decker Canyon and Encinal Canyon Loop is a must, and although it’s only a nine-mile trip, there are lots of twisties and great scenery to enjoy. To get there you take the Pacific Coast Highway out towards El Pescador State Beach. The Santa Monica Mountain range is awesome with several spots along the way to take a couple of selfies overlooking the mighty Pacific. The roads are steep, especially near Decker Canyon, so best for more experienced riders. No roadside amenities on this trip except for a gas station about 2.5 miles just south of Trancas Canyon and the Pacific Coast Highway.

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You all know by now that I love to eat and checking out places on Yelp is one of my favorite things to do and that’s why I like to find Motorcycle Rides in California that have some great little diners along the way.

When I was doing research for Motorcycle Rides in California, I happened upon a ride that not many know about. It’s only 14 miles long, but sounds beautiful as it takes you down Jamala Road to the sea.

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The road starts six miles south of Lompoc, Ca. just off Route one. You will see the signs pointing towards Jalama Beach County Park. Those who have experienced the ride talk about the rolling hills and beautiful wild flowers during the spring. Once you hit the crest, you are met with amazing views of the beach and ocean with hills and cliffs to the north. The road is filled with gentle curves and has some great climbs and descents. According to one reviewer, the road needs some work, but that was written back in 2011, so hopefully some improvements have been made since then.

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The end of the road has a county park with camping sites, picnic areas, and a nice beach area. There is also a restaurant, the Jalama Beach Café, and a little store. Of course I Yelped the restaurant, and it gets 4 ½ stars with most diners raving about the burgers, but I have to admit, the Jalama Beach Café menu is loaded with lots of goodies that I want to sample if we get to try this great example of Motorcycle Rides in California. The Jalama Beach Café also makes its own wine that is sold at the café and in the store.