Here's our growing guide to essential California adventures, easy to edgy. We'll be adding to it daily all year. And we won't suggest an adventure unless one of the Travel section's staffers and contributors have tried it.
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Why: The road is long. This grill is hot. These restrooms are clean.
What: The now-sprawling Harris Ranch operation dates to the 1930s, but it didn't become relevant to us travelers until the 1970s. That when the management hit on the idea of opening a burger stand to capitalize on all the drivers passing by on the just-completed Interstate 5.
Then the burger stand became a steakhouse. And store. And hotel.
Now the Harris people have a cattle-based citadel on the roadside. The dining operations -- three restaurants, basically -- together seat up to 455 people at a time. The hotel has more than 150 rooms and an Olympic-style pool. The AC works. And they've added Tesla battery-charging stations to the parking lot.
Even if you're a vegetarian climate-change warrior, it may be tempting to stop.
Where: 24505 W. Dorris Ave., Coalinga, 205 miles northwest of downtown L.A.
How much: Ranch hand breakfast, $14.50 (in the Ranch Kitchen); 30-ounce bone-in, oak-smoked prime rib, $40 (in the Steakhouse). Also, there's no hotel tax in Fresno County, so if you book a $169 room at Harris Ranch, it will actually cost $169.