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The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State
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The California Bucket List is your daily guide to essential California adventures, from easy to edgy. Check in every day for a new must-do adventure, each tried and tested by one of the Travel section's staffers and contributors.

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Central Valley

Gnaw beef (or charge your Tesla) at Harris Ranch in Coalinga

 (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

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.

 (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

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.

Info: Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant

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