James Dean was a popular actor in the 1950’s who is remembered as a cultural icon for his Hollywood movie roles. He became a legend of sorts after his life came to a very untimely and tragic death at the early age of 24 when he died in a car accident at the intersection of Hwy 46 and Hwy 41 in Central California near Paso Robles. I was always told that there was a memorial for him but thinking it was on the West side of Hwy 46 from the 101 freeway, I could never find it.
Today I discovered the memorial site while traveling on Hwy 41 (East of Hwy 101), cutting across from Interstate 5. The memorial site is just a short distance from the actual crash site (the intersection of Hwy 41 and Hwy 46) where you will see an American flag on a chain link fence and his adoring fans still bring flowers 60 years after his death.
The Jack Ranch Cafe seems to be frozen in a time capsule with its retro decor and, as expected, the walls are flanked with images of James Dean and they sell some memorabilia, but the pleasant surprise was that they have quite an extensive menu and the food was good. The Hearst Winery tasting room is adjacent to the cafe and a nice way to cap off the visit.