Best Police Scanner For Traveling
My wife and I decided to take a mini vacation right after Christmas as our gift to ourselves. We went up to the Santa Ynez valley along the central coast of California to do some wine tasting and relaxing for two days. We spent the first day in Buellton and Los Olivos, and the second day up in Paso Robles. We take this trip at least once a year and absolutely love the food, wines, scenery, and people up there.
If you have read any of my posts up to this point you probably know that I am never far from a police scanner, even while traveling. Of course, this trip was no different. I just wanted to share a typical trip I take, along with my personal opinion of the best police scanner for traveling to take along with you to enjoy monitoring the activity along the way.
Why I Like Taking My Scanner Along
It really is a blast to take a scanner along with you on a road trip to listen to all police, fire and other happenings in a new area. I like to monitor military bases, military aircraft, large and small airports, trains, ships, and many other communications as I travel as well. It can all be very exciting!
Why I Always Take My Home Patrol Instead Of My Other Scanners
I bought a Uniden Home Patrol police scanner a few years ago, especially for its portability, and I absolutely love using it as I travel. You can read my full review of the Uniden Home Patrol scanner here.
Uniden really did get this radio right, in my opinion. The Home Patrol is a fully functioning digital police scanner, complete with an easy to use menu driven, touch-screen display. Add to that the fact that the police scanner comes pre-loaded with every public safety radio system that can be monitored throughout the U.S. and Canada, and you have the perfect police scanner to travel with!
No Fuss and No Programming Means Easy Monitoring While Traveling
There is also no programming, software, or trying to remember button sequences or navigating complicated menus. With the Uniden Home Patrol everything is fairly straight forward and intuitive. It is quite similar to using your smart phone. This is exactly why I recommend this scanner if you do any traveling at all. It is a fully loaded no fuss scanner that has you up and running in seconds. I actually use mine daily whether at home or traveling, because it is so easy to use.
If you really want to make things even easier to monitor while traveling you can purchase an add on gps unit for the Uniden Home Patrol that will allow the scanner to turn on and off different radio systems for monitoring depending on your geographic location. So, you really can essentially listen to every city along the way of your trip without ever really having to interact with the radio. You can even record interesting audio on the Home Patrol for archiving if you wish. But, on with our trip!
Here’s What I Do On Every Trip
Here’s what I always do. After arriving at the hotel and checking in, I break out my Home Patrol, I screw on the antenna, turn on the scanner, enter in the zip code for the area we are in, and I am monitoring all the local police, fire, and emergency services in the area, in seconds. It is as simple as that. Done and done!
Things Worth Checking Out On A Trip I Take Often
By the way, if you happen to travel through the Santa Ynez Valley, do check out the Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn in Buellton for your lodging. I think you will be quite surprised. The service is friendly. The hotel rooms are of a good size, clean, and the bathrooms are also of adequate size. The room rates are also usually very reasonable. And, there is plenty of space and electrical outlets to set up your scanner too. 🙂
We have stayed at the Motel 6 in Buellton many times up there over the years. But once we discovered the Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn we were converts. They have a microwave and refrigerator in the rooms!
How many times have you been on a vacation, ate in a restaurant, and had leftovers but had to leave them behind because there was nowhere to keep them cold nor heat them back up again?
Well, this is only one of the many benefits of staying at the Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn. And don’t forget, you are in wine country, so if you want to chill a bottle of local wine or enjoy a local Firestone Walker Brewery craft brew in the hotel along with your food, the in-room refrigerator has you covered there too 🙂
The Sideways Movie Experience
The next day we went out to enjoy some excellent Santa Ynez Valley food and wine tastings. We just love the calm and tranquil atmosphere there, along with the great food, and award winning wines. Also, if you have ever watched one of my favorite movies of all time, Sideways (I highly recommend it) starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, and Sandra Oh, or read the book, (also highly recommended) then you know exactly how beautiful the scenery and vineyards are in the Santa Ynez Valley. The scenery in the movie is breathtaking, but it takes on a whole new perspective when you visit the area on your own.
If you are familiar with the movie, then you may remember the Hitching Post restaurant that was featured in the film. The food there is red oak grilled on a large old school cast iron grill that they can move up and down to control how close the food is to the fire. And the food is just amazing! I always make it a point to dine there whenever I travel through Buellton.
Wineries We Recommend In Los Olivos
Lets not forget about the wine! The wineries up in Los Olivos and surrounding area produce some amazing Pinot Noir, Syrah, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, and Grenache. Here is a list of my favorite wineries with tasting rooms in Los Olivos:
Wineries and Restaurants We Recommend in Paso Robles
Paso Robles is definitely another great place to check out for some awesome wines. Paso produces some great Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Viognier, and Grenache. Definitely also check out the Artisan restaurant and the restaurant inside of Niner winery as they both have some excellent food.
If You Live In California You May Be in Luck!
If you are located in California, you may even be able to find some of the wines above from Los Olivos and Paso Robles in Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, and Costco. It is worth checking out. Some of the wines from the wineries listed above do make it down as far as Southern California. I have seen some of these wines in the aforementioned stores in my area. And remember, a glass of these wines goes really well with an evening of scanner listening. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this travel post. Let me know in the comments section if you take a scanner along with you on your trip, which one you take, and how you use it along the way. I would love to hear your stories and trips you enjoy taking as well. Until next time, Happy Listening!