SLO CAL Visitors Magazine 2019

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San Luis Obispo County, California 2019 Official Visitors Magazine

SLO CAL San Luis Obispo County, California 2019 Official Visitors Magazine SLOCAL.com ® 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 1


A Royal Gem Situated above the quaint town of San Simeon, Hearst Castle is a palatial estate offering tours year-round PHOTOS COURTESY © HEARST CASTLE/CA STATE PARKS ® Located just off of Highway 1, the crown jewel of San Luis Obispo County, Hearst Castle was built by famed publisher William Randolph Hearst and houses his extensive collection of fine art. Guests can take in sweeping views and marvel at the treasures Hearst acquired, including Greek vases and 2 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE tapestries that once belonged to Louis XIV and Roman sculptures on several tours offered by the Castle. The property also features stunning gardens and breathtaking architecture. Catch a film about the Castle that begins every 45 minutes at the on-site theater. Find free museum exhibits, a gift and museum shop, food service and locally produced beer and wine at the Visitors Center. Tour reservations are strongly recommended. HearstCastle.org HearstCastle


Experience Pasolivo Taste award-winning products On a 140-acre ranch in Paso Robles, Pasolivo is a producer and purveyor of world-class olive oils, specialty foods and luxury bath and body products. Pasolivo is open to the public every day at two locations: Vineyard Drive and their downtown tasting room on Park Street. The olive orchard is home to more than 6,000 trees that are hand-picked and milled onsite within hours of being harvested. Enjoy tastings at both locations and when you fall in love, take the flavors of SLO CAL® home. Pasolivo takes pride in offering natural products of the highest quality to create the best experience in your home and for gifting to others. Pasolivo.com Pasolivo 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 3


61 EXPLORE Ramble along the iconic Highway 1 for incredible views, tasty treats and Insta-worthy moments. 6 8 18 26 30 35 WELCOME Let us be the first to welcome you to SLO CAL®. DISCOVER Get to know SLO CAL and learn about every corner of the county. MAP Navigate your perfect stay. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Be one of the first to experience the latest offerings in SLO CAL. SIP SLO CAL offers an unmatched craft beverage scene. SCENERY Local photographers share their points of view. CONTENTS 44 46 57 74 79 83 MEET & GREET Discover why SLO CAL is the perfect place for your next event. STAYS Top-notch lodging abounds in SLO CAL. Here is the go-to list. TASTE With a countywide bounty available, farm-to-fork meets sea-to-spoon in SLO CAL. ADVENTURE Check out this round-up of some of our favorite outdoor activities. SAVE THE DATE Turn to the calendar of events for a year’s worth of happenings. SO SLO CAL Get inspired by these #SLOCAL pics. 4 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Cambria Inns Collection Yours to discover Nestled along Moonstone Beach, these four oceanview inns are each uniquely designed to appeal to different tastes. Blue Dolphin Inn Twenty upscale rooms make a great romantic getaway with a complimentary picnic breakfast delivered daily to your door. Sand Pebbles Inn Resting high along Moonstone Beach, this beachy-chic designed property is a perfect destination for meeting friends or family and includes a deluxe continental breakfast each morning. Castle Inn With a classic California vibe, this property is budget-, family- and pet-friendly and has a heated pool and complimentary continental breakfast. Moonstone Cottages Three charming cottages are designed for privacy and quiet solitude, including gas fireplaces and complimentary breakfast delivered to your room. All four of these inns offer easy access to beaches, walking trails, coves and unique rock formations—and there’s always a good chance to spot sea otters, gray whales and other marine life. CambriaInns.com CambriaInns CambriaInnsCollection 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 5


Welcome We invite you to explore San Luis Obispo County, California! Here in SLO CAL®, we have a unique approach to life, taking things at a much slower pace and allowing time to enjoy the incredible beauty and bounty of this place we get to call “home.” In the pages ahead, you’ll find the wide variety of activities, scenery and flavors that our destinations and partners offer every day. And we can’t wait for you to take part in it all. Chat with a local winemaker on the patio of our favorite vineyards. Grab farm-fresh lunch from a gourmet food truck. Pick your breakfast fruit from an orchard or one of our 13 farmers markets. Adventure out to the trails or tides for the perfect Insta Story. From our playful coastal communities to our approachable wine regions, bustling downtowns to serene ranchlands, there’s more here than you can possibly do in one trip. So, read on, start dreaming and let us show you a world you’ve been too busy to see. Welcome to SLO CAL! — The Visit SLO CAL Team (805) 541-8000 CHUCK DAVISON PRESIDENT & CEO BROOKE BURNHAM VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING CHRISTINE ROBERTSON VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & ADVOCACY KEBA BAIRD DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS MICHAEL WAMBOLT DIRECTOR OF TRAVEL TRADE BRENDAN PRINGLE OPERATIONS MANAGER JORDAN CARSON MARKETING & BRAND MANAGER Stay Connected SLOCAL SLOCAL VisitSLOC #SLOCAL PUBLISHED BY SLO LIFE MEDIA, INC. 4251 S. HIGUERA STREET, SUITE 800 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA 93401 (805) 543-8600 TOM FRANCISKOVICH PUBLISHER & EDITOR SHERYL DISHER CREATIVE DIRECTOR ERICA SCHNEIDER NATHAN OLIVER GRAPHIC DESIGNERS JAIME LEWIS AYLA OZTURK WRITERS SLOCAL.com ROBIN CHILTON . SAM DEAN . MIMI DITCHIE JOSEPH DOMINGUEZ . CAVAN HADLEY L & J CENTRAL COAST NIKKI MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY MARK NAKAMURA JENNIFER OLSON BETH SARGENT PHOTOGRAPHERS JEFF MAEHRE IRENE ACHIENG DEBORAH MARTIN COPY EDITORS Visit SLO CAL and SLO LIFE Magazine have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this publication, but assume no responsibility for errors, changes or omissions. Copyright © 2019 Visit SLO CAL®. All rights reserved. SLO CAL® is a registered trademark of Visit SLO CAL. 6 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


The Tradition of Castoro Cellars Experience the flavor Founded in 1983, family-owned and operated Castoro Cellars Vineyards and Winery is one of the oldest wineries in Paso Robles wine country. Organic and sustainable, the SIP and CCOF Certified Organic winery offers over 20 estate-grown wines, live music throughout the year, yoga brunch events, a disc golf course and wine tasting from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. Their premier 18-hole disc golf course is set amongst rolling hills of old oaks and vineyards. This scenic course is fun, yet challenging. The Whale Rock Disc Golf Course is designed to be enjoyable for kids and beginners, while challenging the expert. Their most diverse offering of the year is Whale Rock Music Festival, a two-day music and arts festival in the vineyard that features talent from all over the country and activities for all ages. Attendees can enjoy world-class music, art exhibitions, yoga classes, craft beer, delicious food and, of course, Dam Fine Wine. Check out their website to find everything Castoro Cellars has to offer all year long. CastoroCellars.com CastoroCellars 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 7


SLO CAL discover Hell Nice to meet you. My name is San Luis Obispo County, California, but you can call me SLO CAL®. “Slow” may not seem like a good thing, but here, we think it will set you free. While the rest of the world is racing to the end, slow gives your life the attention it deserves. Away from the noise and chaos of crowded streets, slowing down allows us to reconnect—to breathe. But in this place, slow is not falling behind; it’s the freedom to catch up with the things that matter most to you. I know you’ll find that SLO CAL is just your speed. 8 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


CAVAN HADLEY Morro Bay 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 9


SLO CAL discover California Dreaming Here on California’s Central Coast, there’s no need to rush—and there’s no time like the present. Ideally centered between the cosmopolitan hubs of San Francisco and Los Angeles, SLO CAL® borrows the best of both but leaves the breakneck pace behind. With uncrowded beaches and 315 days of sunshine per year, this generous playground welcomes anyone searching for flavor, culture, adventure and a place apart. Ready to make your getaway? Try one of these doable journeys and find yourself here. | By Jaime Lewis SAN LUIS OBISPO . EDNA VALLEY This bustling town, home to a university, boasts hiking and mountain biking trails, boutique shopping, wine tasting, nightlife, dining, museums and historic landmarks, all within walking distance of downtown. Listen to the bells at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Take in the flavors of the famous Thursday night farmers market. Make your contribution at the bizarre Bubblegum Alley. Then head out to Edna Valley to relax with coastal-grown chardonnay and pinot noir. Where to Stay: The San Luis Obispo area is your oyster, with options ranging from unique downtown boutique hotels to Edna Valley wine country accommodations. 10 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


PASO ROBLES As home to some of the finest wines in the world, Paso Robles has exploded in recent years into a chic burg with cow town roots. Don’t be surprised to find boots and big buckles shining in the area’s 200+ wineries, tasting rooms and fast-growing collection of distilleries, breweries and cider houses. When tasting time ends, head downtown for shopping, entertainment and wine country dining. Where to Stay: Go mobile with an RV park overlooking the vines on the outskirts of town, tuck into a winery bed and breakfast or settle in at a charming luxury hotel near restaurants, shops and tasting rooms around Downtown City Park. ARROYO GRANDE Ready to be unplugged? Stroll this village’s main street and find a roaming brood of roosters that have become the town mascots, then gear up to walk the swinging footbridge that hangs 40 feet above the creek. As for shopping, you’ll literally find a butcher, baker and candlestick maker in the historic town center, plus antique shops and farm-fresh restaurants. When it’s time to get your adventure on, head out past pretty farmland to Lopez Lake for hiking, water sports, ziplining and fishing. Where to Stay: Arroyo Grande provides plenty of vacation rentals as well as quaint bed and breakfasts near the village or overlooking farms, fields and vineyards. 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 11


SLO CAL discover NIPOMO Hit the links at your choice of golf courses and take in views of the ocean, dunes and mesa. For local history, visit the Dana Adobe, built in 1851 at the foot of Nipomo’s hills by Captain William Dana. Today, the adobe features historical talks and presentations to bring California rancho culture to life. Come dinnertime, make your way to one of the local steakhouses, where the drinks are stiff, the oak coals burn hot and the steaks are huge. Where to Stay: Hang near the golf course in a vacation rental— there are some great accommodations next to the scenic fairways. Picture Perfect Day ATASCADERO . TEMPLETON . SANTA MARGARITA Get up close and personal with monkeys, flamingos, snakes and tigers at Atascadero’s Charles Paddock Zoo, then grab an ice cream and paddle across the water at Atascadero Lake Park. Alternatively, have a picnic and play yard games in the Sunken Gardens, followed by a stroll to one of downtown’s coffee shops, local stores or watering holes. Those with sky-high ambitions can’t miss Santa Margarita’s ziplines over acres of vineyards, but for anyone yearning for simpler times, a visit to charming Templeton is in order, with its vintage shops, historic mill and classic town square. Where to Stay: If your style is elegant and traditional, you’ll love this area’s historic hotel, but bed and breakfasts and family and budget-friendly options abound here, too. 12 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


LOS OSOS . BAYWOOD PARK Relax in the uncommonly chill atmosphere of these two towns right at the coastline. Enjoy Baywood’s popular farmers market, where purveyors sell fresh produce to chefs, home cooks and visitors alike. Take a hike among “mountains of gold” at Montaña de Oro State Park and finish at secluded Spooner’s Cove beach. For dinner, find a casual noodle shop, family pizzeria or romantic table for two and cap it all off with a sunset walk through a pygmy oak forest. Where to Stay: It’s all about the view here, so head to the balcony of a boutique coastal hotel or vacation rental with stunning ocean scenes, or enjoy time at a quaint inn or lodging on the golf course. OCEANO . GROVER BEACH Savor life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by riding horses or motor vehicles on the sand at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA). When hungry, grab a bite at one of Grover Beach’s casual eateries or barbecue at the water’s edge. For entertainment, nothing beats a show in Oceano at the professional year-round theater where the acting and singing are top-notch and the laughs are plentiful. Where to Stay: Horseback riders should book an equestrianfriendly seaside golf or RV resort, while families and couples can take advantage of any number of vacation rentals or hotels. 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 13


SLO CAL discover Hit the Open Road SAN SIMEON . RAGGED POINT Nothing compares to the opulence of Hearst Castle, where tycoon W.R. Hearst built his 90,000-square-foot hilltop estate in San Simeon overlooking the glittering Pacific. Wander its gardens, revel in the views and take in Hearst’s vast collection of art and antiquities. Then push north to Ragged Point for lunch or an ice cream, being sure to check out the large and lazy elephant seals and historical Piedras Blancas Light Station on the way. Where to Stay: Check out the area’s coastal hotels and cozy inns. 14 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


CAMBRIA . HARMONY . CAYUCOS Walk the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve for ocean views, comb for sea treasure on Moonstone Beach and shop for local arts in Cambria. Don’t miss the itty-bitty town of Harmony, population 18, whose quirky artist community features hand-blown glass pieces made right there in the gallery. Hunt down antiques, check out the local talent at the seaside skate park and indulge in a farm-to-table lunch just steps from the beach in Cayucos. Where to Stay: Styles run the gamut across the coast, including vacation rentals, hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts. CRESTON . CHOLAME . SAN MIGUEL Tour the small bucolic towns of SLO CAL®, unchanged by time and home to cowboy country, remote ranchland wineries and their tasting rooms. You can even find a memorial to the life and death of James Dean in tiny Cholame. A longstanding mission town, San Miguel’s charm extends beyond its historic heart at Mission San Miguel Arcángel, built in 1797 and recently restored. Find a flavorful Mexican restaurant, bite into a burrito, then step out on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail, one of SLO CAL’s best backroad tasting regions where reds take the spotlight. Where to Stay: In your search for overnight accommodations, look no further than the area’s backcountry vacation rentals nestled amongst majestic oaks and sprawling vineyards. 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 15


SLO CAL discover Take Your Time AVILA BEACH A seaside town with a flavor all its own, Avila Beach is ideal for extended days at the beach, long meals on the patio and leisurely walks along the Bob Jones Bike Trail, which is sometimes called the “City to the Sea Trail.” A sensory wonderland, Avila’s wine tasting rooms line the streets, seafood comes in fresh from the waves at the Harford Pier and nearby See Canyon grows orchard upon orchard of rare and heirloom apples. Where to Stay: Beach views are always on order at most of the area’s seaside hotels and vacation rentals, but for those who need to soak it all in, head to lodgings boasting natural hot springs. 16 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


MORRO BAY Under the shadow of famous Morro Rock, this laid-back fishing town welcomes visitors of all ages and stages to its shores. For classic beachy flavor, get to the Embarcadero for the freshest fish and chips and saltwater taffy. Or take kayaks out for a cruise across the estuary, catching sight of sea otters, seals, marine birds and maybe even a whale off in the distance. Where to Stay: Family lodging is the name of the game with hotels, RV resorts, comfortable vacation rentals and romantic getaways with views of the ocean. PISMO BEACH . SHELL BEACH Sun and salty fun endear these classic California beach communities to visitors and locals alike. If surfing, lounging or people watching are your jam, get to the Pismo Pier, where clam chowder and seafood eateries shine. At nearby Shell Beach, explore tidepools or head out on a stand-up paddleboard for serenity on the sea. And don’t miss the thousands of Monarch Butterflies that make their home in Pismo’s Monarch Butterfly Grove each winter. Where to Stay: Take your pick from a variety of RV parks or book your stay at any of the hotels, vacation rentals or oceanfront resorts near the boardwalk. 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 17


1 CALIFORNIA 19 Ragged Point PIEDRAS BLANCAS LIGHT STATION HEARST CASTLE 22 ELEPHANT SEAL ROOKERY SAN SIMEON PIER WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST MEMORIAL STATE BEACH SAN SIMEON 1 CALIFORNIA LAKE NACIMIENTO TO MONTEREY & SAN FRANCISCO 101 San Miguel 21 MISSION SAN MIGUEL ARCÁNGEL 16 paso robles N MOONSTONE BEACH PARK 5 cambria 46 25 TEMPLETON 11 CALIFORNIA HARMONY HEADLANDS STATE PARK Harmony 1 CALIFORNIA CAYUCOS PIER CAYUCOS STATE BEACH Cayucos 6 41 2 ATASCADERO 101 MORRO ROCK Morro bay 13 Santa margarita 23 San francisco 18 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE San luis obispo county Los angeles MAP NOT TO SCALE MORRO BAY STATE PARK 12 Los Osos & Baywood park LOS OSOS OAKS STATE RESERVE MONTAÑA DE ORO STATE PARK Avila BEACH LOS OSOS VALLEY ROAD AVILA BEACH DRIVE POINT SAN LUIS LIGHTHOUSE AVILA, HARFORD & PISMO PIERS 1 CALIFORNIA 3 SAN LUIS OBISPO 1 CALIFORNIA 101 20 MISSION SAN LUIS OBISPO DE TOLOSA 17 Pismo BEACH & Shell Beach MONARCH BUTTERFLY GROVE GROVER BEACH 227 OCEANO 10 OCEANO DUNES SVRA 15 1 CALIFORNIA


9 8 1 46 41 creston 8 creston 58 58 SANTA MARGARITA SANTA MARGARITA LAKE LAKE WEST POZO ROAD EDNA EDNA VALLEY 9 VALLEY 227 1 ARROYO GRANDE NIPOMO 101 46 41 WEST POZO ROAD 227 101 14 NIPOMO 18 18 POzo POzo ARROYO GRANDE 14 JAMES DEAN MEMORIAL JAMES DEAN MEMORIAL 24 LOPEZ LOPEZ LAKE LAKE shandon 24 shandon Cholame 58 CALIFORNIA VALLEY SODA LAKE SODA LAKE CARRIZO PLAIN NATIONAL MONUMENT CARRIZO PLAIN NATIONAL MONUMENT GETTING HERE GETTING Located between HERESan Francisco and Los Angeles, SLO CAL® lies along famous Located between San Francisco and Los Highway 1 and Highway 101, which run Angeles, SLO CAL® lies along famous the length of the region. Arrive by plane Highway at San Luis 1 and Obispo Highway County 101, Regional which run the Airport, length which of the hosts region. direct Arrive service by plane from at Los San Angeles, Luis Obispo San Francisco, County Regional Phoenix, Airport, Denver, which Seattle hosts and Dallas direct Fort-Worth. service from Los Amtrak Angeles, has San stops Francisco, in San Luis Phoenix, Obispo, Denver, Grover Seattle Beach and Paso Dallas Robles Fort-Worth. and Amtrak Greyhound has stops bus stops in San are Luis located Obispo, Grover throughout Beach the and region. Paso Robles and Greyhound bus stops are located throughout the region. TO SANTA BARBARA AND LOS ANGELES 7 Cholame TO SANTA BARBARA AND LOS ANGELES 7 41 41 46 46 4 LIFE , S TOO BEAUTIFUL TO RUSH LIFE , S TOO BEAUTIFUL TO RUSH 1 ARROYO GRANDE Surrounded by farms, flower fields and wineries, Arroyo Grande has a distinct village character with a vibrant downtown shopping and dining district. 1 ARROYO GRANDE Surrounded by farms, flower fields and wineries, Arroyo Grande 2 ATASCADERO has a distinct The village air is character clean and with the a vibrant open space downtown clears shopping your mind. and Don’t dining miss district. Atascadero Lake Park and the Charles Paddock Zoo. Watching the sunset is the way to unwind. 2 ATASCADERO The air is clean and the open space clears your mind. Don’t miss 3 AVILA Atascadero BEACH Lake Drive Park through and the the Charles scenic Paddock valley Zoo. or take Watching the Bob the Jones sunset Trail is to the the beachfront way to unwind. downtown with wine tasting, shops, dining and more! Travel farther 3 AVILA along the BEACH bay Drive to the through dog beach the scenic or Harford valley Pier or take for the paddle Bob Jones sports Trail and to seafood. the beachfront 4 CALIFORNIA downtown VALLEY with wine A small tasting, community shops, dining the and eastern more! Travel part of farther SLO CAL, this along flat the valley bay is to home the dog to beach the Carrizo or Harford Plains Pier National for paddle Monument sports and with seafood. breathtaking 4 CALIFORNIA wildflowers that VALLEY bloom A small every community spring. in the eastern part of SLO CAL, this flat valley is home to the Carrizo Plains National Monument with breathtaking wildflowers 5 CAMBRIA that A bloom haven every for artistic spring. expression and respect for nature, Cambria offers performances and festivals year round. Hotels, B&Bs and vacation rentals 5 CAMBRIA are available A haven with for access artistic to downtown expression and or the respect coast. for nature, Cambria offers performances and festivals year round. Hotels, B&Bs and vacation rentals are 6 available CAYUCOS with With access no stoplights, downtown box or the stores coast. or fast-food outlets, this seaside village is home to small, family-owned businesses, local surfing culture and tons 6 CAYUCOS of character. With no stoplights, box stores or fast-food outlets, this seaside village is home to small, family-owned businesses, local surfing culture and tons of 7 character. CHOLAME This quiet and very small community is mostly known for the 7 CHOLAME restaurant This and quiet a memorial and very dedicated small community to popular is mostly actor known James for Dean, the who died restaurant on September and a memorial 30, 1955, dedicated just one to mile popular east of actor Cholame. James Dean, who died on 8 September CRESTON 30, Experience 1955, just the one beautiful mile east of countryside Cholame. filled with great wine, olive 8 CRESTON oil and food Experience while surrounded the beautiful by countryside beautiful rolling filled hills with and great a wine, relaxed, olive laid-back oil environment. and food while surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and a relaxed, laid-back environment. 9 EDNA VALLEY In the heart of the Edna Valley AVA, here you can sample 9 EDNA award-winning VALLEY In wines the heart in more of the than Edna 27 Valley tasting AVA, rooms. here you Pick can up sample lunch and wine award-winning touring maps wines at the in Old more Edna than Townsite, 27 tasting founded rooms. Pick in up the lunch 1840s. and wine touring maps at the Old Edna Townsite, founded in the 1840s. 10 GROVER BEACH This community-oriented beach town offers a variety of 10 family-friendly GROVER BEACH activities, This community-oriented campfires on the beach beach town and offers delicious a variety eats. of family-friendly activities, campfires on the beach and delicious eats. Here you’ll Here you’ll find find one one of SLO of SLO CAL’s CAL’s three three Amtrak Amtrak stations, stations, as well. as well. 11 HARMONY 11 HARMONY This This a is charming a charming and quirky and quirky homestead homestead for lively for Central lively Central Coast Coast arts arts and and culture, culture, especially especially the glassblowers the glassblowers and a and population a population of just 18! of just 18! 12 12 LOS LOS OSOS OSOS & BAYWOOD & PARK PARK Hike Hike scenic scenic trails, trails, kayak in kayak the bay, in the ride bay, horses ride horses on on the the beach beach or play or play golf golf with with gorgeous gorgeous views. views. Lodging Lodging options options include include vacation vacation rentals or hotels or hotels on the on the bay bay and golf and course. golf course. 13 13 MORRO BAY BAY The The seaside seaside village village of Morro of Morro Bay is Bay a picture-perfect is a picture-perfect getaway getaway for for travelers seeking seeking outdoor outdoor adventures adventures and a and gorgeous a gorgeous natural natural setting. setting. Savor fresh Savor fresh seafood seafood with with a view a view of the of famed the famed Morro Morro Rock Rock just off just the off coast. the coast. 14 14 NIPOMO NIPOMO Challenging Challenging golf golf courses, courses, orchards, orchards, vineyards vineyards and colorful and colorful flower flower fields fields surround surround Nipomo. Nipomo. Just Just west west of Nipomo of Nipomo lies Oso lies Flaco Oso Lake Flaco Natural Lake Natural Area, where you can cross the mile-long, ADA-accessible boardwalk. Area, where you can cross the mile-long, ADA-accessible boardwalk. 15 OCEANO Enjoy everything from ATV and dune-buggy cruising on the dunes to 15 horseback OCEANO riding, Enjoy golf everything and kite flying. from ATV and dune-buggy cruising on the dunes to horseback riding, golf and kite flying. 16 PASO ROBLES The city center for Paso Robles Wine Country, this community has 16 a PASO vibrant ROBLES and historic The downtown, city center delicious for Paso dining Robles options Wine and Country, is home this to community the California has a vibrant Mid-State and Fair historic each downtown, July. delicious dining options and is home to the 17 California PISMO BEACH Mid-State & SHELL Fair BEACH each July. These two coastal towns don’t disappoint, with 17 breathtaking PISMO BEACH sunset & SHELL views of BEACH the Pacific, These a classic two coastal California towns surfer don’t vibe disappoint, and fun with downtown breathtaking business sunset district. views of the Pacific, a classic California surfer vibe and 18 fun POZO downtown Travel back business time district. to experience California as it was in the 1800s in Pozo, 18 POZO known Travel for the back historic in time Pozo to Saloon, experience a SLO California CAL landmark as it since was 1858. in the 1800s in 19 Pozo, RAGGED known POINT for the Here historic in the northernmost Pozo Saloon, coastal a SLO community CAL landmark in SLO since CAL, 1858. the rugged cliffs offer incredible views, trails and adventures with crashing waves and 19 waterfalls. RAGGED POINT Here in the northernmost coastal community in SLO CAL, the rugged cliffs offer incredible views, trails and adventures with crashing waves 20 and SAN waterfalls. LUIS OBISPO Named the “happiest city in America,” San Luis Obispo has a legendary Thursday night farmers’ market, craft breweries, fresh-picked eats 20 and SAN great LUIS shopping—from OBISPO Named local the boutiques “happiest to your city favorite in America,” national San brands. Luis Obispo 21 has SAN a MIGUEL legendary The Thursday San Miguel night countryside, farmers’ one market, of SLO craft CAL’s breweries, natural wonders, fresh-picked includes eats and the great historic shopping—from gem of Mission local San Miguel boutiques Arcángel, to your a California favorite mission national brands. founded 21 SAN in MIGUEL 1797. The San Miguel countryside, one of SLO CAL’s natural wonders, 22 includes SAN SIMEON the historic Accommodations gem of Mission include San beachfront Miguel Arcángel, hotels and a family-owned California mission lodging. founded Lounge in 1797. at the beach or fish from the pier. In the summer, rent a kayak and 22 explore SAN SIMEON sea caves, Accommodations view the elephant include seals or beachfront tour Piedras hotels Blancas and Light Station and Hearst Castle. family-owned lodging. Lounge at the beach or fish from the pier. In the summer, rent a kayak 23 and SANTA explore MARGARITA sea caves, Check view out the this elephant tiny town seals for incredible or tour Piedras wine tasting, Blancas zip- Light lining, Station kayaking and Hearst or all three! Castle. Here is Mother Nature at her finest. 2423 SHANDON SANTA MARGARITA A very small, rural Check community out this tiny surrounded town for by incredible beautiful wine farm tasting, zipcountry, lining, Shandon kayaking is or most all three! famous Here for is Chapel Mother Hill, Nature a stunning at her private finest. chapel at the top of a steep vineyard hill. 25 24 TEMPLETON SHANDON Discover A very small, the pleasant rural community rural community surrounded of Templeton, by beautiful which farm has country, retained Shandon much of its is most historical famous character. for Chapel The town Hill, is a surrounded stunning private by rich chapel at agricultural the top of land a steep and hilly vineyard ranges hill. with clusters of oak trees. 25 TEMPLETON Discover the pleasant rural community of Templeton, which has retained much of its historical character. The town is surrounded by rich agricultural land and hilly 2019 ranges SLO with CAL® clusters VISITORS of oak trees. 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Living Paso Robles Dine in the Vines at Eberle Winery Photo Credit Oak & Barrel Photography The land of wine, food & fun One of California’s top wine regions, Paso Robles— named Best Wine Country Town by Sunset magazine in 2016 and Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2013—boasts more than 200 wineries, all within minutes of downtown. Among the 40,000 acres of vineyards set across the rolling slopes of the Santa Lucia mountain range, wine aficionados can explore the region’s famed Rhone varieties (such as syrah and grenache), zinfandel and Bordeaux-inspired wines. But there is much more to taste in Paso Robles than wine. The region has fast become an epicenter for craft beer, cider and artisanal spirits, and it is home to the movements’ most innovative players, such as Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Tin City Cider and Re:Find Distillery. TravelPaso.com TravelPaso Wine Tasting and Picnicking at DAOU Vineyards & Winery 20 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Paso Robles’ locally sourced food scene matches the energy and flavor of what’s in the region’s proverbial glass, from the farm-to-table favorite Thomas Hill Organics to Wine Spectator’s 2018 Award of Excellence winner Il Cortile. For adventure seekers, this land of cowboys offers a huge array of choices in the great outdoors—from hiking the hills, riding horseback through vineyards, challenging the area’s golf courses, taking a day trip to the coast or exploring the restorative waters of River Oaks Hot Springs. Live Music at BarrelHouse Brewing Co. To round out your visit, take time to explore the downtown square. Considered the heart of Paso Robles, this quaint square contains boutique shops, tasting rooms and diverse dining experiences. 4. Catch a Concert at Vina Robles Amphitheatre 4. A Night at the California Mid-State Fair 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 21


SLO it down in 2019 San Luis Obispo is at the heart of SLO CAL® San Luis Obispo is the cultural, commercial and entertainment hub of the Central Coast. Reconnect and recharge in a place where serenity rules and the atmosphere allows you to just be. Nestled between rolling hills, San Luis Obispo’s tree-lined streets are filled with boutique shopping, charming coffee shops, creekside dining and a beautifully preserved Spanish mission. Every Thursday night the town comes alive with the Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market, featuring local entertainment, food vendors and farmers. San Luis Obispo is also home to Bubblegum Alley, a famous landmark that beckons thousands of visitors to leave their mark with their own bubblegum every year. San Luis Obispo offers plenty of other reasons to get outdoors: the city is surrounded by 50 miles of trails traversing thousands of acres of open space for trail running, hiking and mountain biking enthusiasts. And if strolling is more your style, take time to explore more than 70 pieces of public art on display throughout the city. Wine Enthusiast named San Luis Obispo Wine Country one of its top ten wine destinations for 2018, and the city also boasts dozens of craft breweries and cideries. This is a place you just have to experience. Be Here. SanLuisObispoVacations.com ShareSLO 22 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


The Charm of Atascadero Relax in this slow-paced California gem brimming with simple pleasures Rolling hills and oak trees abound in Atascadero, an intimate destination in SLO CAL® with small-town charm. Take a scenic hike, a horseback ride or a day to golf (or disc golf). Ramble through the county’s only zoo, which is home to more than 200 animals on five acres within Atascadero Lake Park. Stroll through the beautiful downtown setting of historic City Hall and Sunken Gardens, visit a local antique shop and explore an arts district. Atascadero features a number of unique restaurants, plus the city is known for its craft cider, beer and wine. VisitAtascadero.com VisitAtascadero AtascaderoCA 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 23


Put Life on Coast in Morro Bay Mix nature with outdoor adventure in this picturesque fishing village, offering great value for your coastal vacation This waterfront town is everything you want in a coastal vacation: a lively Embarcadero with 150+ galleries, restaurants, hotels and activities offering an extensive variety of outdoor excursions including surfing, paddling, hiking and biking. Sea otters and seals frolic in the bay while over 200 species of birds dip and dive into the 800-acre National Estuary. Miles of endless sandy beaches are perfect for kite flying, picnicking and beachcombing. Morro Bay’s commercial fishing families offer fresh caught seafood and world-renowned sustainably farmed Morro Bay Oysters making this funky SLO CAL® town a must stay, play and eat. MorroBay.org MorroBayCA MorroBayCalifornia MorroBayTravel 24 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Arroyo Grande Coastal bluffs and vibrantyellow mustard flowers coat the sun-drenched hills of Arroyo Grande, a casual welcoming community with quaint charm, family-friendly accommodations and simple indulgences. Explore the historic village, peruse antique shops or taste a variety of award-winning vintages at one of the local tasting rooms. VisitArroyoGrande.org VisitAGCA Grover Grover Beach Beach Casual, fun and hip are words Casual, fun and hip are words you’ll hear when people talk about you’ll hear when people talk about Grover Grover Beach. Beach. Located Located on on Highway Highway 1, this 1, this coastal coastal community community is is known known for for its beautiful its beautiful beach, beach, outdoor outdoor concerts, concerts, off-roading, bonfires and and unique unique local local shops. shops. It’s It’s also also home to to great great restaurants, wine wine tasting and and craft craft breweries, and and is just is just minutes away away from from outdoor adventures including lakes, lakes, water water parks, ziplines ziplines and and more. more. GroverBeach.org GroverBeach.org GroverBeach GroverBeach CityofGroverBeachCA CityofGroverBeachCA CityGroverBeach CityGroverBeach 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 25


SLO CAL new & noteworthy The Time is Now Looking for the latest and greatest happenings in SLO CAL®. It’s new, it’s now, it’s right here. 26 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


RESTAURANTS & SPECIALTY FOOD From locally roasted coffee to farm-sourced produce, the newest breakfast hotspot in Paso Robles, BRUNCH, brings the best of SLO CAL® to your table each morning. Tucked inside the local cheese shop, they serve up their seasonal menu in a cozy atmosphere. Just off Atascadero’s main street, CENTRAL COAST CAFE provides a variety of offerings in a bright and open setting. Nosh incredible eggs Benedict in the morning or savor a healthy lunch with mouthwatering sandwiches or stir-fry. Tastes span from local to international at the CIDER BAR in downtown San Luis Obispo. A French-style eatery located in the Creamery Marketplace, their menu offers an array of small-plate dishes. Paired with over 160 ciders and beers, including their own wild ciders, it’s a perfect place for gathering together. Take home the flavors of Italy (and SLO CAL) from the Paso Robles pasta producer and shop ETTO PASTIFICIO. The husband and wife duo source quality local ingredients to make a variety of pasta shapes and colors that they sell alongside everything you need for the perfect vacation rental feast. Harnessing the essence of Paso Robles, JEFFRY’S WINE COUNTRY BBQ features a menu of scratch-made comfort food from an awardwinning chef. Revel in their acclaimed macaroni and cheese, smoked tri-tip and local beer and wine in this rustic hidden spot downtown. Share in a selection of small plates at LA BODEGA in Pismo Beach. Globally inspired flavors and locally sourced ingredients come together for tapas that will be gone before you can post your first pic. LADONNA’S restaurant and cocktail lounge in Atascadero features a menu brimming with farm-fresh fare. Enjoy everything from pot pie to crepes, layered cookies to cream cake. A canopy made of umbrellas greets you outside and provides a playful background for shareworthy photos. Surrounded by craft wine, beer and spirits, TIN CANTEEN is the newest addition to Paso Robles’ Tin City. Enjoy a seasonally rotating menu that includes burgers, pasta and wood-fired pizza. STREETSIDE ALE HOUSE in Paso Robles prides itself on providing an enjoyable experience for all in a casual and fun ambiance. They offer a wide array of beer, wine and craft cocktails, and are available for off-site bar catering at events such as weddings, company parties or reunions. 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 27


BEER, WINE AND COCKTAILS 1122 COCKTAIL LOUNGE & SPEAKEASY is an upscale cocktail lounge with a bar staff that specializes in seasonal craft cocktails and classic drinks dating back to before the prohibition era. 1122 is proud to offer over 100 whiskeys, a well-appointed selection of rare and highly allocated spirits, as well as local wine and beer. Located in the Village of Arroyo Grande, QUPÉ & VERDAD TASTING ROOM focuses on wines with quality, character and balance. Specifically, Qupé is acclaimed for their cool-climate syrah and other Rhone varieties, while Verdad focuses on Spanish varieties including albariño and tempranillo. THE LIBERTINE BREWING COMPANY’S newest location in Avila Beach offers 12 beers on tap from their famous Wild Ales to the new non-sour collaboration series of beers. Enjoy their patio for a pint or two, or take some bottles or growlers home with you. ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS Soar the skies of SLO CAL®, taking in the incredible countryside and vineyard views of Paso Robles with BALLOONS OVER PASO. Small, intimate hot air balloon flights with a team that caters to you make this a truly one-of-a-kind experience. After four years of closure for renovation, the famous HEARST CASTLE NEPTUNE POOL has been reopened in San Simeon. Workers removed 9,000 square feet of marble tiles, repairs were made to the concrete shell and the pool was then refilled with 345,000 gallons of crystal-clear water. Come celebrate this seaside town’s maritime heritage at the newly opened MORRO BAY MARITIME MUSEUM. Displays bring Morro Bay’s history to life. Marvel over the DSRV Avalon, one of only two cold-war era rescue submarines developed by the U.S. Navy and featured in the 1990 hit movie “The Hunt for Red October.” Also in Morro Bay, ONBOARD NAUTICAL EVENTS provides the intimacy of a luxury yacht setting with innovative cuisine and attentive, gracious service. From the moment you step aboard this beautiful vessel, you will find yourself immersed in a distinctive atmosphere that is elegant yet warm and welcoming. THE EMBARGO is a custom, portable bar trailer providing professional bartending services for your private events in SLO CAL. From weddings to corporate events to private parties, The Embargo can cater to any size and offers experienced bartenders with exceptional service who can create event-specific specialty cocktail menus, wine lists and beer selections. 28 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATIONS Travel to SLO CAL® continues to get easier with a new American Airlines DAILY FLIGHT FROM DALLAS-FORT WORTH (DFW). The new service from DFW International Airport to San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport begins in April. The list of daily nonstop service to SLO CAL also includes Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The traveler who wants to stay in the heart of the action will feel right at home in the new PASO PARK SUITES in downtown Paso Robles, mere steps from dining, shopping and nightlife. Each of the four contemporary condo-style vacation rental units is stylish and well-appointed with a balcony or deck, full modern kitchen, digital sound system, upgraded linens and more. RIATA RANCH is a 1,200-acre working ranch, originally part of the historic Santa Margarita Ranch, which was established in the late 1700s as part of Father Junipero Serra’s Mission Trail. The recently added event venue and vacation rental combine to offer guests an unforgettable experience. Pedal your party through downtown San Luis Obispo on a tasting tour with BIG SLO BIKE, a 14-person bike with a host, table and roof. Try not to have the time of your life as your crew cruises to up to three area breweries or restaurants where you will sample local brews and bites. Get your steps in while sampling the flavors of San Luis Obispo on a walking food tour with TASTE OF SLO. Meet the faces and hear the stories behind the small businesses as you sip and savor through downtown, including food, wine, beer and even specialty tours— vegetarian, vegan and non-alcoholic tours are available. Bright, eclectic and almost cheeky, THE KINNEY in San Luis Obispo revamped the 100 rooms of this hotel with a hip, funky vibe and added the restaurant and taproom, LEROY’S, to the mix—a modern meeting space, hang-out-worthy lobby and Skee-Ball round out the new features. Perfectly placed between the cowboy city and wine country of Paso Robles, the CAVA ROBLES RV RESORT is a true oasis. Whether you tow in your own home or rent one of their cottages, you’ll quickly fall in love with the luxurious pools, fresh bistro, wine tastings, wellness center and so much more. Go to SLOCAL.com/New to find more details. Challenge your teamwork and your brainpower at San Luis Obispo’s THE PUZZLE EFFECT, an escape room experience where your group must work together to solve puzzles and find clues to escape before time runs out. Each room at The Puzzle Effect has a unique theme and engaging storyline. TOAST TOURS offers fun, unique and memorable wine tours of the Paso Robles wine country. They believe in getting off the beaten path and going behind the scenes, while diving deeper into the history of winemaking and flavor that the city has to offer. Don’t be surprised if you walk through vineyards and production facilities, talk with the winemaker and taste wine straight out of the barrel. 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 29


Liquid Gold SLO CAL sip Gentle ocean breezes combined with ancient hillsides speckled with watchful oaks create the magic that is SLO CAL® wine country. Toss in a burgeoning industry of award-winning craft beer breweries, cideries and distilleries and you will have uncovered the full scope of that magic—a world-class destination for lovers of all things wine, brew, cider and spirits. 30 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery Beyond your Traditional Wine Tasting Experiences Growers and makers of expressive, approachable estate wines from Paso Robles, California, Vina Robles owns and farms six estate SIP® Certified Sustainable vineyards in five sub-districts in the region. First-class hospitality service is offered by way of unique, memorable experiences with wine, food and music at their core. The vineyards and winery are owned and managed by two Swiss families who have been farming wine grapes in Paso Robles for more than 20 years. Known primarily for their cabernet sauvignon and petite sirah, the Vina Robles lineup includes small lots of a wide range of varieties and creative blends. Willenborg’s wines are available at the Vina Robles Hospitality Center where a wide range of tasting experiences are offered, as well as lunch service Thursdays-Saturdays and brunch on Sundays. The Vina Robles Amphitheatre is one of the largest outdoor venues for arts and entertainment in San Luis Obispo County. Featuring a style reminiscent of the California missions, guests are able to immerse themselves in a unique and intimate concert adventure while enjoying modern amenities, first class hospitality and Vina Robles wines, of course. The 2019 concert season runs from April through November and features top-tier acts from around the world in all genres. Various seating options all within 150 feet from the stage, including regular, VIP and general admission lawn seating, make events accessible to anyone in the community. Vina Robles opens at 10 a.m. daily. For more information call 805.227.4812. VinaRobles.com VinaRoblesAmphitheatre.com VinaRoblesWinery VinaRobles 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 31


THE WHOLE GRAPE The craft distillery boom in SLO CAL® started quite literally at the bottom of the barrel when the locally recognized “founder” of the movement, Alex Villicana, began distilling the leftover grape skins, pulp, seeds and stems following the crush at his winery. Many in SLO CAL have since followed his lead, using every part of their grape harvest and other local ingredients to create unique liqueur, whiskey, brandy, rum and other spirits, allowing an exciting new offering to visitors and purveyors of fine liquors. IMBIBE WITH YOUR TRIBE No need to leave the kids behind. Enjoy a craft cocktail, brew or glass of wine from one of the area’s familyfriendly locations where children are welcome to walk the vineyards, discover animals, play yard games or even have a tasting of their own, as some of the sites offer house-made grape juice or root beer. 32 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


ake a tour through SLO CAL® by experiencing its bounty and by meeting the makers. Whether you self-select, book a tasting tour or sample at Tone of the many restaurants, tap houses, tasting rooms and cocktail bars, getting a sip of SLO CAL crafted is effortless and delicious. SLO CAL may be home to California’s third-largest wine region, but true to the slower pace of life, it has a more laidback approach to the otherwise stuffy and crowded wine tasting experiences. Many of the vintners have joined this trend, bucking tradition and breaking the rules to create more experimental blends and unique flavors. And like their wine, their tasting rooms also offer a more modest vibe and authentic atmosphere for guests. You’re sure to unearth the best kept secret in viticulture with over 250 wineries speckled throughout the county. SLO CAL is replete with wine tasting options, but on a hot day nothing beats a frosty pint of IPA, a crisp cider or a refreshing sour. Here, brewers and cider makers are known for their use of local ingredients, including wild yeasts, fruit, barley, hops [BB1] and, in some cases, even seawater, taking flavors to a whole new level. The granddaddy of the SLO CAL brew scene is found in Paso Robles, where Firestone Walker Brewing offers dining, shopping, tours and tastings at their recently expanded campus. Although large, they manage to stay true to their roots, most notably in their label 805 (SLO CAL’s area code), a refreshing blonde ale and local favorite. MIX IT UP Like the distillers themselves, SLO CAL mixologists have reinvented the craft cocktail game and the community proudly offers its myriad of local spirits to those that sidle up to the bar. Whether a speakeasy, local pub or fine dining restaurant, SLO CAL is your place to sample the latest concoctions and discover your new favorite maker. 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 33


Baileyana, Tangent & True Myth The oldest family-owned vineyard in Edna Valley grows 11 different grape varieties and sells more than 30 different wines — all with sustainable and conservation practices at every level. The tasting room, a 1909 one-room schoolhouse, is surrounded by a kid-friendly lawn area with picnic tables, chairs and two bocce ball courts. NivenFamilyWines.com/Taste BaileyanaTangentTrueMyth Biddle Ranch Vineyard Stop by Biddle Ranch Vineyard to experience the contemporary tasting room and relaxing atmosphere—stay to enjoy the old-world style wines and panoramic views of the Edna Valley. BiddleRanch.com BiddleRanchVineyard Biddle_Ranch_Vineyard Edna Valley Vineyard Consistently rated as the best tasting room in San Luis Obispo by the SLO New Times, Edna Valley Vineyard invites you to enjoy award-winning wines and stunning views. Discover a true expression of California’s Central Coast with one of Edna’s memorable tasting experiences. EdnaValleyVineyard.com EdnaValleyVineyard 34 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Through SLO CAL scenery the Looking Glass There is perhaps no better way to take in the natural beauty of SLO CAL® than through the viewfinder with one of its many talented local photographers. JOSEPH DOMINGUEZ Cayucos Pier, Cayucos 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 35


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ROBIN CHILTON Castoro Cellars, Templeton 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 37


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MARK NAKAMURA Tower Hill, San Luis Obispo 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 39


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SAM DEAN Pismo Pier, Pismo Beach 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 41


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NIKKI ROBARDS W.R. Hearst State Beach, San Simeon 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 43


SLO CAL meet & greet Someplace Special Thousands of people choose to hold their events, weddings or corporate retreats in SLO CAL® each year, because it is unlike any other place. There are no words to do it justice. You have to come see for yourself. The stars at night, the vineyards framing ocean views, the people, the setting—the magic. And nothing comes close to the lifestyle that defines the essence of SLO CAL, where everyone fits in and all are welcome. L & J Central Coast Photography 44 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Riata Ranch The majestic Riata Ranch is a premium vacation and event destination in SLO CAL®. Sweeping views and stately oaks provide a serene backdrop for guests enjoying a relaxing getaway, an intimate gathering or robust affair. The inviting Ranch House, outdoor entertaining areas and unique tent tipis offer ample options for a variety of gatherings and celebrations. RiataRanchEvents.com VRBO.com/1442215 RiataRanchEvents All About Events Whether it’s a wedding, a special event or a party large or small, All About Events prides itself on its exceptional customer service to wedding coordinators, caterers, event planners/designers, businesses and individuals. As the 2018 California Wedding Day magazine award winner for “Best Rental Company” and “Best Table Top Rentals” on the Central Coast, they offer the highest quality in china, linens, stemware, tables and chairs, heaters, tents and more—all maintained each week to high standards. AllAboutEvents.com AllAboutEventsSLO AllAboutEvents 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 45


SLO CAL stays No Such Thing as Strangers When you arrive in SLO CAL®, you will be coming home— your home away from home. Here you will find options for every budget and many varied experiences. From a romantic retreat for two all the way to lodging for the family reunion, there is a vineyard villa or an oceanfront hotel waiting— something for everyone. Quiet and slow, or buzzing with activity, it’s all here. 46 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Vacation Rentals Hotels/Motels Almost every corner of San Luis Obispo County offers a unique lodging experience. Unlike the monolithic high-rises that characterize urban cityscapes, these hotels are shaped by the inspiring environments they occupy; living, breathing representations of what is good and right along the California less traveled. A great option for large families and groups, locals who embrace the “SLO CAL® Lifestyle” open up their homes and cottages to visitors. With a diversity of landscapes and microclimates every traveler can be in their element. SLO CAL vacation rentals allow you to personalize your stay so it’s as unique as you are. B&Bs RV Parks Recreational vehicles are welcomed with open arms in SLO CAL by the many parks designed to cater to visiting “homes-on-wheels.” With exceptional service offerings and top-shelf amenities, day trip adventures end with base camp comfort and perfectly roasted marshmallows. Not quite a hotel, and not a vacation rental either, our many bed and breakfast establishments fit the space in between. These comfortable accommodations are often impeccably appointed with thoughtful, modern touches. Proprietors on site may greet guests with fresh-baked scones, friendly conversation and a long list of recommendations for where to go and what to see as you explore SLO CAL. 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 47


Coastal Comfort Whether it’s fine luxury, casual beach-chic vibes, quiet charm, romance, family fun or business, Pacifica Hotels along the Central Coast have you covered SPYGLASS INN Pismo Beach Nautical-chic rooms offer ocean views, full-service dining, firepits, conference and banquet rooms. SpyglassInn.com SpyglassInnPismo SpyglassInn INN AT THE PIER Pismo Beach This new luxury property features boardwalk and pier access, event space, full-service dining and a rooftop bar. TheInnAtThePier.com TheInnAtThePier COTTAGE INN BY THE SEA Pismo Beach English countryside ambiance, ocean—or garden-front rooms, luxe bathrooms and an oceanfront pool await. Cottage-Inn.com CottageInnPismo SANDCASTLE HOTEL ON THE BEACH Pismo Beach These new rooms on the beach feature boardwalk and pier access, ocean views and upgraded amenities. SandcastleHotelOnTheBeach.com SandcastleHotelPismo 48 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


THE TIDES OCEANVIEW INN & COTTAGES Pismo Beach This California classic on the bluffs of Pismo Beach is affordable, pet-friendly, great for families, couples and friends. THE KINNEY San Luis Obispo The newest addition to SLO hotels, it’s big on personality with high design, vintage college vibes and a lobby bar. SPRINGHILL SUITES Paso Robles . Atascadero An All-Suite Hotel, moments from wine country, complete with breathtaking event space and on-site dining. SpringHillPasoRobles.com SpringHillSuites_Atascadero TheKinneySLO.com TheKinneySLO CAMBRIA LANDING INN & SUITES Cambria Expect boutique hotel amenities, fireplaces, Jacuzzis® and daily wine and cheese reception. CambriaLandingInn.com CambriaLandingInn EL COLIBRI HOTEL & SPA Cambria Revel in upscale comfort with Tuscaninspired decor, a day spa and wine bar. ElColibriHotel.com ElColibriHotel TidesPismoBeach.com FOGCATCHER INN Cambria Enjoy big screen HD TVs, fireplaces, Keurigs, a hot complimentary breakfast and pet-friendly rooms. FogcatcherInn.com FIRESIDE INN Cambria TidesPismoBeach FogcatcherInn This pet-friendly inn offers inroom fireplaces, a year-round pool, a spa and complimentary hot breakfast. FiresideInnCambria.com FiresideInnCambria PELICAN INN & SUITES Cambria Steps away from Moonstone Beach, guests enjoy complimentary hot breakfast, pool, spa and free wine tasting passes. PelicanSuites.com PelicanInnAndSuites PelicanSuites OCEANPOINT RANCH Cambria These ranch-chic hotel rooms spread across nine acres along Moonstone Beach. OceanpointRanch.com OceanpointRanch 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 49


SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel Pure leisure on an ocean bluff This unique Pismo Beach hotel sits high on a five-acre bluff top with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. SeaCrest fits in perfectly with the Central Coast feel offering fun, easy-going, family-friendly vibes. The hotel offers bright ocean-view guestrooms, a pool with three surrounding hot tubs, two terraces, BBQs, plus an on-site restaurant and bar (Willow Kitchen and Cocktails). If that’s not enough, just a ten-minute walk down the beach from the direct beach access stairs, you will find yourself at the pier and downtown area. SeaCrest is a long-time favorite of vacationing families, SeaCrestPismo.com causal surfers, beach lovers and road trippers. SeaCrestPismo SeaCrest_Pismo 50 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Allegretto Vineyard Resort You’re not in northern Italy, but it will feel that way. This 20-acre luxe resort offers 171 guestrooms and suites, lush gardens, the Cello Ristorante & Bar serving fresh ingredients in creative dishes, a wine tasting room that boasts varietals produced with old-world techniques in the nearby vineyard and a spa with estheticians, masseurs and aromatherapists. AllegrettoVineyardResort.com AllegrettoVR Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa With all the comforts of home and panoramic views of the Pacific from private balconies or patios, Dolphin Bay in Pismo Beach features one– and two-bedroom suites that range from 1,000 to 21,000 square feet. Lido at Dolphin Bay offers seasonal menus and over 800 international and local wines. Rejuvenating treatments await at The Spa. TheDolphinBay.com DolphinBayResort DolphinBayHotel 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 51


Boutique Hotel Collection Home away from home The Boutique Hotel Collection offers truly unique experiences and an unforgettable sense of authentic California. You’ll find exceptional accommodations, stellar restaurants, award-winning spas, gift shops and so much more. With close proximity to countless wineries, pristine beaches and endless outdoor activities to explore, you’ll find yourself at the epicenter of the classic California experience you’ve been looking for. Sycamore Mineral Hot Springs Sycamore Mineral Springs is a multifaceted retreat in the lush Avila Valley. Apple Farm SeaVenture The Apple Farm features a charming Americana-style setting and lodging. The casually elegant SeaVenture is situated right on the beach, on the southernmost point of Pismo Beach, yet only three blocks from downtown. AppleFarm.com AppleFarmInn CliffsHotelandSpa.com TheCliffsHotelAndSpa SycamoreSprings.com SycamoreSprings Cliffs SeaVenture.com Enjoy the Cliffs Hotel’s panoramic views and refined ambiance. SeaVentureResort 52 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Casa Azul A rare vacation getaway, Casa Azul is a luxe showcase home steps from the sand on Avila Beach. From nearly every window and from the rooftop deck, the view is the Pacific. The home features high-end design touches and a chef ’s kitchen with Thermador appliances. French doors open to balconies overlooking the beach. Casa Azul is designed with the most discriminating traveler in mind. vrbo.com/410467 Cavalier Oceanfront Resort The only oceanfront resort in San Simeon, the Cavalier offers an authentic Central Coast experience with deluxe amenities. A full-service restaurant, oceanfront patios, woodburning fireplaces and two pools featuring stunning Pacific Ocean views are part of a perfect California getaway. Located along scenic Highway 1, Cavalier Oceanfront Resort is just five minutes from Hearst Castle. CavalierResort.com CavalierOceanfrontResort 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 53


Sea Gypsy You can’t get closer to the beach than the Sea Gypsy Motel. Perched on the sand mere steps from the Pacific, the motel is also just two blocks from downtown Pismo Beach and the Pismo Pier. SeaGypsyMotel.com SeaGypsyMotel Hotel Serra With a spectacular Rooftop Pool Deck featuring panoramic views, the newly constructed Hotel Serra awaits your stay in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo. The hotel is complete with a full-service spa, a French-Mediterranean, brasserie-style restaurant, not to mention a pie shop and in-house distillery. An unforgettable experience beckons! HotelSerra.com HotelSerraSLO Beach Bungalow Inn and Suites One of the original California beach town inns, Beach Bungalow Inn and Suites in Morro Bay has a warm, retro and relaxed feel, but offers modern amenities—gas fireplaces, large comfy beds and a great breakfast brought to your door. Bike rentals are available and well-behaved dogs are welcome. MorroBayBeachBungalow.com MorroBayBeachBungalows Hampton Inn & Suites San Luis Obispo Great rooms, service and location (right off of Highway 101) match up well with amenities like a hot breakfast, pool, hot tub and flexible meeting spaces. SanLuisObispoSuites.HamptonInn.com 54 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Pismo Coast Village RV Resort This Pismo Beach resort is within walking distance to downtown and the pier. You’ll find 400 full hook-up sites on 26 beachfront acres with plenty of amenities, but perhaps the best amenities are the ocean breeze, sunsets and soothing sound of the surf. PismoCoastVillage.com PismoCoastVillageRVResort Holiday Inn Express & Suites This award-winning hotel is complete with contemporary amenities and first-rate service and rooms, which will be fully renovated in 2019. The venue also boasts comfortable event space, adjacent restaurant and bar and close proximity to both wine country and the coast; complete with an outdoor heated pool and spa. HIEAtascadero.com HIEAtascadero HIE_Atascadero Inn at Morro Bay Surrounded by 4,000 acres of woodlands, the historic Inn at Morro Bay is a full-service hotel with 98 beautifully appointed guest rooms, more than 10,000 square feet of stylish function space and the Bayfront Restaurant and Lounge. InnAtMorroBay.com InnatMorroBay La Cuesta Inn This boutique inn located near downtown San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly offers luxury, comfort and convenience to restaurants, shopping, area wineries, beaches and hiking trails. LaCuestaInn.com LaCuestaInn.SLO LaCuestaInnSLO 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 55


Moonstone Landing Located by the beach in charming Cambria, this hotel affords memorable ocean and sunset views from your balcony or patio. All rooms feature a fireplace and hardwood floors. Oceanfront rooms have a Jacuzzi®. MoonstoneLanding.com Little Sur Inn This family-owned hotel on Moonstone Beach Drive in Cambria offers stunning ocean views, fireplaces and hardwood floors. Patios and balconies allow you to watch the sunset while relaxing to the sound of the surf. LittleSurInn.com Madonna Inn With an almost fairytale ambiance accented by pink and gold décor and whimsical guestrooms, Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo offers an award-winning menu, including oak-pit BBQ and a superb wine list. Enjoy nightly entertainment and dancing. Reservations are recommended for this unique venue. MadonnaInn.com MadonnaInn MadonnaInn1958 Cambria Pines Lodge With 25 acres of forests and gardens, Cambria Pines Lodge features 152 guest rooms plus a pool, spa, event spaces, restaurant and lounge with nightly entertainment. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, this is your place to dream. CambriaPinesLodge.com CambriaPinesLodge CambriaPines 56 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Farm to Fork SLO CAL taste The sun, soil and topography have come together in an improbable way to create the most fertile growing grounds known to exist, anywhere, at any time. In the Mediterranean climate, it’s not just people who grow and thrive in SLO CAL®, but also the combination of heirloom crops, a cornucopia-like bounty all year long. Fortunately for us, local chefs are inspired by nature’s blessing and have formed close relationships with the farmers throughout SLO County. Nowhere has the farm-to-fork phenomenon shaped a place, a culture, a way of life, like it has right here in SLO CAL, U.S.A. 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 57


Taste Matters Four SLO CAL® restaurants under the umbrella of Blue Mango, a San Luis Obispo-based hospitality management group, offer a unique cuisine and ambiance—and are loved by a dedicated group of repeat guests from locals to travelers. Robin’s Restaurant In 1985, after running a health food store and serving up tasty fare to the community in Cambria, Robin Covey and Shanny Covey opened Robin’s Restaurant. Set in a restored 1930s home in the town’s East Village, Robin’s serves comfort food with an international flair. (Try the prawn enchiladas or butternut squash and black kale lasagna.) Guests love the food, the ambiance and the enchanting gardens. RobinsRestaurant.com Robins_Restaurant RobinsRestaurant RobinsCambria Mint+Craft Cafe and Mercantile Creative and casual, this downtown cafe in San Luis Obispo takes pride in its innovative fare all prepared fresh from local sources. Expect everything from quick bites to hearty meals served up from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Small batch artisanal goods, an espresso bar and a separate beer and wine shop make Mint+Craft a great place to satisfy any appetite. MintAndCraft.com MintNCraft MintAndCraft 58 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Luna Red Restaurant For a lively experience, check out Luna Red. They boast an award-winning happy hour with a patio lounge and live music. And be sure to try something from their seasonal craft cocktail menu, a perfect complement to the flavor-happy, Latin-inspired cuisine—think mouth-watering paella for the whole table! LunaRedSLO.com Luna_Red LunaRedSLO LunaRed_SLO Novo Restaurant & Lounge The first expansion by Robin Covey, Novo opened in 2003. Featuring a worldwide inspired menu sourced from local farmers—think ahi nachos, lavender lamb chops and avocado shrimp spring rolls—this awardwinning downtown San Luis Obispo restaurant offers creekside patio dining that’s guaranteed to be memorable. NovoRestaurant.com NovoRestaurant NovoRestaurant Novo_SLO 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 59


Splash Cafe This Pismo Beach landmark is famous for its awardwinning clam chowder, made from scratch daily. (They serve more than 40,000 gallons of it each year!) Other specialties include fresh fish tacos and calamari. The cafe also has a location on Monterey Street in downtown San Luis Obispo where they bake all their own bread bowls and more. SplashCafe.com SplashCafeChowder SplashCafe Thomas Hill Organics Thomas Hill Organics’ dynamic menu sources fresh, local ingredients to create bold, imaginative dishes. The culinary team works with local purveyors and believes in the significance of regionally produced food. The restaurant’s location in Paso Robles is a popular destination for creatively prepared, honest meals. ThomasHillOrganics.com ThomasHillOrganics Blue Moon Over Avila This seaside wine bar and bistro offers a unique rotating menu that reflects a global culinary influence. A robust wine list features domestic and imported varietals, carefully chosen by the chef to best complement menu selections. Elegant décor, including a marble-topped bar that overlooks the ocean, provides a stunning backdrop. BlueMoonOverAvila.com BlueMoonOverAvila 60 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Roll DeepSLO CAL explore Come along with us as we spend some quality time exploring SLO CAL®’s picture-perfect coastline. | BY JAIME LEWIS | PHOTOS BY JENNIFER OLSON When it comes to experiencing SLO CAL’s stretch of Highway 1, there’s no better way than by road trip, where each exit and turnoff holds the promise of pristine beaches, fresh flavors and authentic adventure—not to mention more photo ops than you can shake a (selfie) stick at. There is so much to see and do—you will be amazed by how much SLO CAL’s coastline has to offer. So, what are you waiting for? Charge your phone, turn up the music, grab your favorite sidekick and get rolling. > 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 61


STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER Begin your journey planted in some of the world’s most fertile soil, as Highway 1 follows the route of the early California missionaries along sight lines of the nearby Pacific. Stop at one of Nipomo’s roadside produce stands and strike up a conversation with a grower as your taste buds dance in delight. THE LAND OF UNENDING DUNES—AND PERFORMING ARTS Continue north, rolling into the small-but-mighty town of Oceano. Here, dune buggies and ATVs rule the day as they prepare for high-speed fun in the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, but an expected cultural delight awaits downtown on Front Street at The Great American Melodrama. 62 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


HIDDEN SEASIDE GEM Now, head back toward the water. Just before arriving at the Highway 1 intersection, you will be treated to a treasure trove of hole-in-the-wall eateries in Grover Beach. Check out The Spoon Trade that has been wowing guests with traditional American fare. Who could have imagined that deviled eggs could be a main course? Take your wheels out on the sand for a sunset accompanied by the warmth of a bonfire. SURF, STROLL AND SAVOR The energy picks up and the pulse quickens as you glide into the beating heart of Pismo Beach. No trip through town would be complete without a quick stop for a mouth-watering treat at Old West Cinnamon Rolls. Stroll along the newly renovated pier as you watch local fishermen bring in the day’s catch. TAKE IN SWEEPING VIEWS A stop in San Luis Obispo wouldn’t be complete without a bite of a tender tri-tip sandwich from eateries such as Firestone Grill or Old SLO BBQ. Find that perfect something while strolling through downtown shops, boutiques and art galleries. Afterward, set out on one of the many trails that offer up picture-perfect sunset views of the city below. > 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 63


CATCH A BRIGHT-AND-EARLY BREAKFAST IN BAYWOOD PARK Make your way to the quirky coastal town of Baywood Park, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from San Luis Obispo, and where the Back Bay Cafe hums only a few feet from the Morro Bay State Park Marine Reserve. Order a latte and a breakfast burrito with legendary local salsa from La Casita Restaurant—then walk back to the pier to sit, nosh and take in the earlymorning song of Baywood’s bird chorus. 64 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


TREAD MOUNTAINS OF GOLD IN LOS OSOS Drive southwest about five miles to one of SLO CAL®’s most beloved natural treasures, Montaña de Oro State Park—literal translation from Spanish: “mountains of gold”—where dunes and craggy cliffs meet untouched beaches and windswept coastline. Hikers have their pick of a wide variety of trails, including the Dune Trail, which skirts coastal bluffs and takes in tide pools and Hazard Canyon Reef, a popular surf spot. Find the trailhead for this 2.6-mile (round trip) hike just past Los Osos by continuing on Los Osos Valley Road until it ends. > 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 65


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A Place Apart Highway 1—also known as Pacific Coast Highway, Cabrillo Highway, Shoreline Highway and Coast Highway—spans from Mexico to Washington State. Starting in 1919, the road was built in sections with labor from locals, including author John Steinbeck. ROCK OUT IN MORRO BAY Head north on Highway 1 and get a photo beside famous Morro Rock, a state landmark, volcanic remnant and local icon that towers at a height of 576 feet. Drive out to its base and bring your binoculars to spy peregrine falcons, as this is a designated bird sanctuary. (Just don’t bring your climbing shoes: scaling Morro Rock is illegal.) If you have an extra minute, catch the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum on the Embarcadero, which features the history of skateboarding since the 1930s and displays over 200 boards. > 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 67


COOKIES IN CAYUCOS Indulge in one of SLO CAL®’s most addicting treats: brown butter cookies with a kiss of sea salt from Cayucos’ Brown Butter Cookie Company. Taste through the flavor selection (must try: gluten-free Cocoa Mint cookie) and pick up a box to nibble on during a walk along the Cayucos Pier, originally built by Captain James Cass, the founder of Cayucos, in 1872. Feeling thirsty? Throw back a shot at Old Cayucos Tavern, built in 1906 —then take selfies against its iconic cowboy mural outside. 68 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


LUNCH AND PIE, OH MY Having taken in the town, it’s time for a plate of something fresh, whether that’s a tandoori chicken salad at globally-inspired Robin’s Restaurant, a world-class pastrami sandwich at The Café on Bridge Street or a slice of leek and goat cheese tart at Indigo Moon. Want to concoct your own lunch? Head to Soto’s True Earth Market, a historic grocer with the soul of a health food store. After lunch, make your way to Linn’s Restaurant for a slice of their beloved pie made from olallieberries (oh-LAH-lih-berr-ees), which thrive in Cambria and resemble blackberries. GO VINTAGE IN CAMBRIA Just up the road in the quaint seaside hamlet of Cambria, artists’ galleries, antique stores and boutiques abound. Wander the east or west ends of Main Street and find plenty to scratch your shopping itch, or visit specific spots like eclectic consignment shop Encore, zen boutique Muse or Rich Man, Poor Man Antique Mall. TAKE A STROLL Hop on over to Moonstone Beach Drive and catch the trailhead for the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk, a 2.85-mile (round trip) shoreline stroll that takes in tide pools brimming with sea stars, anemones and crabs and ends at Moonstone Beach, known for its smooth sand, roaring waves, “moonstones” and top-notch beachcombing. Ready to take a break from all that walking around? Find your seat at Centrally Grown, a restaurant, bar, market and hangout with jaw-dropping views and rambling gardens where you can grab a beer, soak up the sun and play some cornhole. > 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 69


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SPLENDOR IN SAN SIMEON Head up the hill to San Simeon’s historic Hearst Castle (tickets are available at HearstCastle.org), the 90,000-square-foot home of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst from the 1920s through 1947. Populated with art and antiquities from across the world, the castle welcomed personalities including Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill and Greta Garbo in its day. Don’t miss the Neptune Pool, a marvel of classical architecture; the Egyptian Sekhmet figure in the garden, dating back over 1,000 years before the birth of Christ; or a glimpse at the zebras wandering Hearst Ranch, remnants from the zoo Hearst built to entertain guests. Not into all the grandeur? Chill out in old San Simeon, just across Highway 1, where Hearst’s private beach has been opened to the public as the William R. Hearst Memorial State Beach. Laze on the beach, paddle out in a kayak or bring your pole and fish from the pier—no fishing license necessary. HANG WITH THE ELEPHANT SEALS Just north of San Simeon, Mother Nature is on full, glorious display at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. A breeding and birthing ground for the northern elephant seal, the rookery is just off Highway 1 and offers unparalleled views of these unique “locals” in their natural habitat, all completely free of charge. Come for the peak of birthing season in January, the peak of mating season (and comically entertaining fights between males) around Valentine’s Day and the height of elephant seals on the beach in October. 72 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


WIND IT ALL DOWN IN RAGGED POINT What better place to call it a day than Ragged Point, one of the prettiest spots on the globe and the northernmost point of SLO CAL®’s section of Highway 1. At the Ragged Point Inn & Resort, order a bottle of local wine and sink your teeth into locally sourced cuisine (word to the wise: try the pork belly appetizer!) on the heated outdoor patio or in the floor-to-ceiling glass dining room overlooking the Pacific Ocean. After dinner, settle in beside one of the resort’s fire pits. Marvel at the stars. Reflect on the day until your eyes refuse to stay open. Crank the (local) tunes No road trip is complete without a playlist, and this road trip itinerary comes complete with tunes from local artists. Chris Lambert | ((Be)(Here)(Now)) Inga Swearingen | Message In A Bottle Bear Market Riot | Head Over Heels Fialta | Do The Best We Can Próxima Parada | Makes You Wanna Jade Jackson | Finish Line The Creston Line | Vagabonds Chris Beland | Ephemeral Moonshiner Collective | Right Kind Damon Castillo | I’m So Happy I Could Die https://spoti.fi/2T03lyV 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 73


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With some of the most consistently perfect weather worldwide, the outdoors beckon in SLO CAL®. Get ready for adventure. MONTAÑA DE ORO A state park unlike any other, the 8,000 oceanfront acres south of Los Osos & Baywood Park are out of this world. The Bluffs Trail is an easy stroll along a single-track dirt path just above the pounding waves below. Wildlife abounds everywhere, from curious deer meandering about to the sea anemones in the surfside tide pools. OSO FLACO LAKE Tucked away at the end of a simple and flat 1.5-mile stroll awaits a curving boardwalk on the way to Oso Flaco Lake in Nipomo. There are plenty of benches to sit and take in the natural scenery, or sip a hot cup of coffee while reflecting upon the still waters. Montaña de Oro EL MORO ELFIN FOREST Step into the whimsical 90-acre preserve and stroll along its winding boardwalk, which bends through the pygmy oak woodlands and a picturesque manzanita grove. Sitting on the edge of Los Osos & Baywood Park adjacent to the Morro Bay National Estuary, this wheelchair-accessible park is suitable for all ages. SANTA MARGARITA LAKE REGIONAL PARK This 7,100-acre park in Santa Margarita is replete with many miles of hiking, cycling and horseback riding trails. Rocky Trail is a moderately strenuous single-track that leads in and out of an oak forest along its way through the lake’s western shore. FISCALINI RANCH PRESERVE Monterey pines frame the north coast seascape along the 430-acre bluffside preserve known as the Fiscalini Ranch. Many singletrack trails zigzag though the property in Cambria, which provides unending opportunities to commune with the natural surroundings. Lake Nacimiento LAKE NACIMIENTO Coveted by water skiers, this 18-mile-long lake northwest of Paso Robles offers 5,000 acres of freshwater for boats and swimmers alike. A winding beachfront encircles the lake with ample camping facilities and more than 100 miles of mixed-use trails. BOB JONES TRAIL Babies in strollers, cyclists, nature lovers and beachcombers all share the flat, winding and paved path leading to Avila Beach. Much of the scenic 2.5-mile pathway is enveloped by a canopy of oak trees, which leads away from traffic all the way to the surf and sand. MORRO BAY STATE PARK A natural wonderland is the best way to describe the park-by-the-bay that boasts everything from camping and hiking to sailing and golfing. That’s right, there is even an 18-hole golf course. And, do not miss Black Hill for a quick, easy hike to the top with amazing views of Morro Rock. Shell Beach DINOSAUR CAVES The perfect way to explore this area is from the water by kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Get a close-up look at the cliffs along Shell Beach and become one with the frisky harbor seals and playful dolphins that keep watch as you explore the many hidden coastal caves and hard-to-access beaches. 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 75


ATASCADERO LAKE PARK Old-fashioned pedal boats dot this lake found within the 25-acre park in Atascadero. Perfect for a picnic, there is plenty of play space and even a zoo. Free concerts are performed regularly during the summer under the canopy of oak trees. OCEANO STATE VEHICULAR RECREATION AREA This state park offers thousands of acres of dunes and many miles of beachfront for four-wheeling fun. And when the day ends, break out the firewood and settle in for the night during this unique stay on the beach in Oceano. PORT SAN LUIS With its shores sheltered within the bay, Port San Luis offers stand-up paddling and kayaking, as well as the Harford Pier, with fresh seafood and prime wildlife viewing. Nearby Avila Beach and the dog-friendly Old Port Beach are perfect for long, lazy days in the sun. OLD CREEK ROAD Dedicated road cyclists will not want to miss the 21-mile narrow and winding road leading to Cayucos. The ride can be extended for a 33-mile loop by connecting Old Creek Road, Green Valley Road and Highway 1. This one is for only the most experienced riders. THE EUCS PROJECT Committed mountain bikers, who can make the climb up the grade along the West Cuesta Ridge, will be treated to a mountainbike park complete with wooden ramps, berms and trails. This one is for the advanced rider. The little ones are much better off at the Morro Bay Bike Park (see below). MORRO BAY BIKE PARK This small-but-mighty bike park measures just one acre, but easily provides an entire afternoon of fun. Complete with cross-country obstacles, a flow track and a big-jump area, there is something for everyone and all skill levels at this facility. MORRO STRAND STATE BEACH Starting from Morro Rock and heading north, you will find one of the longest sandy beaches in SLO CAL®. Popular with surfers and kite boarders, the stretch is also the ideal place to log a long walk along the ebbing and flowing coastal tide, which often reveals a variety of seashells and wildlife. CERRO CABRILLO Avila Beach Standing proud at 911 feet, the volcanic plug is the tallest peak in Morro Bay State Park and serves as a year-round attraction for hikers and rock climbers, who love its rugged outcroppings and sweeping ocean views. This one may be a challenge for little hikers. THREE BRIDGES OAK PRESERVE West of Atascadero lies three miles of manicured trails, which leads hikers and equestrians through shaded oak woodlands, mixed chaparral and sycamore riparian habitats. The gentle climb is appropriate for most everyone with perhaps a small challenge to stroller-pushers. NIPOMO REGIONAL PARK Nothing has been left out of this 15-acre park, which is contained within a larger 137-acre preserve. Here you will find playing fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, a dog park, a botanical garden and a skate park. Additionally, the area is crisscrossed by a network of trails meandering through the surrounding oak woodlands. W.R. HEARST MEMORIAL STATE BEACH Taking in ample sunshine due to its south-facing orientation, this beach also offers a rustic public access pier and license-free sport fishing. Find the trailhead on the west end of the beach and follow the 1.5-mile path for a leisurely walk out to San Simeon Point. POLY CANYON Stroll along Brizzolara Creek near working ranchlands on the way to the quixotic Design Village behind Cal Poly’s campus, and take the ridge route up to the iconic “P” on the hill (the “P” is for “Poly”). From there, connect to the 6.5-mile Great Loop and drop down to Stenner Creek Canyon. LOPEZ LAKE RECREATION AREA An outdoor enthusiast’s paradise hides in the hills rising above Arroyo Grande. Since 1969, the 1,000-acre, man-made lake has served SLO CAL as the unofficial adventure headquarters for the South County, complete with fishing, camping, mountain biking trails, a waterslide park and a ropes course. SLO SKATE PARK As far as skate parks go, the multimillion-dollar facility in San Luis Obispo’s Santa Rosa Park is world class. The 15,500-square-foot skater’s paradise offers plenty of room for everyone, beginners and professionals, with ample room for Mom and Dad to have a seat and take in the action. IRISH HILLS NATURAL RESERVE No less than 13 miles of mixed-use trails beckon from the hills on the southern edge of San Luis Obispo. Hikers and mountain bikers are found in equal numbers on this network of old mining roads, which offers sweeping views and a close-up look at the local flora and fauna. 76 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


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FARMstead ED Come get your hands dirty and learn about the farms and the people of SLO CAL® who put the “culture” into “agriculture.” Pop-up workshops are ongoing throughout the year, so check the website for details. FARMsteadED.com FARMsteadED Central Coast Trail Rides You’ll never SLO CAL® in quite the same way again after experiencing it on horseback. The seasoned guides at Central Coast Trail Rides will take you off the beaten path, through iconic ridgelines, rolling countryside, estate vineyards and hidden-away private ranches. Rides are available year-round and are perfect for families, groups or romantic getaways for two. CCTrailRides.com CentralCoastTrailRides Margarita Adventures There’s a reason why they call Margarita Adventures the biggest thrill in wine country! Indeed, the Margarita Adventures zipline tour is an experience like no other—one that adults think is fun and that kids think is cool. Margarita Adventures’ six ziplines span more than 7,500 combined feet, starting with a 2,800-foot tandem-line thrill ride and finishing with an 1,800-foot journey over Pinot Noir vines. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind adventure. Margarita-Adventures.com MargaritaAdventures MargaritaAdvent 78 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


Calendar of Events Don’t forget to plan ahead! Experience the best of SLO CAL® by selecting from the events that follow to maximize your enjoyment of the festivities and food over the coming year. Everyone is invited and, in SLO CAL, strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet. Come join in—you’re always welcome here. SLO CAL save the date JANUARY CAYUCOS POLAR BEAR DIP January 1 / Cayucos CayucosChamber.com AVILA BEACH POLAR BEAR PLUNGE January 1 / Avila Beach VisitAvilaBeach.com PIER TO PLUNGE 5K January 1 / Pismo Beach PierToPlunge.com SLO CAL RESTAURANT MONTH January 1 - 31 / Countywide SLOCAL.com/Restaurant-Month WINE SPEAK PASO ROBLES January 7 - 10 / Paso Robles WineSpeakPaso.com MORRO BAY WINTER BIRD FESTIVAL January 18 - 21 / Morro Bay MorroBayBirdFestival.org 4TH ANNUAL TAMALE FESTIVAL January 19 / Atascadero VisitAtascadero.com CAMBRIA ART & WINE FESTIVAL January 25 - 27 / Cambria CambriaArtWine.org FEBRUARY SLO COMEDY FESTIVAL February 21 - 24 / San Luis Obispo SLOComedyFestival.com SLO CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL February 22 - 23 / San Luis Obispo SLO-Beer-Fest.com FESTIVAL MOZAIC WINTERMEZZO February 22 - 24 / Countywide FestivalMozaic.com MARCH CAYUCOS SEA GLASS FESTIVAL March 9 - 10 / Cayucos CayucosSeaGlass.com SLO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL March 12 - 17 / San Luis Obispo SLOFilmFest.org VINTAGE PASO: ZINFANDEL WEEKEND March 16 - 19 / Paso Robles PasoWine.com CENTRAL COAST BEER FESTIVAL March 30 / San Luis Obispo CentralCoastBrewersGuild.com APRIL EROICA CALIFORNIA April 6 - 7 / Cambria EroicaCalifornia.com POLY ROYAL RODEO April 12 - 14 / San Luis Obispo Cafes-Rodeo.CalPoly.edu TASTE OF PISMO April 20 - 21 / Pismo Beach TasteofPismo.com WILDFLOWER CENTURY BIKE RIDE April 27 / Creston SLOBC.org/Wildflower/ BREW AT THE ZOO April 27 / Atascadero VisitAtascadero.com SLO FULL & HALF MARATHON April 27 - 28 / San Luis Obispo SLOMarathon.com MORRO BAY KITE FESTIVAL April 27 - 28 / Morro Bay MorroBayKiteFestival.org SLO County Farm Trail Experience the bountiful working farms of SLO CAL and meet the growers who make them possible. SLOCoFarmTrail.com SLOCoFarmTrail SLO_Co_Farm_Trail 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 79


MAY CRUISIN’ MORRO BAY May 2 - 5 / Morro Bay MorroBayCarShow.org PASO ROBLES OLIVE FESTIVAL May 3 - 5 / Paso Robles PasoRoblesOliveFestival.com WINE, WAVES & BEYOND May 3 - 5 / Pismo Beach WineWavesAndBeyond.com TEMPLETON WINE FEST May 5 / Templeton TempletonWineFestival.com AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA May 15 - 16 / Morro Bay & Pismo Beach AmgenTourOfCalifornia.com PASO ROBLES WINE FESTIVAL May 16 - 19 / Paso Robles PasoWine.com GREAT WESTERN BICYCLE RALLY May 24 - 27 / Paso Robles GreatWesternBicycleRally.com PASO ROBLES CLASSIC CAR WEEKEND May 24 - 25 / Paso Robles GoldenStateClassics.org/CarShows.html MEMORIAL DAY BEER FESTIVAL May 25 / San Luis Obispo MemorialDayBeerFest.com ARROYO GRANDE STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL May 25 - 26 / Arroyo Grande ArroyoGrandeVillage.org AVILA BEACH BLUES FESTIVAL May 26 / Avila Beach OtterProductionsInc.com PISMO BEACH CLASSIC CAR SHOW May 31 - June 2 / Pismo Beach TheClassicAtPismoBeach.com JUNE FIRESTONE WALKER INVITATIONAL BEER FESTIVAL June 1 / Paso Robles FirestoneBeer.com SLO GREEK FESTIVAL June 1 - 2 / San Luis Obispo GreekFestivalSLO.com PINOT & PAELLA FESTIVAL June 2 / Paso Robles PinotAndPaella.com MAC & CHEESE FESTIVAL June 8 / Avila Beach TheMacAndCheeseFest.com ROLL OUT THE BARRELS June 20 - 23 / San Luis Obispo SLOWine.com/Events/Roll-Out-The-Barrels.php ATASCADERO LAKESIDE WINE FESTIVAL June 22 / Atascadero AtascaderoWineFestival.com JULY LAVENDER FESTIVAL July 6 / Paso Robles PasoRoblesDowntown.org CALIFORNIA MID-STATE FAIR July 17 - 28 / Paso Robles MidStateFair.com CENTRAL COAST RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL July 20 - 21 / San Luis Obispo CCRenFair.com FESTIVAL MOZAIC SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL July 24 - August 4 / Countywide FestivalMozaic.com/Summer-Festival Festival Mozaic A premier music experience is found right here in SLO CAL®’s most unique and intimate destination venues. This summer festival combines culinary events with performances by more than 50 of the nation’s finest musicians in an immersive experience. July 24-August 4. FestivalMozaic.com FestivalMozaic 80 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE


AUGUST CENTRAL COAST CIDER FESTIVAL August 10 / Atascadero CentralCoastCiderFestival.com CRUISIN’ WEEKEND August 16 - 17 / Atascadero Atascadero.org SEPTEMBER SLO CAL WINE MONTH September 1 - 31 / Countywide SLOCAL.com/wine-month DUNE RUN RUN August 24 / Grover Beach Grover.org AVOCADO & MARGARITA STREET FESTIVAL September 7 / Morro Bay AvoMargFest.com 29TH ANNUAL STONE SOUP MUSIC FESTIVAL AND STREET FAIRE August 24 - 25 / Arroyo Grande AGGBChamber.com/Stone-Soup WHALE ROCK MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL September 14 - 15 / Templeton WhaleRockMusicFestival.com WhaleRockMusicFestival CENTRAL COAST PRO TENNIS OPEN September 23 - 29 / Templeton TTRTennis.com SLO JAZZ FESTIVAL September 27 - 28 / San Luis Obispo slojazzfest.org STILL FROTHY SURF FESTIVAL September 28 - 29 / Pismo Beach StillFrothy.com VINA ROBLES AMPHITHEATRE Enjoy outdoor concerts throughout the year in Paso Robles. VinaRoblesAmphitheatre.com VinaRoblesWinery VinaRobles 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 81


OCTOBER ATASCADERO COLONY DAYS CELEBRATION October 4 - 5 / Atascadero ColonyDays.org CENTRAL COAST RAILROAD FESTIVAL October 4 - 6 / San Luis Obispo CCRRF.com MORRO BAY HARBOR FESTIVAL October 5 / Morro Bay MBHF.com PASO ROBLES PIONEER DAY October 12 / Paso Robles PasoRoblesPioneerDay.org OPEN STUDIOS ART TOUR October 12 - 13 and 19-20 / Countywide ArtsObispo.org CITY TO THE SEA HALF MARATHON October 13 / San Luis Obispo to Pismo Beach CityToTheSea.org HARVEST WINE WEEKEND October 18 - 20 / Paso Robles PasoWine.com PISMO BEACH CLAM FESTIVAL October 18 - 20 / Pismo Beach ClassicCalifornia.com TEMPLETON FOUNDER’S DAY October 26 / Templeton TempletonChamber.com JAZZ JUBILEE BY THE SEA October 27 - 30 / Pismo Beach PismoJazz.com PADEREWSKI FESTIVAL October 31 - November 4 / Paso Robles PaderewskiFest.com NOVEMBER SLO ULTRA November 1 - 2 / San Luis Obispo SLOUltra.com HARVEST ON THE COAST November 1 - 3 / San Luis Obispo SLOWine.com 82 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE MORRO BAY TRIATHLON November 3 / Morro Bay MorroBayTri.com TACO DAY ON TRAFFIC WAY November 16 / Atascadero VisitAtascadero.com SANTA HOUSE IN MISSION PLAZA November 29 / San Luis Obispo DowntownSLO.com CAMBRIA CHRISTMAS MARKET November 29 - December 23 / Cambria CambriaChristmasMarket.com CHRISTMAS AT HEARST CASTLE November 29 - December 30 / San Simeon HearstCastle.org DECEMBER ARROYO GRANDE CHRISTMAS PARADE December 1 / Arroyo Grande AGChristmasParade.com ELEGANT CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE December 1 / Arroyo Grande ArroyoGrandeVillage.org SOUTH COUNTY HOLIDAY PARADE December 1 / Grover Beach Grover.org HOLIDAY HARMONY December 6 / Pismo Beach ClassicCalifornia.com LIGHT UP THE DOWNTOWN December 6 / Atascadero VisitAtascadero.com SAN LUIS OBISPO HOLIDAY PARADE December 6 / San Luis Obispo DowntownSLO.com LIGHTED BOAT PARADE December 7 / Morro Bay MorroBay.org WINTER WONDERLAND December 13 / Atascadero VisitAtascadero.com LOS OSOS CHRISTMAS PARADE December 14 / Los Osos & Baywood Park LOBPChamber.org VINE STREET VICTORIAN SHOWCASE December 14 / Paso Robles PasoRoblesDowntown.org HOLIDAY MAGIC AT THE ZOO December 21 / Atascadero VisitAtascadero.com O NGOING EVENTS ART AFTER DARK SAN LUIS OBISPO First Friday of the month / San Luis Obispo ArtsObispo.com ART AFTER DARK PASO ROBLES First Saturday of the month / Paso Robles StudiosOnThePark.org ART IN THE PARK @ DINOSAUR CAVES First Sunday of the month / Shell Beach ArtInTheParkShellBeach.com YEAR-ROUND FARMERS MARKETS Weekly / Countywide SLOCAL.com/Markets ART ON THE BEACH Saturdays / June-October / Avila Beach AvilaBeachPier.com SUMMER CONCERT SERIES June - October / Countywide SLOCAL.com Yoga at Castoro Cellars Enjoy practicing yoga on Sundays throughout the year. CastoroCellars.com CastoroCellars For a complete calendar of all things happening in SLO CAL® visit SLOCAL.com/Events


margaaranda adventureaide samuel.kowal volac fabiennenu krista_marie hikingf0x jamilaree_photo daynekirk So SLO CAL® Whether you’re in search of awe-inspiring adventure, a romantic rendezvous or breathtaking views, SLO CAL has you covered! Follow us for more inspiration and to share your #SLOCAL vacation photos SLOCAL VisitSLOC #SLOCAL 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE | 83


Hug the Coast Embrace the journey to San Luis Obispo County Getting to San Luis Obispo is half the fun when you travel by train. Once onboard, you can sink back in your spacious seat, unwind and take in some of Southern California’s most iconic scenery—no driver necessary. Cruise along tracks that parallel the beautiful Pacific Coast as you relax with various onboard amenities. Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® service is offered between San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.When you take the train to SLO CAL®, your getaway begins the minute you step on board. PacificSurfliner.com PacificSurfliner PacSurfliners Routes, schedules and services subject to change without notice. Amtrak and Pacific Surfliner are registered services marks of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation and used with permission. 84 | 2019 SLO CAL® VISITORS MAGAZINE

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