Top 5 Bakeries to try on your next visit!

With the holidays upon us, baked goods are at a premium. We have lots of social occassions, but not a lot of time, and some of us were not born with the baking gene. Here is a quick guide to all of your baked good needs for the holidays, or any day for that matter! Whether you're looking for a plate of cookies for santa, a break in a busy day, or a fresh baked pie to bring home for dessert (and, maybe, pass off as their own), you can find it at any of these local stops. Here is a list of the Top 5 Bakeries to sample on your next visit....


1. Avila Valley Barn 

As a guest for a holiday meal, it is always helpful to know where to find a fresh baked pie or pastry, so you don't show up empty handed. Avila Valley Barn is that place. With fresh baked or frozen pies available, you can grab what you need and go! Avila Barn is not just a bakery, but a fruit & veggie stand, gift shop, ice cream parlor and farm stand. While you're there, pick up your Christmas tree and some presents, too!

2. Scout Coffee Co.

If you find yourself cruising the streets of San Luis in the midst of your holiday shopping, and you hit a wall, it might be time for a Bakery Break! Voted Best Coffee House in the New Times, they say "Stepping into Scout Coffee Co feels like a big hug..." what better place to regroup and refresh. Grab a cup of their own HoneyCo coffee and a warm housemade pastry, and you will be back on your feet, filling those stockings in no time!

3. Linn's

On the coast in Cambria, you will find Linn's. Started as a pick-yourself produce stand almost 50 years ago, it developed into an amazing pie and dessert shop, introducing the area to the (at that time) little know ollalieberry, which became the cornerstone of their pie business. Today, you can stop in for a slice of cake, a cream puff, eclair, or even a sundae, but they are still most widely known for their pies. Any host would be thrilled to receive a pie from Linn's to compliment their holiday dinner!

4. BlackHorse Espresso & Bakery

Found in various locations throughout San Luis Obispo, BlackHorse Espresso & Bakery, is a great place for a little afternoon pick me up and sweet treat! Serving Spearhead Coffee from Paso Robles, and freshly baked treats made in house, not only are these baked goods amazing, I love that they're local. And besides, even elves need a little jolt of espresso every once in a while. Be sure to ask about the story behind the name, Blackhorse...

5. Apple Farm

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Just off the highway in San Luis Obispo, you will find the bakery jackpot! At the Apple Farm, fresh baked pies, cookies, cheesecakes, and muffins abound. You will have no trouble filling a plate for santa (or filling a plate of Santas!) or finding the perfect end to a holiday meal. Stroll the grounds to get a real holiday feel, stop in the gift shop for a gift with a local flare, and be sure not to miss the bakery. Rumor has it you may even spot Santa Saturdays in December, so be sure to bring your camera!

Five Best Places For Fall Adventures & Thanksgiving Celebrations

1. Harvest on the Coast

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One of the Central Coast’s best wine galas is “Harvest on the Coast,” held November 3-November 5 in Avila Beach. Friday kicks off with a collaborative winemaker dinner. On Saturday is the Grand Tasting and Wine Auction, featuring wine tasting, artisan foods, and live music. On Sunday enjoy free wine tasting with your Grand Tasting Ticket. Grab your wine glass and wristband and cruise out to your favorite SLO Wine Country tasting rooms, and relish free tastings, and more.

And every guest that stays in an Avila Beach hotel or vacation rental will receive tickets to the “Avila Beach Experience.” Get exclusive access to the VIP lounge where you'll enjoy reserve & library wines, large format bottle pouring, food and wine pairings by Chef Tommy Noel of the Gardens of Avila Restaurant and have a chance to rub elbows with the winemakers & vintners of SLO Wine Country. 

slowine.com

2. Avila Valley Barn

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The Avila Barn captures the very essence of fall on the Central Coast. Shop for a huge selections of fresh fruits and vegetables, and homemade pies and gourmet sweets. At the Barn, take in an authentic tractor ride and hang out with the beautiful farm animals. It is the perfect family excursion. Located on the Road to Avila Beach.

www.AvilaValleyBarn.com

3. Montana de Oro State Park

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During the fall, Montana de Oro State Park provides a true escape into the stunning beauty of this incredible landscape. “The park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons and hills…There are numerous hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails. And the park is only a short drive from downtown San Luis Obispo or Pismo Beach.

parks.ca.gov

 4. Thanksgiving Dinners at Local Restaurants

Check out the Boutique Hotel Collection for fabulous Thanksgiving festivities, including the Cliffs Resort, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, Apple Farm Wine Country Inn, and SeaVenture Beach Hotel. At each property you’ll find a wonderful, and yet totally unique, Thanksgiving Day menus. And don’t forget the famous Apple Farm’s bakery—shop and serve and devour pumpkin pies, specialty pastries, fabulous cakes, and other sweet selections.   

boutiquehotelcollection.com

5. Local Holiday Entertainment

Fall is also one of the best seasons for entertainment and cultural events. Check out the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly State University. During November, there are a wide selection of outstanding performances, including the sensual Tango Bueno Aires, the Champions of Magic, an evening with Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, and much more. However, if something a bit more whimsical is your cup of tea, head straight to the Great American Melodrama in Oceano. These vaudevillian performances overflow with songs, dances, and comedic routines. Running through November 12, is the “Phantom of the Melodrama,” and from November 15 to December 31, is the zany “Holiday Extravaganza.” 

 www.pacslo.org

www.americanmelodrama.com

 

 

Get out and Enjoy, the Top 5 Places for a Fabulous Fall Hike in San Luis Obispo County!

The weather has cooled down and the days are starting to become shorter.  There is a difference in the light and the slight feel of crispness in the air.  It is the perfect time of year to get out and take on some of our favorite strolls, hikes and the like right here in SLO County!  Here are some of our favorites:

1. San Simeon Point-

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What a hidden beauty.  Combine beach with stunning ocean vistas and you are in for a treat.  Take the beach from the San Simeon Pier access lot to the North, where you see a dirt pathway that heads away from the water, make the short trek up to the trail and continue towards the point.  Meandering through eucalyptus groves, the smell of the ocean mixed with the eucalyptus leaves is intoxicating.  Take in dramatic ocean views as you make your way along the path, emerging at the tip of the point for a view back towards the coastline and the crashing waves below.  More Information: http://www.visitsanluisobispocounty.com/profile/1883/san-simeon-point-pier-cove

2. Three Bridges Oak Preserve-   

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This land in Atascadero has been a preserve for quite a while, but in-accessible till just recently.  Now this three mile system, includes hiker, equestrian and bicyclists sections, offering diversity for your particular activity.  Through grasslands and meadows one climbs up into California oak groves, creating a lovely two mile loop offering shady vantage points along the lower portion of the preserve.  Be adventurous and make the 1,600 elevation gain trek to the highest elevation point on the preserve where you can take in sweeping views of San Luis Obispo County.  More Information:  http://www.supportalps.org/properties/three-bridges-oak-preserve/

3. Monarch Butterfly Grove –

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From October through February, the Monarch Grove on the edge of Pismo Beach and Grover Beach comes alive.  Over 20,000 monarchs cluster into the limbs of the eucalyptus trees, seeking reprieve from the freezing Northern winters.  Not really a hike, unless you incorporate in an easily accessible beach walk, but surely not to be missed.  And, if you are staying at SeaVenture Beach Hotel, rent a bike and make your way with a simple bike ride to the grove.  These beautiful creatures are quite magnificent!  Docents are on site most days to answer questions about the highly interesting life cycle and their habitat. More Information:  http://www.monarchbutterfly.org/butterfly-grove/

4. Bob Jones Trail-   

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A San Luis Obispo County staple, the Bob Jones trail boasts Mom’s pushing strollers, runners, couples on a romantic stroll, bicyclists, you name it, this path is a top pick for SLO County residents!   This “city to sea” trail leads you through oaks and sycamores starting to lose their leaves this time of year, and drops you onto a spectacular beach promenade filled with shops, wine tasting rooms and restaurants.  Bring your suits and spend some time at the beach while you are there.  Incorporate lunch at The Gardens of Avila Restaurant before or after, or pick up a sweet treat from the Avila Valley Barn to round out your afternoon. More information: http://www.avilabeachpier.com/information/bob-jones-bike-trail.html

5. Oso Flaco Lake Trail-

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Located in the most Southern portion of our county, hidden as part of the Ocean Dunes State Park, a gem arises.  A wooden Boardwalk makes trekking easy for all ages and abilities as its path leads you through willows and myrtles to a canopy of hanging Spanish moss happily housing songbirds.  As you cross the lake, a bird watchers’ dream comes to reality with viewing platforms and lookouts throughout.  More Information:

http://dunescenter.org/visit-the-dunes/points-of-interest/oso-flaco-lake/