5 Best Museums on the Central Coast

Discover the fascinating and vibrant culture and history of San Luis Obispo County at these wonderful locations. Truly there is something for everyone—the Old West, the legendary trains, fun and educational children’s museums, extraordinary regional artists, classic military aircraft and vintage cars, and so much more.

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1. San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum

The storied history of trains in the United States, California, and, in particular, on the Central Coast, is told in such compelling ways at this museum. It has collected, restored, and displays railroad artifacts, photographs, and important documents. It also has an enchanting 1,200 square foot operating model train, historic railroad equipment, and many other relics of the golden era of railroads.  

www.slorrm.org

1940 Santa Barbara Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

805.548.1894

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2. Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo Children’s Museums

These two museums will delight children—and the child in us all. The mission of these museums is to “learn through play.”   And they accomplish this extraordinarily well with their numerous, highly creative exhibits, and interactive experiences. They shouldn’t be missed!

www.pasokids.org

Paso Robles Children’s Museum

623 13th Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446

805.238.7432

www.slocm.org

San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum

1010 Nipomo St. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

805.544.5437

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3. Pioneer Museum

To this day, the Old West continues to capture the imagination of people, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. You’ll find a tiny 19th century jailhouse, a one-room prairie schoolhouse, with its little desks, inkwells, and chalkboards, a saddle crafted by the famous Edward Bohlin, a rickety chuck wagon, historic carriages, and cowboy paraphernalia galore. 

www.pasoroblespioneermuseum.org

2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446

805.239.4556

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4. San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

This true gem of a museum is often overlooked. It absolutely shouldn’t be. It presents an astonishing array of exceptional contemporary California artists—including a strong presence of Central Coast ones. It “offers a variety of original, ever-changing exhibitions of painting, sculpture, fine craft, printmaking, and photography.” And it has a great gift shop.

www.sloma.org

1010 Broad Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

805.543.8562

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5. Estrella Warbird Museum & Woodland Auto Display

This rather unconventional museum features an incredible collection of restored and preserved military aircraft and memorabilia “about those flew and worked on military aircraft.” On the grounds of the Warbird Museum, you’ll find the 17,000 square foot Woodland Auto Display with its Model Ts, race cars, luxury automobiles, roadsters, vintage motorcycles, and even a replica of a 1940's gas station.

www.ewarbirds.org

4521 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA

805.227.0440

Top 5 Places to Pucker Up During the Month of Love in San Luis Obispo County

February is the Month of Love.  Don’t just leave if for Valentine’s Day, celebrate all month long puckering up with your honey in numerous places around San Luis Obispo County.  These locations will take your breath away almost as much as your beloved’s kiss!  Here are some of our favorites:

1.     Seaview Bench at Harmony Headlands- Nestled among a gorgeous stretch of coastline between Cayucos and Cambria, a little bit of a walk opens onto a vista that will put you in awe as much as the loved one next to you!  The invigorating brisk sea air, the soaring gulls, the sweeping panoramic coastline, all set the mood to snuggle up with your sweetheart on a cliffside bench and take in the senses as you enjoy that perfectly sweet….. and just slightly salty kiss!   More Information: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25735

2.     Heart Hill at Niner Winery, Paso Robles-  Venture North to Paso Robles for a little wine tasting, and noshing upon a beautifully prepared lunch by the Niner Winery Restaurant on their expansive back patio.  Take in the view of rolling vineyards, lavender in bloom, and olive orchards as you sip upon a delectable bottle of exquisite wine.  This provides the unobstructed viewing point to the naturally occurring heart shaped grove of blue oaks shortly off in the distance.  Also known as Valentine Hill, this perfectly shaped heart on the hill is a romantic and fun backdrop to share that special caress of endearment! More Information:  http://www.ninerwine.com/?method=pages.showPage&PageID=182D7D8E-BCCE-B15A-F9A3-543D754DFB78&originalMarketingURL=Vineyards/Heart-Hill-Vineyard

3.     SeaVenture Private Balcony Hot Tub for Two - Get your bubbles bubbling and your bubbly chilled!  Throw in some tropical spa scents, and a gorgeous orange sunset encompassing the sky while a full moon is rising. Add to that, the coziest of robes waiting to encapsulate you when you are ready to retreat back to your beautiful fireside featherbed and you have the recipe for serious romance! Most of SeaVenture Beach Hotel’s rooms provide a private balcony hot tub, fit for two, to stargaze and smooch the night away!  More Information:  www.seaventure.com

4.     Top of Bishop’s Peak at Sunset-  The very well known Bishop’s Peak trail leads you to an elevation of about 1,500 to a lookout over the city of San Luis Obispo andout to the West to the view as Highway 1 takes off from the city towards Morro Bay and destinations beyond.  The highest of the Nine Sisters or “Morros” woodlands open onto meadows filled with wildflowers in the spring.  Enjoy a late afternoon hike with your sweetie and find your place perched along the cool rocks to unite your lips as the sun slowly sets.   More information: http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/bishop-peak-trail

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5.     Hi Mountain Lookout during a Meteor Shower- Get wild and take a trek out to the interior of San Luis Obispo County.  On the road between Lake Lopez and Pozo, at an elevation of about 3,000 feet in the Los Padres Forest, the location is known as one of the best places to view the California Condor.  But as the sun sets, and the most dramatic of astronomical events take place, that is the time to hit the road with your honey.  Trek out beyond the city lights, view shooting stars, the constellations and if you are lucky a splendid meteor shower.  Take your kiss to the outer reaches and beyond.  There could not be a more out of the world place to make your own stars align! More Information: http://www.condorlookout.org/p/about.html

 

Top 5 Restaurants to Visit during California Restaurant Month in San Luis Obispo County

January is the most delicious month of the year in SLO County – it’s California Restaurant Month! Boutique Hotel Collection features four amazing restaurants each with unique three course menu options for only $30-$40 per person. Come, taste what the Central Coast has to offer this January! To 

Apple Farm Restaurant

At the Apple Farm Restaurant in San Luis Obispo, some of our favorite menu items are the comfort food classics that the Apple Farm is known for. During Restaurant Month, you can choose from these delectable meals and create truly satisfying feast. Some of the first course options include a Wedge Salad or Corn Chowder, followed by main course favorites like Meatloaf and Country Pot Roast, and then you can finish your meal with a slice of one of their homemade fruit pies all for only $30 per person. More information at www.applefarm.com/dining and view the menu here!

The Gardens of Avila Restaurant at Sycamore Mineral Springs

At The Gardens of Avila Restaurant in Avila Valley, farm to fork food is a way of life. Their chef selects produce from their very own one acre garden as well as area farmers’ markets to create seasonal and spontaneous local cuisine. This January, enjoy the freshest ingredients with their three course menu for only $30 per person. More information at: www.sycamoresprings.com/avila-beach-restaurant/ and view the menu here!

 

Marisol at the Cliffs Resort

The Spanish name “Marisol” translates to “Sea” (mar) and “Sun” (sol) and what other name could be more fitting for this Pismo Beach hot spot? With amazing views of the Pacific and the beautiful coastline that surrounds, at Marisol, the visual experience alone is enough to make you want to enjoy a meal here. Experience their stunning views and handcrafted cuisine with their three course menu for only $30 to $40 per person in January. Choose from starters like Chicken Chili Verde Nachos or a Roasted Beet Salad. Entrées include selections like Miso Glaze Salmon or Mariscal Diablo Pasta and finish your meal with one of their handcrafted desserts. More information: www.cliffsresort.com/eat-drink/marisol-restaurant/ and view the menu here!

SeaVenture Restaurant

Gracing the third floor of the SeaVenture Beach Hotel in Pismo Beach is the SeaVenture Restaurant. The panoramic views from large picture windows and outdoor decks include breathtaking sunsets and the pristine Pacific Ocean. And if the views weren’t enough, the contemporary coastal cuisine inspired by the surrounding local wine country certainly will delight you. Discover fresh local fare with their three course menu for only $30 per person. Start your meal with their classic clam chowder or tomato artichoke salad. Choose from the land or sea in your second course with options like Oven Roasted Salmon or Grilled Sirloin. Finally, finish your dining experience with a rich crème brulee. More information: www.seaventure.com/pismo-beach-dining/menu/ and view the menu here!

Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica

A true locals’ favorite on the Central Coast has to be Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica. Earlier this year, the Pismo Beach icon suffered a fire that forced them to close their doors temporarily. However, all was not lost as their San Luis Obispo location recently moved to the historic Sinsheimer Building and reopened with much fanfare. We encourage you to visit their stunning new restaurant in SLO and enjoy their honest southern Italian cuisine with their three course menu for only $30 per person. More information: www.giuseppesrestaurant.com/home and view the menu here!