Top 5 Ways to Get Active While Exploring the Bounty of SLO County!

With so many amazing sips and savors in our area, it's hard to try them all. However, here are a few tours to taste some fantastic local flavors while also exploring our small towns, exotic inlets, and verdant valleys. You will walk away with a happy belly but also a better understanding and appreciation for this rich local area. Feel free to indulge, as you are working hard for all this fun!

#1 Central Coast Outdoors' Bike/Winery Tour ~

This private, half day bike tour takes you through the luscious Edna Valley wine region known for its excellent Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. You can opt to wine taste at the wide selection of wineries along the way or wait for the payoff at the end, Baileyana Winery, where you enjoy a complimentary wine tasting along with a gourmet picnic lunch.

#2 Central Coast Food Tours ~

Explore the ins and outs of San Luis Obispo while getting a true taste of the town. This 3.5 hour walking tour includes 5 specially arranged food and beverage tastings which may include handmade organic, chocolates, French fromagerie, and a wide selection of other local favorites. While you snack and stroll, you will learn about our agricultural legacy and the role of CalPoly in supporting early and present day agriculturalists, our family farms, and artisanal, hand-crafted food products, and our emergence as a World Class food and wine region!

#3 Central Coast Trailrides ~

Get a true sense of the ranch side of our county while horseback riding through your choice of 3 vineyards (Cass, Halter Ranch, or Calcareous) surrounded by rolling hills, dense canopies, and the Oaks that the area is known for. You will have a chance to taste wines at the winery at the end of your ride, a well earned treat. At Central Coast Trailrides, the guides' love of horses and riding is evident, as is their passion for providing their guests with a fantastic experience.

#4 Hop On Walking Beer Tour ~

San Luis Obispo is becoming a small batch brew mecca, and this is your chance to sample from the source! Sip and savor from Central Coast Brewing, Barrelhouse Speakeasy, SLO Brew and Libertine Brewing Co. with a pizza lunch at SLO Brew. As you walk through San Luis Obispo, your personal beer guide will lead you through our city's rich Prohibition history and divulge details on each brewery you visit!

#5 Apple Farm's Farm to Fork Package ~

Explore Baywood Farmers' Market with a pro, Chef Steve Smeets. Help him select a variety of fresh produce and local goods for the Apple Farm restaurant. Later that evening, have a seat at the Chef's Table for a three course menu prepared by Chef Steve utilizing that day's market finds and including a flight of local wines. You have all the fun and let Chef Steve do all the work (including the dishes)!

Five Extraordinary Views in SLO County

1. Madonna Mountain

In hiking Madonna Mountain stunning vistas present themselves one after another. At its peak, take in the sweeping landscape of San Luis Obispo in every direction. The trail is well taken care of, accessible year-round, and not too difficult. It is a little less than two miles round trip and takes, at a moderate pace, a little over an hour. Madonna Mountain is part of the Seven Sister extinct volcanoes chain. It is accessible from Marsh Street exit from Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo.,


2. Skydive Paso Robles

Talk about a view! The best way take this really unforgettable ride is to go tandem. Your plane will take you up to 13,000 feet!  It only requires a minimum of training as your partner is a skilled professional that will be safety tethered to you from bailout to landing. From over two miles above the earth, relish truly unique perspectives, from a blazing 120 mph drop and its eagle eye observations, to the rolling hills and horse ranches coming into view on your gradual and contemplative descent.



3. Lopez Lake

Lopez Lake, just east of the quaint village of Arroyo Grande, offers a wide variety of beautiful lake scenes. The best way to enjoy them is to rent a boat, motor out to a tranquil spot, and set-up camp. Take the picnic basket out, unpack a lunch and ice cold beer or Champagne, and just settle into quiet afternoon of watching the water and undulating landscape, soaking in the midday sun, and the doing nothing but unwinding.

And on the way back, consider a stop at Talley Vineyard. The winery has outstanding wines and a beautiful tasting room with views overlooking the vineyards and farmlands of south San Luis Obispo County.

Lopez Lake Recreational Area                                                              Talley Vineyards

805.788.2381 3031                                                                                     805. 489-0446                                                             

4. Cal Poly Design Village

The Cal Poly Design Village provide a lot of very diverse and cool perspectives. The trail starts from the northeast corner of the Cal Poly Campus in San Luis Obispo. As you hike, you’ll walk by stately Coast Live Oaks, along a creek, and up through the rolling hills, all with brilliant views of the surrounding peaks. A ways up, there is a picnic area for a moment’s sojourn. Just pass that, there is a stone arch. Take it and you’ll find yourself at the Cal Poly Design Village with a hodgepodge of experimental architectural structures. It is a bit offbeat, yet quite interesting.

It is a little over two miles out and back and takes about an hour plus for the hike itself, but with a picnic and to check-out the Design Village it will obviously be a bit longer. And if you’re in the mood for a longer hike, travel up the trail, past the Stone Arch, to the well-known Serenity Swing—which some people say has the best view in SLO.

5. SeaVenture Restaurant and Marisol at the Cliffs


The restaurants at SeaVenture Beach Hotel and the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach feature some of the best views in San Luis Obispo County. The SeaVenture, situated right on the beach, offers diners panoramic of the ocean and miles of unspoiled beaches. And the Cliffs—aptly named—with its elevated lookout, presents stunning vantage points of the wide expanse of the Pacific—north and south. At both restaurants you’ll see surfers and sailboats—and, if you’re lucky, whales and dolphins, and, of course, splendid sunsets. And not least, both restaurants have outstanding food and lively and friendly bars!

SeaVenture Beach Hotel,

Cliffs Hotel and Spa,

Create Your Own Family Fun Summer Staycation or Vacation

Whether you are a local or visiting the area, or if you have an entire weekend or just a day, mix and match to create your own personal summer family fun Staycation or Vacation:

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1. Sunset Drive In-

How many drive in movie theaters even still exist?  Flash back to the simpler times and load up into your modern day SUV or Truck and head to the San Luis Obispo Sunset Drive In.  Bundle up in blankets, bring your chairs, pack some snacks and take in a summer blockbuster or even a double feature! A great way to spend a summer evening with the whole family.  

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2. Bike and Beach in Avila-

 If you happen to be staying at Sycamore Mineral Springs, bike rentals are available for guests from the gift shop, if you are local, load up your cycles and hit the road.  Park where you see the trail head for Bob Jones Trail off Ontario and pack a lunch and your beach attire in a backpack. Head out for a great bike ride from the City to the Sea, weaving through the golf course and then to your final destination, Avila Beach.  Lock up your bikes, change into your bathing suit in the many public restrooms along the promenade, enjoy your lunch, or buy something from the many restaurant and vendors. Take a splash in the ocean and enjoy a relaxing afternoon beach side. Stay late and travel to Olde Port Beach where you can enjoy an evening bonfire with the many pits they have available.  The perfect Central Coast staycation day, from start to finish! More Information:

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3. Nosh on BBQ and Shop at Farmers –

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You know it is Thursday night in San Luis Obispo when the smell of BBQ tri-tip is lofting through downtown.  Experience one of the best Farmer’s Markets this area has to offer. Numerous city blocks come alive with over 120 vendors displaying and selling their seasonal delights.  From vegetables, flowers, jams, honey, nuts and more, source some of the counties freshest and most delicious products. Shops are open later, and there are a ton of delightful places to fill your belly with enough BBQ to have you coming back for more. More Information:

4. Kayak in Morro Bay-  

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 Calm bay waters, the Morro Rock back drop and lots of fun and friendly sea life make Morro Bay a perfect place to take the family.  Even first timers will feel comfortable in this atmosphere. Launch from the many shops that rent kayaks along the harbor, travel through the bay taking in the other boats as they go by, saying Hi to the stand up paddle boarders and laughing at the frolicking seals and occasional otters.  Make your way to the sand bar, hop out and warm up laying on the sun kissed sand dunes. A fresh seafood lunch rounds out this day that includes, sunshine, smiles and some good old fashioned arm work! You might even be a bit sore tomorrow…. More information:

5. Explore the Oceano Dunes-


One of the most expansive coastal dunes in California, and the only one where you can drive right on the beach allows for lots of ways to explore. If you haven’t been, you should make the effort.  Escaping from the somewhat crowded shoreline and venturing further back into the dunes, will allow you to completely transport yourself to whole other world. Bring your own toys or rent them. Explore via Sand Board, ATV, Hummer or your own vehicle (just make sure you read the do’s and dont’s about driving on the sand before you head out!).   A fun, different and memorable experience for your entire family!

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