Nature

5 Ways to Celebrate Spring in San Luis Obispo County

It has been a wild and crazy winter.  Lots of much needed rain has at times kept us inside for days!  With March comes the time change and longer days, along with the first day of Spring on March 20th.  There is so much to be celebrated as Spring is upon us here in San Luis Obispo County.  Truly, one of the most splendid times of year here on the Central Coast.  

1.Wildflower Super Bloom-

SLO Wildflowers.jpg

The hills have been gorgeous deep shades of green filled with lush grasses as they revive from the Winter frost.  Just waiting to explode from the suns warming rays as the temperatures rise a bit, a full array of local wildflowers!  The last “super bloom” was in 2017, and we are sure this year has so much in store for us.  Beyond poppies and blue lupine that you will find more readily along our highway hillsides , explore deeper in the county by visiting two of our favorite wildflower viewing locations.  Shell Creek Road off Highway 58 shows a display of Baby Blue Eyes, yellow Goldfields and white-tipped Tidy Tips.  Bitterwater Valley Road between Highway 58 and 46 East shows off miles of golden Fiddlenecks, deep red Scarlet Bugler and pinkish Owl’s Clover.  Get your cameras ready and go explore!

More Information: https://www.slocal.com/blog/post/where-to-find-wildflowers-in-slo-cal-this-spring/

2. Visit your Local Farmer’s Market-

Spring Veggies.jpg

With Farmer’s Markets available all around the county, on almost every day of the week, it is a great opportunity to drop by and fill your basket with new Spring produce.  New veggies and berries are available as the temperatures rise during March, April and May and provide that gap from the winter vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and citrus.  Asparagus, carrots, bean and berries add different dimensions, colors and tastes to our plate.  Celebrate these new flavors!  

More Information:  https://slocountyfarmers.org/

3. Flowing Falls- 

Reservoir Canyon.jpg

Little may one know, but San Luis Obispo County has some of the best kept secret waterfalls, and this time of year is the perfect time to see how they are flowing!  One of our favorites is hidden off a road at the base of the Cuesta Grade in Reservoir Canyon.  A short diversion to your right off the trail-head brings you to the 15 ft. cascade of the falls. 

More Information:  https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/reservoir-canyon-hike-san-luis-obispo/

4. How Full are the Lakes-    

Nacimiento Lake022.jpg

Take a trip to San Luis Obispo County lakes to see how much they have changed over this rainy season.  Take a picnic and enjoy the changing shoreline, new growth and rock formations.  Both Lake Nacimiento in North County and Lake Lopez in South County are great to explore.  Up for a longer trek, reserve a campsite and stay longer. 

More Information:  https://www.slocal.com/things-to-do/beaches-parks-nature/lakes/

5. Make it a Beach Day-

Exterior.jpg

It may still be a bit too cool for sunbathing, but Spring weather is perfect for enjoying the sea breeze and sunshine with a nice beach walk or saunter down the new Pismo Beach Pier.  Make a day of it and stop by SeaVenture Restaurant for a tasty Sunday Menu Brunch, with outdoor seating and views, mimosas and bloody marys are calling!  Stay even longer and enjoy Sundays on the Deck.  Live Music from 3-6pm from local artists round out your Sunday and make it the perfect funday!  

More Information: www.seaventure.com

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.

www.alltrails.com, www.hikeslo.com

 

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.

805.591.8300

skydivepasorobles.com

 

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

www.slocountyparks.org                                                                       www.talleyvineyards.com

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.

www.hikespeak.com

5. SeaVenture Restaurant and Marisol at the Cliffs

Dining-Room-2.jpg

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, www.seaventure.com

Cliffs Hotel and Spa, www.cliffshotelandspa.com

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:

Sunset Drive In.jpg

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.  

Sunset Drive In Kids.jpg

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: http://www.avilabeachpier.com/information/bob-jones-bike-trail.html

Bob Jones Trail.jpg
Bonfire.jpg

 

3. Nosh on BBQ and Shop at Farmers –

Farmers BBQ.jpg
Farmers Veg.jpg

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:  https://downtownslo.com/farmers-market/

4. Kayak in Morro Bay-  

MB Kayak.jpg
Otter Kayak.jpg

 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:

http://www.kayakhorizons.com/

5. Explore the Oceano Dunes-

Dunes.jpg

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!

Sand Boarding.jpg