Nature

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

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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:

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

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

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:

http://www.kayakhorizons.com/

5. Explore the Oceano Dunes-

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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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Top 5 Events to Explore at Cal Poly's Poly Royal!

California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo or Cal Poly is an amazing school, with the average incoming Freshman's GPA at 3.92, championship sports teams, and 82% of graduates going into a full time job or graduate school within the first year of graduation. While Cal Poly is a big part of our local community, many people haven't ever stepped foot on campus. Here is your chance!


Cal Poly Open House, also known as Poly Royal is a weekend long showcase of many assets of this wonderful campus and our community. These activities are open to all (prospective students, alumni or just curious visitors) and provide a weekend of fun, April 12 - 14, 2018!

1.Start Thursday Night with SLO's Famous Farmer's Market & Street Fair

Join the crowd downtown for fresh produce, local products, music, entertainment and fantastic food from many of our downtown restaurants. BBQ abounds as well as many cultural specialties, and the people watching is THE BEST!

2.Campus Showcase: Saturday, April 14th, 10:00-3:00 PM

Step on campus and explore! Cal Poly's motto is Learn By Doing, and you can do just that while visiting the over 200 clubs which have booths set up around campus (ax throwing, anyone?). Not only can you get a taste for the extracurricular activities available, but you can meet the members. Many booths also have food and games, so it is a great way to spend the day with your family (did you know there is a bowling alley on campus, open to the public).

3. Poly Royal Rodeo: Friday, April 13th, 7:00 PM & Saturday, April 14th, 5:30 PM

Poly Royal has been the premier rodeo in the West Coast region since the first Poly Royal Rodeo in 1940. It is the largest college rodeo west of the Mississippi, and last year was the largest in the nation. Celebrating the 78th year, this weekend will include barrel racing, team roping, breakaway roping, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, and steer wrestling. Saturday's event will conclude with a live post-show concert featuring Aaron Watson! Buy tickets here !
 

4. Poly Royal Truck and Tractor Pull: Saturday, April 14th, 1:00-3:30 PM

The Poly  Royal Truck and Tractor Pull has been held at Cal Poly since 1972. With over 50 competitors, this is always a lively event, and if you've never been to a tractor pull, a must see! The event is run by Cal Poly Tractor Pull Club and the proceeds from the event fund a scholarship for students of the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences. In 2016, the scholarship fund gave out over $30,000 to students. Buy tickets here!

5.The best part of the weekend, taking time out to relax and enjoy your surroundings.

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Explore the campus and relive your college days without the dorm room experience. With four unique properties to choose from, Boutique Hotel Collection has you covered. Near campus, settle in to wine country elegance at the Apple Farm (applefarm.com), savor views of the Pacific and feel the ocean breezes at The Cliffs (cliffsresort.com) or Sea Venture Resorts (seaventure.com), or rejuvenate your spirit with the bucolic setting and healing waters at Sycamore Mineral Springs (sycamoresprings.com). We have the hotel for your vacation.