Top 5

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-

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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-

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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- 

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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-    

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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-

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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 Best Events at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

Now in its 24th Season, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is recognized as one of the best in the country. For the last three years, it has been MovieMaker’s coveted list of the “Top 50 Festivals” for new and upcoming talent.

There are stellar films and movie stars and events and unique venues. In short, because there are so many fabulous things about the SLO Film Festival, it is difficult to choose just five.

But I’ll give it a go!

 

1. Independent Film & King Vidor Career Achievement Award

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A centerpiece of the SLO Film Festival is the Independent Film & King Vidor Career Achievement Award. Legendary actors, directors, film editors, film composers, and others in the Industry, such as Morgan Freeman, Josh Brolin, James Cromwell, Alan Arkin, Elmer Berstein, Ernest Borgnine, Neil Travis, Ann Margret, to name just a few, have been awarded this prestigious award.

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This takes place on Saturday night, March 17, at the historic Fremont Theater in downtown San Luis Obispo. The always informative and entertaining Ben Mankiewicz, the host of Turner Classic Movies, will be returning as the host for the evening.

2. Surf Nite

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Surf Nite is so fun, so entertaining. In fact, the Boutique Hotel Collection has been a long-time Major Sponsor of the Festival and its Surf Nite. Over the years, Surf Nite has honored legendary surfers and surf filmmakers, such as Bud Browne, Gerry Lopez, Greg Noll, Nat Young, Jeff Clark, Linda Benson, and many more. This year, on Friday, March 16, the North American premiere of The Big Wave Project will be shown at the Fremont Theater. Filmmaker Tim Bonython will be traveling straight from Australia to introduce this awesome movie.

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3. The Venues

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The venues are one of the best parts of the SLO Film Festival. Movies are shown at the intimate Palm Theatre, the stunning and historic Fremont Theater, and Downtown Theatres—all in San Luis Obispo, as well as at the Bay Theatre in Morro Bay and the Park Cinemas in Paso Robles. Over the years, movie screening and special events have been held at a Masonic Lodge, beautiful wineries, Old West ranches, Hearst Castle, and many other remarkable places.

4. The Parties

Of course, it wouldn’t be a real festival without the parties! And the SLO Film Festival has some of the very best. Great food and wine and lively and intelligent conversations! Party Central is the Festival Tent, located directly in front of the Old Mission in downtown San Luis Obispo. All the spectacular events—except one, at Tolosa Winery—are held in the Festival Tent.

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One of the many outstanding benefits for Movie Mogul pass holders is that the each day and night of the Festival they get unfettered access and all-day/night snacks, wine, beer, and other refreshments at the Festival Tent.

5. The Movies

The core of the Festival is, of course, movies. There are dozens of movies, ones you’ll never see at mainstream theaters or even on conventional streaming channels. The diversity of films is amazing. You’ll find full length movies, shorts, and documentaries on an extraordinary variety of topics. It is simply hard to convey how exciting and unique this is. So many of us are just exposed to huge Hollywood-style productions. But this is an opportunity to delve into a truly fascinating world of film that definitely expands one’s view of cinema. 

Check out the full schedule of movies and events at: slofilmfest.org. There are a variety of options for tickets and festival passes.

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Don’t miss the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. It is treasured by locals and for film fans that travel to our area to this phenomenal event. Congratulations to Executive Director, Wendy Eidson, the SLO Film Festival Board of Director, the countless volunteers, and the SLO County businesses, media outlets, and individuals that sponsor and/or support it.

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Top 5 Places to take the Kids and Kick your Summer off Right in San Luis Obispo County!

The kids are out of school and are itching for some fun!  There is so much to explore right here in our own backyard of the Central Coast. These locations are sure to please not only the kids in your clan, but the parents alike.  Here are some of our favorites:

1. The Ravine Water Park-

Nestled among a gorgeous view of sprawling vineyard, this North County favorite is sure to please.  From the five story Kamikazee to the relaxing lull of the Calypso wave pool, it will be a full day of fun in the hot Paso Robles sun!  Rent a cabana for a day or pull up a lounge chair next to their sandy beach.  Purchase your typical park snacks of burgers, wraps and hot dogs from the snack beer or sneak away to the Hideaway Bar for your favorite adult beverage!

More Information: http://ravinewaterpark.com

2. Vista Lago Adventure Park, Lake Lopez- Adventure awaits you at Lopez Lake. 

A first of its kind, side-by-side adventure and zipline park.  Both an upper and lower course provide over 50 elements of varying difficulty from first timer’s to advanced. Feel the rush of air and excitement on any of their 3 zip lines totaling over 1,800’, including 2 high speed zip lines that end on Vista Lago Point.  The Ledge is the ultimate in adventure excitement offering a 45′ free fall Quick Jump.  A day here is sure to exhaust the kids for a perfect summer night’s sleep!

More Information: http://vistalagoadventurepark.com/

3. Deep Sea Fishing, Morro Bay -

Set out to sea, feel the salt on your face and the wind in your hair.  Take a ½ day or ¾ day trip out of Morro Bay to catch local rockfish for your BBQ later that evening.  Getting grubby putting bait on your hook, reeling in that first fish and adding it to your sack is one of those kid’s first time favorites!  Plus the views as you pull out of Morro Bay Harbor of the charming city in its morning light and the Morro Rock up close as you motor by create incredible memories to last the summer and beyond.

More Information:  https://virgslanding.com/

4. Pontoon Boating, Lake Nacimiento-  

This years rains filled up our lakes beautifully, and Lake Nacimiento is not an exception.  A summer favorite,  is to gather some towels, a few drinks, some chicken or fish for the on boat BBQ and head out to the lake.  Rent a pontoon boat from the lake marina, big enough to include extended family or for the kids to bring a friend, even bring Fido!   Explore the “narrows” of the lake, what it is well known for as it lays out in a dragon pattern, even find your own excluded beach to bring up the boat and hop out and explore the shore. If you are super adventurous, end your day at one of the lake campsites and do it all over again the next day!  

More information: http://nacimientoresort.com/marina/

5. Central Coast Aquarium, Avila Beach-

Just steps away from the beach and boardwalk, the Central Coast Aquarium is located on the children's play park in beautiful Avila Beach.  Visitors can explore touch tanks, which are home to dozens of species of marine animals from  commonly known sea stars and rock crabs to the unique purple sea urchin. Additional tanks highlight the diversity of marine habitats and adaptations of sea creatures. A microscope lab, kids coloring activities and a unique Chumash culture display round out the experience.  End your time with a stroll on the boardwalk and an ice cream, some play time on the beach, or even a bonfire and s’mores at one of Avila’s beach bonfire pits.

More Information: http://www.centralcoastaquarium.com/