apple farm

Top 5 Places to Deck the Halls This Holiday Season

We love the winter holidays, that's why stores start stocking the shelves with decorations as soon as the trick or treaters are in for the night. Let visions of sugarplums dance in your head while exploring San Luis Obispo county this holiday season, with a visit to some of the area's most Decked Out locations!

#1 Holiday Harmony & Pismo Beach Pier Tree Lighting

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The newly opened and updated Pismo Beach Pier is dressed up for the holidays! December 7th, from 5:30-7:30pm, dance in the snow, decorate cookies, and watch the annual Lighting of the Tree. Even Santa is stopping by for this event, what a way to kick off the holidays!

Photo and details found here https://www.slocal.com/event/holiday-harmony/2471/

#2 Point San Luis Lighthouse

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The Lighthouse operated from 1890 until 1974, when the Coast Guard vacated the property. It lies around the corner of Port San Luis on private property. It can be seen by boat, or docent led tours. Each holiday season, The Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers decorate the Lighthouse, so while touring, not only do you learn the history, get a glimpse into the life of a lighthouse keeper, but you also get to see her in all her radiant glory!

Tickets available here http://pointsanluislighthouse.org/tour/

#3 Christmas at Hearst Castle

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Take a step back in time, and imagine yourself as a guest of William Randolph Hearst. While "The Ranch", as he called it is always spectacular, it is even more so in the month of December, bathed in the glow of thousands of holiday lights! Soak in the art, the decadence, the details, as well as hearing insider stories of past holiday festivities.

Tickets available here http://hearstcastle.org/tour-hearst-castle/daily-tours/holiday-twilight-tour/

#4 Apple Farm

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Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo is made for the holidays! With events throughout the month and their 25 Days of Christmas, there is something for everyone. Sit down to Dinner with Santa, listen to the sounds of the season each weekend with holiday singers strolling the grounds, indulge in a chocolate and champagne tasting while shopping on Diva Night, and so much more. Don't be a scrooge, check out their holiday calendar for all the fun activities, and if you find yourself under the mistletoe on December 10th, you might even win dinner for 2!

Details here https://www.applefarm.com/holidays

#5 Christmas Suite at The Cliffs Hotel + Spa

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For total immersion into the holidays, reserve a night in The Cliffs' Christmas Suite. Artfully decorated for the season, this room will give you all the warm fuzzies of a Christmas Hot Toddy! Not only will you get to snuggle in cozy red bedding, and awake to the smells of cinnamon and pine from your own tree, but each reservation will also receive a special gift! During your stay, sample holiday cookies at check-in and specialty themed cocktails throughout the month.

Top 5 Ways to Experience Harvest in SLO Cal this Fall

Did you know that our region harvests more than wine grapes each fall? From apple orchards and pumpkin patches to olive groves and tomato fields, SLO Cal is full of amazing produce and farm adventures to discover during the autumn months. Here are a few to check out this season:

1. Apples & Honey Festival

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Sample the best of the season at this festival held at Mitchell Park in San Luis Obispo on September 16th. There will be local artisans, apple games and crafts, a honeycomb hunt, horn blowing contest and more. Don’t miss the animal showcase from Zoo to You and storytelling by Bonnie Lee Books. More info: http://www.jccslo.com/apples--honey.html  

2. Olive Oil Tasting at Tiber Canyon Ranch

Tiber Canyon Ranch is situated on 50 acres of oak and manzanita woodland nestled in the hills between the Pacific Ocean and the Edna Valley wine growing region of San Luis Obispo. According to local legend, about 10 acres of the ranch were cleared during WWI and planted in apricots. When they came to the ranch, only five of the ancient, gnarled trees were still hanging on. Now, where their companions once stood, they grow ten different varietals of Northern Italian olive trees. The grove is maintained using sustainable farming practices and they welcome visitors for olive oil tasting by appointment daily. They will even take last minute visitors as long as you call ahead. More info: http://www.tibercanyon.com/index.htm

3. Heirloom Tomato Festival at Windrose Farm

Tucked in the rolling hills of Paso Robles is Windrose Farm. Owners Bill & Barbara Spencer have been organic and were certified with C.C.O.F. from August 1999 to 2009, but are currently transitioning to biodynamic! They are a fixture at local farmers’ markets and the farm is an inspiration for many. Celebrate their amazing heirloom tomato harvest on September 22nd. Come for the traditional heirloom tomato tasting of over 30 varieties, stay for the local chefs and purveyors that will be preparing bites of their favorite recipes using Windrose Farm’s tomatoes and farm fresh produce. The FARMstead ED Pop-up Marketplace and Windrose Farm Stand will be open & selling much of the flavorful fare & products you will be grazing on throughout the afternoon. Tickets are $30 per person. More info: https://farmsteaded.com/products/heirloom-tomato-festival-september-22

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4. Discover the Distilleries of the Central Coast with SLO Cocktail Month

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All September long you can try craft cocktails featuring locally distilled spirits at restaurants across SLO County. Local restaurants include Novo and Sidecar among others in Paso Robles. They will be teaming up with local distillers like Krobar and Re:Find to create unique and delicious cocktails. You can even vote for your favorites. Enjoy the “spirit” harvest of SLO County!  More info: http://slococktailmonth.com

5. Sip and Savor our Favorite Local Harvest with a Wine Month Hotel Package

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We couldn’t talk about harvest in SLO County without mentioning some wine! There is no better time to enjoy a wine getaway than the fall months. During September the Boutique Hotel Collection properties are offering wine-tastic room packages to help you experience our wonderful wine region and well, “wine” down. Visit our websites for more details. Cheers!

https://cliffshotelandspa.com/specials/

https://www.seaventure.com/offers/

https://www.sycamoresprings.com/avila-beach-resort/packages/

https://www.applefarm.com/specials

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.

https://www.californiabicycletour.com/

#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!
http://www.centralcoastfoodtours.com/

#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.
http://cctrailrides.com/riding.html
 

#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!

http://www.hoponbeertours.com/walking-beer-tour/


#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)!
https://www.applefarm.com/specials/farm-to-fork-package