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Top 5 Bakeries to try on your next visit!

With the holidays upon us, baked goods are at a premium. We have lots of social occassions, but not a lot of time, and some of us were not born with the baking gene. Here is a quick guide to all of your baked good needs for the holidays, or any day for that matter! Whether you're looking for a plate of cookies for santa, a break in a busy day, or a fresh baked pie to bring home for dessert (and, maybe, pass off as their own), you can find it at any of these local stops. Here is a list of the Top 5 Bakeries to sample on your next visit....


1. Avila Valley Barn 

As a guest for a holiday meal, it is always helpful to know where to find a fresh baked pie or pastry, so you don't show up empty handed. Avila Valley Barn is that place. With fresh baked or frozen pies available, you can grab what you need and go! Avila Barn is not just a bakery, but a fruit & veggie stand, gift shop, ice cream parlor and farm stand. While you're there, pick up your Christmas tree and some presents, too!

2. Scout Coffee Co.

If you find yourself cruising the streets of San Luis in the midst of your holiday shopping, and you hit a wall, it might be time for a Bakery Break! Voted Best Coffee House in the New Times, they say "Stepping into Scout Coffee Co feels like a big hug..." what better place to regroup and refresh. Grab a cup of their own HoneyCo coffee and a warm housemade pastry, and you will be back on your feet, filling those stockings in no time!

3. Linn's

On the coast in Cambria, you will find Linn's. Started as a pick-yourself produce stand almost 50 years ago, it developed into an amazing pie and dessert shop, introducing the area to the (at that time) little know ollalieberry, which became the cornerstone of their pie business. Today, you can stop in for a slice of cake, a cream puff, eclair, or even a sundae, but they are still most widely known for their pies. Any host would be thrilled to receive a pie from Linn's to compliment their holiday dinner!

4. BlackHorse Espresso & Bakery

Found in various locations throughout San Luis Obispo, BlackHorse Espresso & Bakery, is a great place for a little afternoon pick me up and sweet treat! Serving Spearhead Coffee from Paso Robles, and freshly baked treats made in house, not only are these baked goods amazing, I love that they're local. And besides, even elves need a little jolt of espresso every once in a while. Be sure to ask about the story behind the name, Blackhorse...

5. Apple Farm

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Just off the highway in San Luis Obispo, you will find the bakery jackpot! At the Apple Farm, fresh baked pies, cookies, cheesecakes, and muffins abound. You will have no trouble filling a plate for santa (or filling a plate of Santas!) or finding the perfect end to a holiday meal. Stroll the grounds to get a real holiday feel, stop in the gift shop for a gift with a local flare, and be sure not to miss the bakery. Rumor has it you may even spot Santa Saturdays in December, so be sure to bring your camera!

Five Best Places For Fall Adventures & Thanksgiving Celebrations

1. Harvest on the Coast

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One of the Central Coast’s best wine galas is “Harvest on the Coast,” held November 3-November 5 in Avila Beach. Friday kicks off with a collaborative winemaker dinner. On Saturday is the Grand Tasting and Wine Auction, featuring wine tasting, artisan foods, and live music. On Sunday enjoy free wine tasting with your Grand Tasting Ticket. Grab your wine glass and wristband and cruise out to your favorite SLO Wine Country tasting rooms, and relish free tastings, and more.

And every guest that stays in an Avila Beach hotel or vacation rental will receive tickets to the “Avila Beach Experience.” Get exclusive access to the VIP lounge where you'll enjoy reserve & library wines, large format bottle pouring, food and wine pairings by Chef Tommy Noel of the Gardens of Avila Restaurant and have a chance to rub elbows with the winemakers & vintners of SLO Wine Country. 

slowine.com

2. Avila Valley Barn

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The Avila Barn captures the very essence of fall on the Central Coast. Shop for a huge selections of fresh fruits and vegetables, and homemade pies and gourmet sweets. At the Barn, take in an authentic tractor ride and hang out with the beautiful farm animals. It is the perfect family excursion. Located on the Road to Avila Beach.

www.AvilaValleyBarn.com

3. Montana de Oro State Park

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During the fall, Montana de Oro State Park provides a true escape into the stunning beauty of this incredible landscape. “The park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons and hills…There are numerous hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails. And the park is only a short drive from downtown San Luis Obispo or Pismo Beach.

parks.ca.gov

 4. Thanksgiving Dinners at Local Restaurants

Check out the Boutique Hotel Collection for fabulous Thanksgiving festivities, including the Cliffs Resort, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, Apple Farm Wine Country Inn, and SeaVenture Beach Hotel. At each property you’ll find a wonderful, and yet totally unique, Thanksgiving Day menus. And don’t forget the famous Apple Farm’s bakery—shop and serve and devour pumpkin pies, specialty pastries, fabulous cakes, and other sweet selections.   

boutiquehotelcollection.com

5. Local Holiday Entertainment

Fall is also one of the best seasons for entertainment and cultural events. Check out the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly State University. During November, there are a wide selection of outstanding performances, including the sensual Tango Bueno Aires, the Champions of Magic, an evening with Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, and much more. However, if something a bit more whimsical is your cup of tea, head straight to the Great American Melodrama in Oceano. These vaudevillian performances overflow with songs, dances, and comedic routines. Running through November 12, is the “Phantom of the Melodrama,” and from November 15 to December 31, is the zany “Holiday Extravaganza.” 

 www.pacslo.org

www.americanmelodrama.com

 

 

Five Best Places For A Romantic Interlude in SLO CAL

1. Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

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Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa offers a variety of such “interludes,” such as the hillside hot tubs, a quiet back patio table at the Resort’s “Garden of Avila” restaurant, a couples massage at its renowned spa, and/or an overnight stay in a one-bedroom king spa suite—with a private balcony hot tub—in the West Meadows nature preserve. 

Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. 805.595.7302   www.sycamoresprings.com

2. Moonstone Beach, Cambria

A stroll at Moonstone Beach boardwalk in Cambria.  Take a picnic, include wine or handcrafted beer, and just enjoy the rugged coastline. Or meander among the tide pools or unearth splendid moonstones on the beautiful sandy beaches. It’s usually cool and a bit windy—but definitely cozy.

 3. Edna Valley Wine Tasting

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If you’re in a mood for a midday rendezvous, head out to the Edna Valley to Chamisal Vineyards or Wolff Vineyards (shown above). They both offer some out-of-the-way areas to enjoy a glass of wine—or a bottle—and indulge in an amorous afternoon of wine, conversation, and anticipation.   

Chamisal Vineyard, Open Daily, 10am-5pm, Monday-Thursday, 10am-6pm, Friday and Saturday. 866.808.9463. www.chamisalvineyards.com 

Wolff Vineyards, Open Daily 11am-5pm. 805.781.0448. www.wolffvineyards.com

4. Avila Beach Paddlesports

http://www.avilabeachpaddlesports.com/fossil-point-adventure-tour.html

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Now some people wouldn’t imagine an “outdoor” activity as too romantic. But think again. Rent a kayak, stash a flask, bring a camera, and paddle over to an isolated cave or islet, and kick back and watch the harbor seals, sea otters—maybe even whales—and the glistening ocean. No question, it will be a delightful day with untold possibilities.

Avila Beach Paddlesports. Open Daily, except Tuesday, 9am-5pm. 805.704.6902. www.avilabeachpaddlesports.com

 5. Explore New Cities

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Now that United flies directly from San Luis Obispo into Denver and Alaska Air flies directly to Seattle, plan a wildly exciting getaway to one of these marvelous cities. Pack an overnight bag with casual and dress-up clothes and alluring accouterments. Explore outstanding restaurants, the nightlife, cultural offerings, and stunning outdoor spaces. Of course, if you live in Seattle or Denver, fly straight into San Luis Obispo for all the adventures in passion that we offer in our amazing county.

www.united.com                   www.alaskaair.com