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.

#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!

#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.

#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!

#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)!

Get out and Enjoy, the Top 5 Places for a Fabulous Fall Hike in San Luis Obispo County!

The weather has cooled down and the days are starting to become shorter.  There is a difference in the light and the slight feel of crispness in the air.  It is the perfect time of year to get out and take on some of our favorite strolls, hikes and the like right here in SLO County!  Here are some of our favorites:

1. San Simeon Point-

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What a hidden beauty.  Combine beach with stunning ocean vistas and you are in for a treat.  Take the beach from the San Simeon Pier access lot to the North, where you see a dirt pathway that heads away from the water, make the short trek up to the trail and continue towards the point.  Meandering through eucalyptus groves, the smell of the ocean mixed with the eucalyptus leaves is intoxicating.  Take in dramatic ocean views as you make your way along the path, emerging at the tip of the point for a view back towards the coastline and the crashing waves below.  More Information:

2. Three Bridges Oak Preserve-   

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This land in Atascadero has been a preserve for quite a while, but in-accessible till just recently.  Now this three mile system, includes hiker, equestrian and bicyclists sections, offering diversity for your particular activity.  Through grasslands and meadows one climbs up into California oak groves, creating a lovely two mile loop offering shady vantage points along the lower portion of the preserve.  Be adventurous and make the 1,600 elevation gain trek to the highest elevation point on the preserve where you can take in sweeping views of San Luis Obispo County.  More Information:

3. Monarch Butterfly Grove –


From October through February, the Monarch Grove on the edge of Pismo Beach and Grover Beach comes alive.  Over 20,000 monarchs cluster into the limbs of the eucalyptus trees, seeking reprieve from the freezing Northern winters.  Not really a hike, unless you incorporate in an easily accessible beach walk, but surely not to be missed.  And, if you are staying at SeaVenture Beach Hotel, rent a bike and make your way with a simple bike ride to the grove.  These beautiful creatures are quite magnificent!  Docents are on site most days to answer questions about the highly interesting life cycle and their habitat. More Information:

4. Bob Jones Trail-   

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A San Luis Obispo County staple, the Bob Jones trail boasts Mom’s pushing strollers, runners, couples on a romantic stroll, bicyclists, you name it, this path is a top pick for SLO County residents!   This “city to sea” trail leads you through oaks and sycamores starting to lose their leaves this time of year, and drops you onto a spectacular beach promenade filled with shops, wine tasting rooms and restaurants.  Bring your suits and spend some time at the beach while you are there.  Incorporate lunch at The Gardens of Avila Restaurant before or after, or pick up a sweet treat from the Avila Valley Barn to round out your afternoon. More information:

5. Oso Flaco Lake Trail-

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Located in the most Southern portion of our county, hidden as part of the Ocean Dunes State Park, a gem arises.  A wooden Boardwalk makes trekking easy for all ages and abilities as its path leads you through willows and myrtles to a canopy of hanging Spanish moss happily housing songbirds.  As you cross the lake, a bird watchers’ dream comes to reality with viewing platforms and lookouts throughout.  More Information:


Top 5 Outdoor Adventures on the Central Coast

June kicks off the official start to summer, and that means getting outdoors and having fun!  Try something new this summer.  Get your adrenaline rushing, the wind in your hair, and experience all the exciting and different outdoor activities the Central Coast has to offer.  Here are some of our favorites:

1.       Zipline with Margarita Adventures-  Five zip lines totaling 4,500 combined feet taking you soaring high over vineyards and ranch lands in the heart of Santa Margarita.  This tour provides part adventure, part history lesson.  Learn about sustainable wine growing practices and the ranch’s diverse plant and wildlife habitats along the way as you travel through one of California’s oldest continuously operating cattle ranches.  End your tour with a treat, a tasting at the Ancient Peaks tasting room, and sample wines from those vineyards you just flew over!  More Information:


2.       ATV the Oceano Dunes with Steve’s ATV-  5 ½ mile of beach and 1,500 acres of sand dunes allow for a beach playground like no other.  So much so that this is the only location California State Park in the state that allows you to drive your vehicle on the beach.  Take yourself via ATV to an entirely different world.  Once in the depths of massive dunes, one feels as if they have escaped to the other side.  Sand in your teeth and sun on your face, explore the beauty and diversity this landscape offers and have an absolute blast along the way!  More Information:

3.       Hot Air Balloon Ride -  Rise and shine for an experience of your lifetime.  Yes, you must wake up early to start your hot air balloon ride to capture the calm morning breezes, but it is so worth it!  Be lulled by the sounds of the hot air filling the balloon as you take your place in a basket and watch the sunrise over North County vineyards.  Quiet and beauty surround you.  Experience a view of the Central Coast very few are lucky enough to see.  Now this is the way to top off your San Luis Obispo County experience!  More Information:

4.       Biplane Ride with Banner Airways-  Take flight on a Boeing Super Stearman as you soar over Pismo Beach.  Fly North from the Oceano Airport hangar to see the Pismo Pier as it extends over 1,000 ft. out into the Pacific.  Circle back and watch the surfers bobbing in the ocean trying to catch that perfect wave as you head towards an aerial view of the Oceano Dunes and Oso Flaco Lake in the distance.  This is a coastal view at its finest!  More information:

5.       Electric Bike with Pedego-  Hit the streets in effortless style!  Pick up your bike in the quaint beachside village of Avila Beach and get ready to explore. From here, travel along the Bob Jones Trail out of Avila to the trailhead where you can make your choice of North or South.  South takes you through the communities of Shell and Pismo Beach, with plenty of coastal parks and watering holes along the way for scenic stops and replenishment.  North travel into San Luis Obispo for great restaurants and shops.  A great way to slow down and soak in the culture and sights of neighborhoods that make San Luis Obispo one of the Happiest Places in America!  More Information:

Happy Exploring!