Five Best Places For Fall Adventures & Thanksgiving Celebrations

1. Harvest on the Coast


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. 


2. Avila Valley Barn


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.


3. Montana de Oro State Park


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.


 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.   


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.” 





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: http://www.visitsanluisobispocounty.com/profile/1883/san-simeon-point-pier-cove

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:  http://www.supportalps.org/properties/three-bridges-oak-preserve/

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:  http://www.monarchbutterfly.org/butterfly-grove/

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

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 Central Coast Harvest and Haunt Jaunts

October means Harvest season, wine grapes to be exact!  In many areas of our county you can see harvest in full swing from picking, crushing, to bottling. Throw in a little bit of other Fall fun and flavor with the addition of scarecrows, pumpkins and art and you have every reason to sip and savor your way through San Luis Obispo County this Fall.  Here are some of our favorite harvest and haunt jaunts:

1.     Cambria Scarecrow Festival-

Running eight years strong in the lovely coastal community of Cambria, the Cambria Scarecrow Festival transforms the town for the month of October into a cauldron of scarecrow inhabitants making themselves at home.  Unique hand crafted folk art scarecrows take on roles from funny to serious partaking in thematic scenes up and down Main Street and beyond.  Fun for the whole family! More Information: www.cambriascarecrows.com

2.     Paso Robles Harvest Wine Weekend

With over 200 wineries and over 400 varietals grown in our region, harvest in Paso Robles in unique and remarkable.  Spend the weekend driving through the rolling hills of gorgeous variations of vines changing colors and taking in the crisp autumn air. Participate in over 140 winery activities to include grape stomps, winemaker dinners, food pairings, barrel tastings and live music. If you love wine, this weekend is not to be missed! www.pasowine.com/events/harvest.php

3.     Pumpkin Picking at Avila Valley Barn-

Nestled along a curvy wooded road on the way to Avila Beach, one will happen upon the Avila Valley Barn.  Rows of beaming sunflowers, farm animals, tractor hay rides, mouth watering fruit filled pastries and pies and gorgeous pumpkins in every shape, color, size and variation make the barn scream everything Fall! Kids bounce through the fields seeking the perfect jack- o -lantern material and parents enjoy the shopping for gourmet goods and products and some sweets to take home.  Stop off for a late lunch at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and their Gardens of Avila Restaurant, just moments down the road.  Take a walk through their beautiful grounds and gardens to work off all that energy before piling back in the car and hitting the road.  The perfect Fall jaunt! More Information: www.avilavalleybarn.com/index.html


4.     Eberle Haunted Caves -

Wine and a ghoulish good time meet as Eberle Winery in Paso Robles turns their 17,000 square feet of caves into a winding journey of ghosts, goblins and gasps.  Costumed monsters and creepy creatures make this one of the best Central Coast haunt jaunts.  Parents there is something for you too, as the wine tasting room stays open later hours.  Jokingly so, ask for the Ca- Boo- Nay! Ba Ha Ha! More Information:  www.eberlewinery.com

5.     Art in the Form of Harvest-

Get cultural and your creative juices flowing.  Art in the Form of Harvest is an exhibition showing at the Paso Robles Downtown Studios on the Park.  Witness the interpretation of this time of change.  From foliage, to light, and every aspect beyond enjoy this showcase of the areas local artists as they find inspiration in the season’s bounty.  Couple this with some of the other wine and harvest activities happening during this time as a great little escape from our beach communities where you will find most of our hotels. Enjoy the best of both worlds as you take in both Northern and Southern San Luis Obispo County. More Information: http://www.studiosonthepark.org/galleries-exhibitions/exhibition-details.php?id=242