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


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


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


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


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!





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.” 





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