hiking

5 Ways to Celebrate Spring in San Luis Obispo County

It has been a wild and crazy winter.  Lots of much needed rain has at times kept us inside for days!  With March comes the time change and longer days, along with the first day of Spring on March 20th.  There is so much to be celebrated as Spring is upon us here in San Luis Obispo County.  Truly, one of the most splendid times of year here on the Central Coast.  

1.Wildflower Super Bloom-

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The hills have been gorgeous deep shades of green filled with lush grasses as they revive from the Winter frost.  Just waiting to explode from the suns warming rays as the temperatures rise a bit, a full array of local wildflowers!  The last “super bloom” was in 2017, and we are sure this year has so much in store for us.  Beyond poppies and blue lupine that you will find more readily along our highway hillsides , explore deeper in the county by visiting two of our favorite wildflower viewing locations.  Shell Creek Road off Highway 58 shows a display of Baby Blue Eyes, yellow Goldfields and white-tipped Tidy Tips.  Bitterwater Valley Road between Highway 58 and 46 East shows off miles of golden Fiddlenecks, deep red Scarlet Bugler and pinkish Owl’s Clover.  Get your cameras ready and go explore!

More Information: https://www.slocal.com/blog/post/where-to-find-wildflowers-in-slo-cal-this-spring/

2. Visit your Local Farmer’s Market-

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With Farmer’s Markets available all around the county, on almost every day of the week, it is a great opportunity to drop by and fill your basket with new Spring produce.  New veggies and berries are available as the temperatures rise during March, April and May and provide that gap from the winter vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and citrus.  Asparagus, carrots, bean and berries add different dimensions, colors and tastes to our plate.  Celebrate these new flavors!  

More Information:  https://slocountyfarmers.org/

3. Flowing Falls- 

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Little may one know, but San Luis Obispo County has some of the best kept secret waterfalls, and this time of year is the perfect time to see how they are flowing!  One of our favorites is hidden off a road at the base of the Cuesta Grade in Reservoir Canyon.  A short diversion to your right off the trail-head brings you to the 15 ft. cascade of the falls. 

More Information:  https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/reservoir-canyon-hike-san-luis-obispo/

4. How Full are the Lakes-    

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Take a trip to San Luis Obispo County lakes to see how much they have changed over this rainy season.  Take a picnic and enjoy the changing shoreline, new growth and rock formations.  Both Lake Nacimiento in North County and Lake Lopez in South County are great to explore.  Up for a longer trek, reserve a campsite and stay longer. 

More Information:  https://www.slocal.com/things-to-do/beaches-parks-nature/lakes/

5. Make it a Beach Day-

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It may still be a bit too cool for sunbathing, but Spring weather is perfect for enjoying the sea breeze and sunshine with a nice beach walk or saunter down the new Pismo Beach Pier.  Make a day of it and stop by SeaVenture Restaurant for a tasty Sunday Menu Brunch, with outdoor seating and views, mimosas and bloody marys are calling!  Stay even longer and enjoy Sundays on the Deck.  Live Music from 3-6pm from local artists round out your Sunday and make it the perfect funday!  

More Information: www.seaventure.com

Five Extraordinary Views in SLO County

1. Madonna Mountain

In hiking Madonna Mountain stunning vistas present themselves one after another. At its peak, take in the sweeping landscape of San Luis Obispo in every direction. The trail is well taken care of, accessible year-round, and not too difficult. It is a little less than two miles round trip and takes, at a moderate pace, a little over an hour. Madonna Mountain is part of the Seven Sister extinct volcanoes chain. It is accessible from Marsh Street exit from Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo.

www.alltrails.com, www.hikeslo.com

 

2. Skydive Paso Robles

Talk about a view! The best way take this really unforgettable ride is to go tandem. Your plane will take you up to 13,000 feet!  It only requires a minimum of training as your partner is a skilled professional that will be safety tethered to you from bailout to landing. From over two miles above the earth, relish truly unique perspectives, from a blazing 120 mph drop and its eagle eye observations, to the rolling hills and horse ranches coming into view on your gradual and contemplative descent.

805.591.8300

skydivepasorobles.com

 

3. Lopez Lake

Lopez Lake, just east of the quaint village of Arroyo Grande, offers a wide variety of beautiful lake scenes. The best way to enjoy them is to rent a boat, motor out to a tranquil spot, and set-up camp. Take the picnic basket out, unpack a lunch and ice cold beer or Champagne, and just settle into quiet afternoon of watching the water and undulating landscape, soaking in the midday sun, and the doing nothing but unwinding.

And on the way back, consider a stop at Talley Vineyard. The winery has outstanding wines and a beautiful tasting room with views overlooking the vineyards and farmlands of south San Luis Obispo County.

Lopez Lake Recreational Area                                                              Talley Vineyards

805.788.2381 3031                                                                                     805. 489-0446

www.slocountyparks.org                                                                       www.talleyvineyards.com

4. Cal Poly Design Village

The Cal Poly Design Village provide a lot of very diverse and cool perspectives. The trail starts from the northeast corner of the Cal Poly Campus in San Luis Obispo. As you hike, you’ll walk by stately Coast Live Oaks, along a creek, and up through the rolling hills, all with brilliant views of the surrounding peaks. A ways up, there is a picnic area for a moment’s sojourn. Just pass that, there is a stone arch. Take it and you’ll find yourself at the Cal Poly Design Village with a hodgepodge of experimental architectural structures. It is a bit offbeat, yet quite interesting.

It is a little over two miles out and back and takes about an hour plus for the hike itself, but with a picnic and to check-out the Design Village it will obviously be a bit longer. And if you’re in the mood for a longer hike, travel up the trail, past the Stone Arch, to the well-known Serenity Swing—which some people say has the best view in SLO.

www.hikespeak.com

5. SeaVenture Restaurant and Marisol at the Cliffs

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The restaurants at SeaVenture Beach Hotel and the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach feature some of the best views in San Luis Obispo County. The SeaVenture, situated right on the beach, offers diners panoramic of the ocean and miles of unspoiled beaches. And the Cliffs—aptly named—with its elevated lookout, presents stunning vantage points of the wide expanse of the Pacific—north and south. At both restaurants you’ll see surfers and sailboats—and, if you’re lucky, whales and dolphins, and, of course, splendid sunsets. And not least, both restaurants have outstanding food and lively and friendly bars!

SeaVenture Beach Hotel, www.seaventure.com

Cliffs Hotel and Spa, www.cliffshotelandspa.com

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

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiTv-Dql5nXAhWKq1QKHV7kBJ0QjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.avilavalleybarn.com%2F&psig=AOvVaw2LBRXwCe4HeP8yHVd7vY3o&ust=1509481650510606

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