lake

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

Dining-Room-2.jpg

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

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-

San Simeon Point.jpg

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-   

3 Bridges.jpg

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 –

Monarchs.jpg

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-   

Bob Jones Trail.jpg

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-

Oso Flaco Lake.jpg

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:

http://dunescenter.org/visit-the-dunes/points-of-interest/oso-flaco-lake/