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Top 5 Best Kept Local Secrets in SLOCAL

1.       The Apple Farm Gift Shop

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Besides the charming country inn and delicious bakery and restaurant, Apple Farm is unique among local hotels as the largest retailer of gifts and house wares in San Luis Obispo and the Central Coast. Along with season decor, their display artists create elaborate masterpieces, exhibiting season gifts, tickets, and treasures that make the perfect gift for any occasion. For a shopper's delight, explore our store at Apple Farm. Be sure to check out our Online Store as well:  https://www.applefarm.com/shop

2.       Hunter Ranch Golf Course

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Hunter Ranch Golf Course is a golfer's delight. The beautiful 18-hole Championship course boasts the best conditions on California's Central Coast. The greens putt fast and smooth, and pristine fairways lined with century-old oak trees, natural lakes, and native grasses await your tee shots. Set atop the highest point in Paso Robles, the surrounding vista includes some of San Luis Obispo County's finest vineyards, rolling wooded hills…and no homes. The big city congestion is miles away, north or south along nearby Hwy. 101  https://www.hunterranchgolf.com/

3.  The Secret Garden

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Established in 2004, the Secret Garden Organic Herb Shop offers specialty blends of white, green, black, red, and herbal loose leaf teas in addition to spices galore. Utilizing the freshest ingredients, this quaint shop focuses on small batch blends and promotes overall health and well-being within the community. Among the spices and teas, the shop also showcases artistic tea-ware and other tea-related products made by local community members. https://www.organicherbshop.com/shop/

 4.        The Fremont Theater

Located in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, CA, the Fremont Theater is a historic movie theater, built in 1941. Throughout its early years it served both as a moving picture theater and a live entertainment venue. In the late 20th century, developers wanted to raze the building to install a new multiplex, but public outcry saved the theater. Full of rich, art deco charm, this theater has hosted everything from war bond shows to Adam Ant and Yes.  https://fremontslo.com/shows

5.       Avila Beach Framers Market

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The Avila Beach Farmers Market is a seasonal event that takes place on Fridays (4pm-8pm) from April - September every year. This year, the final event will be held on Friday, Septmebr 27th, 2019, make sure to check this event out before it ends for the year. Since the event takes place in the center of Avila Beach, you'll also get to enjoy our beaches and local places & businesses. https://www.avilabeachpier.com/events/farmers-market.html

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Top 5 Mind-Body and Spiritual Pursuits on the Central Coast

Now that we are in the thick of summer, one can find countless activities that speak to your inner self. Of course, one might ask what I mean exactly by this. Well, these explorations are about discovering hidden power and a sense of tranquility and balance.

1.       Transform yourself with Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates classes, offered daily in the Yoga Dome at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. The resort’s Yoga Dome, located on a ridge overlooking Avila Valley, is the perfect space for these energizing classes. The resort’s long-time instructors, leaders in their respective disciplines, are dedicated to ensuring each student—from beginner to advanced—achieves his or her goals.  Classes are $15 per class; or one can buy a 10-visit Yoga Pass for only $100. Classes are complimentary for hotel guests.  A complete schedule is available online at sycamoresprings.com

2.       The Zen of Paddleboarding! Rent a paddleboard in Avila Beach and discover Port San Luis and the picturesque coast. What a better way to focus your mind and body than paddling out on the ocean, with the seabirds, harbor seals, sailboats and fishing boats, and the historic wharfs…You might even see whales!  Away from your cell phone and your daily hassles—you can lose yourself and find yourself in this natural wonderland. Visit avilapaddlesports.com.

3.       Discover the magical realm at the Secret Garden. Situated Creekside in downtown San Luis Obispo, you’ll find a collection of fine teas from all over the world, as well as exotic spices and herbs, in the enchanted atmosphere of the Secret Garden. Visit: organicherbshop.com

4.       The New Camaldoli Hermitage, though slightly pass the SLO County line, is an easy 90 minute drive up the coast, on the south side of Big Sur. This is the real thing: a community of Christian monks that live a life of solitude and prayer. Fortunately, you can experience this monastic life at this stunningly beautiful retreat. Situated high on a ridge overlooking the Pacific, the monastery has an utterly simple but magnificent chapel, as well as a delightful bookstore. If you are so inclined, you can also spend the night in a humble, yet lovely, abode. The rooms have a single bed, a desk, and bathroom—and extraordinary view of the coast. There is a small kitchen a few steps away and modest meals are included.  If you choose, you can participate in mass or theological discussions.  For all the details, visit the website, appropriately named: contemplation.com

5.       What could be more uplifting, ennobling, and profound that classical music? Experience the San Luis Obispo Moziac Festival, July 13-July 26. You’ll hear the most transcendental music, including Mozart, Bach, contemporary compositions, Beethoven, theatrical pieces, and so much more, performed by full orchestras, string quartets, solo instrumentalists, singers, and actors. There are also excellent culinary events and receptions.  One of the most remarkable facets of this festival are the venues, including the world-class Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly, Chapel Hill Chapel in Shandon, private haciendas, the Old Mission, just to name a few. For festival information and to buy tickets, go to: festivalmozaic.com