Find New and Renewed Happenings at the Fourth Annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Celebration Hosted by the Highway 1 Discovery Route January 13 - February 28, 2017


Featuring a Free Film Festival at Hearst Castle Theater, Announcing New Locations on The Whale Trail, Attend the Third Annual BlendFest on the Coast, Wine Tasting Events along the Pacific Coast Wine Trail, Wildlife Viewing & Stewardship Travel, and Special Lodging Packages in Coastal San Luis Obispo County

December 8, 2016, San Luis Obispo County -  The 10 destinations along California's Highway 1 Discovery Route (H1DR) in San Luis Obispo County from Ragged Point and Cambria to Avila Beach and Oceano are serious when it comes to the annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Celebration. Coastal San Luis Obispo County along with California State Parks and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary welcome visitors to immerse themselves in the local marine culture, coastal heritage and natural attractions along the iconic CA Highway 1 Discovery Route through a series of events and activities January 13-February 28, 2017. Enjoy special marine focused events, unique wine and food tastings and festivals and stewardship travel activities where you learn more about dedicated Marine Protected Areas and how to make a difference on vacation.

"Throughout the annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Celebration guests are invited to explore marine life from abalone to elephant seals, learn about nature preserves, participate in fun citizen science activities, and enjoy the many seaside hikes found on the Central Coast," says Katie Sturtevant, Stewardship Travel Director. "There are unique signature events like Sharks after Dark at the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila, free films at the Hearst Castle Theater and more than 40 must-do activities the whole family will enjoy."

Event Highlights and a Wildlife App
These special events and activities are designed to connect visitors with the land, wildlife, history, people and culture along the H1DR. Must-see attractions and must-do events include a Free Film Festival at Hearst Castle Theater, the 3rd annual wine tasting event BlendFest on the Coast, the fun Bird Sanctuary & Wildlife Day, elephant seal docent-led educational walks, hands-on citizen science programs at San Simeon Cove and many others. Take a whale watching adventure, a planned pier and beach walk, or learn about H1DR marine birdlife with the free SeaPhoto App from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary found in the Apple App Store. Users can browse through 631 species and 1,650 photos, with detailed ecological information for 140 species. Guests can upload favorite photos and even share them directly through embedded Twitter, Facebook, text and email.

Free iWERKS Film at Hearst Castle: Ocean Giants: Giant Lives
Don't miss the annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Film Festival at the Hearst Castle Theater, Saturdays at 6pm throughout the six-week celebration. This years' feature film: Ocean Giants: Giant Lives. Whales and dolphins conjure a deep sense of wonder in us that's hard to explain. From the Arctic to the Amazon, Ocean Giants, a groundbreaking three-part series from BBC, goes on a global expedition with world-renowned underwater cameramen, Doug Allen (Planet Earth) and Didier Noirot (Jacques Cousteau's cameraman), as they capture spellbinding footage of these marine mammals. Giant Lives (part one of the three-part series), enters the world of the great whales. In the Arctic, giant bowhead whales survive the freezing cold wrapped in fifty tons of insulating blubber two-feet thick, making them the fattest animals on the planet, and surprisingly they live to over 200 years old. Giant Lives also explores the biggest animal on the planet ~ the blue whale. Measuring a hundred feet long, and weighing in at 200 tons, it is double the size of the largest dinosaur.

What's New
As the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route enhances its award-winning Stewardship Travel Program, visitors will appreciate the Wildlife Viewing and Stewardship Tips when they visit the new Whale Trail ( viewing locations. The Whale Trail is a nonprofit organization in partnership with NOAA Fisheries, National Marine Sanctuaries (West Coast Region), and other national marine conservation organizations with a mission to inspire appreciation and stewardship for the marine environment.

"The California central coast is a spectacular place to watch marine mammals from shore," explains Donna Sandstrom, Founder of The Whale Trail. "The Whale Trail makes it easier for visitors and residents alike to know where and when to look for gray whales, dolphins, otter and seals. The six new locations in Coastal San Luis Obispo County are the biggest cluster of Whale Trail sites out of our 50 sites along the Pacific Coast from Canada to Mexico."

The Whale Trail viewing sites in San Luis Obispo County are ADA accessible and provide identification guides to the most common marine mammals that can be viewed from shore. The current sites are:
· San Simeon: Best Western Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
· Cayucos: Cayucos Pier
· Los Osos: Bluff Trail in Montana de Oro State Park
· Avila Beach: Avila Pier
· Oceano: Oceano Dunes Overlook at Grand Avenue

Special Wine Tastings, Events and More
During the Coastal Discovery & Stewardship celebration, delight in special wine tasting room pairings from 11 wineries located along the Pacific Coast Wine Trail, and numerous Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley and Avila Beach wineries as well.

Here is a sample list of events taking place. For a complete list of Coastal Discovery & Stewardship events, activities and lodging packages click here.

BlendFest on the Coast in Cambria and San Simeon'  January 13-16, 2017
Enjoy the third annual BlendFest on the Coast showcasing the scenic beauty of the coast with the renowned wines of Paso Robles Wine Country, only miles away. Grow Wild beyond a glass of everyday wine, featuring a winemaker dinner and two Grand Tasting sessions of renowned Paso Robles wineries pouring three distinct blends each! Guests will be able to enjoy spectacular wines surrounded by Cambria Pines and participate in a blending seminar of Rhone and Bordeaux varietals with stunning vistas of the San Simeon shoreline.

Pacific Coast Wine Trail Passport Weekend February 18-19, 2017
Pick up a Wine Trail Passport at any of the eleven wineries along the Pacific Coast Wine Trail. Tasters who collect a stamp at five or more wineries will be entered into a semi-annual drawing to win a wine lifestyle package. Tasters who visit all wineries will be entered in the drawing and earn a VIP Card for a 10% discount at each winery.

Wildlife Viewing and Heritage Tours and Events
SLO County is known for its abundant wildlife and visitors won't want to miss watching the sharks feed at the Central Coast Aquarium or participating in the Bird Sanctuary & Wildlife Day in Avila Beach, or experiencing the Piedras Blancas Light Station Historical Tour in San Simeon. In Oceano and Los Osos, watch migrating Monarch Butterflies climb the limbs of a Eucalyptus grove all clustered in black and gold.

Award-winning Stewardship Travel Activities
Help protect wildlife and keep the beaches pristine of Cambria, Avila, Cayucos, San Simeon, Los Osos and Oceano with a free Stewardship Clean-up Kit with gift tote bag found at many hotels and visitor's centers in each town. Home of the country's first Stewardship Travel Program, visitors along the H1DR are invited to participate in more than 70 unique, enjoyable and inspiring activities and contribution opportunities throughout the year with area historians, scientists, and specialists in all ten localities.

Lodging Specials
Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the H1DR is made up of ten diverse artisan towns and seaside villages starting just south of Big Sur from Ragged Point & San Simeon, Cambria, Cayucos, and Los Osos/Baywood Park, to Avila Beach & Valley, Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley, Oceano and Nipomo, just south of San Luis Obispo. Many properties along the route are offering special lodging packages during the Coastal Discovery & Stewardship seven week celebration.

About the California Highway 1 Discovery Route   The Best of Highway 1
Midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco in beautiful coastal San Luis Obispo County, an amazing number of "must-see" and "must-do" destinations can be found along the California Highway 1 Discovery Route. With 10 uncrowded beaches, 12 state parks, the Hearst Castle, three bountiful wine regions, restaurants featuring farm-to-table cuisine, unique wildlife habitats and more, the 101-mile stretch offers the best of Highway 1. Everything you could want for a relaxed and inspiring vacation can be found here including 500 lodging choices. Take an iconic road trip and enjoy breathtaking views through 10 diverse artisan towns and charismatic seaside villages along prime Pacific coastline. These scenic rural road trips are rich in character and history. Leaders in Stewardship Travel, the California Highway 1 Discovery Route offers 70 brief, award-winning experiences that enhance visitor's immersion in the natural and cultural heritage of California's central coast. There's also amazing Wildlife Viewing from bird watching, elephant seals, and sea otters, to seals, whales, monarch butterflies and more.

Experience fun and relaxing rural road trips through the "Perfect 10" CA Highway 1 Discovery Route destinations: Ragged Point & San Simeon, Cambria, Cayucos, and Los Osos/Baywood Park, to Avila Beach & Valley, Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley, Oceano and Nipomo. Every January and February, the towns along the California Highway 1 Discovery Route celebrate Coastal Discovery & Stewardship, offering unique lodging packages, coastal activities, events and entertainment. For the latest news on the best of Highway 1 join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter For more information on the California Highway 1 Discovery Route, visit or contact Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Cuming at 805-547-2243,

MEDIA CONTACT: ¨Susan Hartzler ¨Public Relations Executive ¨818-585-8641¨