Explore the San Luis Obispo County Lifestyle (Part 1)

By Kylee Jepsen

Are you planning a wine country, coastal or cultural getaway this year, but not quite sure what you want to see? Join us in San Luis Obispo (SLO) County, half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California’s Central Coast, where your dream adventure vacation awaits. Whether you are looking for a culinary, coastal or cultural experience, San Luis Obispo County is the prime destination to discover it all.

Throw out the old itinerary and switch it up with a not-so-typical SLO experience. Explore these SLO lifestyle three-day itineraries below designed for a variety of travelers with a touch of local flare to get the insider’s view of the destination. This is the first part to a three part series of SLO County Itineraries. Kicking off...an itinerary for the Coastal Adventurist!

For more information check out the Visit San Luis Obispo County website www.VisitSanLuisObispoCounty.com — featuring everything from regional overviews and events to activities and trip ideas.

For the Coastal Adventurist

Day 1 Adventure in Morro Bay

San Luis Obispo County offers a variety of activities throughout its 80 miles of scenic coastline. Start your vacation with a trip to Morro Bay, CA where you can choose from a variety of boating tours or whale watching experiences. You can even book a yacht with Chablis Cruises and coast around the bay with a meal and live band.

Take a late lunch and picnic on the beach or visit the Morro Bay Waterfront Grill then drive to Montaña de Oro for some hiking, surfing, biking or swimming. Here you can admire over 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs with trails throughout the park. Enjoy one of the incredible coastal views from one of the largest state parks in California.

Head back to Morro Bay and find your way to Central Coast Outdoors to experience a sunset kayaking adventure around the famous Morro Rock. Be sure to book your tour early, they do sell out! The tour includes hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, and will last about 3.5 hours. Finish off your evening with a delicious plate of fish n chips at one of the local fresh seafood restaurants like Galley Seafood,Fish Bonez or Windows on the Water. Morro Bay turns 50 in 2014, so celebrate with a variety of activities and events happening throughout the year. Check out the full schedule before you book your trip.

Day 2 Ziplining & Hot Springs

Drive to the town of Santa Margarita, where you can explore the beautiful mountains and vineyards of Santa Margarita Ranch…from an 1800-foot zipline! Margarita Adventures offers five ziplines soaring over a stunning backdrop of vineyards, mountains and forests. After, take your new found appreciation for the natural surroundings to the Ancient Peaks tasting room, featuring sustainably grown wines from the vineyards you soared over.

Take Highway 101 south to San Luis Obispo, CA for lunch at the Apple Farm, Copper Café at Madonna Inn, or Upper Crust Trattoria. Then visit the San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens, encompassing over 150 acres devoted to the ecosystems and plants of five Mediterranean climate regions of the world. Finish off your day by enjoying the sunset in Avila Beach, just 10 minutes south of San Luis Obispo. After a big day of adventure, take a relaxing soak in the mineral hot springs at Avila’s Sycamore Mineral Springs and enjoy dinner at their restaurant, Gardens of Avila.

Day 3 Hiking in Avila Beach & Four-Wheeling in Oceano

Take a morning hike on the Bob Jones Trail or one of dozens of trails overlooking the gorgeous mountains of San Luis Obispo County. Continue south to Pismo Beach, CA where you can enjoy a bowl of the famous clam chowder at Splash Café, then stroll the downtown shops, go wine tasting, golfing, biking, horseback riding, scuba diving, or surfing. Visiting November to February? See the Monarch Butterfly Grove where you can walk through trees filled with thousands of the beautiful Monarch Butterflies.

Looking for more adventure? Head just a few minutes south to the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Park, where you can take your vehicle four wheeling on the beach or rent an ATV. Complete your adventure with dinner back in Pismo Beach at one of the local oceanfront restaurants with breathtaking views like Ventana Grill, Marisol at the Cliffs Resort, the SeaVenture Restaurant or Lido at the Dolphin Bay Inn.

Stay tuned for the next SLO County itinerary to come in the following weeks. Our next itinerary caters to the Culinary Aficionado with some excellent ideas on how to fill that delicious craving for SLO County cuisine!