Celebrate the season with experiences hosted by SLO CAL Crafted artisans
Looking to step up your holiday shopping this year? Try giving the gift of an experience with one of our SLO CAL Crafted partners. Many local artisans offer hands-on classes, tastings and other experiences that bring their artform to life. Some are instructional, some are immersive and others are just pure FUN. Most importantly, they are the perfect excuse for a getaway to SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County). Ready to plan your perfect holiday visit? Here are some of our favorite experiences from SLO CAL Crafted artisans.
** Special Holiday Market | Vespera Resort x SLO CAL Crafted **
Spend an afternoon at the SLO CAL Crafted Holiday Market shopping locally made gifts for the holiday season while enjoying food and drinks for purchase from Vespera's Pequin Costal Cocina.
Saturday, December 16th, 2023 | 11 AM - 3 PM
Vespera Resort's oceanfront Starlight Lawn
📍 147 Stimson Ave, Pismo Beach
Christmas at the CarrisaBack to Top of List
This immersive experience hosted by Rod & Hammer Distillery brings new meaning to the phrase “making spirits bright.” Beginning in November, enter the historic Carrisa building in downtown San Luis Obispo and discover a world of nostalgic Christmas vibes, complete with a Cozy Sweater Nook, Holly Jolly Hall, Ski Chalet and Oh-What-Fun Game Room.
Perfect for a double date, group of friends or family hang, Christmas at the Carrisa has all the makings of merry memories. Shop the boutique for unique gifts (including Rod & Hammer whiskies, cut with real purified Pacific Ocean water and made proudly in San Luis Obispo), enjoy a signature craft cocktail and seasonal bites, take a selfie on the vintage ski lift or play classic board games. However you choose to do Christmas at the Carissa, you’re sure to leave jolly.
Olive Oil TastingBack to Top of List
You don’t have to be an olive oil expert to enjoy a tasting at Pasolivo—but if you are, you’ll love it that much more. This extra-virgin olive oil company has won awards, accolades and hearts over the years with its collection of high-quality products—all grown onsite and milled in house by hand. Taste from a selection of oils made from a range of olive varieties across the 140-acre ranch in Paso Robles’ Willow Creek District, as well as spices and seasoning blends and vinegars.
Both of Pasolivo’s locations (in downtown Paso Robles and at Pasolivo Ranch) offer the full tasting of oils, vinegars and seasonings with a knowledgeable guide. The Pasolivo Ranch also conducts tours of the property including the mill for visitors. Pick up bottles of olive oil, vinegar, seasoning blends, high-quality salts and pantry items, plus olive wood serving wear and other kitchen gear in the Pasolivo boutique.
Design Your Own Screen PrintingBack to Top of List
If you’ve always wanted to start your own line of designer streetwear, the Cayucos Collective is just the place to start. Inside their beachfront gallery, you can design tee shirts with your own artwork, whether that’s a logo, sketch or even just an idea. The artists at the Cayucos Collective will help you choose the right fabric and print method—then they’ll bring your wearable masterpiece to life with direct-to-garment printing so you can leave the shop with your new tee in the bag.
While you wait, wander the gallery to explore original artwork from local masters, plus clothing and accessories. The Cayucos Collective is a hub of creativity in Cayucos’s vibrant surf and skate community, and the pieces reflect that. You’ll become part of that thriving culture, too, when you design and print your unique, customized tee.
Wine BlendingBack to Top of List
Sure, wine tasting in SLO CAL is incredible, but why not give the wine enthusiast in your life a little deeper experience? Located in Paso Robles wine country, CASS Winery offers Camp CASS, a variety of activities on their grounds. Partake in a luxury wine blending class that invites guests to play winemaker for the day.
Under the guidance of CASS Winery experts, you’ll learn how to combine wine from their estate-grown grape varieties to develop a blend all your own. Participants hone their senses, learn from the pros how to balance flavors and aromas, and deepen their appreciation for the winemaker's craft. Best of all, they get to go home with their personalized bottle to share with friends.
Kelp ForagingBack to Top of List
When it comes to superplants, kelp is king. Did you know that the kelp forests off the coast of California help fight climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from seawater? Or that kelp is rich with antioxidants which, when eaten, may help combat heart disease and cancer? Or that it’s also a versatile ingredient in bath and body products? The folks at Kelpful use private kelp-foraging trips through Morro Bay and Montana de Oro State Park in Los Osos to educate visitors on these benefits and more.
Private tours begin with warm kelp broth and kelp-seasoned popcorn on the beach, followed by a two-hour exploration of kelp’s many uses and benefits. The tour ends at the Hazard Canyon tide pools where participants can see starfish, crabs, urchins, snails and anemones, and learn how to identify the different types of seaweed along the coastline.
Candle MakingBack to Top of List
Giving 20 percent of all sales to Guatemalan communities in need, and using only non-toxic and carcinogenic-free ingredients, The Mayan Collective produces candles with a conscience. And now you can, too! From their shop in Arroyo Grande, The Mayan Collective offers private candle-pouring classes that allow you to make your own unique candle – perfect for a gift or to keep for yourself.
Choose from a variety of class options, from in-depth education about wicks, waxes and fragrance oils, to simple sip-and-pour classes that allow you to BYO beverage and craft a candle you love to be taken home and enjoyed. Looking to engage young candle-makers? Check out The Mayan Collective’s classes and camps for kids, too.
Modern MacraméBack to Top of List
Lindsey is the maker behind Tied & True Goods, a modern macramé and fiber art studio that produces stunning wall hangings, plant hangers, wine totes and more. While you can find her products in select boutiques across SLO CAL (hello, macramé hat hanger!), Lindsey also shares her experience and expertise by offering workshops for aspiring macramé artists.
For groups of up to 14 people, she’ll bring all the materials and gear to the location of your choice to teach how to make a driftwood plant hanger, ceiling plant hanger, wall hanging or wine tote. Participants choose between one- and two-hour-long projects. Kids and teens are invited, too! Pick up some snacks, maybe some wine or the fixings for mocktails, and make an afternoon or evening of learning the knots with this remarkable SLO CAL maker.
SLO CAL Coffee BlendBack to Top of List
Want to experience the flavor of SLO CAL wherever you call home, whenever you want? Corberosa Coffee partnered with Visit SLO CAL to produce its 9 Peaks Blend, inspired by the majesty of the nine volcanic peaks—also called the Nine Sisters—that ripple through SLO CAL. (You may recognize one of those peaks as Morro Rock—the northernmost of the series.)
The coffee consists of Central American and Javan beans, processed with Corberosa’s unique air-roasting method to a medium-dark roast. When you purchase a bag of this exceptionally smooth-drinking brew, you’re capturing the laid back vibe of the Nine Peaks and SLO CAL to take with you wherever you roam.
Glass BlowingBack to Top of List
Glass blowing is an ancient artform that many people never have the opportunity to try. Not so at Harmony Glassworks, where expert glassblowers teach private classes at their studio in Harmony. This hands-on experience allows new glass artists to design and blow their own personal piece of glass to take home.
Guests have made vases, bowls, figurines and more. Use the Glassworks’ well-equipped space, materials and tools with a master’s help—no experience required. Classes are about one hour in length, and kids and teens are invited to the experience, too. Before or after your class, peruse the glass pieces in the Glassworks gallery, including clocks, marbles, sculptures, wine toppers, ornaments and more.
Fabric DyeingBack to Top of List
Dyeing textiles with natural pigments from plants is an artform that has enraptured people for centuries. At Couleur de la Vie, owner Bobbi continues the tradition, dyeing silk bandanas, hat bands, cotton napkins, clothing, accessories and more using organic materials from her “Dye Garden.” She also uses a method called “eco printing” to transfer images of flowers and leaves onto natural textiles.
Want in on the fun? Bobbi teaches popular classes in natural dye bundling and eco printing in her Paso Robles studio. Learn how to prepare different types of fabric to become more dyefast, explore ways to modify and alter dye colors—and then get busy! Projects can include bundle-dyeing a silk bandana, eco printing flowers onto socks and printing leaves onto silk scarves. The classes are perfect for up to six people. The best part? Participants get to bring all these one-of-a-kind projects home with them.
Looking for more ways to bring the SLO CAL lifestyle home with you? Check out all of the SLO CAL Crafted artisans who live and work in this area, from winemakers and ceramicists to stationary makers and chocolatiers. Many offer special gift boxes or festive themed items this time of year. You’ll find something for everyone on your holiday gifting list—and definitely at least a little something for yourself too.