Celebrate Pride in SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County) even when it’s not Pride Month by planning the perfect vacation to the California Less Traveled. SLO CAL has a host of LGBTQIA+ safe-spaces that remain a welcoming place for all, even when the rainbow flags aren’t in season. Consider patronizing the following businesses that authentically represent the LGBTQIA+ community at-large. Whether you’re traveling to SLO CAL as a single, a double or as a unit, you can feel confident in knowing you will be safe, welcomed and stronger by paying a visit to these hidden gems.
Cozy into 120+ Vacation Rental Options on the Coast
The Pride flag waives high at over 120 properties Coastal Vacation Rentals oversees. Find your perfect beach get-away in SLO CAL’s South County, ranging from luxury to budget properties. This Pismo Beach-stationed outpost will be your one-stop-shop for shelter while you’re in Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Oceano, Pismo Beach, Shell Beach or Avila Beach.
Wine Country Lodging
Take up residence in Paso Robles Wine Country list with Asuncion Ridge’s 108-acre east Paso vineyard. Choose between the four bedroom/4 bath, 3,600 sq.ft. estate for nearly $600 a night. Gather ‘round the spacious living areas, chef’s kitchen and outside patio area with BBQ that overlooks sweeping vineyard views. Take the price down a notch (and the space) if you’d rather book their one bedroom farmhouse. You’ll get the same views, but will be in their converted barn. Don’t let that scare you, you’ll get a full kitchen and separate living area for only $185 a night.
WINE AND DINE
Keep the Wine Flowing
Whether or not you decide to stay with Asuncion Ridge, you can taste with them. Enjoy the Asuncion Ridge Winery tasting room in downtown Paso Robles for small lot pinot noirs and eclectic red blends. Buckle your seatbelts, as the owners have just purchased the old Stacked Stone Cellars winery on Peachy Canyon Road, and expect to open their doors at the second (and flagship) Asuncion Ridge tasting facility in late summer 2021.
Did Someone Call a Private [Prancing] Chef?
Take some pressure off yourself on this trip to SLO CAL by hiring in a private chef to your vacation rental. Enjoy the luxury of staying out of the kitchen, or perhaps you’ll want to brush up on your own skills with cooking lessons around the kitchen. Find both with The Prancing Chef, also known as Chef Anthony Allesmith. The Morro Bay native will take your private SLO CAL party to the max, with signature main dishes like 72-hour espresso and chili short ribs or roasted salmon mi-cuit with brown butter citrus glaze. Don’t forget the dessert with options like seasonal berry pot de creme or cheesecake stuffed profiteroles.
Hop On Beer Tour
Take your crowd on a welcoming custom tour of SLO CAL’s breweries or wineries (or why not make it a wine/beer combo tour?). Travel in a 15-20 passenger limo-bus through Paso Robles Wine Country for darker reds and San Luis Obispo Wine Country for whites and lighter reds. If you’re just in need of transportation, too, custom itineraries and quotes are also available for weddings or excursions. All 'aboard—everyone's welcome!
If your tastebuds are after cider, why not try Two Broads Cider? These two married "broads" are making waves (or more aptly, small-batch cider) with their story and over 15 styles of hard beverages. Sample some of the flavors of locally grown apples in their San Luis Obispo tasting room and don’t forget to join their cider club, shipping through California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
Wine Bar Downtown SLO
Head to downtown San Luis Obispo and follow the rainbow sign to Ragtag Wine Co. to sample their wine filghts for some of the most flavorful reds and exotic whites. Winemaker Jeff Huskey experiments with Bordeaux, Rhone and Spanish varietals sourced from the Central Coast growing regions to present his award-winning wines to you. Drop in for a cheese plate, glasses or bottles.
Perk up, or wind down
Skipper’s Brew Coffee House is one to visit. Yes there are two locations, one in Morro Bay and another in San Luis Obispo. Head to the latter’s shop for a welcoming embrace of rainbow (at least during Pride Month) to find your welcoming cup of brew topped with the tastiest sweet treat. You’ll love it!
Kin Coffee Bar is going to be another stop in San Luis Obispo for not only the black stuff, but matcha, superfoods and baked goods too. Kin is for family, where two Latinx brothers opened side-by-side stations for your caffeine fix as well as haircuts. So grab a haircut and raise a glass, at what is described as the Central Coast’s only matcha bar. We love originality!
Sit down or Take Home Meals
A list of inclusivity is not complete without SLO Provisions. In San Luis Obispo, try their dine-in or takeaway options, with house roasted rotisserie meats, baked goods, coffees, wine and beer. Proprietors Dwyne Willis and Steve Bland’s commitment to local ingredients is nearly unmatched in SLO CAL. So taste the region while supporting one of the most inclusive establishments around.
SHOP TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT
Read-up in Los Osos
If you’re still on a learning binge from your cooking class, step into Carroll Leslie’s Volumes of Pleasure Bookshoppe in Los Osos. Here you’ll find not only Pride month window displays, but a hefty selection of LGBTQIA+ literature, among gifts, jewelry, spiritual and holistic supplies.
Embrace art and gift giving with Junk Girls
Junk Girls’s Jenny and Melissa are vintage journeying at their San Luis Obispo shop while also offering gift packs for any occasion, greeting cards and garden supplies. Jenny creates one-of-a-kind art from her creative past at Netflix and eBay. Instead of creating digitally, Jenny now has tactile art is on display at the 49er’s Levi’s Stadium Art Collection, The Green Bay Packer’s Lambeau Field Art Collection, The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas and available to anyone in their private homes. Melissa uses primarily silver, brass, aluminum and copper to create necklaces, key-rings, wedding forks, spreaders, earrings, rings, bracelets and anything else she can think of. Go have a peek and feel the embrace of these two creators and their handiwork. Oh, and take something home if it strikes you.
CAPTURE YOUR MOMENT
Change the World with Photography
Don’t forget to make your trip to SLO CAL one to remember. If you’re looking for a photographer while you’re here—think Instagram influencers or family photos, not just weddings—consider Renoda Campbell Photography. Here you’ll find an “activist with a camera,” billed as a San Luis Obispo LGBTQ wedding photographer. She believes in being part of an inclusive community and hopes to capture every kind of love, including Black love, gay love, interracial love, interfaith love, disabled love, and many other types.