Take in the “Theater”. Yes, the theater…As in local live theater! A visit to the Central Coast would not be complete without taking in an evening performance at the Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville. Always sure to please, this fun, old fashioned, truly “boo and hiss” venue will have you smiling and clapping! A classic vaudeville revue always follows whatever is playing and is sure to make you laugh! For the more seasoned lover of the arts, check out the Performing Arts Center on the Cal-Poly Campus with its amazing line ups for your entertainment. For more local theatre, check out Pioneer Players and the cutest little theatre in Cambria. Whether you are a long time resident, or just here for the weekend, there are some amazing and delightful places you will want to visit and re-visit again and again!
Walk through the Wildflowers and drive through the hills. Beautiful San Luis Obispo County! Gateway and home to some of the most beautiful places in California! Home to pristine beaches, mountain trails, recreational lakes and beautiful flowers! Did I mention that a couple months of the year California is green, green, green! (The “golden state” is after everything goes brown!) But for a few months of the year the hillsides are stunning! Especially when the Oak trees are getting their new bright green leaves! Depending on the rain, the wildflowers come out in full with a dazzling array of yellow, purple, white and orange! Late February in Cambria is all about the yellow! Which soon gives way to Blue Lupine along the hillsides county wide. Shell Creek Road is amazing in the spring. And of course, California Poppies! These gorgeous flowers line the coastlines and hills starting in late spring. Take a drive and take in the amazing display of orange!
Enjoy an Outdoor Concert: Did I mention that we love living here? Being outdoors is hard to beat, except maybe by being outdoors with some music! From June through October the sounds of live music fills the air with the sounds of local and big name musicians. Grab a blanket and bring a picnic to some of the downtown city parks in Atascadero, Templeton, and Paso Robles. Hit up a big concert at the Mid State Fairgrounds or Vina Robles Amphitheatre and even in the little town of Avila Beach.
Take a Hike. Literally. Put on your favorite pair of gym shoes or hiking boots and take a hike and enjoy the largest variety of hiking in one local area. Find yourself at the top of a mountain peak one day and along an ocean bluff another day. There are so many hikes here it’s even hard to begin listing them. But we’ll start with our favorites…Bishop’s Peak in San Luis Obispo, Hearst Beach San Simeon Point, Cambria Beach Moonstone walk, Reservoir Canyon Trail, The Bluff Trail Montana de Oro, Cerro Alto, walking Avila Beach and the Bob Jones Trail or by Morro Rock! Once again, can’t even begin to list them all. Just google Hikes on the California Central Coast and it will take you years to work through them all! After a day of work or on a weekend we always seem to find ourselves at one of our favorite places to hang out. We still keep finding new places to enjoy and explore even after living here for over 30 years.
Golfers Paradise! Bob Fagon from the A Position said; “I have only two regrets regarding Paso Robles, California. The first is that I didn’t discover the town sooner and the second is that I couldn’t stay longer. That said, I’ll be back and you should plan a stop here as well — it’s just perfect.” Half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this scenic area is definitely a California best kept secret. Hunter Ranch is one of the most beautiful courses situated among rolling oak hills and surrounded by vineyards instead of houses. Paso Robles Golf Club, The Links Course and River Oaks Golf Course round out the Paso area. Head south and visit Chalk Mountain Golf Course, Morro Bay Golf Course next to the ocean, Sea Pines and Pismo State Beach Golf Course.
Put on your cowboy boots (or not). Ever wished you could live in the wild, wild, west? Well, San Luis Obispo County is about as close as you can get! With its famous California Midstate Fair, this is one of the largest, funnest gatherings of cowboys and cowgirls you have ever seen! (Well, we think so!) Whether you are truly a cowboy, or just wanna be one, head this way and take in a country music concert, go to a horse show, or attend one of the great ag events that are always happening!
Museums. Museums? Yea, we have those too! Forget about those big stuffy big city museums. Come check out some of the most iconic museums this side of the state. Check out Estrella Warbird Air Museum and see all kinds of military aircrafts, battle tanks, anti aircrafts guns and missiles in addition to classic racing cars. Pioneer Museum with its replica of the first two-cell jail with original door and the interactive Children’s Museum in Paso Robles. There is also a cute little Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay and in San Luis Obispo. And don’t forget to see the San Luis Obispo Mission and take a step back in time.
Wine Tours. Daily wine tastings can be enjoyed on site amid beautiful views overlooking the vineyards. Some tours even showcase the winemaking process as well as tour underground storage caves. So many local wineries! Google “wineries on the California central coast” and come up with your own tour! (Make sure you have a designated driver!) Or call up one of the many local wine tasting tours and sit back and relax as they drive you through the rolling hills and taste to your heart’s desire. One of our favorite reviews from “Wine Folly” that we whole-heartedly agree with says: “Paso Robles is a wine region for the wild hearted. The town El Paso de Robles (which means pass of the oak trees) was co-founded by Kentucky outlaws Frank and Jesse James’ uncle Drury around 1869 Today, Paso Robles is still considered by many as the wine industry’s wild west, characterized by that same rule breaking diversity and innovative spirit in which the town was founded. Paso Robles is the wild west of California wine.” Factoid: Paso Robles is California’s fast growing AVA. Since 2000, the number of bonded wineries has grown from 50 to over 200. (Blog from “Wine Folly” Learn about wine, understanding paso Robles wine (w/maps). Take a local wine tour or go for a drive and make your own tour!
Beer? Yea, we got that too! Visit some of the best local breweries around! Remember the Old “Cheers” TV sitcom? Now you can be a part of this casual, friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Many places have great food to go along with your beverage of choice. Even if you don’t drink, you’ll love the food! Just google “breweries California central coast” and make up your own tour as you go. Of notable mention is Firestone Walker Brewing Company located right off the 101 between Templeton and Paso Robles. Visitors can enjoy daily guided tours of the brewhouse and cellar and learn about the history of this brewery and learn about the beer making process. Really good food at their bistro style Taproom Restauraunt. But there are lots of others to choose from!
Food Lover’s Paradise. Yes, we are far from the big cities, but we are not far from amazing food! The Central Coast is a food lovers paradise. With quality restaurants, cafes, and local eateries, you may think you stumbled into another world. And you have. The world of fresh seafood, country beef, farm picked produce all fresh and all local.
Lakes, lakes, lakes! Put on your swimsuit and hit the lake! The central coast is not just about beaches! Pack a picnic or bring a fishing pole and hit up Santa Margarita Lake or Atascadero Lake. Want a little bigger lake? Try Lake Nacimiento and Lake San Antonio and Lake Lopez. Fishing, kayaking, boating, skiing, wakeboarding and jet ski’s. It’s a water lovers paradise!