BBQ, wine, pizza, BBQ, more wine, and some seafood for good measure is about sums up the name of the game while traveling along the central coast cities and if you’re anything like me, you’re completely ok with that. As a matter a fact… that’s the foundation to a pretty fucking wonderful vacation as far as we’re concerned? And that’s exactly what we got over this past holiday weekend. You’ve seen the photos from our Photo Diary, you’ve got the gist of what to expect, now it’s time to talk specifics. If you’re in need of a little adventure, a little weekend getaway here’s what you need to do when you head up the coast to San Luis Obispo/ Paso Robles. You’re welcome.
1. Wine Tasting in Paso Robles
If you love wine, if you don’t love wine, go drink wine here. It’s hot and really there’s nothing much else to do so ya might as well entertain yourself somehow and get a buzz while you’re at it! But in all seriousness, some of California’s BEST wineries call this area home and the wineries are fun and just what’d you’d expect to find in a wine mecca on par with its Northern California counterparts like Napa.
2. Wine Tasting in San Luis Obispo
A place that is EQUALLY on par with the likes of Paso Robles and Napa as far as wine goes, if not better (oo I’m goin’ there), is the “SLO” area. The weather is about 20 degrees cooler than Paso, therefore it’s a whole other level of tolerable and pleasant to sip wine in. There’s only a few wineries in the area to choose from and they’re all within about 5 minutes from each other and about 10-15 minutes from downtown. It’s so easy it almost feels too good to be true.
MUST GO TO: Tolosa Winery & Chamisal Vineyards. At Tolosa bring a picnic and hang on their vineyard front patio, and at Chamisal buy a bottle of their Califa Chardonnay or Pinot and hang out for a while under their picturesque shaded patio that also looks over their vineyards.
3. Tri-Tip Sandwich from Firestone Grill
It’s safe to say you can trust a place who has a line around the block ready and waiting before they even open for lunch, and Firestone Grill may be the only place on earth that I’m willing to wait with the rest of the minions to have what we all go there for: the tri-tip sandwich. I’ve had a lot of BBQ in my day, I’m a Texas girl at heart with an appreciation for meat, but this freakin sandwich is worth the drive to SLO all by itself. Picture this: a grilled bun, buttered, soft but crunchy, sweet sweet BBQ sauce, and layers upon layers of perfectly cooked juicy tri-tip nestled in between. You haven’t had tri-tip until you’ve had Firestone Grill’s. And don’t forget the seasoned fries with their homemade ranch while we’re at it.
More Info About Firestone Grill HERE
4. Apple Picking In Avila (SLO Creek Farms)
Well if this isn’t the cutest fucking thing ever. You may notice in the Central Coast that unlike our fair city of Los Angeles, there’s a lot of greenery and farming going on around these parts, so of course something like picking your own apples would be available to you? Of course? You sure as shit aren’t going to find anything like that in Los Angeles so when in Avila, during the Fall, pick a bunch of organic apples! Take pictures! Be adorable.
More Info About Apple Picking at SLO Creek Farms HERE
5. Paying a Visit to Firestone Brewery
Completely unrelated to Firestone Grill and not even that close to it in proximity, you should still make a stop at Firestone Brewery in the Paso area. Here you can not only have a beer (go figure) or stay for a meal, but you can also take a tour of their pristine brewhouse and cellar. But if you’re not in the mood for some knowledge at least stay for a beer or two, and enjoy a seat at the bar at “The Taproom” where you can try one or all of their beers should you feel so inclined.
More Info About Brewery & Tours HERE
6. Taking In the View at Pirate’s Cove
Locals “secret”: should you make your way up the hill to Pirate’s Cove, prepare for a most breath-taking view of the Pacific Ocean and a most surprising view of the nude beach below. Don’t panic they’re hard to see but REALLY THERE’S A NUDE BEACH DOWN THERE BEWARE. But wind your way down the path, find your way to through the rock cave, an enjoy an incredible scenic scape of the ocean below: optimal Instagram shots right here.
More Info About Pirates Cove HERE
7. Mineral Spa Baths at Sycamore Springs
On an adventureous vacation filled with food, wine, and heat there’s nothing quite like coming back to a hotel at the end of the night and soaking in a mineral spa. Outside. In the wilderness. Amongst the nature. It’s truly an incredible experience you can honestly only have here at Sycamore Springs so TAKE ADVANTAGE. This is the best hotel in the area (you can get a private tub attached to your room if they have them available and you find that in your budget, which trust me is worth it) but even if you’re not a guest you are welcome to come enjoy some relaxation in one of thier 23 “Hilside Hot Tubs”. $13.50 per person, they close at 12 midnight, and reservations are recommended. Everything about Sycamore Springs is recommended.
More Info About Sycamore Springs HERE
8. Lunch & Wine Tasting In Los Olivos
Located about 30 minutes or so outside of San Luis Obispo, the town of Los Olivos sits quiet and cozy in the rolling hills of the Central Coast region, and it just may be one of the sweetest little quaint streets you’ll ever come across in California. LA just looks angry in comparison. Los Olivos Cafe, “AS SEEN IN SIDEWAYS!!!” for your information, is always worth stopping in, even if it’s just for a glass of wine and some dessert at the bar but the food never seems to disappoint. If it truly is wine and dessert you’re looking for though, you must stop in at the Saarloos & Sons tasting room down the street for their infamous wine tasting and cupcake pairing. I mean really, what doesn’t sound awesome about that.
9. Take A Drive To Cambria: “One of America’s Prettiest Towns”.
Here I go again with one of these adorable little towns, so god damn cute it’ll hurt your feelings. Besides it being considered one of “America’s pretties town’s” as noted by forbes.com, it’s also home to some incredible scenic beaches, a quaint downtown, historic architecture, wineries, the best fudge the world has ever known, and unique sea-life like elephant seals and otters. Awesome because that right there sounds like all that and a bag a chips.
More Info HERE
10. When in doubt, Morro Bay Out.
So what if the most exciting this about this town is a massive earth pimple? So what? It’s actually pretty fucking impressive and it’s definitely a sight to see (for like a minute). While you’re there pay a visit to the Morro Bay “Aquarium” that is home to 2-3 rehabilitated, very chatty, sea lions. You can purchase bags of sardines to feed them that pay for their care and living quarters! Be a doll, and feed the poor things some fish, and relish in the fact that you’re experiencing one of the smallest and oldest “aquariums” in the world, maybe ever? It’s pretty incredible as far as I’m concerned.
More Info HERE