Tag Archives: San Luis Obispo

Celebrate This Summer Along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route

Celebrate a healthy and vibrant lifestyle at music, food, wine, and outdoor events this summer along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route. Featuring 10 artisan towns within 101 miles of famous Highway 1 in Coastal San Luis Obispo County, the Highway 1 Discovery Route offers everything you need to have a memorable summer vacation especially if you like community events, spectacular sunsets or just plain relaxing. We are happy to report the Big Sur mudslide did not affect this breathtaking stretch of Highway 1 and we are open for business all along Highway 1 from Ragged Point and San Simeon to Oceano and Nipomo.

While you’re thinking about events along the Central Coast, don’t forget about the annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Celebration that takes place during the winter months and the on-going Stewardship Activities offered all year long where you can make a difference while on vacation. Whatever it is you’re looking for, we think you’ll find plenty of it along the Highway 1 Discovery Route, especially this summer. Here’s a sample:

Arroyo Grande Valley:

Ragged Point

Edna Valley:

Avila Beach:

Los Osos/Baywood Park:





Arroyo Grande Valley:


On the road? Why not take us with you. Our websites are mobile-friendly! Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!

Road Trip: The Best of California’s Highway 1

Find nearly 2,000 acres of vineyards in Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande wine regions located on the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route, along with old historic California townsites, outdoor adventure, and well, great wine! Edna and Arroyo Grande Valleys offer the perfect growing climate for delicate grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – warm sunny days that turn into cool coastal nights. Weather that is also perfect for wine tasting adventures and outdoor play!

Edna Valley where cool ocean breezes and rich soil create ideal conditions for growing world-class grapes is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) located just a dozen miles from Arroyo Grande Valley in San Luis Obispo County. Surrounded by Tuscan-style countryside, guests can sample award-winning wines in more than 27 tasting rooms and attend annual wine tasting events like the Chardonnay Symposium and Harvest on the Coast.

Book Now! Find your perfect room in San Luis Obispo

Take a tour of the historic Old Edna Townsite as part of the Highway 1 Discovery Route Stewardship Travel Program. Founded in the 1840s, Old Edna was once a bustling center for farming and ranching families and today is host to a wine tasting room and gourmet deli nestled within 100 year-old historic buildings. Get inspired for your visit by watching this video.

The Arroyo Grande Valley is the perfect climate to take long bike rides and enjoy wine tasting among rolling hills. Just a short distance away is the Village of Arroyo Grande full of shopping, great places to eat, and CA’s only swinging bridge.

Book Now! Find your perfect room in Arroyo Grande Valley

The Lopez Lake Recreation Area is minutes from the tasting rooms of this region and offers a watery playground with 22 miles of shoreline ideal for boating, fishing, sailing, hiking and mountain biking. This episode of On the Road with Jo highlights the region and will inspire you to visit the magnificent Arroyo Grande Valley.

Click HERE for information on all the must-see spots and must-do activities in Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley and be sure to check the Arroyo Grande Valley Visitor Guide and Edna Valley Visitor Guide.

On the road? Why not take us with you. Our websites are mobile-friendly! Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!

Arts abound in San Luis Obispo County this Summer and Fall

From intimate galleries to colorful cultural events, San Luis Obispo (SLO) County offers countless arts experiences sure to spark wonder in visitors of all ages. Located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, scenic San Luis Obispo County is a convenient destination marked by rolling hills, mission-style architecture, and a vibrant arts scene you can truly see, hear, taste and touch.

From the fabulous art collections at Hearst Castle in San Simeon to the wealth of community-wide events where local artists share their works, San Luis Obispo County is a creative wonderland. Whether you’re looking for an intimate afternoon watching the glass-blowers create their glittering wares in Harmony, or in search of laugh-out-loud family fun at the Great American Melodrama, there’s a flavor of art and history that is bound to excite all tastes.

Get in tune with local music concerts & festivals.
Festival Mozaic, which runs July 13-24, brings high-end chamber, classical, jazz, and world music to unique venues across the county, including Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, an ancient hilltop chapel in Shandon and a working fruit ranch in See Canyon. Groove like a local and shake it up with acts at the popular Concerts in the Plaza, a summer-long music series held near Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Community summer concerts series are also held in Templeton Community Park, Atascadero Lake Park, Paso Robles Downtown City Park, Pismo Beach‘s Dinosaur Caves Park, Arroyo Grande’s Heritage Square Park, and Grover Beach‘s Ramona Garden Park, many of which offer food, wine and beer vendors.

Community Events & Street Fairs
Experience local color with community events and street fairs.
On August 27-28, Grover Beach comes alive with eclectic music, food, and vendors for the city’s annual Stone Soup Music Festival and Street Faire, one of many vibrant community events held across the region. Visitors looking for a truly local experience are encouraged to stroll downtown Paso Robles or San Luis Obispo on the first Friday of every month, when the community comes alive with creativity and character. During Art After Dark, businesses host open houses, showcase local works, and offer warm hospitality to neighbors near and far. This Labor Day, art enthusiasts can enjoy Art in the Park in Morro Bay, featuring local and regional fine art and craft exhibitors. In fall, Open Studio Art Tours offer the opportunity for art enthusiasts to visit approximately 200 artists throughout San Luis Obispo County at their personal studios. The tours take place October 8/9 and 15/16, 10am-5pm each day.

Prepare to be dazzled until the last curtain call.
There’s nothing like an evening of good old fashioned vaudeville style theatre at a place with peanut shells scattered across the floor. At The Great American Melodrama in Oceano, actors perform live and even serve hot dogs and drinks in character during intermission. Travel back in time to the Dark Ages for the 2016 Central Coast Renaissance Faire, which unfolds with musical, theatrical, and artisanal offerings at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo this July 16-17. Fans of classical theatre should take note of the area’s popular Central Coast Shakespeare Festival, which will offer up a picnic and show under the stars this July 14-Aug. 6 at scenic Filipponi Ranch. SLO Little Theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo will showcase the campy 1950s musical Bye Bye Birdie through July 2.

History and Landmarks
All year long visitors can enjoy the beauty and architectural art of San Luis Obispo County while visiting some of the historical landmarks in the County. The Atascadero City Hall, completed in 1918 and re-opened in 2013, offers docent-led tours, giving guests a fascinating history of the incredible building. Families can explore the Point San Luis Lighthouse in Avila Beach or the Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Simeon. Travel back in time on the California Mission Trail at one of the historical missions in San Luis Obispo or San Miguel. A trip to San Simeon‘s world-famous Hearst Castle is always a great idea for visitors of all ages. Add to the excitement by stopping by during Cambria‘s Scarecrow Festival, which sees hundreds of unique scarecrows perched in windows and on street corners each October.

Save the date
Even as the temps cool down, San Luis Obispo County’s art scene heats up. Fireworks and music abound at the Paso Robles Horse Park on July 2nd, during the new patriotic-themed “Pops” concert with the San Luis Obispo Symphony/Youth Symphony. A combination of operatic singing, theatrical costumes, and symphonic delights will collide during OperaSLO’s production of the classic La Bohème at the Performing Arts Center of SLO this October. A family favorite, Pismo Beach plays host to an annual Jubilee by the Sea concert filled with hot jazz sounds October 27-30. Paying homage to world renowned late Polish composer and famed Paso Robles resident Ignacy Paderewski, the Paderewski Festival, held each November across Paso Robles Wine Country, is a celebration of classical music and Polish culture.

For more information on upcoming events and to book your lodging or plan your itinerary, visit www.visitsanluisobispocounty.com.

Find tour perfect hotel in San Luis Obispo!

On the road? Why not take us with you. Our websites are mobile-friendly! Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!

San Luis Obispo County Brightens the Holiday Season

The holidays usher in a magical time of year in San Luis Obispo County, — located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California’s ruggedly beautiful Central Coast — welcoming a variety of fun and memorable activities for the entire family. From ice skating to holiday parades, and festive tree lighting ceremonies to special shopping and dining experiences, San Luis Obispo County welcomes guests to take part in the celebration.

Explore the merry events below and for more information on all holiday happenings in San Luis Obispo County, visit: www.VisitSanLuisObispoCounty.com/events

Ice Skating Central California Style

Winter WonderSLO Jiffy Lube Ice SkatingSan Luis Obispo
December 18 – January 3 from 9am9pm every day
Don’t miss this Central Coast holiday tradition since 2011, Winter WonderSLO is a real ice rink providing a magical holiday experience for all, located at the iconic Madonna Inn in the heart of San Luis Obispo County.

Parades to Light Up the Holidays

Arroyo Grande Christmas Parade
November 29 at 3:30pm
Usher in the holiday season on the last weekend of November with a Christmas Concert and Parade, featuring a Christmas music choir at the Rotary Bandstand in Heritage Square Park at 3:30pm followed by the parade at 5pm. After the parade, all are invited to enjoy a tree lighting at the Harvest Church.

Paso’s Annual Christmas Light Parade
December 5 at 7pm
This 54th annual event invites onlookers to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday spirit, with an illuminated parade featuring an array of light spectacles from local businesses.

Morro Bay Lighted Boat Parade
December 5 at 6:30pm
Gather the family and travel to Morro Bay for a unique procession of skiffs, yachts, fishing boats, cutters, and sailboats along the waterfront, all beautifully decorated and lighted to celebrate the holidays.

South County Holiday Parade – Grover Beach
December 5 at 10am
Visit Grover Beach for the only daytime parade in South San Luis Obispo County. This 49th annual event is themed Hawaiian Holiday – a perfect occasion for entire family.

Los Osos/Baywood Park Christmas Parade
December 12 at 10am
Grab your cheetah print shirt and head to Los Osos/Baywood Park, where their parade theme is “Christmas SAFARI” with awards given to parade entrants in categories including Best of Theme, Best of Music, Best on Foot, Best on Wheels, Best of Animals and Judges’ Favorite.

Tree Lighting Ceremonies for all Ages

29th Annual Downtown Lighting CeremonyPaso Robles
November 27 at 5:30pm

Celebrate a long-time tradition as the Christmas and holiday lights illuminate the way to holiday festivities in downtown Paso Roblesincluding live music, candlelight caroling, free cookies, and hot chocolate.

Holiday Harmony & Tree Lighting CeremonyPismo Beach
December 4 from 5:30pm8pm
Take the kids to the coast to enjoy fresh snow just steps from the ocean for the 15th Annual Holiday Harmony celebration, a free fun-filled family event at the Pismo Beach Pier, packed with fresh snow, bounce houses, crafts, music, cookie decorating and pictures with Santa.

Holiday Lighting CeremonyAtascadero
December 4 at 6pm
Get in the holiday spirit at the Holiday Lighting Ceremony at the Sunken Gardens Park on the Atascadero City Hall Steps, featuring music by the Atascadero High School Show & Concert Choirs and the Atascadero Community Band.

8th Annual Christmas In Cayucos
December 12 from 5pm8pm
A tree lighting event that includes free horse drawn carriage rides, children’s activities, strolling carolers, a visit from Santa and merchant open houses with special offers, giveaways, refreshments and entertainment.

Festivities, Performances and Gatherings to Warm the Heart and Hearth

Hearst Castle  “Holiday Twilight Tours” San Simeon
December 19 – January 2, 2016
Experience Hearst Castle dressed in holiday splendor with special tours that take visitors through the Hearst Castle property, glittering with holiday cheer.  This spectacular tour happens only one time of year, so advance tour reservations are strongly recommended and can be made at www.HearstCastle.org

Cambria Christmas Market
November 27-29, December 2-6, 9-13 and 16-23
A festive ongoing gathering in the style of Germany’s Christmas Markets with nightly entertainment, the market’s many unique offerings include tempting local food and drink, with brats, fresh baked goods and treats, and Glühwein, a traditional German hot-spiced wine.

Tall Ships in the Harbor Morro Bay
December 2-7
Explore the Tall Ships in Morro Bay where guests can peruse and tour at their own pace. Crewmembers in 18th century-style costumes will entertain the crowd with stories and fun facts about the boats and their lives aboard ship.

Winter WonderlandAtascadero
December 11 from 5pm9pm
All ages will enjoy this Holiday Event on the Central Coast. Play in over 50 tons of snow, plus sledding on a giant snow slide! Santa & Mrs. Claus will be present, along with live entertainment, bounce houses, Elks Little Train and food & craft vendors!

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Top 10 Reasons You Should Spend the Holidays in San Luis Obispo County on California’s Central Coast

The holidays are just around the corner and instead of thinking about hectic shopping, entertaining, or getting your work done with everyone in vacation mode, San Luis Obispo County invites you to sit back, relax and ponder over the alluring activities you can enjoy on the Central Coast.

Visit San Luis Obispo County – halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on California’s ruggedly beautiful Central Coast – offers these ten reasons why you should leave stress behind and celebrate the holidays in San Luis Obispo County (SLO County):

1. We’ll Get You to Slow Down: It’s no accident our acronym is SLO and why our communities often rank among the happiest in America; life here unfolds at a slower pace, and people truly live in the moment. We offer simple pleasures under the sun, from spectacular coastal and wine trails to surfing, horseback riding and agricultural experiences. Here, you can re-connect with your family – and yourself –off line and off the grid and return home truly transformed. www.visitsanluisobispocounty.com

2. One-of-a-Kind Experiences: Hearst Castle is an amazing experience on any given day, but during the holidays the wonder becomes a miracle. From Dec. 1-31 (except Dec. 25), the Castle decks the halls lavishly, giving guests the feeling they’ve stepped back in time and are celebrating the holidays with Hearst’s celebrity revelers. For 40 years locals have looked forward to The Great American Melodrama Presents The Holiday Extravaganza, taking place this year Nov. 30- Dec. 31. The evening features a unique holiday performance, including a heartwarming one-act version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a hilarious fractured fairy tale opera and a renowned Holiday Vaudeville Revue. Music aficionados can enjoy the annual Cal Poly Presents A Christmas Celebration taking place Dec. 12. This year the classical musical spectacle will include the premiere of Cal Poly Professor Antonio G. Barata’s new Spanish carol and an audience sing-a-long.

If New Year’s is more your holiday of choice, Robert Hall Winery offers a festive, themed mega-party. This holiday guests can experience “New Year’s Eve in New Orleans” with a wine reception in the cavern, and a traditional New Orleans Second Line procession to dinner – all paired with Robert Hall Wines, champagne and live music by the Hot Club of SLO. Want a one-of-a-kind holiday tree without all the work? Check out the Cambria Festival of Trees & Holiday B&B Tour on Dec. 6, which features stunningly decorated trees for charity auction, a delicious buffet with local wines and beers, B&B holiday tours and live jazz.

3. Big Time Holiday Classics in a Small Town Setting: Traditionalists yearning to see holiday classics in a more intimate, small town setting or vibe will love the various parades, Santa meet and greets, holiday lighting ceremonies and cultural performances in SLO County.

Performing Arts

The “Miracle on Monterey Street: A Holiday Celebration at the Apple Farm” offers a free, traditional Holiday Open House on Nov. 8, including selfies with Santa, local wine and beer tasting, cookie decorating and crafts. The festivities continue into December with their 25 Days of Christmas including their famous Diva Night sale, holiday crafts, movie nights and live holiday music. For more than three decades locals and visitors have delighted in the Civic Ballet’s Annual Nutcracker performance, taking place Dec. 13-14 at the San Luis Obispo Performing Arts Center, featuring the Opera San Luis Obispo Orchestra conducted by Brian Asher Alhadeff. Enjoy SLO Little Theatre’s “A Christmas Story”, Dec. 5-21. Based on the 1983 motion picture, the play chronicles the story of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get the perfect gift under the tree for Christmas.


Paso Robles’ 53rd Annual Christmas Light Parade takes place Dec. 6, 2014, celebrating downtown’s 125th anniversary and marks the arrival of Santa Claus. Downtown San Luis Obispo’s 39th Annual Holiday Parade on Dec. 5 invites revelers to have a “Hula Holiday” and enjoy nearly 100 decorative floats, jammin’ musical acts, dancers and much more. Morro Bay hosts the free Lighted Boat Parade Dec. 6, where onlookers can gaze out into the bay at decorated Christmas skiffs, yachts, fishing boats, cutters, sailboats, and kayaks.

Tree Lighting Ceremonies and Santa Meetups

Paso Robles’ 28th annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony takes place Nov. 28 and kicks off with Mrs. Santa and other costumed characters throwing the giant light switch to illuminate the town all at once. After, locals are invited to take a candle and songbook and get into the holiday spirit with caroling. Every child who takes a photo with St. Nick at Santa’s House in the historic Mission Plaza on Nov. 28 gets a free candy cane, toy and coloring book. All are invited to take in a traditional Holiday Lighting Ceremony in Atascadero on Dec 5, where families can sip on hot chocolate and listen to the tunes of live holiday music at the Sunken Gardens Park and City Hall steps. For those who prefer a more coastal Christmas, Pismo Beach is offering a “Holiday Harmony & Tree Lighting Ceremony” on Dec. 5, including fresh snow, photos with Santa, cookie decorating and bounce houses.

4. Old-Fashioned Holiday Fun: Paso Robles – named the 2013 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast – lets visitors step back in time with two old-fashioned holiday traditions. The Downtown Paso Robles’ 24th Annual Teddy Bear Tea on Dec. 20 invites children to bring their favorite teddy bear for tea, storytelling, gingerbread cookie decorating, crafts, and visits with the Snow Queen and King, Mrs. Claus, Santa Claus, adorable elves and Victorian friends. The free 28th Annual Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase on Dec. 13 lets guests visit the street’s many Victorian homes beautifully decorated and lit for the holidays, featuring entertainment such as choirs, The Grinch, bands, Scrooge, the Snow King and Queen (who grant your wishes) and Santa’s Elves. Enjoy a mountain of snow for sliding, visit to Santa Claus’ House, carolers and street vendors. Apple Farm’s 13th Annual Holiday Open House on Nov. 8 features refreshments, Santa, carriage rides, cookie decorating and live holiday music.

5. Quirky Yule Events: Here in SLO County, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we’ll make sure you don’t either. The perfect way to stay fit and have fun is the Reindeer Run 5K Run/Walk at Mitchell Park, a 5K route run/walk featuring humorous holiday costumes and pancakes with Santa. For an irreverent look at the holidays, check out David Sedaris’ “Santaland Diaries,” where he chronicles his true-life odd encounters with his fellow man while working as an “elf” in Macy’s Santaland display, Dec. 12-21 at SLO Little Theatre.

6. Ice Skate Under the Warm California Sun: What could be better than enjoying holiday ice-skating without the frigid limbs and stalled cars? Madonna Inn, an historic landmark hotel featuring wildly imaginative themed rooms, will offer its popular ice skating rink Dec. 19-Jan. 4. During the holidays, the inn also exhibits dazzling decorations and local holiday shopping. Enter a Winter Wonderland in Downtown Atascadero on Dec. 12, where not only can the family ice skate to their heart’s delight, but can play in over 50 tons of fresh snow, spread over five blocks!