Discover California’s Central Coast: Free to Roam

You may have come to San Luis Obispo County (SLO CAL) for the adventure, but you’ll want to stay for the moments in between. With plenty of room to wander, the seemingly-endless possibilities will make for an unforgettable experience.

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Along­side all of the adven­ture offer­ings, this area is also a bustling hub for food, cul­ture, and much more. We’ve put togeth­er an insid­er guide for those moments in between your morn­ing hike and your sun­set surf.

Start your day in the town of San Luis Obis­po by bik­ing to one of the many local cof­fee shops. Grab a lat­te, hang out, or walk through SLO’s his­toric down­town before head­ing out for the day’s adven­ture, you’ll leave know­ing why this town was recent­ly named one of “America’s Hap­pi­est Cities.”

The 240-year-old creek­side  Mis­sion San Luis Obis­po de Tolosa that SLO is built around is a promi­nent land­mark, and seeps cul­ture into the sur­round­ing area. The span­ish-style white-washed build­ings and tow­er­ing cam­phor trees that line the road­ways make for a pic­turesque scene in the his­toric streets. 

The same great weath­er is large­ly respon­si­ble for the coun­ty’s live­ly food scene. The deep agri­cul­tur­al roots are evi­dent in the vast open spaces with graz­ing cat­tle, road-side farms, and award-win­ning winer­ies that blan­ket the region. Start your tour up in Paso Rob­les – the coun­ty’s bur­geon­ing wine hub which rivaled Napa Val­ley in wine pro­duc­tion last year –and spend your day ram­bling down the 101.

From there, cruise on down to Tem­ple­ton, where his­toric store­fronts are brim­ming with fresh cui­sine and local liba­tions. Keep mov­ing south to the Avi­la Val­ley Barn, a region­al hotspot. Their farm­stand offers a boun­ty of fruits and veg­eta­bles grown on the prop­er­ty and there is always a line for their fresh-baked pies. After you’ve eat­en your fill, head out for a stroll at the near-by Bob Jones Trail, which runs through the val­ley to the coast, mak­ing for a relax­ing jaunt any­time of the day.

The Vil­lage of Arroyo Grande is a must-see if you find your­self roam­ing a lit­tle fur­ther south. With roost­ers wan­der­ing the streets that are lined with local­ly owned shops and restau­rants, you’ll find your­self steeped in small-town charm. No mat­ter where the road takes you, there’s almost cer­tain­ly some­thing fresh await­ing your arrival. Take it from us, you won’t want to miss your chance to take advan­tage of the local flavors.

We can’t think of a bet­ter way to end a day of adven­tur­ing than with a stop by the Madon­na Inn. The flashy inte­ri­or and sig­na­ture pink is a sight worth see­ing. Grab a piece of their famous cake and spend the evening plan­ning tomorrow’s escapades.

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t ti n g    T h e r e
Now with direct flights from Den­ver, San Fran­cis­co, Seat­tle, and more, get­ting to SLO CAL is eas­i­er than ever. Come stay and hang out, we dare you to get bored in this explorer’s paradise.