Unplug, Breathe Deep, and Get Real…

By Christabelle…

Spring is upon us – it’s time to get off the couch and into the fresh air!  With its magnificent climate, diverse geography and family-friendly vibe, Wine Coast Country is the perfect West Coast destination for an outdoor “reboot.”  Need a little adventure, meaning, and balance to your sluggish of sedentary lifestyles…read on!

Instead of sitting in traffic…why not take the long way?

Those who enjoy revving their engines under the sun will love off-roading at the Oceano Dunes State Recreation Area – the only California state park that allows vehicles to drive on the beach.  For visitors longing to kayak in tranquility, Lopez Lake in Arroyo Grande and the protected waters off Olde Port Beach in Avila Beach are terrific destinations.  Or, if you prefer to travel more simply – on foot – the Central Coast hosts dozens of charity walks and races throughout the spring, welcoming everyone from weekend warriors to Ironman triathletes.  For a gorgeous 10K from Morro Rock to Cayucos Pier that benefits a good cause, check out the Miracle Miles for Kids event hosted by Family Care Network every May.

Instead of channel-surfing…try surfing the mighty Pacific.

Wine Coast Country hosts some of the most beloved surf spots in all of California.  Take in the sunset and swells at famous surf spot Pico Creek in San Simeon, or hang ten in classic California style at Sand Spit in Los Osos.  Your first time?  Try a surf school like Cayucos Surf Company, which offers group and private lessons for the young and the young-at-heart.  Up and down the Central Coast, everyone from the little grom to the big kahuna will find their perfect wave.  So grab your neoprene and your board – surf’s up!

Instead of word processing…why not process your thoughts?

Nothing clears the mind like a long hike.  And when it comes to good hikes, from tiny trails off the beaten path to popular walks for the whole family, nothing beats Wine Coast Country.  For a tramp over creeks, a lake, sand dunes, and an unspoiled stretch of coastline, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center is just the thing. Or take Fido out for a stroll on the Bob Jones Bike Trail in Avila Beach.  This 1.5-mile paved path is canopied in regal sycamores and oaks, and accommodates everyone from kids on tricycles to dog-walkers.  Or, for the ultimate in secluded take-your-breath-away beauty, try Montaña de Oro State Park near Los Osos.  The park’s name, translated “Mountain of Gold,” finds its origins in the golden wildflowers that bloom every spring. Bring a picnic, work up a sweat, and then relax among the wildflowers.

Instead of eating out…try eating way out.

Wine Coast Country’s fertile soils and temperate climate nurture hundreds of acres of abundant farm land.  Many ranches welcome visitors for tours and picnics,  including avocado farms like Morro Creek Ranch outside Morro Bay, olive oil producers like Tiber Canyon Ranch in Price Canyon, and any one of the myriad world-renowned wineries across the Central Coast.  Or if you’re in the mood for seafood, stop by the Morro Bay Oyster Company or The Abalone Farm in Cayucos for a tour and a taste of the freshest shellfish around.

Instead of playing video games…try playing on the wild side.

While the Central Coast certainly attracts the attention of hundreds of thousands of people annually, it’s an even greater destination for migratory wildlife.  Beginning in April, humpback whales make their way to the coast to feed throughout the summer.  Several coastal towns host whale-watching tours, including Avila Beach, Morro Bay, and San Simeon.  Or for those with an interest in lepidopterology (the study of butterflies), a visit to the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach is in order, with an average of 25,000 Monarchs covering the eucalyptus forest during high season.  And better than any soap opera is San Simeon’s Elephant Seal Rookery during mating season.  Along a short stretch of windswept coastline, this free, natural entertainment includes male elephant seals fighting and bellowing for dominance, pups squawking to be fed, and females defending their young…all in the open air.

Instead of endless cell phone calls…why not hang up and thrive?

In this era of breakneck technological advancement, it feels good to power-down the cell phone and make a face-to-face connection.  And with its year-round mild weather, Wine Coast Country excels at building community out-of-doors, with at least one farmers’ market every day of the week, pedestrian-friendly bustling city centers, and plenty of al fresco entertainment.  Pick up fresh, in-season produce and shake the hand that feeds you at the Avila Beach fish and farmers’ market every Friday.  Enjoy coffee, baked delights, and conversation on the patio of one of Cambria’s sidewalk cafes on a sunny spring day.  Or just lay down a blanket at Edna Valley Vineyards, grab a bottle of fine wine and soak up the live music every Friday night in June.

When it comes to accommodations that make the most of the outdoors, Wine Coast Country has it covered, from cozy to classy.  Try an oceanfront vacation rental for the weekend or the month that allows your family to come and go as you please, spread out, and cook in your own kitchen.  Or take your beloved to the quaint Victoria’s Last Resort bed and breakfast in Cambria, which features fantastic views, complete privacy, and luxurious private gardens; or one of Cambria’s Moonstone Beach hotels fronting the boardwalk along the beach.  Of course, if luxury is your thing, you could always stay at a deluxe beachfront hotel like Avila Beach Lighthouse Suites or On The Beach Bed & Breakfast in Cayucos.  Wherever you stay, this much is certain: You will find yourself falling in love with the Wine Coast Country lifestyle.

About Wine Coast Country

Wine Coast Country represents the San Luis Obispo County Business Improvement District, whose mission is to promote increased occupancy in the 730+ lodging properties that are a part of the CBID constituency. www.WineCoastCountry.com promotes tourism to San Luis Obispo County’s distinct unincorporated areas, including Avila Beach, Cambria, Cayucos, Los Osos, Nipomo, Oceano, San Simeon, and unincorporated San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, and Morro Bay.  For more information check out www.WineCoastCountry.com.

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