It has always been a vacation destination for California locals.
Too hot, too cold, too sticky, too crowded, too much traffic, too stressed, too bored, too busy... If you are suffering any of these feelings, it's time for an escape to the Central Coast of California.
Where is this paradise? There is some debate as to the northern or southern limits of what qualifies as the Central Coast. Does it include Monterey? Santa Barbara? In any case, it’s easy to find the center of this beautiful and often overlooked region of California.
Draw a line between California’s two largest metropolitan areas: San Francisco and Los Angeles. At the exact mid point, 3 hour drive from either SFO or LAX, lays a little town called Paso Robles. Expand north and south from there, and you’ve found the Central Coast. Zooming in, on Paso Robles, you may be startled to see how many wineries reside in and around this little town. There are over 200 wineries and 11 sub-appellations! And those include some of the most highly sought after labels, such as Daou, Turley, Saxum, Denner, Justin, Eberle, Cass, J Lhor and Tablas Creek. Move over, Napa Valley.
It's a place that makes other Californians jealous.
You may wonder, do people do anything else here other than making and tasting wine? Many would say that's the only problem about the Central Coast, there is not enough time to enjoy life in this region.
Sports and recreational opportunities are plentiful here, such as golfing, horseback riding, biking, trail running, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and fishing. Another unique, if controversial, activity is taking a drive all the way on to the sand at Pismo Beach where the tide can flirt with your wheels (but do it at your own risk unless you don't mind having to pay for a tow truck to save your car later).
The beautiful California sunshine, fertile soil, and the local fisherman provide the region with abundant fresh produce, farm products and wild catch. So after enjoying some breathtaking outdoor fun, you can round out the perfect day with gourmet food, wine, craft brews, and ever more inventive spirits.
Ignore me at your own risk!
However you spend your day, you’ll enjoy a beautiful natural environment. From sunrise to sunset, enjoy the awe inspiring scenery offered by the dynamic Pacific Ocean, picturesque harbors, world renown Big Sur, ancient volcanic peaks, centuries-old oaks, lazily grazing cows and goats on the open pastures, playful marine mammals and busy shore birds, a breaching humpback whale, the Rhône style vineyards and fields of wild flowers.
Finally, if you’re into culture, and the arts, the old El Camino Real (the King’s Highway) traverses the region punctuated by the Spanish missions built in the late 1700s to early 1800s. You will find art studios and galleries in little towns, and festivals crowd the local calendars, and live music abounds.
So have I convinced you to take that must needed get-away? Ignore me at your own risk!