Friday, April 8, 2016

5 Fun Places to Visit on the California Central Coast

We got to spend Spring Break in Avila Beach. Avila Beach is about a 10 - 15 minute drive from downtown San Luis Obispo, and it’s one of our favorite places to relax and recharge.

Avila Beach

Avila Beach

Avila Beach is a small town, with a cute little downtown area. There are numerous unique shops as well as several wine tasting rooms. Plus, there is a nice beach. While you won’t be able to walk for miles on the beach, the unique location of Avila Beach within San Luis Bay often results in slightly warmer weather than other beaches on the Central Coast. It’s also a great place for kids to play with a couple playgrounds right by the beach.

Port San Luis

Port San Luis Walk

One of our favorite activities while in Avila Beach is walking from downtown Avila to Port San Luis. The views of the beach during the walk are always so calming. On the pier are two fish markets, and we love getting fresh, local fish and cooking it ourselves along with some veggies.

Bob Jones Trail 

Bob Jones Trail

The Bob Jones Trail leads from Ontario Road (parallel to Highway 101) to downtown Avila Beach. The 3-mile mostly paved trail is ideal for family outings as you can walk it, ride your bike, or roller blade. Part of the trail is in the shade, but do make sure to protect yourself from the sun as you’ll walk in the sun for part of it.

Morro Bay 

Morro Bay Beach 3
Morro Bay Beach 2
Morro Bay Beach 1

Morro Rock in Morro Bay is impressive and worth a visit. There are numerous restaurants with fresh, delicious seafood as well as a number of shops with unique clothes and other merchandise. Plus, the beach is amazing as you can walk up and down it for hours. It’s also the perfect place to find sand dollars, shells, and pretty rocks. You also have numerous options to go on fishing or whale watching boat trips.

Breweries on the Central Coast

Barrel House Brewing
BarrelHouse Brewing Company in Paso Robles 
Central Coast BrewingCentral Coast Brewing in San Luis Obispo 
The Libertine Brewery
The Libertine Brewing Company in Morro Bay

No trip is complete without some beer for Andy. On our recent trip, we visited three breweries. All were kid- (and it seemed pet-) friendly and had good beer. There are numerous breweries on the Central Coast, and our visits were determined by location and opening hours. But we would definitely go back to each one. On our way from the Bay Area to Avila Beach, we stopped at BarrelHouse Brewing Company in Paso Robles. It’s a fairly new brewery with a beautiful tasting room and plenty of seating outside. Andy loves sour beers, and on the day we visited there was one sour on tap. It was very enjoyable and so were all the other beers we tasted. In San Luis Obispo we visited Central Coast Brewing. I love their fun collection of beer bottles from all over the world. There is limited seating available inside as well as barstool seating outside. Central Coast Brewing has quite a varied selection of beers on tap and we enjoyed what we tasted. Finally, on our way back home we stopped at The Libertine Brewing Company in Morro Bay. It’s a funky place that specializes in sours. If you sit by the window, you have a fabulous view of Morro Rock.

It was really nice to get away for spring break, relax, enjoy nature and spend time together. It was our first family vacation since my dad suffered a major stroke right before spring break last year, and we are very grateful that he is doing much better.

In other news, the fabulous Sylvia from 40+ Style recently interviewed me for her style interview series. If you want to learn a bit more about me, you can read my style interview here.

Linking up with: Sweet Inspiration, Thursday Favorite Thing

Question: Where is your favorite place to relax? 

Be well,
Andrea

18 comments:

  1. I still have never been to California, and really need to plan a trip. The central cost looks beautiful and fun!
    Rachael
    http://www.threadsforthomasblog.com

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    1. Yes, you have to visit California!

      The Central Coast is a great, beautiful, and relaxing place to visit! Perfect to include in a visit to California, which can be a bit overwhelming/overstimulating, depending on where you go... :-)

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  2. I need to plan a trip to CA one day soon! Your photos are beautiful! Looks like such an amazing place to visit!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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    1. Thanks, Jill! And, yes, you should definitely visit California! :-)

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  3. California really has many places to visit. I have been here, the first feeling is a lovely view.

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    1. Yes, there are SO many, different, wonderful places to visit in California! The Central Coast is one of the quieter ones.

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  4. This was great. Despite living in Santa Barbara, I haven't visited the Central coast with the kids. We did visit Morro bay once on the way to camping on the 1, but that was pre kid. Maybe for a long weekend.

    We spent spring break in Utah at Zion and Bryce. Fourth graders get in for free.

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    1. Thanks, Marcia! I think the Central Coast is a great place to visit with kids.

      And, yes, we are looking forward to next year when the kid is in 4th grade and we get to visit the National Parks for free! Did you like Zion and Bryce?

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  5. Andrea what a lovely place to go on vacation and you look like you had so much fun! I like going to the beach when it is not summer time. You can actually enjoy it and see things that you wouldn't notice in the sweltering sun of summer. We are so glad you wer able to join us over at Sweet Inspiration.

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    1. Thanks, Mary! Yes, it's very nice to visit the beach when it's not hot; we definitely explore more! And your link up is wonderful! I'm looking forward to exploring more posts and getting inspired to tackle some much needed projects around the house and patio. :-)

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  6. I love these tips and the laid back peaceful vibe I'm getting from the photos! Being from SoCal, I'm not as familiar with the central beaches. The next time the husband and I are in CA, maybe we can sneak up there for a few days. :)

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    1. Yes, it's a very laid back place. Perfect for relaxing! If you have a few days, it's a great place to just hang out and recharge. May be perfect in the middle of a busy visit where you make sure to see everyone and are busy most of the time... :-)

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  7. HOW BEAUTIFUL!!! I would love to get away anywhere right now but not to be! SO glad you did!!!!

    Congrats on the interview!!!!!!!

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    1. We are so grateful that we got to get away!

      Thanks, Jody!

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  8. Hey sweets, loved going to the beach vicariously through your vacation. I adore looking for sand dollars. Used to do that on the beaches in Panama. So glad you were able to enjoy some time away after what must have been a stressful year while your father recovered. XO

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    1. It was such a great time! Glad you enjoyed some glimpses into our vacation! And sand dollars are just magical!

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  9. Interesting trip on the coast! The beaches are stunning and very large. Beautiful post...California is a perfect country for an unforgettable holiday!!

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    1. Yes, California is a beautiful place! And there is a little bit of everything - the coast, mountains, desert... But Italy isn't bad either... ;-)

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