My family and I kicked off the summer this past June with a road trip to the central coast of California an often overlooked area between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A two and half hour drive from LA, we made our home base at newly remodeled The Kinney in San Luis Obispo which is perfectly located between ocean beaches and wine country.
We have visited this area before although we never spent much time right in SLO (pronounced “slow” by the locals) and we were very pleasantly surprised to find that it has a very charming downtown area and is very much a foodie town. There were so many fabulous restaurants to choose from, my theory is that where there is good wine there is usually good food, we settled on Mexican cuisine at the Vegetable Butcher (where I ordered this delicious hand muddled mango margarita) and we were not disappointed with all the amazing items on the menu.
A short drive from our hotel is the stunning coastline and Montaña de Oro beach which came highly recommended by some Cal Poly students we met watching the NBA finals at our hotel. The beaches are rugged here and the water is cold so we stayed on land hiking along the cliffs and collecting shells in the tidal pools.
On our second night on the Central Coast we had dinner at the infamous Madonna Inn. If you’re not familiar with it, this sprawling resort was built in the 50’s and is known for its kitschy decor and themed rooms like the Caveman suite or the Love Birds room. The food there was average but the vodka martini and the experience itself is worth checking out.
(Note: this family photo was intentionally staged to look a little creepy)
Not far in the other direction is Paso Robles a lovely little town known for its vineyards and wine tasting rooms. Although we didn’t go this trip we have been wine tasting there before and I highly recommend checking out Oso Libre Winery they have Llamas roaming around and 80s music blasting as you sip your choice of red, white or pink wines.
If hanging out by the pool isn’t your thing, try heading a little further north to Morro Bay. This seaside town has so much to do, we like to walk along the water to the namesake rock which occupies a large portion of the bay and is filled with the friendliest little ground squirrels. We also love to grab some local seafood at one of many waterfront cafes before heading home. Were so fortunate to have so many great weekend getaway spots here in California and whether you’re a Socal resident or just visiting the area you will not be disappointed if you visit this charming & outdoor activity filled region!
Happy travels, xoxo ~Zia