On one of our many trips down the California coast, my husband and I came upon the city of San Luis Obispo, a slice of heaven. Located amidst rolling hills and breathtaking beaches, this fairyland lies in the California central coast region, 200 miles south of San Francisco and as many miles north of Los Angeles.
Originally founded as the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa in 1772 by Father Juniper Serra, it has since flourished and grown into a full-fledged city with old world charm. What sets today's city apart besides its location and history is that it offers so much to do, see, experience, and taste.
Tours abound. Forty nearby wineries to see; gourmet stores of all kinds (oh those samples); walking/biking/driving tours of local historical sites and buildings. Nearby beaches and sanctuaries provide bird watching, surfing, beach combing, sand dune exploring by car or horse. Performing arts events offer something for every taste, be it Beethoven or Garth Brooks.
For us, the ultimate activity was the Farmers' Market. Our visit coincided with this event held every Thursday night. It's a bustling street festival of bands, dancers, produce stands, and arts and crafts stalls. A free ride in an old fashioned trolley car takes you from your hotel to the market which carries on late into the evening.
A dream was fulfilled for us in San Luis when we stayed at the Apple Farm, a Victorian style Inn of elegance, luxury, friendliness and hospitality. Country charm is reflected in a Laura Ashley decor, each room furnished with a gas fireplace, turreted seating areas, and, if you wish, a canopy bed.
Pampering services and amenities are endless with every detail cared for. A pool and perfectly heated hot tub, lovely surrounding gardens for cool evening walks, a romantic carriage ride under the stars. The restaurant specializes in homemade meals, such as chicken and dumplings, spit roasted chicken, hickory roasted back ribs and prime rib beef, and their signature mouth watering apple desserts.
Most of your entire holiday shopping can be done in the gift shop, with everything from framed prints to toys, cookbooks, preserves and a host of choices to please the folks back home.
The Millhouse on the Apple Farm Inn property is a focal point of interest where a 14ft. wheel harnesses water power to press cider and make old fashioned ice cream.
The Apple Farm in beautiful San Luis Obispo, a "little slice of heaven", will always be included on any future trips we make down the coast of sunny California.
For more Information on the San Luis Obispo area contact: 1041 Chono Street, Suite E, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401Tel:(805)541-8000 Fax:(805)543-9498 or 800-634-1414
How to get there
Highways 1 and 101 provide access from the north and south; from east, take highways 46 or 41
Three major commuter airlines fly into San Luis Obispo County airport, with over 40 flights a day to and from hub cities in California. Call (805)541-8000 for details American Eagle 1-800-433-7300
Amtrak daily service north and south bound.1-800-872-7245
Daily schedule from Los Angeles, San Francisco and the San Joaquin Valley
Location2015 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401 Phone(805)544-2040 or 800-374-3705
A subtle blend of the ambiance of a turn of the century Victorian inn with the luxury of a fine hotel. Full service restaurant, gift shop and millhouse where a 14-foot water wheel presses cider and makes old fashioned ice cream.
Location456 Embarcadero St., Morro Bay, CA, 93442 Phone(805)772-2700 or 800-292-ROCK
Across from the Bay. Spacious rooms with harbor views, most with balcony. Fireplace & Suites available. Free Continental Breakfast. TV, VCR and Coffee Makers in all rooms.
BEST WESTERN ROYAL OAK 99 Rooms (805)544-4410
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS 99 Rooms (805)544-8600
LA CUESTA MOTOR INN 72 Rooms (805)543-2777
MADONNA INN 109 Rooms (805)543-3000
PACIFIC SUITE HOTEL 195 Rooms (805)549-0800
QUALITY SUITES 138 Rooms (805)541-5001
LAMPLIGHTER INN 40 Rooms (805)547-7777
PEACH TREE INN 39 Rooms (805)543-3170
SANDS SUITE and HOTEL 70 Rooms (805)544-0500
SUPER 8 MOTEL49 Rooms (805)544-7895
VAGABOND INN 60 Rooms (805)544-4710
CAMPUS MOTEL 35 Rooms (805)544-0881
DOBE INN 15 Rooms (805)549-0321
LOS PADRES MOTEL 15 Rooms (805)543-5017
GARDEN STREET INN 13 Rooms (805)545-9802
HERITAGE INN B&B 9 Rooms (805)544-7440
MEGAN'S FRIENDS B&B RESERVATIONS (805)544-4406
Other Area Attractions
Reservationsby Phone Call MISTIX at 1-800-444-4445TDD# 1-800-274-7275
Reservationsby MailMISTIX, P.O. Box 85705, San Diego, California, 92186-5705. Allow at least 10 days for mailing and processing.
In the Santa Lucia Mountains of California overlooking the Pacific Ocean is a magnificent Estate of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. Its rooms were furnished with an impressive collection of Spanish and Italian antiques and art. Its name is La Cuesta Encantada - "The Enchanted Hill." Better know as Hearst Castle it was once the home of newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst.
Hearst Castle is open for tours daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. All Tours include a half-mile walk and 150-400 Stairs. Daytime Tours Take About 1 Hour and 45 minutes, including bus trips from the Visitor Center.
Apple Farm Mill House
2015 Monterey Street , San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 544-2040 Open daily 7 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Visit Apple Farm's re-creation of a working mill which includes a fourteen foot overshot wheel. The Mill's system of pulleys, shafts and gears transfer power from the falling water to produce end products such as stone ground grains and even ice cream.
769 Caudill Street , San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 543-7188, FAX (805) 543-4698 Factory outlet Mon.-Sat. World famous jerky. Over 25 unique gift packages to choose from; mail orders, U.S. and Canada.
Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard & Winery
4330 Santa Fe Road , San Luis Obispo, CA 93403 (805) 549-WINE Open F-Su 1 a.m. - 5 p.m. We are a small ultra premium winery specializing in estate grown chardonnay and pinot noir. Founded in 1987 by the Beko family, Cottonwood Canyon offers two tasting locations to serve you. We welcome individuals and groups.
Cowboy Cookie 'N Grub
1035 Chorro, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 543-2096 Open M-F 8-5, Thurs. until 9 p.m. for Farmer's Market, and Sat. 8-4 Made from scratch in the Country Tradition, we feature freshly baked cookies, muffins, and other goodies. You can also stop by and catch us for a bite of some other "Grub" for lunch. Groups welcome.
Linn's S.L.O. Bin
1141 Chorro, Corner of Chorro & Marsh, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 546-8444 Open daily 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. 'Til midnight Fri & Sat Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Incredible salad bar. Fabulous desserts. Gifts, Linn's own gourmet products, area wines, and year 'round mail order.
Madonna Inn Bakery
100 Madonna Road , San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (805) 543-3000 Open daily 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. Enjoy delicious treats fresh from the oven at the Madonna Inn's famous bakery. Try our French cream puffs, cinnamon pull-aparts, cookies, or Danish pastries. The luscious cream and fruit pies and the melt-in-your-mouth Black Forest cake can't be beat.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
848 Higuera Street , San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 541-2221 Open daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Thurs 'til 9 p.m.; Fri & Sat 'til 8 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m. 5 p.m. Chocolate lovers will delight in experiencing Rocky Mountain's excellence in candy making. Groups can receive special candy making demonstrations and generous samples of gourmet chocolates.
San Luis Sourdough
3580 Sueldo St. at Granada, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 782-8933 Open M-F 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Enjoy our famous, local, oven fresh SOURDOUGH and Specialty Breads. "Slightly Less Than Fresh" also available at day-old prices. Come taste our Rosemary bread.
SLO Brewing Company
1119 Garden Street , San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 543-1843 Open daily 11:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.; Th - Sat 'til 12:30 a.m.; Sun til 9 p.m. The first Brewery-Restaurant in San Luis Obispo since Prohibition. Modestly priced lunches and dinners served daily. Kid's Menu, too. Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Porter and seasonal beers brewed with all natural ingredients.
27 Wellsona Rd West , West off Hwy 101, Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 238-6622 Open July 4 - Thanksgiving Tues - Sun 10-4. Come taste our fresh pressed apple boysenberry and apple pomegranate specialties as well as buy other juices, fresh produce, berries, and ornamental vegetables. Tours of the farm and demonstrations of cider pressing can be arranged for groups.
Glenbrook Apple Farm
Rt. 2, Box 194, Hwy 46 West, Templeton, CA 93465 (805) 238-3670 Open daily Winter 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m., Summer 9:00a.m. - 6:00p.m. Black Twig, Northern Spy, and Spitzenberg are just a few of the antique apple varieties available in the Fall. Fresh cider, apple pies, and turnovers make a visit to our ranch store truly memorable. Many traditional foods such as apple butter, lemon curd, and apple syrup are produced here.
Linn's at the Granary
1111 Riverside Avenue, First Floor, Paso Robles, CA 93446, (805) 238-4001 A store like nothing in our county! Features Linn's famous bakery goods and pies, gourmet products, local wines and wine tasting ($3 fee - includes souvenir glass) and New West style gifts.
Running Deer Ranch
3850-D6 Ramada Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 434-3494 Tasting room open M-F 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Savor a variety of handmade, 100 precent natural gourmet foods. All products are made by hand, without additives or preservatives, including preserves, salad dressings, salsa, BBQ and seafood sauces.
Old West Cinnamon Rolls
861 Dolliver, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (805) 773-1428 Old West Cinnamon Rolls has fans all over the U.S. For 29 years they have been sold at fairs to thousands and thousands of customers. Come visit our factory and/or our first bakery opened in 1981 in Pismo Beach. Call for tours.
See Canyon Fruit Ranch
2345 See Canyon Road , San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (805) 595-2207 Open daily 9-5 August - November Established in 1894, See Canyon Fruit Ranch is an apple lovers cornucopia. Over 50 different apple varieties, fresh cider and seasonal fruit such as apricots, plums and peaches. Huge selection of pumpkins. Apple pie, tarts and preserves. Herbs and dried flowers.
Central Coast Coffee Roasting Co.
1119 Los Olivos Ave. , Los Osos, CA 93402 (805) 528-7317 Open M-Sat 12-5 p.m. We offer programs and coffee tasting to tour groups with advance notice. Come to the program as a coffee drinker and leave as a coffee connoisseur.
Linn's Main Bin
2277 Main Street, East Village, Cambria, CA 93428 (805) 927-0371 Open Sun - Thurs 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 8 a.m.-10 p.m. A Cambria original. Half restaurant (very popular; breakfast, lunch, dinner), half gourmet gift shop and bakery. Area's largest regional wine list. Great food at family prices.
Linn's Fruit Bin
6275 Santa Rosa Creek, Cambria, CA 93428 (805) 927-1499 Open daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. The Linn family's original farm store and still their home. In an area of incomparable beauty, the Fruit Bin bakery and gift store has been a popular stop since 1979.
Morro Creek Ranch
1800 Atascadero Road , Morro Bay, CA 93442 (805) 772-7974 Open daily 10-5, 362 days a year, extended hours on summer weekends The La Palapa awaits you! Visit our family operated, commercial Haas Avocado orchard. Savor a selected offering of pesticide free avocados and other complimentary specialty items. Please call ahead for large groups and tours.
Author : Christine Jerrett