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Central Coast..... Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Morrow Bay.

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Central Coast..... Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Morrow Bay.

I am from San Francisco and my boyfriend and I have 5 nights and six days off and are planning a trip down the central coast. We were thinking of staying in San Luis Obispo (have that be our base) and then checking out some of the wineries in Paso Robles and Santa Ynez, checking out Morrow bay and going as far south as Santa Barbara. Wondering if anyone can recommend things to see, places to stay & eat, wineries, places to hike... etc. We'll be there in the middle of November. Thanks!

Fremont, California
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1. Re: Central Coast..... Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Morrow Bay.

First question - do you have family and/or friends in San Luis Obispo...if not I would recommend staying in one of the coastal cities such as Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, or Cambria. Morro Bay has some great places to hike such as Montana de Oro. You might want to go to Avila Beach one of the days and enjoy a soak in the hot tubs. The road between highway 101 and Cambria has a lot of wineries on it - we enjoyed Hunt Winery for their reds and became a member of their wine club. However there are lots of great wineries in the area. If you want evening entertainment you may want to take in the Great American Melodrama


For nice view of Morro Bay Dorn's is a good place for lunch - i.e. if you're going soon its too dark to enjoy the view at dinner due to when it gets dark now.


The food is good but the combo is wonderful.

For fun and all you cat eat steak and barbecue McClintocks in Pismo Beach is quite good.


Solvang is fun for a lunch....or to pick up danish pastries for breakfast. (any of the restaurants in this town are generally fine so just walk around and find one that looks best to you.)


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2. Re: Central Coast..... Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Morrow Bay.

Thanks for the info. We'll look to stay on the water instead!

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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3. Re: Central Coast..... Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Morrow Bay.

Many of the ocean front hotels have special Sunday-Thursday rates, so be sure to look for those deals.

Here a few in Pismo Beach to consider:

The Kon Tiki Inn

Cottage Inn

Pismo Lighthouse Suites

Shelter Cove


For Pismo restaurants:

Steamers of Pismo

Old Vienna (German food- very good!)

Splash Cafe (world famous clam chowder)

Marisol at the Cliffs Hotel

Gardens of Avila

Paso Robles wineries:

Wild Horse ( actually in Templeton, just south of Paso)

Tobin James

J. Lohr

Castoro Cellars


Martin & Weyrich

Wineries in Edna Valley ( south of SLO ):


Edna Valley Winery ( beautiful views!)



Wineries in the Santa Ynez area:


Fess Parker

Foxen Winery


While in the Santa Ynez area, be sure to visit the Danish village of Solvang.

Santa Clarita...
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4. Re: Central Coast..... Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Morrow Bay.

Lucky you on your trip. Central California is one of my favorite areas of the state, or even the entire U.S.

You owe it to yourself to go at least as far south as Solvang/Buellton. I am most familiar with everything south of Paso. There are so many great places to go, I thoroughly recommend you see Los Olivos and Solvang. I have 30 years of going through these areas. I will only give you the best places to go. So, here are my 'bulletproof' recommendations:

Paso Robles

Dining - McPhees in Templeton (one of the best meals I have had in a long time)

Wineries - Zin Alley (you need an appointment), also Martin Weyrich is just off the 101, a good place to stop and see an example of a larger scale producer who produces average wines.

San Luis Obispo - Breakfast @ Big Sky Cafe (their lunch and dinner selections look good too).

Lodging @ Apple Farm in San Luis

Pismo Beach - Probably a better place for a base (IMHO) since San Luis is a big city. Spyglass Inn or Kon Tiki Inn are great, stayed at both with view rooms and enjoyed it. Oxford suites is great too, but it is better suited for families.

Buellton/Solvang Area

Dining - Matteis Tavern in Los Olivos (one of the best meals I have ever had), they serve dinner only. In Solvang, Paula's Pancake House for breakfast (best danish pancakes). Firestone/Walker Tap room in Buelton is AWESOME for hand crafted beers with surprisingly exceptional foods.

Wineries - Mosby, Epiphany, Foley, Melville, Firestone (has a great tour but so-so wines). Best thing to do is ask around at these wineries for other recommendations. There are a lot of wineries in downtown Los Olivos (which is like Mayberry).


F. McClintoks restaurants.

Any wine tasting in the Solvang Village.

Hunt Cellars in Paso Robles (rudest people).

Speeding on the 101 (CHP are everywhere).

Have Fun! Just went from LA to SF last week. I never get tired of this trip.

5. Re: Central Coast..... Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Morrow Bay.

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