• Fri. Dec 2nd, 2022

Activities in Paso Robles, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo

ByPatricia S. Stevens

Nov 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving. Let’s get going – and avoid the worst holiday traffic at the weekend.

California boasts an abundance of produce, wine, seafood, and other regional specialties that easily rival (often inaccurate) depictions of the original Thanksgiving. I recommend turning your holiday weekend into a last minute road trip along the coast, visiting farms and vineyards along the way.

In this edition of Escapes, you’ll find some ways to enjoy California’s best food and drink on a Central Coast road trip this weekend.

Before you head out, take a look at the AAA’s best and worst times to travel this holiday weekend. In general, it’s a good idea to start your day early, well before 11am when many travelers are leaving.

Where are you going this winter? As always, My inbox is open for any travel recommendations you want to pass on.

Sample a cornucopia of treats and products from US 101

A shop counter covered with flowers

Avila Valley barn in San Luis Obispo.

(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

I walked through first Avila Valley Barn‘s inviting wooden doors in October 2015, shortly after moving west. Born and raised in a small Pennsylvania town, I missed the crisp air and rolling corn crops of an East Coast fall.

I found all the fall vibes I could want in this San Luis Obispo County landmark, just off US Route 101.

Avila Valley Barn is a popular stop on a road trip along the California coast Target of the apple harvest in the autumn. Now the U-Pick season is over and the holiday celebrations are underway.

Christmas trees are available for purchase here from Friday and Santa has scheduled visits throughout the holiday season from Saturday.

Feeling exhausted after Thanksgiving? For a sugar boost, pick up hot chocolate and other holiday treats from the barn’s Sweet Shoppe, open daily 10am-5pm (except Thanksgiving).

However, the fullness of autumn has not completely disappeared. Avila Valley Barn’s farm stand, corn roaster, and chicken shack are open for hungry visitors wanting to sample California produce and more.

With all it has to offer, it’s easy to see why this place made it onto our list of the 43 Best California Experiences to Add to Your Fall Bucket List, compiled by my colleague Christopher Reynolds. Try this Rest of his list here.

Combine glamping and wine tasting

Raised tents are shown in a row with front flaps rolled up revealing beds with linens.

Glamping in Buellton, California

(flying flags)

Wine tasting and camping are two classic California experiences. So why not combine?

Last week Melinda Fulmer, a Times contributor, compiled a list of nine ready-to-camp experiences in LA. The list includes lakeside yurts, vintage trailer homes near the beach, and tented cabins along a cliff on Catalina Island.

Luxury camping in wine country is perhaps the most quintessentially “California” option of all.

Flying flags, a 44-acre estate in Santa Ynez wine country, offers a glamping experience for everyone, she says. “Not only does it have airstreams, it also has three-level tent cabins — the cheapest Jupes have a memory foam double bed on a wooden floor with solar-powered lights and a fan, while the luxury safari tents come with real furniture and an outdoor kitchen.”

It’s also only seven miles away Rideau Vineyard, whose founder is widely hailed as the first black woman to own a winery in the United States. Last year I spent the day with Iris Rideau and she took me on a tour of her favorite spots in the Santa Ynez Valley. you can find her recommendations here.

An hour and a half up the coast is another wine spur: Tentrr vineyard glamping. “Perched directly above a working vineyard in Paso Robles, this modern rustic facility features a safari style canvas tent, queen memory foam bed, camp stove and Adirondack chairs, fire pit with grill, tables, camp toilet and shower in the sun,” Fulmer writes.

Especially appropriate given today’s holiday, Fulmer notes that you may see wild turkeys roaming the property.

Sample oysters in Morro Bay

More than a dozen otters float in the water next to a boardwalk where boats are moored.

Otters swim in the Morro Bay Marina in San Luis Obispo County

(Marc Martin / Los Angeles Times)

This Thanksgiving weekend, skip the leftover turkey or tofurkey in favor of some of California’s best oysters from the waters of Morro Bay.

In this Central Coast city, known for its colossal coastal rock, travelers can take part in an oyster tasting tour by visiting restaurants such as Port of Tognazzini, Giovanni’s Fish Market, Dutchman’s Seafood House and more.

You can also pick up fresh oysters directly from us Morro Bay Oyster Co. and Weed Bars Oyster Co. enjoy at home. Morro Bay Oyster Co. recommends schedule a pickup with one day lead time.

The Grassy Bar shop is open Friday through Sunday from 12pm to 5pm, while the Morro Bay Oyster Co. shop is only open on Saturdays from 11am to 5pm during the winter.

The next few months are a particularly good time to indulge in California oysters.

“People usually only associate oysters and seafood with summer,” Christopher Tompkins, founder of Broad Street Oyster Co. in Malibu, told Esther Tseng, a Times contributor, in 2019. “But winter is actually the best time for seafood . The water is colder, the oysters are just coming out of their spawning season. ” Learn more about California oysters here.

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A short detour to Tanzania

A man stands on a mountaintop with a row of wooden signs behind him.

Guide Andrew Mafie to the 19,341 foot summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.

(Jack Dolan / Los Angeles Times)

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the seven famous peaks in the world, is high on many travelers’ wish lists. But there’s a lot to consider before you decide to climb the 19,341-foot behemoth.

“Climbing to the roof of Africa has never been easy, but as climate change turns the fabled snows of Mount Kilimanjaro to dust and concerns about ethical travel complicate the idea of ​​adventure in the developing world, it’s arguably tenser than ever,” writes the investigative reporter Jack Dolan in a recent article.

Dolan’s story takes you from your home in California to the “impossibly steep” trails of Mount Kilimanjaro – no road trip required. Read it here.

One last thing

Paper products on shelves and a woman behind a counter.

The interior of the Paper Plant stationery store in Chinatown.

(Julie Wolfson)

Are you staying home this weekend and starting your Christmas shopping?

You can visit Japanese and Japanese-inspired shops at this listcourtesy of Julie Wolfson, Times contributor.

Stocking fillers – think rubber stamps, pens, cards and more – abound paper mill, a stationery store in Chinatown. Looking for a gift for the bookworm in your life? Come round Kinokuniya books in Little Tokyo.

“If you’re dreaming of your first or next trip to Tokyo, browse these rooms,” writes Wolfson. “And pick up some delicious and beautifully designed items while you’re there.”

🎸Street song

“Where I Go” by NxWorries feat. HER

Play it while passing the 170m Morro Rock on the way to oyster tasting.

Cash previous editions of Escapes, or to view this article in your browser click here.

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