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the central coast of ca Volume 3

Love at first sip. Experience every luscious, vibrant taste of Monterey County’s acclaimed Arroyo Seco region, captured in Arroyo Vista Chardonnay, from the limited production, artisan wines of J. Lohr Vineyard Series.

J. Lohr San Jose Wine Center 1000 Lenzen Ave., San Jose, CA 95126 408.918.2266 | 10am-5pm Daily

Š 2015 J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, San Jose, CA

J. Lohr Paso Robles Wine Center 6169 Airport Rd., Paso Robles, CA 93446 805.239.8900 | 10am-5pm Daily

vineyard-driven | passionately made

j. lohr vineyard series




11:50 AM









spring | summer 2017


Features Cover photo by Amy Joseph




The Art of Lounging


Top 10 Restaurants with an Ocean View


Morro Bay


Family Fun


SLO County Snapshot


Revealing North County


Hiking Trails


Pet Friendly Places To Visit






Spend a Few Nights in Nature


Calendar of Events


Contributors Amy Joseph


Ben Schutzer Judy Salamacha Mark Nakamura Nick Downs

50 PUBLISHERS Bret Colhouer Lani Colhouer

SALES Carrie Vickerman Dana McGraw Jessica Micklus Zorina Ricci

805-543-6397 | 615 Clarion Ct. #2, San Luis Obispo

Vivian Krug Chris Gardner ART & DESIGN Christi Downs Christy Serpa Michelle Johnson


EDITOR Theresa-Marie Wilson

CCB: Corporate logos CCB: Corporate logos

Blue: cmyk 88-77-0-0 / noBlue: PMS match cmyk 88-77-0-0 / no PMS match Gray: cmyk 52-43-41-0 / no Gray: PMScmyk match 52-43-41-0 / no PMS match

A home with a view!

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Ocean views Beautiful amenities Decks 3 bedrooms 3½ bathrooms Bonus room 4-car garages ..................................

Priced from $1,225,000 ..................................

Another beautiful community from CCB – your local new home builder on the Central Coast for more than 25 years!

(805) 598-2555 / SALES@CCB1.NET / MATTIE ROAD & EMERALD POINTE IN SHELL BEACH Tag versions: Tag versions:

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spring | summer 2017


The Art of Lounging 6

By Mark A. Diaz

REVEAL the central coast of california


Farmers Market that happens a few hundred obacco enthusiasts can find respite feet from the shop. on the California Central Coast at The Shaw, a self-confessed conversationalist also Sanctuary Tobacco Shop in San Luis proves that he can turn a phrase. “The only Obispo and Boyd’s Tobacco and Elegant Gifts in work free, smoke place in San Luis Obispo,” he Paso Robles. These establishments offer indoor said with a smile. lounges where cigar and pipe aficionados can Boyd’s Tobacco & Boyd’s is massive compared to the Sanctuary sit down and enjoy a peaceful smoke far away Elegant Gifts and boasts a 300 square foot walk-in humidor from the haters and coughers of everyday life. 625 Spring St. that will more than likely have that specific Each establishment brings its own character Paso Robles cigar you have been searching for. to the table; the Sanctuary with its close (805) 239-8701 Now owned by Charles Janigian, president quarters brings an air of intimacy. It’s nearly of JMG International, Inc., Boyd’s is more than impossible to smoke a cigar and not enter into Old World Cigars a sleepy store. Every month there is something a conversation. With the close quarters feel 625 Spring St. going on, whether it is raffles, wine and cigar and the welcoming nods of the patrons, even Paso Robles pairing or even a cigar celebrity visit. “He’s a newbie will feel like one of the boys in no (805) 239-8701 [Janigian] in the business of distributing, so he time. Owner Douglas Shaw bought the tobacco knows all the big players,” said Manager Charity store in 1992; renamed it and refurbished it Sanctuary Pisceki, “We have a lot of fun.” adding a lounge/loft where patrons can enjoy Tobacco Shop Janigian is a boxing enthusiast with his own their tobacco of choice. The lounge which is 1111 Chorro St. brand of cigars called Knockout. accessible from a narrow set of stairs overlooks San Luis Obispo “The Nicaraguan Knockout Lightweight the store and generally first time visitors (805) 543-1958 Division Maduro cigar is a smooth and delicious will miss it unless they hear some laughter blend of Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Dominican emanating from above. The quaint lounge seats The Boss Cigars fillers, Nicaraguan binder, and a Connecticut about ten and is open to everyone free of charge, 111 N. Halcyon Rd. Broadleaf Maduro wrapper,” according to the though Shaw requires people to purchase a Arroyo Grande Knockout website. Behind the counter are a cigar from the store and not bring their own. boxing glove, bell and hammer that are rung on “If somebody buys a cigar, they are welcome (805) 474-1137 occasion and is an instant attention getter. to use the lounge,” said Shaw. Customers are The lounge looks like something out of a also welcome to leave a bottle of their desired Tobacco Castle Charles Bronson movie, even sporting a stuffed beverage to consume at their leisure. 2179 10th St. great white buffalo. The pool table is encircled Considering the banning of smoking that Los Osos by enormous wild game trophy heads that started in San Luis Obispo back in the 90s (805) 528-1389 gaze with glassy eyes on all those who venture and spread across the country, not to mention into the room. These beasts are the real deal, the western world, the Sanctuary touts a dual donated to Boyd’s by a member who is a big meaning. It can be considered a place of refuge where one can enjoy a cigar or pipe without judgment, but hunter and also a dentist. It’s always the quiet ones. The wood there is also an unspoken rule of ‘what is said here stays here’ décor was done by the original owner John Boyd and lends itself to a den type of atmosphere. At Boyd’s it is easy to recline that lends a speakeasy feel to the joint. Thursday nights are the most popular. Generally open from on a cushion and read or watch the big screen TV and not say a 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (only until 4 on Sundays) the little cigar word to anyone without appearing aloof. shop stays open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays because of the SLO

Cigar Lounge Locations

spring | summer 2017


R estaurants TOP 10 WITH AN OCEAN VIEW Photo by

By Teri Bayus


hen I first moved here, I was mesmerized with the plethora of eating establishments that overlooked the ocean. I hailed from the desert and was fascinated that you could dine in the sunshine saturated afternoon, waves pounding below, for just the cost of the meal. I went on a quest for the superlative seaside feasting, and discovered that most restaurants that had a spectacular view lacked the culinary expertise I desired. However, there are still a lot to choose from. I whittled down my list of the best restaurants overlooking our magnificent ocean to the top ten.



Along with the stunning view of the ocean, Ventana Grill in Pismo Beach boasts a beautiful dining room with an array of lights, water, and nature. The food is called Coastal Fusion, with a variety of dishes from coastal places including Mexico, Brazil, Peru, and California. Ventana Grill prepares its unique fare with the freshest, highest quality ingredients available. Using choice cuts of steak, seafood, and other meats that are tender and flavorful, imparting substance and robustness into every dish. Salsas and sauces are made daily from scratch and showcase bright green herbs and perfect blends of sweet, spicy, salty, and savory. If you’re looking for something hearty and casual, or a meal that is as delicate as it is elegant, Ventana Grill’s menu has the dish to satisfy your cravings. Located at 2575 Price Street in Pismo Beach, (805) 773-0000. REVEAL the central coast of california

#9 SEA CHEST, CAMBRIA The Sea Chest Oyster Bar and Restaurant has been serving fresh seafood for more than thirty years. Locals have always enjoyed sitting at the bar, attempting to break the “most eaten” oyster challenge chatting with entertaining chefs while the dinner is prepared exhibition style. The Sea Chest is full of Tritons specialties. John D’s Oysters Rockefeller, Steamed Clams, and fresh New Zealand Mussels are just a few of the favorite appetizers. The entrees offer a varied selection of the freshest fish available. The house Cioppino and Panko Crusted Calamari Steak are some of the highlights. Neither credit cards nor reservations are accepted. This culinary delight is worth a trip to the ATM and the line. The Sea Chest Restaurant and Oyster Bar is located at 6216 Moonstone Beach Drive, Cambria, (805) 927-4514.


At the last pier (Hanford) in Avila Beach a restaurant situated at the end of a 100 year old structure, Old Port Inn. The tables, covered in glass, look down through the pier into the ocean. The seal lions bark and pelicans swoop as you make your way down the pier. This restaurant is resting on the ocean, so the sailboats sway and the sea life jumps inches from the windows. Come in for a sourdough roll and bowl of clam chowder, stay for the fish tacos. With the fish just pulled from the sea specifically large chunks of rock cod, a dollop of spicy guacamole, cheese, salsa, cabbage and cilantro this is perfection in a tortilla. Other delights include Cioppino, whom fans know that the sauce makes or breaks this dish. It includes shrimp, squid, rock cod, and scallops, served in a tomato seafood stew with onions, leeks, and chopped parsley, no hunks of garlic bread or claws of crab to disturb the dish. They serve casual seafood, with daily specials to feature their catches of the day. Piers like this that are as historic as they are well loved, they remind you that not all beach dwellers are millionaires, that not all foods need Michelin stars. Old Port Inn is located at 3993 Avila Beach Drive, Avila Beach, 
(805) 595-2515.

Photo by



The heated patio is rustic, the view spectacular, and the food inspired. Schooner’s menu features fresh seafood and steaks that are prepared thoughtfully. Start with Schooner’s Legendary Calamari, a title that lived up to its exposition. A large calamari steak is pounded into rareness, breaded in panko and deep friend. It is cut into strips and offered with a tangy cocktail sauce, house made tartar and lemon wedges. An exceptional dish that boasts the honor of the “Best Calamari Steak”. Schooner’s has captured the essence of the sea in the Pecan Crusted Halibut with a dijon cream sauce, seasonal veggies and garlic mashed potatoes. Their Fish ‘N Chips also won crowed approval with the Alaskan Pollock dipped in a draft beer batter and deep fried to a crispy golden brown. The beer batter chips were fantastic. Schooner’s Bar has exotic drinks like Mai Tais and Cayucos Beach Ale. They have been offering guests an unforgettable dining experience since 1993. Located at 171 N. Ocean Avenue, Cayucos, (805) 995-3883.

Sometimes the sweeping green hills of wine grapes and oak trees are a salve for the soul. Combined with some of the most creative and delectable food, Mistura sits on the golf course green in Paso Robles giving use a long range view of wine country. My favorite dish is the  Habla Causita, a Trio of Causas that is a distinctly Peruvian dish. Seasoned whipped cold potatoes are stacked with organic microgreens and then crowned with wild shrimp, king crab and ahi tuna tatar. This dish featured three of the most flavorful potatoes, the famed papa amarilla, or yellow potato, huamantanga, considered to be among most delicious; and, the huayro grown in the cold heights of the Andes and perfect for soaking up sauces. This dish also features three sauces that are liberally drizzled on the potatoes, including  rocoto  sauce, botija olives cream sauce, and huacatay sauce. Simply exquisite. This food is a work of art to both the eye and the palette. Mistura is located at 700 Clubhouse Drive in Paso Robles, on the River Oaks Golf Course. You can call for reservations and catering at (805) 2383333.    continued, page 10

Open Daily · Dine In · Carry Out · Local Delivery





401 Shell Beach Road, Shell Beach


773-4438 ·

spring | summer 2017


With the sweeping backdrops of the waves rolling in, the sun setting in a Technicolor display that made the ambiance resonate. The soulful sweet sound of an acoustic guitar surrounded us through a masterful sound system. Manager, David Kline set us with menus and a delightful quip as the sun set. The menu held a wide variety to keep everyone happy; fish, steak, sandwiches, salads and wraps all impressive as the sight of the waves breaking down below.

#5 WINDOWS ON THE WATER, MORRO BAY Windows On The Water is considered one of the finest dinning establishments and they deserve the title. They have won every local award including best restaurant and even gained national attention. First, there is not a bad seat in the whole restaurant as the tides of Morro Bay ebb and flow as you are dining on the inhabitants recently plucked from its waters. Second, it is hands down the best service anywhere.

Start with raw oysters, Blue Points, Morro Bay, Coromandel, and Hood Canal. Each brand extraordinary, but the subtleties came out with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dab of hot sauce. The Dungeness Crab Cake is deliciously prepared with fresh crab, jalapeno aioli and lemon vinaigrette. The Ocean Rose Abalone is locally raised, pounded to softness, and heaped on a Japanese cucumber and seaweed salad with wasabi, yuzu tobikos, and sweet soya. All exceptional. The Hawaiian albacore “Tataki Style” (seared rare)  with purple sticky rice, sesame asparagus, and cucumber salad that was so perfectly prepared even the tuna was happy. The Local Sand Dabs were expertly arranged with a light fry and crispy potato cake, wilted spinach with a lemon-garlic-caper butter.

Windows on the Water features a menu that changes with the seasons, benefiting from local fresh fish, vegetables, fruit, and herbs. The extensive wine list highlights many local wines, as well as renowned French vintages. Impeccable service, amazing views and awarding winning recipes. Windows on the Water is located at 699 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, (805) 772-0677.


The best way to spend your weekend is sitting in the sun on the deck absorbing tequila and taking in the breathtaking sights. Located in posh Shell Beach, this stunning restaurant not only features incredible ocean views, fun happy hours, but also an extraordinary restaurant. They have a tremendous menu with original offerings using the area’s freshest and preeminent produce and proteins.


REVEAL the central coast of california

The service was impeccable, the food outstanding. Marisol has it all, a lively bar, and beautiful views of the ocean. Marisol is located at the Cliff’s Hotel at 2757 Shell Beach Road, Pismo Beach, (805) 773-2511.


With spectacular views, unequaled wait staff and a touch of panache rarely seen in these parts, Lido is a place to impress. Executive Chef Jacob Moss is a master culinary architect. From Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena to Restaurant Rossini in Florence, Italy to Head Chef with the Rizzo family at Café Roma to Lido, he paves a swath of unparalleled talents. He shares the philosophy of creating an innovative menu with locally grown, organic food. Start with the Cayucos Abalone and Crispy Pork Belly. The abalone is sitting on a bed of crispy pork belly with a brown butter and ginger that broke out the compliments. Every bite was perfection and a Meyer lemon sauce made this as delicious as it was beautiful. Don’t miss the Seared Dayboat Sea Scallops, three large mollusks scorched impeccably sitting on wilted market baby kales and topped with a crispy, translucent house made Pancetta. Try the Seared Ahi with roasted beets, tempura asparagus and the signature salsa verde. The Lido Restaurant is located inside Dolphin Bay Resort at 2727 Shell Beach Road in Pismo Beach, (805) 773-9800.


Start with a half dozen of sweet treats the Kumamoto raw oysters. Served with a charred lemon, shaved horseradish, and a mignonette sauce, these little gems of the sea will wake your palette and delight your senses. The oysters are delivered daily to The Oyster Loft and the menu on the wall tells you what is in, along with a sense of the taste and texture of these dignified mollusks. They are served with Hush Harbor rustic bread with an infused garlic olive oil that was a perfect pairing for this seashell feast. Moving on to the Tuna Poke Tacos with fresh Ahi stuffed into a wonton crisp and daikon noodles, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, eel sauce, and Sriracha. It is a symphony of flavors and textures. Next came the Albacore Ceviche with freshly sliced and garlic encrusted albacore tuna, micro cucumber pico de gallo, and onion-fried aioli, sitting on a swirl of cilantro gazpacho. Bravo and amazing. We chatted with chef Cody about what would be our next adventure and he suggested

the Tuna Poke Tower. This is a cylindrical fish feast with diced yellowfin tuna, avocado, cucumber noodles, miso mayo, cilantro oil, golden tempura flakes, red radish, daikon sprouts resting on wonton chips was a delight and a must try for everyone. Thinking there was no way to top this, we tried the Scallop Carpaccio with thinly sliced sashimi grade Hokkaido scallops, shaved radish, daikon sprouts, garlic mousse, daikon, Fresno red pepper, red onion, and cilantro. It was subtle and perfect. The Oyster Loft is located at the beach edge, next to the Pier in Pismo Beach. 101 Pomeroy Avenue in Pismo Beach, (805) 295-5100.


In the past, many of my after-work hours had been spent sitting at the Sea Venture watching the waves roll in, surfers float and the sun set. Meet here for Mai Tai’s for Sunday brunches or just to impress an out of town guest. While the bar boasts the best tapa’s menu, the restaurant has at its helm one of the best and brightest chefs in the area, Casey Walcott. Large Seared Bacon Wrapped Scallops sitting atop fried Brussels sprouts with a delectable lemon aioli and goat cheese spread around the plate for visual stimulation as well as palate pleasing, are a must. The scallops were bigger than a silver dollar in size and perfectly cooked with the essence of the sea shining thru the crispiness of the bacon. The best is a subtlety delectable Lobster Vol-en-Vent (French

for everything is better between puff pastry). This amazing shell shaped and multi layered tartlet was swollen with sautéed lobster, grilled asparagus and cubes of fingerling potato, it sat upon a cloud of lobster cream sauce and green onions. Every bite was perfect and rich creating a harmonious experience. It was absolute flawlessness. The Sea Venture Resort Restaurant is located at 100 Ocean View Avenue in Pismo Beach, (805) 773-3463.

Teri Bayus is the Host of Taste Buds, shown on Charter Channel 10 and on Central Coast Now.TV. Teri’s Culinary Erotic Book, Consumed is available at

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Get Hooked on Morro Bay


et out on the open road and visit Morro Bay, CA on Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County. A true gem, this seaside fishing village with a bustling waterfront offers a picture perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures found in a gorgeous natural setting. Morro Bay’s coastal climate is perfect for the abundance of year-round outdoor activities found in this unspoiled slice of California. Recently recognized in Finding Dory, by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community, Morro Bay is where outdoor activities are a way of life. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone. Located along coastal Highway 1 midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay is easily accessible from northern CA via Highway 101 South to Highway 46 West or Highway 41 West.


REVEAL the central coast of california

Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit http://www. or follow Morro Bay on its Facebook, twitter or Pinterest pages. continued, page 14

An Open Door for 45 Years


Books | Gifts | Cards | Music

845 Main St., Morro Bay (805) 772-2880

Rentals, Groups & Sales

551 Embarcadero, Morro Bay · 805-772-6444 · South of the Aquarium spring | summer 2017


continued, from page 13 The quaint seaside town of Morro Bay, CA invites travelers to enjoy the many benefits of visiting mid-week this summer! Avoid the crowds, enjoy the food and wine, and take your time shopping at all the unique boutiques. Life in this small beach town is reminiscent of how California beach towns used to be: charming, relaxed, fun, quirky, yet filled with surfing, sailing, fishing, golfing, and kayaking. There’s so much to see and do in this bustling seaside village including ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, whale watching, biking, bird watching, or kite flying. Morro Bay offers activities for all ages to enjoy in an unspoiled slice of California located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County. “We’re encouraging guests to visit Morro Bay mid-week this summer and pack in boatloads of adventure,” explains Jennifer Little, Tourism Manager for Discover Morro Bay. “Not only will visitors appreciate the low room rates but they will also avoid the crowds and beat the traffic at the same time. It’s a real Win/ Win/Win!” There’s something for every family member in Morro Bay A visit to Morro Bay means tons of family fun. Watch the kids light up at the idea of kayaking with sea otters, bicycling out to iconic Morro Rock, exploring the Morro Bay Natural History Museum or Skateboard Museum, surfing, paddle boarding, whale watching, kite flying and tide pooling. The whole family can relax and take in the natural beauty of this unique fishing village located on Highway 1, along California’s Central Coast. The town practically stands still in time: salt-water taffy


REVEAL the central coast of california

smells swirl in the air, fresh local seafood abounds, and water adventures on the bay and the beach are abundant. Morro Bay is an engaging, thriving fishing village filled with restaurants, shopping and attractions and is located minutes from Hearst Castle. If you and your family haven’t experienced this classic CA town, now is the time.

MORRO BAY FOR A GIRLFRIENDS GETAWAY Girl power is alive and well in Morro Bay, the ideal location for a best friend’s getaway along California’s Central Coast. This quaint seaside fishing village with a bustling waterfront filled with restaurants, wine bars, boutique shops and harbor cruises and activities is the picture-perfect girl-cation destination. The variety of lodging options in Morro Bay offers BFFs the opportunity to stay in beach front vacation rentals, luxurious inns, leading brand hotels, reliable budget or specialty accommodations right on the harbor. Imagine starting the morning off with your best gal pals taking a nice jaunt down the waterfront Embarcadero and out the harbor walk to Morro Rock and onto the beach, a great way to get in exercise before the day really begins. As a special reward, you and your BFFs can enjoy a girl’s brunch at Dorn’s, sitting on the patio overlooking the Embarcadero and the bay planning what adventure to tackle next. A candlelight yoga class? Kayaking on the bay or standup paddle? Whatever your besties want to do, there are plenty of adventures for girls in this quaint seaside town.

The Central Coast’s premier standup paddleboard (SUP) outfitter. All levels welcome! (Curious. Serious. Adventurous)

Rentals & Lessons Classes on a board *SUP yoga & fitness

Team building & corp events Group and Special events Quality retail for adventure *SUP equipment, apparel, hydration, eyewear, etc.

The Paddleboard Company 575 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, • 805-225-5555 • across from the Shell Shop spring | summer 2017


continued, page 16 MANCATIONS IN MORRO BAY There’s so much to do in Morro Bay, especially for men who want to get away with their guy friends. Whether your taste for adventure runs extreme or serene, guys will find lots of healthy activities in Morro Bay. You and your guy friends can bike it, climb it, row it, tour it, surf it or simply soak it all in. Guys will want to dive into Morro Bay and enjoy miles of unspoiled beaches in this seaside-fishing village with a bustling waterfront. Located right on the water, Morro Bay offers yearround activities in an unspoiled slice of California. Play on or near the water and enjoy ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, Photo by Glenn Dubock

hiking, fishing, surfing, and more. This bicycle friendly town, honored as such by the League of American Bicyclists, offers year-round cycling, mountain biking and beach cruising in a gorgeous seaside setting. Amgen Tour of California agrees that Morro Bay is a perfect stop for cyclists on Highway 1 and chose the quaint town as a sponsor, a great event for male bonding. Or, plan your mancation around the many running, biking and triathlete competitions where guys can give it everything they’ve got.


REVEAL the central coast of california

ROMANCE IS ALIVE AND WELL IN MORRO BAY No matter which loved ones you are with, there’s plenty of romance, adventure, culture and gastronomies to fall in love with in this quaint seaside village. With thriving aquaculture and agriculture industries, fresh seafood and locally grown produce are abundant in Morro Bay. Surrounding farms and vineyards yield a bounty of outstanding organic produce, fresh seafood and award-winning local wines served with flair at Morro Bay’s renowned restaurants, wine bars and craft breweries. Morro Bay also sustainably farms one of the world’s best-known aphrodisiacs at the Morro Bay Oyster Company. Situated on the pristine bay, this 130-acre marine farm can be seen by paddleboard, kayak or from a guided tour with Lost Isle Adventure Tours. Looking for a romantic dining experience on the bay? Book an evening sunset or Sunday brunch cruise with one of the many tour operators along the bustling Embarcadero.




3-6pm Mon-Fri 3-6pm Every Day





3-6pm Mon-Fri


BEAUTIFUL MORRO BAY FRESH SEAFOOD It starts to our our dock. dock. It starts with with hand-selected hand-selected fish fish delivered delivered right right to Served the ocean. ocean. Served within within hours hours of of being being pulled pulled from from the

It’s the only way to live. It’s the only way to eat.

It’s the only way to live. It’s the only way to eat.

701 701 Embarcadero, 701 Embarcadero Embarcadero

Morro Bay

Morro Bay, CA Morro Bay,772-2269 CA 93442 93442 • Call: (805)

Call: Call: (805)772-2269 (805)772-2269

Wonderful Food. Friendly Service. For wine lovers, the Morro Bay Wine Seller offers a selection of local and regional wines for taste or purchase, along with specialty cheeses, olive oils and craft beers to pick up and take with you for that romantic picnic planned for your loved one. Or, stop by Stax Wine Bar & Bistro for a bite on the bay while relaxing by a romantic fire on a plush leather couch. Enjoy lunch or dinner from their Tapas Menu featuring charcuterie, Panini sandwiches, prawn cocktails and more. Are craft brews your romantic elixir? Look no further. The Libertine Pub offers patrons a cozy atmosphere, live music and an expansive beer selection with 48 beers on tap, including their own on-site brews that focus on barrel aged “wild ales.”

Casual, elegant dining located in the Morro Bay State Park Marina.

FRESH SEAFOOD It starts with hand-selected fish delivered right to our dock. Served within hours of being pulled from the ocean.

It’s the only way to live. It’s the only way to eat. Dog Friendly Patio!

701 Embarcadero Morro Bay, CA 93442 Call: (805)772-2269

Bayside Café

AT T H E M A R I N A 10 State Park Road, Morro Bay | 805-772-1465 MTW 11–3pm, Thurs & Sun 11–8:30pm, Fri & Sat 11–9pm

spring | summer 2017


Not just a Waffle… It’s a meal or special dessert with a side of frozen yogurt! Try our Almond Milk Swirl!

There is always something fun going on at Grandma’s!

Sea Otter Families Living In Morro Bay

Fun Games for Kids of All Ages!

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At “The Gathering Place”: 307 Morro Bay Blvd, Morro Bay

(805) 704-YUMM (9866) Frozen Yogurt & Sorbet with Live Culture & Probiotics | Old-Fashioned Waffle Specialties

Where th e Locals Ea t ! SCRAMBLES WAFFLES HOT LUNCHES BEER & WINE Serving Breakfast & Lunch Daily 6:30 am - 2:00 pm

213 Beach St. Morro Bay




here’s an abundance of pure unadulterated cuteness going on from the recent increase in California Sea Otter families living in Morro Bay. Mommas and babies are everywhere eating and grooming each other as if no one is watching. But we are, and we can’t look away - they are so dang cute! Now is the perfect time to catch a glimpse of these sea creatures in their natural habitat since Morro Bay harbor is experiencing the highest count to date of these adorable critters. A survey taken last May of the Morro Bay harbor documented 36 adult sea otters and nine pups, a significantly higher number than the typical five or fewer otters frequenting the harbor in the early 2000s. “Large gatherings of otters throughout the harbor have attracted tourists and locals all along the waterfront to experience them in their natural habitat,” explains Jennifer Little, Executive Director of Discover Morro Bay. “You can watch along the shore or rent paddleboards and watch from a safe distance on the water as they forage for food and groom their young. They use rocks and other tools to break open crab and local food sources and are so fun to watch. We’ve seen up to 30 – 40 of them at a time floating around on their backs and enjoying life in Morro Bay.” Just plop down a beach chair along the Morro Bay Harbor Walk and start watching - they’re everywhere and easy to find. If there isn’t a family of otters hanging out already, they will soon appear. The southeast side of Morro Rock is a great landmark for sea otter viewing as is Coleman beach at the intersection of Embarcadero and Coleman Drive. There are also public viewing spots all along the Embarcadero for wildlife viewing in between the plethora of restaurants, boutique shops and wine bars. To get an even closer look, paddle out in a kayak or rent a boat at Bay Cruisers and Electric Boats. Visitors can also take a ride on the Lost Isle Tiki boat to see the otters and the ever-barking sea lions, which includes a quick detour to the Morro Bay natural sand spit. Kayaks can be rented at Kayak Horizons and the Kayak Shack.

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Over the past three years, the average count of sea otters in the California range hit 3,272. This is the first time that the index, which started in 1982, has exceeded 3,090, the threshold suggested by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine whether the species should be delisted under the Endangered Species Act. The threshold would need to be surpassed for at least three consecutive years before the species is considered for delisting. The index hovered around 2,800 only one decade ago. Experts say what’s really driving the population increase is the abundance of food they find in the waters of Morro Bay. Sea otters are integral to the health of the Morro Bay harbor environment. When viewing otters be very careful as they are wild animals and may react poorly if approached. When viewing from the water, it’s best to stay at least five kayak lengths away at all times and enjoy them in a responsible manner. Find Spring Lodging Specials, Activity Rental Discounts and Amgen VIP Packages Morro Bay currently has an abundance of spring lodging specials and up to $130 in discounts off outdoor activity rentals. Surf, kayak and sail for less when you stay in Morro Bay. Also, find VIP Amgen packages and get FREE Amgen swag when you book a room for Amgen Tour of California finish on May 16 in Morro Bay. For information on all the exciting things to do and see in Morro Bay, visit


SINCE 1985


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things to do before you die

Eat Brown Butter Cookies There are many reasons to visit Cayucos. Apart from the antique shops, great seafood, and a beautiful beach, Cayucos is also home to the finest cookies in the area—if not the world! The cookies were originally created in a small beachside sandwich shop as a complement to their sandwiches. Now staff at the The ONLY Bead and Brown Butter Cookie Company will greet you with free Garden on the samples of some of their best sellers. GazeShop in sugary Coast!
 delight while the staff hand rolls the Central cookie dough in ! soft, the kitchen, and lose yourself in these incredibly OPEN EVERY DAY! melt-in-your-mouth cookies. The original—a shortbread, brown butter cookie topped with a touch333ofMorro sea Bay salt—is Blvd. Morro Bay, 93442
 their signature item, and with their chocolate andCAgluten(Across from Bank of America) free options, there is something for every (805) palate. Rumor 772-3338
 has it that Oprah Winfrey is a big fan. The Brown Butter Cookie Company is located at 98 N. Ocean Ave., Cayucos, (805) 995-2076. We are a full service bead store! Come see us for all your beading

Beads by the Bay and Garden Shop Beads by the Bay and Garden The ONLY BeadShop and

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beautiful secret garden is full of Information courtesy of the bookherbs, 101 Things to do in succulents, and air plants, as San Luis Obispo County Before You Die byour Gareth well as new line Kelly. of garden

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Stop in and see the beautiful selection of fine jewelry and other merchandise. Morro Bay Jewelers also specializes in repairs and custom work.

(805) 772-3338

898 Main Street Morro Bay (805) 772-1878

We are a full service bead store! Come see us for all your beading needs, including repairs! Our beautiful secret garden is full of herbs, succulents, and air plants, as well as our new line of garden miniatures!

Store Hours: Tue-Fri 10-5:30, Sat 10-2pm


spring | summer 2017


Xtreme Day • • • •


tart your day off right with the wind in your face and the ground out of reach by ziplining at Margarita Adventures in Santa Margarita. The adrenaline inducing company boasts six zip lines that total 7,500 feet of free flying fun. Once your stomach has settled, cruise up the 101 and have a burger at Sylvester’s in Atascadero. The burger joint was recently rated number 48 out of 50 of the best burgers in the nation by someone with too much time on their hands. Bring extra napkins because Sylvester’s tagline is ‘big and juicy.’ If you order a 5-pound burger and eat the whole thing in 30


REVEAL the central coast of california

Margarita Adventures Sylvester’s Del Rio Aviation Sculpterra Winery

minutes, you get it for free—a $34.95 value, a t-shirt, and your picture on the wall. Continue your journey north into Paso Robles where you will take a helicopter flying lesson at Del Rio Aviation. The small family owned business prides itself on giving top-notch, real world aeronautical training. Afterwards, since you are already deep in the Central Coast Wine country and may need to settle your nerves, visit Sculpterra Winery and Sculptor Garden where you can sample wine and view outdoor art on a perfect California day.

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Homegrown Candies Prepare for Debut By Camas Frank


or three decades the Central Coast has had our own version of Willy Wonka. Although the confections and flavors dreamed up by Larry Peterman for the Hotlix candy store in Pismo Beach are considerably more “down to Earth” than those of his fictional counterparts, his unique products are sold around the world. Until the recent closure of the Pismo Beach Pier for renovations, visitors strolling up Pomeroy Avenue after a walk on the attraction will have had their attention drawn up and to the left by the store’s iconic ruby red lipstick kiss of a logo. It’s

what are in the display cases under the street side awning that sometimes prompts shrieks or giggles. Insects and bugs coming in flavors like “Original Cricket” or grubs and scorpions dipped in milk chocolate or confectionery are just a hint of what awaits inside. In the 1980s Peterman started with hard candies, and the creepy crawlies were almost an afterthought. The first was the inclusion of an earthworm in a tequila flavored sucker, others that have become staples in the line include ants, grubs, scorpions and crickets incased in an “amber” of flavored sugar.

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And, while they’ve never stopped cooking up new flavors, not all of them insect related, a milestone is coming up. Hotlix is planning a new product launch to return to the roots with a new earthworm candy to be unveiled at the Sweets & Snacks Expo held from May 23 to the May 25 at the McCormick Place in Chicago. “The expo is one of the largest around anywhere,” said Kaleen Hamrick, who’s recently returned to the business after growing up with summer jobs behind the counter. “That’s our main show, we go every year and see all of our customers from all over. It’s great.” Although he’s been thinking about it for years, Peterman was still tinkering with the final formula for the “real life gummy worms” until they were ready to start full-scale production. He even carried some batch samples with him on his way out for a slice of pizza. “Now there are subtle flavors in there...can you taste the earthiness?,” he asked after handing one to a local reporter. “He’s been doing that as long as I can remember,” said Hamrick, about her great uncle, “Always tinkering, and it was always fun.” Indeed the little green string tasted quite a bit like a sour apple candy, sweet but sugar free as it would get sticky in packaging otherwise, and was dyed with food coloring for effect. The candy bore little resemblance to its origin. However the flavors were as complex as his process for creating them. Hotlix plans to have production at full capacity by the Expo, which means there’s a special building in Grover Beach right now full of writhing worms destined to be cleaned, turned into jerky, candied and sold in packages of six all over the world. “Our slogan for the package says ‘Sweet, Sour and Earthy’ and ‘Not Just for the Birds,’” Hamrick explains, noting that the art style for the package will be similar to the fun cartoonish creatures on their chocolate covered and ant candies, but featuring a little boy in a tug of war with a bird over one of the candies. “No, I’m not an entomologist, but this has certainly turned me into an entomophage,” said Peterman. “That’s what you call someone who eats bugs.”

Information on all of their products, and eventually the worms, can be found online at:


things to do before you die

Soar Like an Eagle and Sky Dive in Pismo Beach If you feel the need to jump out of a perfectly good plane, there is probably no finer place than at Pismo Skydive. After a brief orientation, strap yourself to your instructor and take the short flight up to either eight, ten, or thirteen thousand feet before jumping out to be at one with gravity. Experience 25, 45, or 60 seconds of 120 mph freefall before landing safely on Pismo Beach in front of all your friends and family. Skydive Pismo offers jumps starting at $169 and offers unbeatable views of Morro Rock, the Oceano Dunes, and the San Luis Obispo coastline like no other. They even offer wine tasting to settle your nerves! Relive the experience forever with one of their photo and video packages. Pismo Skydive is located at 1700 Fountain Ave., Oceano, (805) 481-5867, Information courtesy of the book 101 Things to do in San Luis Obispo County Before You Die by Gareth Kelly. spring | summer 2017


Avila Hot Springs 250 Avila Beach Drive San Luis Obispo (805) 595-2359 Avila Valley Barn 560 Avila Beach Drive San Luis Obispo (805) 595-2816 B.J.’s ATV Rentals 197 Grand Ave Grover Beach (805) 481-5411 Bob Jones City to Sea Trail 7000 Ontario Rd San Luis Obispo (805) 544-9096

Family Fun

Central Coast Aquarium 50 San Juan St Avila Beach (805) 595-7280 Central Coast Archery 12334 Los Osos Valley Rd San Luis Obispo (805) 439-1570 Charles Paddock Zoo 9100 Morro Rd Atascadero (805) 461-5080 Dinosaur Caves Park 2701 Price St Pismo Beach (805) 773-7039 Elephant Seal Rookery 250 San Simeon Ave San Simeon (805) 924-1628 Farmers Kites Surreys & More 1108 Front St Morro Bay (805) 772-0113 Gopher Glen Farms 2899 Gopher Glen Way San Luis Obispo (805) 595-2646


REVEAL the central coast of california


SLO Creek Farms 6455 Monte Rd San Luis Obispo (702) 245-3135 Sub Sea Tours 699 Embarcadero #9 Morro Bay (805) 772-9463 Sun Buggy & ATV Fun 328 Pier Ave Oceano (866) 728-4443 Sunset Drive In 255 Elks Ln San Luis Obispo (805) 544-4475 Great American Melodrama 1863 Front St Oceano (805) 489-2449

Margarita Adventures 22719 El Camino Real Santa Margarita (805) 438-3120

Hearst Castle 750 Hearst Castle Rd San Simeon

Mustang Water Park Lopez Lake 6840 Lopez Dr Arroyo Grande (805) 489-8898

Kayak Horizons 551 Embarcadero Morro Bay (805) 772-6444 Madonna Inn Trail Rides 100 Madonna Rd San Luis Obispo (805) 305-5470

Photos by

Pacific Dunes Riding Ranch 1207 Silver Spur Pl Oceano (805) 489-8100 Pismo Nature Center & Monarch Grove 400 S Dolliver St

Pismo Beach (805) 773-7170 Port San Luis Harbor 3993 Avila Beach Dr Avila Beach (805) 550-3347 Ravine Water Park 2301 Airport Rd Paso Robles (805) 237-8500 SLO Children’s Museum 101 Nipomo St San Luis Obispo (805) 544-5437

Vista Lago Adventure Park Lopez Lake Recreation 6820 Lopez Drive Arroyo Grande (805) 710-7970 Wally’s Bicycle Works Higuera St San Luis Obispo (805) 544-4116 Wheel Fun Rentals 630 Cypress St Pismo Beach (805) 773-0197

spring | summer 2017


Harris Stage Lines By Judy Salamacha


ome to Paso Robles to enjoy the wine and shopping then experience Paso as it used to be.” Tom and Debby Harris find themselves extending this invitation often as they travel the USA. Harris Stage Lines is invited to special events and parades to haul grand marshals in their replica 1860s Concord Stage Coach built originally for Wells Fargo. Appropriately the Carmel Valley Centennial Committee invited them to “haul” the U.S. Postmaster General


REVEAL the central coast of california

Anthony M. Frank in their celebration parade. Wells Fargo had the contract to deliver mail throughout the Old West. In 2014 during Paso Robles’ 125th Celebration year, the 1862 Coastal Route between Salinas and Los Angeles was relived hauling the mail from San Miguel to Paso Robles by horsedrawn coach. Monty Montana invited them to Texas for his wild west show with Jack Palance (City Slickers), Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger), and James Drury (The Virginian), the guest


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passengers. Tom and Debby drove their team of horses hitched to the #20 Concord Stagecoach built for them by famed Texas specialty vehicle builder J. Brown in the 2016 Rose Parade. By appointment, the public is invited to experience over 26 one-ofa-kind horse drawn vehicles at the Harris’ working horse ranch four miles from the heart of Paso Robles. continued, page 28


$ 1314 Madonna Road San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (805) 594-1314 7am - 10pm every day Located at the corner of Los Osos Valley Road & Madonna


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spring | summer 2017


continued, from page 27


REVEAL the central coast of california

“We’re in the entertainment business – your horse riding, driving, party and event headquarters,” said Tom. Not only will they take their “nostalgia for the Old West” on the road, but Debby, Tom and their son Cactus spent 22 years creating the hospitality venue. “We purchased acreage with an 80-year-old house and built the rest. Every piece of farm equipment we display is operational. Our party facility is perfect for western themed special occasions, weddings or group barbecues.” Have you ever wondered what it would be like to drive a buckboard with a single horse or a stagecoach with multiple horses? How is it possible to control a team of four or more horses? Debby and Tom were raised on ranches. They spent years participating in rodeos and won multiple awards for their showmanship, including Outstanding Display of Western Heritage and The Chairman’s Award for the Fort Worth, Texas Stock Show & Rodeo All Western Parade. They are respected worldwide for their horsemanship – and now love to share their expertise giving riding or driving lessons. “We also train farming with the horses,” said Tom. “We grow forage mix (oats, buckwheat & barley) and use a grain binder for haystacks that look like teepees.” Tom explained that buses driving through Paso Robles on Hwy. 101 will book an evening barbecue or locals who have been known to surprise visitors with a picnic and tour after a day of wine tasting. Harris Stage Lines details their many visitor options for groups up to 200 guests at www.harrisstagelines. com. Check out the unforgettable birthday parties for children or adults hankering for an experience the way it was when horse power wasn’t under the hood. Party headquarters includes amazing sounds from a 1922 Wurlitzer of the West 1000 Pipe Theater Organ in the Music Hall. A Pole Barn accommodates indoor and outdoor catered barbecues. Ride a horse or atop a stagecoach or book a throw-back surrey ride with the fringe on top. The “Real Horse Power Show” includes Belgium Draft horses either hitched or hitch-ready to unique vehicles that helped populate the American West.

“W here you never know what you might find!”

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The Harris family and Stephen Robertson Yergers partnered to create SRY Coaches, a unique horse-drawn vehicle collection and driving school. Each vehicle was chosen for the role it played in the American West. Used for filming commercials, special promotions, weddings, funerals and parades, Tom will also train entrepreneurs to operate an Amish Road Buggy, Ben Hur Racing Chariot, authentic BBQ Chuck Wagon, hay wagon -- even a 1906 Hearse built by Johnson & Sons in NY, NY. But there’s more! “I’ve learned the church organ and the theater organ are completely different,” said Tom describing the mammoth set-up that operates the Wurlitzer organ. Besides musical reviews, the theater organ was the sound depicting the action in silent movies. At age 90 Dr. Ruth Dresser saw Cactus Harris in concert and invited him to her home in San Francisco to play her 1922 Wurlitzer with 1000 pipes knowing he would treasure its value and unique sound. He purchased it, disassembled it, and reassembled it at the ranch. The sound is breathtaking, but seeing the garage-size room full of the equipment in action creates a heart-pounding appreciation for the music from days gone by. And if you are lucky Cactus will be home to create ivory magic, otherwise, Tom, with a gleam in his eye, will set the computerized music on play and recount stories about his son, the world-touring professional organist. Call Harris Stage Lines at (805) 237-1860 and book a visit with Debby. She’ll be the first to tell you, “We love to create fun, western environment events!”

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spring | summer 2017


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Her Day • • • •

Lido at Dolphin Bay River Oaks Hot Springs Hope Family Wines Vina Robles Amphitheater


tart the day with breakfast at Lido at Dolphin Bay in Pismo Beach. Brunch is served Saturday through Monday and includes three courses with coffee, tea, and bottomless mimosas. After filling up on good food, take a drive north to Paso Robles to River Oaks Hot Springs where you can relax in a private open-air mineral spa overlooking the scenic hills and vineyards with a glass of sparkling wine. Next, enjoy a Swedish massage followed by a hydrating facial. Grab a picnic basket and head out to Hope Family Wines for some wine tasting and enjoy a meal among the vineyards. End your day with a concert at the Vina Robles Amphitheater and spend the night at the Allegretto Vineyard Resort.

spring | summer 2017


San Miguel Lake Naciemento

San Simeon

46 Paso Robles


San Luis Obispo








Morro Bay

Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Central Coast offers something for every one from long sandy beaches, to rugged coastlines, to quaint towns and expansive farmlands. Each locale offers a different way to shop, explore and relax.



Santa Margarita

1 Santa Margarita Lake

Los Osos

San Luis Obispo

Lopez Lake

Avila Beach Pismo Beach Grover Beach

For more information about each city go to:

Arroyo Grande

1 Oceano


Arroyo Grande

Population: 18,108

Strawberry Festival on Memorial Day Weekend. Lopez Lake with fishing, zip-lining waterslides and boating activities.


Don’t Miss: The turn-of-the-century downtown Village of Arroyo Grande with its swinging bridge, roosters roaming the streets, specialty shops, and restaurants.


Population: 29,819

Visit the Charles Paddock Zoo, 9100 Morro Rd. This 5-acre community zoo is home to hundreds of animal species from around the world. Play Frisbee golf at Heilmann Regional Park, 9400 El Bordo Ave.

Tip 32

Locals Tip: Zip on over to Chalk Mountain Liquor and Deli, 9990 El Camino Real, for some Mojo potatoes while you gas up the car. REVEAL the central coast of california

Avila Beach

Population: 1,627

Relax in a pool of hot mineral springs at Avila Hot Springs, 250 Avila Beach Drive. Bike, or walk the City to the Sea Bob Jones Trail. Parking lot is located across Ontario Road. Enjoy the history of the Point San Luis Lighthouse. You can kayak or take the trolley! Make tour reservations at


Take a drive out to Port San Luis Harbor and walk on the Harford pier. Dolphins, sea lions, and starfish are common sights. If you are lucky, whales might be in the area during their migration.


Population: 6,500

Check out art galleries and specialty stores on Main Street. Take the family to Moonstone Beach and search for moonstones in the sand or take a walk on the boardwalk.


Little Known Fact: Singer Lady Gaga stopped by the Cambria Ale House, 2084 Main St, during the filming of her music video for G.U.Y. at Hearst Castle.


Population: 2,592

Fish off the pier without needing a license and bring home dinner. Make your sweet tooth happy at the Brown Butter Cookie Company, 98 N Ocean Ave.


Go West: Sling back a few drinks at Old Cayucos Tavern, 130 N Ocean Ave. This western saloon offers a billiard tables and a card room with poker games every weekend.


Population: 94

Check out the Creston Classic Rodeo in September. For dates, visit Olivas de Oro Olive Company, 4625 La Panza Rd., offers olive tasting Friday through Monday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit them at


Good Grub: Meat lovers will want to dine at the Loading Chute, 6350 Webster Rd. The restaurant offers some of the best-cooked prime rib in the county. spring | summer 2017


Grover Beach

Population: 13,600

The South County Skate Park, 1750 Ramona Ave., operates March through December. This 13,234 square foot facility is available for in-line skating and skateboarding. Play a 9-hole game of golf at the Pismo State Beach Golf Course, 25 W Grand Ave. The Central Coast Casino, 359 W Grand Ave., offers poker players cash games and tournaments. For a schedule of events, visit


The Spoon Trade, 295 West Grand Ave., offers classic and modern food to please any palate. Try the fried chicken and waffles, and make sure you ask for the hot sauce. They will bring you a bottle without the cap because so many people try to take it home with them.

Los Osos

Population: 14,276

Walk the Elfin Forest Natural Area preserve Los OsosBaywood Park, 1103 Santa Lucia Ave. Montana De Oro State Park, one of the most beautiful bluff top views and plenty of hiking trails for all levels.


Local Dive Bar: The Merri Maker Tavern, 1301 2nd Street, is home to a ton of locals, cheap drinks, a pool table and on occasion enjoy karaoke night or live music.

Morro Bay

Population: 10,234

Visit Morro Rock, a 581-foot volcanic plug right off the shore on Morro Beach. Walk around the bay area and look for otters floating in the water. Check out the Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History on State Park Rd. Spend about a half an hour learning about the area along with great interactive displays especially for children.

Tip Nipomo -

For the Birds: Bring your binoculars to the Morro Estuary Natural Preserve and 800-acre wetland home to 250 bird species. The annual Bird Festival takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.

Population: 16,622

Play 18-holes at Monarch Dunes Golf Course, 1606 Trilogy Pkwy. It’s a challenging course surrounded by dunes and eucalyptus trees. Visit the Dana Adobe, 671 S Oakglen Ave., This historic building was the home of Boston sea captain William Dana, who in 1837 was granted the 37,888-acre Rancho Nipomo.

Tip 34

You Grow What: Take a tour of The Luffa Farm, 1457 Willow Rd., and learn all the benefits of these natural sponges that are growing in one of the only such farms in the USA. They are open Wednesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. REVEAL the central coast of california


Population: 7,286

Rent and Ride ATV on the dunes at the Oceano State Vehicular Recreation Area. Enjoy a bonfire on the beach on one of the only beaches that you can drive on.


Celebrate Vaudeville: Take the whole family to a show at the Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville located at 1863 Front St. For tickets and shows visit,

Paso Robles

Population: 31,580

Ravine waterpark, Airport Road, with multiple slides, a Kickback Kreek, and wave pool is fun for the whole family. The Barrelhouse Brew, 3055 Limestone Way, has a brewery and beer garden that often has live music. Open to all ages.


Ride ‘Em: The Paso Roble Horse Park, 3801 Hughes Pkwy., is an equestrian competition event facility that holds events, classes, weddings, and shows with a portion of funds going to support handicapped and underprivileged children.

Pismo Beach

Population: 7,753

Rent surfboards, paddleboards, kayaks, wetsuits and commune with the ocean. Play a game of pool at Hot Shots Billiards or go bowling at Pismo Bowl, both are on Pomeroy Avenue. Rent an all-accessible chair and hit the sand at California Coast Beach Power Chair


Earn your wings: Located on Highway 1, the Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove is a winter migration location for thousands of majestic orange and black butterflies typically from November to February.

San Luis Obispo

Population: 45,541

Hike Bishop Peak. This 20.013271 million-year-old volcanic plug is the tallest of the “Nine Sisters” that stretch to Morro Bay. Farmers’ Market takes over Downtown SLO on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. It offers produce, food vendors, entertainment, and more.


Jaw Work: Leave your mark at Bubblegum Alley where for decades locals and visitors have been depositing their chewed gum on the 70-foot long 15-foot high alley located at 733 ½ Hiiguera Street. spring | summer 2017


San Miguel

Population: 2,336

Visit Mission San Miguel Arcangel on Mission Street. This mission was founded among the Salinas Indians, who inhabited the area in the 1700’s. Go wine tasting at Graveyard Vineyards, 6990 Estrella Rd., up the hill from a150-year-old graveyard.


Go Army: Take a guided tour of the Camp Roberts Historical Museum, the largest Army museum in California. The museum, off Hwy 101 at exit 244,is only open Thursdays and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (excluding some National Holidays.

San Simeon

Population: 571

Several tours are available at Hearst Castle formerly owned by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and home to Hollywood legends. The Piedras Blancas Light Station, 15950 Cabrillo Highway, dates back to 1875 and is also a wildlife sanctuary.


Mating Season: Marvel at the elephant seals during their mating, birthing, and molting season typically from December to March at The Piedras Blancas rookery on Highway 1 seven miles north of San Simeon, 250 San Simeon Ave.

Santa Margarita

Population: 1,429

Have fun in the sun while fishing or boating at Santa Margarita Lake. Fly through the sky or take kayak tours at Margarita Adventures, 22719 El Camino Real.


Cowboy Up: Enjoy horseback tours through oaks and rolling hills at Shangri-La Ranch Horseback Adventures of Hwy. 58.


Population: 7,645

Take a tour and enjoy tastings at Wild Horse Winery and Vineyards, 1437 Wild Horse Winery Ct, Templeton Rd, The tasting room is located in olive groves, vineyards and beautiful oak trees. Bonus, two llamas also live at the site and love people who bring them apples and carrots.

Tip 36

Down on the Farm: Happy Acres Family Farm, 1955 Templeton Rd., is a working goat dairy farm that sells goat milk dairy products along with fresh eggs and farm-fresh produce. The produce is grown on the farm’s 56 certified organic acres. REVEAL the central coast of california


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alamac S y d u J y B

Photo by


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aso Robles Wine Country is notable worldwide for its award-winning hearty reds and fruit-forward whites itching to be swirled, sipped and savored at uniquely themed tasting facilities, and sparkling down-toearth hospitality. Many of the 200 wineries offer hillside and valley overlooks with expansive vineyard vistas for picnics, winemaker dinners and the Paso Robles Wine Alliance (www. creates public festival throughout the year. Several themed-tasting venues have clustered on Main streets in distinctive north county communities off US-101 and Hwy46. Take an off-ramp or backroad to San Miguel, Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, Creston, Santa and Margarita to find a favorite boutique winery – and so much more. Just to name a few -- Enjoy summertime evening concerts at Rio Seco, Saturdays at Broken Earth or Sundays at Sculpterra’s sculpture gardens. Folk troubadours croon at Castoro Cellars and blockbuster star-power visits Vina Robles. Tooth & Nail’s visitors taste in a replicated castle. Eberle Winery offers 1,600sf of underground cave cellars. Peachy Canyon hopes their visitors will “Ms. Behave” while Alta Colina Wine wants visitors to stay overnight at their Trailer Pond. Just as Paso Robles Wine Country’s 32,000-acre AVA (American Viticultural Area) has grown steadily in quality and popularity since the 1950s, a burgeoning craft brew marketplace is attracting visitors with different beverage

preferences. Recently Firestone Walker Brewing Company visible driving US-101 between Paso Robles and Templeton announced a merger with Duvel Moortgat Brewing Company to become the 6th largest craft brewery in the United States. North County boasts six craft brew companies with tasting facilities and several offering brew bitters and hard cider, the latest liquid gold featured at the 2nd Annual Central Coast Cider Festival in Atascadero May 13. Premium wines, craft brews, artisan olives and olive oils – Paso Robles Wine Country is epicurean for any appetite with a laid-back Old California welcome.

PThis ASO ROBLES is North County’s largest city with 43,000 residents

with lots of room to grow. The heart is City Park surrounded by boutique shops, artisan restaurants, delis, bakeries, tasting rooms for wine, olives, and olive oils. The historic Carnegie Library houses the Paso Robles Historical Museum with a modern library across the street and a multi-plex Park Cinemas down the block. With abundant shade trees, visitors can package up a picnic lunch and enjoy horseshoe pits with a playground for the kids. Barrelhouse Brewing Company & Beer Garden partners were garage brewers until they launched in 2012. The brewery now has 30 employees, multiple taprooms, including an authentic speakeasy in downtown SLO. Special events are held at the brewery and their brews are poured at craft brew events. continued, page 40

In November 2016, Gary Kramer Guitar Cellars opened a 2-story wine tasting bistro themed with original Gary Kramer Guitars featuring its “Delta Wing” body design throughout the building. www. Gary and Laura Kramer also produce LaCrime di San Miguel Extra Virgin Olive Oil. spring | summer 2017


continued, from page 39 Events abound throughout the calendar year. Each summer, Paso Robles plays host to the California Mid-State Fair, a popular attraction and tradition that brings together fairgoers from across the state and top-notch entertainment. The Paso Robles Event Center offers a variety of events all year long like the Inspired Home Expo and Inspired Heath Expo. In mid-December get into the holiday spirit with the Vine Street Victorian Showcase. Year-round golfers love to play Hunter Ranch Golf Course and the kids can spend all day at Ravine Waterpark or Zoo to You and WHAR, the wolf rescue facility. And nearby there’s lots of water again in Lake Nacimiento for boating families. Children, retired veterans, military aficionados and NASCAR fans won’t want to miss the Estella Warbirds Museum and Woodland Auto Display. Explore a wide assortment of restored 1940 to 1990 aircraft, including those flown on combat missions during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Operation Desert Storm. Military vehicles and munitions are also on display. Test your flight skills in the simulator. On the same acreage is Richard “Dick” Woodland’s collection of racing vehicles including NASCAR Sprint, Modified, Super Modified and Midget race cars – most restored, plus foreign and domestic sports cars. Always expanding both collections, there is good reason to check it out each time in Paso Robles.


Although it was damaged in the 2003 San Simeon Earthquake, Mission San Miguel Arcångel is open to the public at 775 Mission Street. After several million dollars invested, phase four of seven repair and retrofit projects have been completed, including the historic convent, museum, gift shop, church and cemetery. Religious services and special events are available. Established in 1797 by the Franciscans, when mission was secularized in 1834 after the Mexican independence the Salinan People returned to their ancestral homelands, but their story remains at the mission. Later It was occupied by the William Reed family until they were all murdered in 1848. The rooms were then converted to commercial properties. However, in 1859 President Buchanan returned the mission buildings to the Catholic Church. Annually more than 5.5 million visitors tour the 21 California missions.


If you haven’t been to Templeton lately you’ll be amazed and charmed by the infusion of new restaurants, wineries, and businesses repurposing many the Main Street historic structures east of US-101. To the west of the interstate is Twin Cities Community Hospital and supporting medical office complexes. Founded in 1886 it was once the end of line for the expanding Southern Pacific Railroad. At the Templeton depot train travelers had to take a stagecoach the rest of the way to


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San Luis Obispo. Collaborating with the railroad moguls, the West Coast Land Company set aside 160 acres for the town and parceled the rest of its 63,000 acres into small ranches to be marketed to settlers.

Weekdays visitors should check out the Templeton Chamber of Commerce to learn a bit of history, community happenings and pick up valuable coupons. Next door to the Beauty Salon at 321-A-C South Main, which was originally the land sales office is the chamber office. It was the carriage house in its former days. On weekends the docents at the Templeton Historical Museum Society reveal the history behind their headquarters, the 1920s Horstman House. Fig at Courtney’s House is a café located in a Victorian manse open to the public. It is also a training work center for adults with developmental disabilities. McPhee’s Grill is known countywide for its fine dining and western casual décor. The 5th Annual Templeton Wine Festival stages on Main Street May 6. The 17th Annual Summer Concert Series in the Park begins June 7 -- the first of eleven Wednesdays evenings. A traditional Oktoberfest European-style launches September 30 and look for the haunted house this Halloween during Nightmare on Main Street.


Magazine publisher E.G. Lewis hoped to develop Atascadero as a planned utopian colony for 30,000 residents when he founded it in 1913. He purchased the Atascadero Ranch in 1912, solicited investors, planted thousands of orchardacreage, installed a water system, and constructed a road that ultimately became Highway 41 West. In 1916 he created a “tent city” to house investors while he showcased the colony’s livable opportunities. Lewis built an Italian Renaissance-style city hall and museum, called the Rotunda Building, between 1914 and 1918 with bricks made from local clay. Damaged in the 2003 earthquake, the golden domed multi-use headquarters for Lewis’ “colony”


Adventure seeking visitors will find five zip lines operated over the historic Santa Margarita Ranch, the oldest continuously operated cattle ranch in California. The zip lines span more than 4,500 combined feet, including a 1,200-foot valley crossing and 1,800-feet viewing of vineyard acreage. Once the zip line adventure is complete visitors are ready to do what is most commonly done in the Paso Robles Wine Country – yes, visit a tasting room! Ancient Peaks Winery specializes in artisan wines grown from grapes picked and produced at the Santa Margarita Ranch. Time to eat? SLO County locals agree The Range Restaurant offers some of the best cuisine in the county.


things to do before you die

Visit California Mid State Fair Yehaw! Giddyup cowboy! It’s fair time! Every July for two weeks the Mid-State Fairgrounds in Paso Robles become the epicenter of SLO County.

has been restored and reopened with docent led tours offered for a donation by the Atascadero Historical Society. Atascadero’s Charles Paddock Zoo, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums features a refurbished Red Panda exhibit plus hundreds of species from around the world. Nearby the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial makes patriots of all visitors. The Atascadero Lakeside Pavilion presents a summertime concert series and each June the Atascadero Wine Festival.    


Travel ten miles east of Atascadero on Highway 41 and view numerous ranches with thoroughbred horses grazing. The small community of Creston has become a haven for retired racehorses and stud thoroughbreds. Experience the area on horseback with Central Coast Trailrides www. Popular tours available are the private Creston Ranch, Santa Margarita Lake, Halter Ranch and Cass Winery. The 22nd Creston Classic Rodeo is September 13-17 with more purse money, Jackpot Barrel Racing and Jackpot Team Roping.  

As one of the premier fairs in the state, famous for attracting huge best-selling music artists—Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, Lady Antebellum, Pit Bull, and the Steve Miller Band, to name but a few—the MidState Fair has it all. Pull on your cowboy or cowgirl boots, stick on your Stetson, and wander around the fair sampling delicious and indulgent fair food such as deepfried, chocolate covered bacon, funnel cakes, and corn on the cob as you try to win a stuffed animal at the carnival games. Check out the live farm animals, farm equipment, and hundreds of vendors selling a wide selection of arts, crafts, and things you never knew you needed. Electronic bull rides, watering-hole tents, and free music stages complete this one-of-a-kind experience. Be warned: the summer in Paso can be hot, so dress accordingly and know that on busy nights, the fairgrounds are a sea of people. The Mid-State Fairgrounds are located at 2198 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles. For more information, visit Information courtesy of the book 101 Things to do in San Luis Obispo County Before You Die by Gareth Kelly. spring | summer 2017


Hiking Trails For directions go to

Islay Creek This easy out and back hike in Montaña de Oro State Park follows a wide trail up a coastal canyon flanked by thousand-foot peaks, passing a small waterfall to reach an abandoned barn. 6 miles Moonstone Beach Boardwalk This out and back hike crosses a boardwalk along a charming Cambria beach in Hearst San Simeon State Park. 2.85 miles Morro Dunes Ecological Reserve This lollipop loop serves up panoramic views over Morro Bay as it climbs from Los Osos to Montaña de Oro State Park. 2.6 miles Morro Rock via Morro Strand This level stroll starts from Coisters Park, crosses Morro Strand State Beach to reach Morro Rock. 1 - 3.5 miles Black Hill This out and back hike to the summit of one of the Nine Sisters reaches 360-degree views over Morro Bay. 0.6 miles Oats Peak This out and back hike reaches a panoramic summit that looks down over Montaña de Oro State Park. 8.25 miles

NORTH COAST Bluff Trail This level out and back hike passes tide pools and beaches along a picturesque rocky coastline in Montaña de Oro State Park. 1.2 - 3.4 miles Coon Creek This out and back hike ventures up a coastal canyon at the south end of Montaña de Oro State Park. 5 miles Cerro Alto This semi-loop bags the 2,624-foot summit of Cerro Alto, plus a scenic ridge south of the peak. 5.35 miles Cerro Cabrillo This tough out and back hike summits the highest mountain in Morro Bay State Park, a 911-foot member of the Nine Sisters. 2.5 miles Eagle Rock This loop in El Chorro Regional Park climbs to Eagle Rock Viewpoint for an overview of the valley between SLO and Morro Bay. 2.4 miles


Elfin Forest Natural Reserve This easy boardwalk loop explores a pygmy forest on the edge of Morro Bay. 1 mile Headlands Trail This gradual lollipop loop in Harmony Headlands State Park crosses a coastal valley to reach picturesque ocean bluffs on the rugged coast between Cayucos and Cambria. 4.5 miles Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve This short hikes explores a pygmy forest of coast live oaks, providing a shady level stroll on overlapping loops. 0.75 - 1.5 miles Hazard Peak Trail This out and back hike in Montaña de Oro State Park ascends coastal ridges to a 1,076-foot summit with panoramic views. 6 miles Hazard Peak Islay Creek Loop This loop in Montaña de Oro State Park continues beyond Hazard Peak deeper into the Irish Hills before circling back to the coast on Islay Creek Trail. 9.2 miles

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Piedras Blancas This out and back hike ventures up the coast from the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery to Piedras Blancas Light Station.3.2 - 4.2 miles Point Buchon This short scenic loop or longer outand-back hike explores the beautiful coastline south of Montaña de Oro State Park. 1.33 - 6.8 miles Portola Point This loop explores a short hill in Morro Bay State Park just east of Morro Estuary with an easy-to-reach ocean overlook. 2 miles Reservoir Flats This loop delivers fine ocean and canyon views as it explores the bottom of Islay Creek Canyon in Montaña de Oro State Park. 2 miles Turtle Rock This easy out and back hike reaches a short rise between Black Hill and Cerro Cabrillo in Morro Bay State Park. 2.1 miles Valencia Peak This out and back hike summits a 1,347foot peak with panoramic views over Montaña de Oro State Park. 3.7 miles

SAN LUIS OBISPO Bishop Peak This out and back hike summits the tallest of the Nine Sisters for excellent views over San Luis Obispo. 3.5 miles Cerro San Luis This hike summits one of the Nine Sisters just west of downtown San Luis Obispo. 4 - 5 miles Cerro San Luis from Laguna Lake Park This out and back hike summits one of the Nine Sisters just west of downtown San Luis Obispo. 5.7 miles Felsman Loop Trail This loop crosses oak, sagebrush, and grass-covered slopes around the base of Bishop Peak, providing excellent views of that notable rocky summit and its San Luis Obispo surroundings. 2.7 miles Johnson Ranch Loop This loop explores rolling hills in a grassy open space just south of San Luis Obispo. 2.5 - 3.7 miles

Lemon Grove Trail This easy loop visits a historic lemon grove on the eastern slopes of Cerro San Luis. 2.2 miles

Sydney Street Trail This hike climbs a steep rugged trail to a stone seating area at a panoramic summit. 2.8 miles

Islay Hill This out and back hike summits San Luis Obispo’s easternmost Morro. 1.8 miles

SOUTH COUNTY Bob Jones Bike Trail This easy round trip hike or ride follows San Luis Obispo Creek to Avila Beach. 5 miles

Poly Canyon This lollipop loop hike visits an architectural village designed by Cal Poly students at the base of the Santa Lucia Mountains. 2.5 miles

Point San Luis Lighthouse via Pecho Coast This docent-led hike crosses scenic coastal bluffs to reach the historic lighthouse on Point San Luis.

Reservoir Canyon This steep hike passes a waterfall and a collection of junk sculptures en route overlooking San Luis Obispo. 5.35 miles South Hills Ridge Trail This out and back hike visits the top of a cluster of hills near downtown San Luis Obispo, offering fine views over the city. 1.5 miles

Ontario Ridge Trail This loop explores the coast between Shell Beach and Avila Beach, on and below a 700-foot ridge. 2.8 miles Sycamore Crest Trail This out and back hike ascends the north slope of Ontario Hill to a scenic ocean view perch. 1.75 - 3.25 miles

Stenner Creek This out and back hike goes up Stenner Creek Canyon past a small waterfall and views of Bishop Peak to a collection of freeride bike trails. 3.7 miles

Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School Presents


EARTH Camp is a 6 day, 5 night residential camp for children entering 5th8th grades. Campers will learn skills that promote independence, make new friends, and create lasting memories in a week filled with fun adventures in the outdoors. Our team of fun, energetic and well trained staff will guide campers to a great summertime experience.

Session Dates: July 9–14, July 16–21 & July 23–28

Cost: $995 per session if registered by June 2, 2017 ($1095 beginning June 3, 2017). For more information or to register your child for camp please go to or call 805-782-7336. CIT PROGRAM High School and College students are encouraged to apply to our Counselor-inTraining (CIT) program. Application deadline is May 15th. Go to for information.

Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School 2450 Pennington Creek Rd San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 805-782-7336 or email

DAVID SKINNER Cell: 805-459-8798 CalBRE #00552094

KAREN SKINNER Cell: 805-550-9001 CalBRE #01873847

Visit our website for Shell Beach listings & Information!

763 Shell Beach Road, Shell Beach, CA

spring | summer 2017



or some folks a family vacation includes bringing their pets too. The Central Coast has a multitude of places to bring your furry friends. Enjoy lodging, dining, beaches, wineries and hiking trails with the entire family. Knowing that your pet is welcome in advance allows for peace of mind. Inquire in advance for fees and room availabilities.



Creekside Bed & Breakfast Inn 5325 Vineyard Dr. Paso Robles (805) 227-6585

Avila La Fonda 101 San Miguel St. Avila Beach (805) 595-1700

Creekside Inn 2618 Main St., Cambria (805) 927-4021

Avila Village Inn 6655 Bay Laurel Drive Avila Beach (805) 627-1810

Heritage Inn Bed & Breakfast 978 Olive St. San Luis Obispo (805) 544-7440

Bayfront Inn Morro Bay 1150 Embarcadero Morro Bay (805) 772-5607

Inn at Morro Bay 60 State Park Rd. Morro Bay (805) 772-5651

Beach Bungalow Inn & Suites 1050 Morro Ave., Morro Bay (805) 772-9700

Inn Paradiso 975 Mojave Ln., Paso Robles (805) 239-2800

Blue Dolphin Inn 6470 Moonstone Beach Dr., Cambria (805) 927-3300

Just Inn at Justin Vineyards & Winery 11680 Chimney Rock Rd. Paso Robles (805) 238-6932

Cambria Palms Motel 2662 Main St., Cambria (805) 927-4485

Kaleidoscope Inn & Gardens 130 East Dana Street Nipomo (805) 343-9345 Petit Soleil 1473 Monterey St. San Luis Obispo (805) 549-0321


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Cambria Pines Lodge 2905 Burton Dr., Cambria (805) 927-4200 Cayucos Beach Inn 333 South Ocean Ave. Cayucos (805) 995-2828 Cliffs Resort 2757 Shell Beach Rd. Pismo Beach (805) 773-5000

Creekside Inn 2618 Main St., Cambria (805) 927-4021 Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa 2727 Shell Beach Rd., Unit 131, Pismo Beach (805) 773-5003 Dolphin Inn 399 South Ocean Ave., Cayucos (805) 995-3810 Paso Robles Inn 1103 Spring St., Paso Robles (866) 321-1828 Pier View Suites 12 N Ocean Ave., Suite 226, Cayucos (805) 995-0014 Pismo Lighthouse Suites 2411 Price St., Pismo Beach (805) 773-2411 Sea Otter Inn 6656 Moonstone Beach Dr. Cambria (805) 927-5888

CAFES AND RESTAURANTS Bayside Cafe 10 State Park Rd. Morro Bay (805) 772-1465 Big Sky Cafe 1121 Broad St. San Luis Obispo (805) 545-5401 Blue Sky Bistro 699 Embarcadero, Morro Bay (805) 772-8988 Creekside Garden Cafe 2114 Main St., Cambria (805) 927-8646 Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream *They have Doggie Discs 114 W. Branch St., Arroyo Grande (805) 474-4068 860 Higuera St. San Luis Obispo (805) 548-1986

Dorn’s Original Breakers Café 801 Market Ave., Morro Bay (805) 772-4415 Dutchman’s Seafood House 701 Embarcadero, Ste. E, Morro Bay (805) 772-2269 Fin’s Restaurant 25 W. Grand Ave., Grover Beach (805) 473-3467 Frankie’s & Lola’s Front Street Café 1154 Front St., Morro Bay (805) 771-9306 Giovanni’s Fish Market 1001 Front St., Morro Bay (805) 772-2123 Hoppe’s Bistro & Wine Bar 78 North Ocean Ave., Cayucos (805) 995-1006

Mr. Rick’s 404 Front St., Avila Beach (805) 595-7425 Pappy McGregor’s 11122 Pine St., Paso Robles (805) 238-7070 Paso Robles Inn Steakhouse 1103 Spring St., Paso Robles (805) 226-4925

Olde Port Beach 3993 Avila Beach Dr., Avila Beach (805) 595-2515 Pismo State Beach 555 Pier Ave. (805) 489-1869 Spooners Cove Los Osos (805) 528-0513 William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach 50 Hearst Castle Rd., San Simeon (805) 927-2020

Indigo Moon Cafe 1980 Main St., Cambria (805) 927-2911

Sally Loo’s Wholesome Cafe 1804 Osos St., San Luis Obispo (805) 545-5895

Las Cambritas Mexican Restaurant 2336 Main St. # B, Cambria (805) 927-0175

San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill 9520 Castillo Dr., San Simeon (805) 927-4601

Lido Restaurant 2727 Shell Beach Rd. Pismo Beach (805) 773-8900

Sea Shanty Restaurant 296 S. Ocean Ave., Cayucos (805) 995-3272

Cayucos Cellars Tasting Room 131 N. Ocean Ave., Cayucos (805) 995-3036

Lil Hut 1205 Embarcadero Morro Bay (805) 772-3488

Zorro’s Cafe & Cantina 927 Shell Beach Rd. Pismo Beach (805) 773-9676

Eberle Winery 3810 W. Hwy. 46, Paso Robles (805) 238-9607

Linn’s Easy as Pie Cafe 4251 Bridge St., Cambria (805) 924-3050


Eos Winery 2300 Airport Way, Paso Robles (805) 591-8050

Luna Red 1023 Chorro St. San Luis Obispo (805) 540-5243 Madeline’s 788 Main St., Cambria (805) 927-4175 Marisol at the Cliffs 2757 Shell Beach Rd. Pismo Beach (800) 826-7827

Cayucos State Beach Ocean Front Ave., Cayucos (805) 781-5930 Morro Bay State Park 60 State Park Rd., Morro Bay (805) 772-2560

WINERIES Adelaida Winery 5805 Adelaida Rd., Paso Robles

Moonstone Cellars 801 Main St., Cambria (805) 927-9466

Morro Strand Beach Hwy. 1 and 24th St. Cayucos Oceano Dunes State Park (805) 773-7170

spring | summer 2017



Camp or Glamp, on the Central Coast!

– Reserve the Campsite – Reserve the Trailer – Relax, We do the rest!

2013 Cougar, sleeps 6 with 1 queen bed, 1 pull out couch (full) and table to bed conversion. AM/FM/CD/AUX, DVD Player, TV, Surround Sound, and more!

Call us today to check availability, and book your next trip!

805.423.6740 or

We Buy GOLD & DIAMONDS Large Selection of Wedding Rings Custom Design & Repair Premium Canes Collection


857 OAK PARK BLVD PISMO BEACH (located in the Ross shopping center) Tue - Fri 10AM - 6PM, Sat 10AM - 5PM

passengers. Tom and Debby drove their team of horses hitched to the #20 Concord Stagecoach built for them by famed Texas specialty vehicle builder J. Brown in the 2016 Rose Parade. By appointment, the public is invited to experience over 26 one-ofa-kind horse drawn vehicles at the Harris’ working horse ranch four miles from the heart of Paso Robles. continued, page 28


$ 1314 Madonna Road San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (805) 594-1314 7am - 10pm every day Located at the corner of Los Osos Valley Road & Madonna


a $30 minimum purchase (excludes alcohol & dairy)

Valid at San Luis Obispo Grocery Outlet only. One coupon per person. No cash value. Not valid with any other offer. Duplicated coupons will not be accepted. Coupon must be surrendered at time of purchase. Expires 10/31/15. Expires 7/31/17

spring | summer 2017


His Day


tart your day off right by grabbing your friends, and head north for some amazing morning surf at the “Pit” in Morro Bay (you’ll want to look for the large hard-to-miss rock, which is usually surrounded by surfers). If you don’t have your own board, there are some great rentals at Wavelengths Surf Shop at the main drag on the Embarcadero. After you’ve built up a major appetite, grind down on some Taco de Mexico (the local’s favorite), where the portions are huge and super tasty. Once you’re done with breakfast, head on up to Lake Nacimiento for some relaxation time. At the marina, there are boat and wake-boarding rentals that are perfect for every occasion, along with any provisions that you may need for the


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• • • • •

Wavelengths Surf Shop Taco de Mexico Lake Nacimiento Firestone Brewery Adelaide Inn Photo by Ben Schutzer

day. One thing to think about: the weather is usually pretty hot, and the time there tends to slide right by, leaving you a bit exhausted. Luckily, the Firestone Brewery in Paso Robles is on your way back down to civilization, where you can grab a bite to eat, unwind with some of their refreshing local craft beers, and soak up the usually busy night scene. After the long day, you’ll want to retire at the Adelaide Inn, which is located just around the corner. The rooms are simple but very nice, and there is a fun little mini golf course, if you still have the energy!



Ottano Inc. 11555 Los Osos Valley Rd.San Luis Obispo (805) 547-2088

Ale House Baywood 690 Santa Maria Ave. Los Osos (805) 752-1089

Bang the Drum Brewery 950 Orcutt Rd. San Luis Obispo (805) 242-8372

SLO Brewing Co. 1125 Garden St. San Luis Obispo (805) 439-0485

Cambria Beer Co. 821 Cornwall St. Cambria (805) 203-5265

Central Coast Brewing 1422 Monterey St. San Luis Obispo (805) 783-2739

SLO Brew Rock 855 Aerovista Ln. San Luis Obispo (805) 543-1843


Creekside Brewing Co. 1040 Broad St. San Luis Obispo (805) 542-9804 creeksidebrewing

Tap IT Brewing Co. 675 Clarion Ct #1 San Luis Obispo (805) 545-7702

Doc’s Cellar 855 Capitolio Way San Luis Obispo (805) 781-9974


Barrel House Brewing 3055 Limestone Way Paso Robles (805) 296-1128 Dunbar Brewing 2200 El Camino Real Santa Margarita (805) 704-9050 Firestone Walker Brewing Company 1400 Ramada Dr. Paso Robles (805) 225-5913 Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. 6760 El Camino Real Atascadero (805) 460-6454 The Pour House 525 Pine St. Paso Robles (805) 539-1000

Downtown Brewing Co. 1119 Garden St. San Luis Obispo (805) 543-1843 Fossil Fuels Brewing Co. 1854 Castillo Ct. San Luis Obispo (805) 748-9717 Hop On Beer Tours PO Box 3814 San Luis Obispo (855) 554-6766 Libertine Brewing Co 1234 Broad St. San Luis Obispo (805) 548-2337

Figueroa Mountain 1462 E. Grand Ave. Arroyo Grande (805) 694-2252 ManRock Brewing Co. 1750 El Camino Real #A Grover Beach (805) 270-3089 Pismo Beach Brewing 500 Cypress St., Ste. S2 Pismo Beach (805) 295-6200 Shell Beach Brewhouse 1527 Shell Beach Rd. Pismo Beach (805) 295-6328

spring | summer 2017


Using Ecotourism to Engage Customers By Mark A. Diaz


n the age of convenience, customer satisfaction may no longer be enough to ensure return business. Companies are seeing a growing need to engage their clientele in order to produce a deeper emotional connection that, in turn, results in the invaluable commodity of customer loyalty. Highway 1 Discovery Route and the unincorporated San Luis Obispo County Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) have created and maintained the award winning Stewardship Travel Program (STP) in an attempt to merge sustainability, environmentalism and customer engagement. Established in 2013, STP involves businesses from Ragged Point to as far South as Nipomo and offers 70 activities to engage tourists and locals alike. Activities range from aiding in the restoration of trails in Montaña de Oro, volunteer to work at the Nipomo Native Garden, or pick up debris at the Cayucos or Avila beaches. Not all the activities involve labor, for instance, there are hikes, tours and museums on the list and even a wine tasting event. However, each activity is designed to highlight the beauty and uniqueness of the Central Coast with hopes that visitors will establish that elusive deeper connection. Katie Sturtevant, co-director of STP, has seen an increase of return customers since the conception of the program. “It’s been working really well for us. It gets them to them to connect, care and gives them a way to give back to the area, which we have found, makes them want to come back,” said Sturtevant. “They are just more deeply connected to the area that they are traveling to.” Not only does customer engagement show an increase in future spending, trends indicate Millennials are more inclined to actively search out destinations that are environmental responsible and offer opportunities in land preservation and


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rehabilitation. “We’re finding that more and more travelers want to spend more money on an area that they know is being preserved and that they can be a hand in preserving,” Sturtevant said. The Avila Beach Tourism Alliance (ABTA) has recently revamped one of its contributions to ecotourism. The Avila Beach Cleanup Kit and Appreciation Tote Bag has received a new look with signage that will be posted around the beach town to promote the activity. Award winning graphic artist Reilly Newman was employed to create the new look. The ABTA invites “active visitors” to use a kit to pick up 10 pieces of trash and post a picture of their accomplishment on a social website (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) with #VistiAvilaBeach in order to receive an exclusive T-shirt and to be entered into a monthly drawing. “You would not believe how many people jump at the opportunity to pick up trash,” said Chris King, general manager of the Avila Beach Inn. “It’s pretty amazing.” The Avila program is unique in that it not has the potential to build engagement, but with the requirement of digital posting, it gives the activity an extra boost to grow organically. ABTA kits contain gloves, a collection bag and a marine debris checklist. The kits are currently available at Central Coast Aquarium, Avila Village Inn, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, and San Luis Bay Inn upon request. The Discovery Route recently received the Visit California Poppy Award under the award’s “Commitment to Community” category. For more information, visit; www.Highway1DiscoveryRoute. com or

CUESTA COLLEGE San Luis Obispo County’s community college

At Cuesta College, you can choose from over 70 associate degrees or 60 certificate programs, and complete your academic goals on the beautiful and idyllic Central Coast! Come take a tour of one of our three locations (San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, and Arroyo Grande), and discover how we transfer the most students to Cal Poly SLO and why we’re consistently ranked as one of the top community colleges in California.

(805) 546-3100 spring | summer 2017


Aquarium Teaches Kids About the Sea By Judy Salamacha


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he Central Coast Aquarium (CCA) has hands-on marine education opportunities for schoolchildren K-12. On weekends, the Avila-based aquarium is open to the public, exhibiting over 50 species of local sea life. Executive Director, Tara Kasarjian said, “While school is in session students from across six counties are bused to the aquarium for ocean discovery labs or floating marine lab lessons in San Luis Obispo Bay. Volunteer docents teach about the ecology of marine life and Central Coast aquatic environments. Our goal is to educate today’s generation to become ocean stewards for future generations.” Beginning June 12 similar, week-long and more in-depth summer camps are offered for grades K-2, third-fifth grades, and the teen programs for sixth-ninth graders. Check out the details at www. For over 20 years, CCA marine education programs have steadily grown Kasarjian explained. “In 1994, a local couple, Russ and Carol Kiessig, founded a non-profit organization called the Avila Beach Marine Institute,” she said. “The couple had purchased a defunct


things to do before you die

Pair Wines with Peacocks at Kelsey See Canyon Winery

historical site in 1976 and redeveloped it into Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort with hot springs, hot tub rentals and lodging at the Avila Valley Inn, plus the Gardens of Avila Restaurant and lounge. They sold it in 2003. “Their vision for the marine institute was to provide opportunities for local students to learn about the ocean hoping to share their passion for marine education and stewardship,” Kasarjian said. The organization began teaching marine science lessons on San Luis Bay sport fishing vessels to visiting school groups and pier-side at the Avila Pier in Avila Beach. Soon they outgrew the space and moved above the Old Port Inn on the Harford Pier. In 1998, Unocal began an extensive cleanup of a decades-old oil seepage a n d community funds allowed the institute to move to its current location next to the park in Avila. It was renamed the Avila Beach Sea Life Center. Marine life education also continued with ocean excursions off the Harford Pier for school children from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Fresno, Kern, Kings and Monterey Counties. continued, page 52

Heading out to Avila Beach one will most likely pass See Canyon Road. Take a right and drive up this winding treecovered back road, and you will arrive at Kelsey See Canyon Winery. With live music most weekends, Kelsey See Canyon Winery may be smaller than some other wineries, but its wine and delicious apple cider pack a real punch. A flock of peacocks wander the property and provide something of the exotic while you sit in the beautiful grass-covered grounds sipping a cool glass of chardonnay with friends. Deep into the valley, this out-of-the-way winery will often be a little cooler in the hot summer months than the inland locales, making it a perfect place to escape the heat. If you’re lucky, you may even run into owner and local character, Keith Kelsey, who will insist on taking you on a tour of where the wine magic happens. Kelsey See Canyon Winery is located at 1947 See Canyon Rd., San Luis Obispo, (805) 595-9700 Kid and pooch friendly Information courtesy of the book 101 things to do in San Luis Obispo County before you die by Gareth Kelly. spring | summer 2017


continued, from page 51 Kasarjian is supported by a small but knowledgeable staff of marine biologists. Emily Sampson, director of husbandry, is a U.C. San Diego graduate. Aquarium Manager, Taylor Bodine, went to Cooks University, Australia, and Program Director, Travis Norton, graduated from Cal Poly. Strong partnerships and board representation comes from Cal Poly and the community at large. “Adding educational aquarium tanks to the first floor has become a perfect teaching tool for the visiting school groups,” Kasarjian said. In 2010, the organization opened to the public on weekends optimizing visitor growth in 2013 from 3,600 visitors to 13,000 visitors per year and 25,000 by 2015. “Public interest in marine education continues to grow and we’re busting out of our seams in Avila. When the City of Morro Bay posted a MOU [memorandum of understanding], to build a new site where the Morro Bay Aquarium currently leases, we saw an opportunity to expand. It’s a major investment.” Kasajian noted they recently spent $50,000 for a new tank


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filtration system. “But with 200,000 Morro Bay Aquarium visitors each year, if we capture only a percentage, we believe we will increase our public outreach and be able to expand the education programs we have developed over 20 years. We also hope to preserve the legacy created by the Tyler Family, the current owners.” The lease for the Morro Bay Aquarium expires in September 2018. CCA has applied for and received preliminary approval for a $20 million USDA loan, however, a feasibility study must be completed before final approval and funding. Kasarjian added, “We’ve raised $20,000 of the $40,000 we need. If anyone is interested in donating to the feasibility study fund for a new aquarium in Morro Bay email me at: tara@” Freelance writer, columnist and author, Judy Salamacha can be reached at: or call (805) 8011422. Her Then & Now column is a regular feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.


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Get Hooked on Morro Bay

Sports Day • • • •

Tognizzinis Dockside Giovanni’s Fresh Fish Virg’s Landing Red Anchor Charters

Photo by Maryann Stansfield


orro Bay started out as a small commercial fishing village in the 1950s, and grew to be a vacation destination built on living an active lifestyle filled with outdoor adventure. Today, Morro Bay is home to a thriving fishing community, successfully leading the way in sustainable small fleet fishing practices nationwide as recognized in the New York Times and National Geographic in 2014. Aside from the local catch of salmon, halibut, albacore, Bluefin tuna, swordfish, rock cod, squid and Dungeness crab that can be found at restaurants and fish markets up and down the waterfront, oyster farming in Morro Bay is a continued tradition. Oyster farming actually began in the early 1900s and has been a part of the rich culture and economic strength ever since. The cold, clean waters of Morro Bay produce two specific varieties: Pacific Gold Oysters are a beautiful, hardy species with a robust flavor and hint of melon, and Grassy Bar Oysters are medium sized and have plump, juicy meats with rich, briny watermelon flavor. Tognizzini’s Dockside and Giovanni’s fresh fish markets carry local Morro Bay Oysters, in-season local fish and offer outdoor dining right on the water. Sign up for a deep sea sport fishing expedition to catch the big one from one of the many charter boat companies that line the bay. Catch salmon, rockfish, lingcod, albacore or whatever is biting on daily fishing trips from Virg’s Landing Sport Fishing. They provide live bait in season, you can rent tackle if you need it and they will hold a cash prize Ling Cod fishing tournament this fall. Or charter a sailboat from Red Anchor Charters and head out into the deep blue pacific with the wind at your back. From kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing, to sailing and surfing, there are many rental companies to keep the active adventurer happy and healthy in Morro Bay.

spring | summer 2017


Galleries NORTH COAST By The Bay Gallery 895 Embarcadero Morro Bay (805) 772-5563 Cayucos Art Association & Cayucos Art Gallery 10 Cayucos Dr., Cayucos (805) 995-2049 Fiona Bleu 900 Embarcadero Morro Bay (805) 772-0541 Focus On Nature Photo Gallery 601 Embarcadero Morro Bay (805) 772-4972 Forever Stoked 1164 Quintana Rd. Morro Bay (805) 771-9095 Full Moon Pottery Studio-Gallery 345 Harbor St. Morro Bay (805) 772-2890

Gallery At Marina Square 601 Embarcadero Morro Bay (805) 772-4972 John Ramos Gallery 407 Morro Bay Blvd. Morro Bay (805) 772-2890

Morro Bay Art Association 835 Main St. Morro Bay (805) 771-2504 Native Spirit Gallery 333 Bernardo Ave. Morro Bay (805) 772-2571 Seven Sisters Gallery 601 Embarcadero Morro Bay (805) 772-2504 Under The Sea 833 Embarcadero Morro Bay (805) 772-4872

Chris Burkard Gallery in Pismo Beach


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SAN LUIS OBISPO Amnesia 787 Higuera St. San Luis Obispo (805) 543-4323 Art by Colleen Gnos 141 Suburban Rd. C4, San Luis Obispo Arts Council San Luis Obispo County 570 Higuera St. San Luis Obispo (805) 544-9251 Drew Davis Fine Art 331 Pacific St. San Luis Obispo (805) 234-2302 Foundation for The Performing Arts Center 550 Dana St. San Luis Obispo (805) 541-5401 Frame Works 339 Marsh St. San Luis Obispo (805) 542-9000

John Ramos Gallery in Morro Bay

Gallery at the Network 778 Higuera St. San Luis Obispo (805) 788-0886 Gene Francis Gallery 1120 Garden St. San Luis Obispo (805) 545-7902

The John Landon Gallery 1110 Morro St. San Luis Obispo (805) 441-4422


Hands Gallery Contemporary Craftsmanship 777 Higuera St. San Luis Obispo (805) 543-1921

Chris Burkard Gallery 271 B 5 Cities Dr. Pismo Beach (805) 270-3835

Just Looking Gallery 746 Higuera St. San Luis Obispo (805) 541-6663

Sayva Creative Art Gallery 65 Landing Passage Avila Beach (805) 704-6859

San Luis Obispo Museum of Art 1010 Broad St. San Luis Obispo (805) 543-8562

Seaside Gallery 176 Foothill Rd. Pismo Beach (805) 295-6386

Spirits of Africa Gallery 570 Higuera St. Suite 150, San Luis Obispo (877) 688-0156 Steynberg Gallery 1531 Monterey St. San Luis Obispo (805) 547-0278

Thomas Kinkade Gallery 500 Cypress St. Pismo Beach (805) 773-9424 Under The Sea Gallery 324 Front St. Avila Beach (805) 627-1488

The Claassen Gallery 774 Marsh St. San Luis Obispo (805) 391-0361

Art by Rowan Chase at Fiona Bleu Gallery spring | summer 2017


Spend a Few Nights in Nature


ooking to reduce stress, get fresh air, and socialize without a screen in front of you? Go on a mini-adventure with family and friends or take a solo trek into the great outdoors and let go of the day-to-day grind while camping for a few days. A few members of our crew shared their favorite spots to get away from it all whether its the comfort of a trailer or the coziness of a tent, the Central Coast is full of spots to find your own level of rugged.


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Port San Luis Harbor in Avila overflow camping. It’s a first come first serve, dry camping area on the bluff overlooking the beach and harbor. No tent camping. It’s a perfect weekend getaway at the beach, close to shopping and restaurants, cheaper than the reserved spots and you can bring your dog. ~ Michelle Johnson, art director

My friends and I enjoy Lake Lopez Campground for so many reasons. Beside the spacious campsites to choose from, there are beautiful lakes, trees, trails, wildlife, and awesome fishing. . There are also fun waterslides, zip lining, a good bait shop and a restaurant. Plus, it’s only 15 minutes to local wineries, and the Village of Arroyo Grande. My favorite thing to do is to rent the pontoon with a half dozen friends, music, and picnic treats. I also bring a couple of hammocks for a peaceful nap. The sunny breeze can’t be beat. ~ Zorina Ricci, advertising executive

Our family loves camping at Nacimiento Lake. Whether in a tent, trailer or RV, there is a spot for everyone! With this year’s rain, and the lake over 90% full, you can bring your boat, or play on the beach, either way you will stay cool this summer. ~ Dana McGraw, sales manager

Morro Strand State Beach Campground, located on Yerba Buena Street in North Morro Bay. It’s literally on the beach, without the craziness of Oceano Dunes. They have 24 full hook-up RV spots and lots of tent camping too. One drawback, no showers, otherwise a bargain at $50 a night for full hook ups and $35 for campsites. Make reservations early. Favorite non-campground is the Morro Bay Sandpit. It’s the most underused natural area in SLO County. Four miles of white sand beach pretty much all to yourself. Lots of privacy, clothing is optional and there is cell service, too. ~ Neil Farrell, managing editor Bay News

North Beach Campground in Pismo Beach is a beautiful campground nestled in between a eucalyptus grove and the pacific ocean. The sites are spacious and many provide tree shade. It’s a short walk to the beach or downtown Pismo. Enjoy the Monarch butterflies fluttering through camp from November through February, and in the summer the kids can become a junior ranger. Reservations can be made at www.

The state park named after Big Sur  pioneer  Julia Pfeiffer Burns has three hidden campsites above the McWay Falls waterfall. That’s where From Here to Eternity was shot.  One of my favorite places to camp in the last five years, but it’ll take that long to get a reservation, so I hope you know someone who’s going. Tent camping only, no dogs.   ~ Camas Frank, section editor SLO City News

I love camping at San Simeon State Park. My favorite spot is shielded from the area by some willow trees and there is a grassy spot for the tent. There are amazing hikes and walks from the campground that take you through a variety of habitats from woodland, swamp, to mountainous and a rainforest as well as dry dessert. It is truly amazing. ~ Lani Colhouer, CFO

~ Christy Serpa, editorial designer

spring | summer 2017



things to do before you die

Wander the Streets at Art After Dark

On the first Friday of every month, downtown San Luis Obispo turns into a festival for art, wine, and wanderings. Eclectic jewelers, artists, and retailers show off their wares and stay open late to welcome a mix of locals and passers-through. Along with being the perfect opportunity to find a gift for a loved one or a masterpiece for the home, many locations offer local wine, beer, or both to enjoy as one peruses the artwork. Occurs every month except December. For more information, call (805) 544-9251 or visit Information courtesy of the book 101 Things to do in San Luis Obispo County Before You Die by Gareth Kelly.


Fresh Market Cuisine By Mark A. Diaz


ocated in downtown San Luis Obispo in the heart of the Central Coast is a progressive restaurant that serves great food with a great heart. Big Sky Café has weathered over 20 years in downtown SLO, not an easy feat in a town that has seen a number of excellent eateries come and go. But Big Sky did not earn its success from cutting corners or not taking care of its employees, in fact, just the opposite. After almost 14 years of working at the restaurant, Greg Holt took the plunge in April 2015 and purchased the restaurant from its founder, his boss and mentor Charles Meyers. “The fact that we’ve been here this long is really a testament of what Charles started and I was smart enough not to screw up,” owner, Greg Holt said. Commonplace in today’s organic market, Meyers’ vision of ‘farm to table dining’ was unheard of 2 decades ago. Previously, Holt had exclusively worked in the corporate world of restaurants. He confessed that his first day at the Big Sky was an eye opener. Tully, a local farmer came through the back to deliver fresh produce; this was something completely foreign to Holt. “I’d never ever seen that before in my life, a farmer coming to the back door with vegetables. It was definitely from the farm to the table.” The cafe still receives food from almost 30 farms in the county. “Local farmers are the best,” said Holt. Though not everything comes from local sources, Holt works with specific ranches and farms that he has established relationships with to get his beef and poultry. “I just like knowing where the food comes from, turns out it’s a great way to operate,” Holt said with a laugh.

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Holt is making the difficult transition from chef to businessman and learning the ins and outs of being an owner. For instance, in the past he has developed the restaurant’s menu, but now he admittedly has neither the time nor the stamina to run the kitchen and a business. Even though he knows how to do it all, Holt is learning that he does not have to.

“I’ll pitch hit anywhere in this restaurant. I’ll wash the dishes, I’ll mop the floors, I’ll cook and that kind of stuff,” he said. Holt’s wife Mirjam is an immigrant from Holland and his son and daughter are dual citizens of the U.S. and Holland. So, it is of no great surprise that Big Sky Cafe closed its’ doors on Thursday, February 16 also known as Day Without Immigrants and through a generous donation from Comevo, a local software company, was able to pay its employees a full days wage. Holt was also a supporter of the National Women’s March and his staff wore t-shirts with ‘a day without a woman’ emboldened across the front during National Women’s Day. Local food is not the only thing that Holt enjoys sharing. Big Sky also displays the work of local artists on its walls. Currently, the award winning artist Pat Cairns is on display. Previously, Charlie Crimes’ solitary and stirring depictions of trees were featured on the restaurant’s rustic walls and were met with resounding success. “I was so happy for him. It was his first real show by himself and he said, ‘I don’t have to be a starving artist?’” said Holt. Someone wondering what the origin of the restaurant’s name need look no further than one of the restaurant’s coffee mugs that says, “One big sky covers us all equally.”

spring | summer 2017


Best Burger Joints in SLO County By Mark A. Diaz


n a recent Gallup poll, San Luis Obispo County ranked number 7 for “Communities in Overall Well Being,” this may be due to the fact that SLO County has a couple of the top rated hamburger shacks in the nation. A February article by Business Insider, titled “The 50 Best Burger Joints in America,” recently rated Sylvester’s Burgers in Atascadero as 48, and Wee Shack in Morro Bay as 36 for the nation’s 50 best places to grab a juicy national tradition. Granted, it was not an official poll, though the online publication does boast of an average of 70 million views a month. Brian Englund, owner of Sylverster’s located at 6455 El Camino in Atascadero, does not put much stock in the polls. He


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says it is still nice to get some recognition, but it’s nothing new. Englund said, “We’ve had the Food Network and other bigger national type places come in and we almost shooed them off in a way. We don’t really care like most people about that.” What Englund does care about is the SLO community and his employees. “We just won best burger in North County…but we don’t do it for that, we do it for our local community,” Englund said. “The people that come in regularly and think of us as their hometown spot to take their kids to, to hang out with a friend that’s … that’s why we do it all for, not the awards that comes with it.” Englund also said that part of the businesses’ success can be attributed to the dedication to help his employees grow.

Englund welcomes locals to contact the business if they are interested in fundraising. And the restaurant does put its money where its mouth is; Englund estimates that the three Sylvester’s in the county have raised “at least $100,000” for local charities in the last year. One way the stores raise funds is with their “give to get” cards. The cards are worth any burger on their menu, fries and a drink. A portion of the card’s proceeds is donated to a local participating charity. When Englund opened the Atascadero and Oceano stores he wanted to keep the feel of the original Los Osos burger shack. Sylvester’s uses fresh ingredients such as locally made bread and farm fresh produce and never uses frozen meat, but its most important ingredient is that their food is made with love. Englund said, “We have about 90 some employees and each one I can say that I genuinely like and they kind of spread that love themselves. It’s not a fake greeting at the door, it’s really real.” To help spread the love, the Sylvester’s will gift you a free burger on your birthday. continued, page 64

spring | summer 2017


continued, from page 63 The second burger joint to score in the top 50 was the Wee Shack at 1698 Main St, Morro Bay, coming in at rating 37 out of 50. Owned and operated by the local Ngo family, the Wee Shack’s name is phonetic, named after brother Huy (pronounced Wee). Started in 2011, the Shack was the only burger place at its time to offer all fresh food. They only use daily made buns and the vegetables are delivered twice a day, every day. Wayne Ngo, the oldest of three brothers, said that there is no reall secret

Make every day a

to making a good hamburger. “Burgers are very basic food,” said Wayne, “and I think as long as you stick to the basics and keep everything simple and as fresh as you can, it’s amazing how it comes out.” Wayne conceded that there might be a little secret to their great tasting burgers. “We have our own sauces, so they are recipes that we developed and came up with a lot of trial and error.” The youngest brother Hoai (pronounced Why) was instrumental in developing the Shack Sauce. An investment banker by trade, Hoai decided to enroll in culinary institute during a slow point in the industry. The three brothers Wayne, Huy and Hoai (Huy is the second of three and will happily to tell you about the woes of being the middle child) sat down and tested and experimented until they found a culinary combination worthy of the name Shack Sauce. Like all local places, those ‘in the know’ can get a little more bang for their buck. The Shack once featured the Hondo; a John Wayne styled burger with extra cheese, bacon and bun that customers can still request even though it is not listed on menu. And if someone wants to order their fresh cut french fries with some Shack Sauce and grilled onions, “Sure, no problem,” said Wayne. The Ngo family also strives to give back to their hometown. “Whenever we can, we will help with fundraisers, or gift certificates for door prices and that kind of stuff,” said Wayne. In an effort to help fund the Morro Bay bike park, the Wee Shack held a fundraising dinner.

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AB = Avila Beach AG = Arroyo Grande CY = Cayucos CM = Cambria LO = Los Osos MB = Morro Bay OD = Oceano Dunes PR = Paso Robles PB = Pismo Beach SL = San Luis Obispo

Events JUNE



Concerts in the Plaza (SL)

4th of July Parade and Celebration (CY)

Classic California Golf Invitational (PB)

Concours d ‘Elegance Car Show (SL)

4th of July Fireworks Celebration (PB)

Concerts in the Plaza (SL)

Central Coast Oyster Festival (AB)

Arroyo Grande Car Show (AG)

Inspired Home Expo (PR)

Olive Festival (PR)

Central Coast Wine Classic (AB)

Party on Price (PB)

Pacific Breeze Concert Series (PB)

Concerts in the Plaza (SLO)

Trading Day, Kids Flea Market & Bike Rodeo (PR)

Pismo Beach Classic Car Show (PB)

Festival Mozaic (SLOC)


Roll Out the Barrels (EV, AG)

Pacific Breeze Concert Series (PB)

A Taste of Downtown & Arte De Tiza (PR)

Vintage Trailer Rally (PB)

Portuguese Festival (CY)

A.G. Valley Harvest Festival (AG)

Wine, Waves and Beyond (PB)

Seven Sisters Festival (LO)

Avocado & Margarita Festival (MB)

Summer Faire (CM)

Inspired Home Expo (SL)


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Oktoberfest (CM)

Antique Street Faire (CY)

Pismo Beach Clam Festival (PB)

Central Coast Railroad Festival (SL)

Scarecrow and Harvest Festival (CM)

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things to do before you die

Ride Rails at the SLO Skate Park



Mall Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm Sun 11am-7pm | Open 7 Days | 922-7931 | 371 Town Center Eas

Open 7 Days | 922-7931 | 371 Town Center East Dude, where’s the skate park? It’s located in Santa Mall Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm Sun 11am-7pm NOW | OPEN: Rosa Park on the north side of San Luis Obispo and it’s awesome! Opened in 2015, the $2.2 million, 15,500 square foot concrete skate park was a collaboration between the city and skaters, and even received funding from the Tony Hawk Foundation. It’s a place where kids (and adults) can come and ride rails, olly up, and drop into the concrete bowl. Mall Hours:Mon-Sat Mon-Sat10am-8pm 10am-8pm Sun 11am-7pm | Open 7 Days || 922-7931 Mall Hours: 922-7931 ||371 371Town TownCe C The park also features a low-impact fitness path, public art, and an amphitheater with streetscape plaza seating. It even has some really cool tower sculptures. The city offers beginner’s classes for kids that include a skate park T-shirt and snack. The rest of Santa Rosa Park has a large open space, perfect for picnics, BBQ pits, and kids to play in. The SLO Skate Park is located at 1050 Oak St., San Luis Obispo. Call them at (805) 781-7067

Mall Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm Sun 11am-7pm | Open 7 Days | 922-7931 | 3



Information courtesy of the book 101 Things to do in San Luis Obispo County Before You Die by Gareth Kelly.

Mall Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm Sun 11am-7pm | Open 7

Mall Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm Sun 11am-7pm | Open 7 Days | 922-7931 | 371 Town Center East spring | summer 2017


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