New Year, New Destinations: Catch Up + Slow Down in Calif. Central Coast ! #travel
I love to travel. The biggest issue is always finding the time. I have to say that I was so looking forward to getting out of “Dodge”, i.e., leaving LA & traffic behind and just hitting the road to head up the coast for a couple of days. I had virtually all of this planned for a get-away trip meets editorial in a “familiarization” trip or what I call “explore and editorial” trip. It allows me to explore an area and create editorial coverage of a destination. It actually requires more time than one thinks! I have done many of these in New York City, upstate New York, Hawaii (x3), San Francisco and have been to the greater Central Coast that includes Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo area heading out to Morro Bay and up to Carmel. While I love Santa Barbara and Carmel, I think that the more specific smaller areas of the Central Coast deserve more attention.
What’s cool about California’s “Central Coast” is that it’s bookended by Silicon Valley and San Francisco in the north and by LA County in the south. When you fly into LA or San Francisco, you miss out on more than a few opps to unplug as well as see sites that most tourists — or even residents- never see. I have seen it more than once and even when I was a kid, I went to Hearst Castle which is one of the high points of this region that includes wineries in the interior, lots of land and sea activities and interesting historical landmarks (the missions and other similar early California landmarks)
The greater Central Coast is doing a lot of travel promotions right now to get tourists to come visit the area. The area that is being promoted are 10 California Highway 1 (primarily following the coastline) Discovery Route desitnatinons:
What is the “Discovery Route,Highway 1“?
Travelers can partake in locavore dining, wine tasting, farm visits, outdoor activities, cultural exhibitions and festivals. Outdoor enthusiasts can partake in hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking and surfing at the many beautiful state parks, nature reserves, estuaries, beaches and trails along the California Highway 1 Discovery Route. History buffs will love the wide range of historic points of interest along the way as well. From San Simeon’s famed Hearst Castle, Cayucos’ 1867 Sea Captain Cass House and Avila Beach’s 1890 Point San Luis Light House, to the century old town site of Old Edna and Nipomo’s archeological site from Cecile B. DeMille’s epic 1932 film “The Ten Commandments,” there is a ton of things to see and do throughout the region.
Leaders in Stewardship Travel, the next step in eco-tourism, visitors will discover over 70 activities and donation opportunities throughout the 10 destinations to help you feel good, while doing good, on vacation. Stewardship Travel visitors will learn more, connect deeper, and may choose to spend a couple hours helping to restore a park trail, protecting wildlife on the beaches, or planting a native tree.
Every February, the towns along the California Highway 1 Discovery Route celebrate Coastal Discovery Month, offering month long special lodging packages, activities, events and movies throughout the region. For maps and more information
about the California Highway 1 Discovery Route visit WineCoastCountry.com. For the latest news on the area check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WineCoastCountry and
follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/Hwy1DiscoveryRt.
Ok, maybe you aren’t looking for something that includes a lot of tourist sight-seeing but maybe some R&R for you and your besties! There is something for you and your friends to do together as a “girls getaway!” This is the inaugural January Girlfriend’s Getaway Month.
Or if you want to getaway over a longer weekend with a significant other, family or other special people, check out the 19th Annual Morro Bay Bird Festival
You can stay at a number of Morro Bay accomodations for less! There are several great options that will fit your budget whether you are traveling on the weekend or during the week.
Don’t miss out on this! I know the area pretty well and if you wineries are your thing, Edna Valley is amazing. If you like craft brews, check out San Luis Obispo and the surrounding areas for breweries. Those two towns are the largest of that area but don’t miss the other smaller towns that have serious charm and fun to offer. If you are in the area closer to San Simeon, see about booking the Hearst Castle tour before you head up there. Worth the time and effort. Take some warmer clothing too to layer up in the evenings!
Happy trails! If you do make it up to the Central California Discovery route, do post about it either on Twitter.com/lastory or here on this blog post! I would love to see a photo or hear the details!
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