Sipping in San Simeon
History, wine, and nature on the Central Coast
Photos and story by Adam Nuñez
California’s Central Coast Highway 1 boasts some of the greatest sights in the entire country. Numerous idyllic beaches and forested mountains lay sprawled along this road with stopping points like Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Cambria. Travelers from far and wide flock to these destinations for the world-class wine and food. Wine enthusiasts, or really anyone who enjoys wine tasting and beautiful views, won’t want to miss a very special tasting room just 10 minutes north of Cambria. It’s the Hearst Ranch Winery in San Simeon located right on the William R. Hearst Memorial State Beach. It’s an ideal place for wine tasting or sharing a bottle with friends and family while soaking up the beach views directly in front of you. And by directly, I mean only about 20 yards from your comfy umbrella chair.Read More
Relaxation (and romance) at Avila’s Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa
For thousands of years, humans have known the healing properties of mineral hot springs. The ancient Egyptians and Romans lauded these natural wonders for their ability to soothe body aches, relax tension, and even revitalize skin and hair.
While the Central Coast has several natural hot springs, one of our favorites is Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. This peaceful little slice of paradise sits on the hillside above Avila Beach, where oak and sycamore groves shade private tubs fed by hot mineral springs. Guests can rent a tub by the hour or choose to stay longer in one of many room options — all of which have their own private hot tubs on the patio or balcony. With a spa, restaurant, gorgeous grounds, and plenty of activities nearby, Sycamore Mineral Springs is great for a romantic getaway — or just a quick pit-stop on your drive on the 101.Read More
By Nicole Leonetti
Summerland: the name alone evokes images of a magical place you can only visit in your dreams. Lucky for us, it’s a very real place, and it could not be easier to visit! Located directly off Highway 101 between Carpinteria and Montecito, Summerland boasts beach vibes, small town hospitality, and efficient accessibility (most of the businesses lie along one street, Lillie Avenue). It was founded as a Spiritualist community back in 1883 by Ohio spiritualist and real estate speculator H.L. Williams. The discovery of oil and the building of Highway 101 may have redirected the focus of the town, but its spiritual side — and its sense of community — remain strong.Read More
Light at Sensorio
Bruce Munro’s solar-powered light show is 15-acres of jaw-dropping joy in Paso Robles
By Misty Hall
Paso Robles: Land of gently rolling hillsides, dotted with oak trees, and blanketed in vineyards. During the daytime, it is a playground for wine lovers, with more than 200 wineries taking advantage of the many microclimates this topography affords. In the evening, there’s a totally different way to experience this landscape: Sensorio. With well over 100,000 color-changing lights spread across 15 acres of rural hills, this awe-inspiring spectacle has attracted world-wide attention in its four years of existence.Read More
Too Much Screen Time this Summer?
Bring The Kids To The Airfield. Flying radio control airplanes at Lake Casitas
By Clarissa Fishman
It’s a beautiful morning in May, and I’m driving through Lake Casitas. Thanks to the abundant rain storms we had this year, the lake water level is up to 78 percent of capacity — and it’s evident everywhere you look. Nature feels replenished, and it has been a true blessing to witness this lush landscape and burgeoning spring. Today, the hills have already begun turning that signature California golden hue, which has a beauty all its own, but the amount of water we received this winter has us all breathing a big sigh of relief.Read More
The Piers of the Central Coast
Story and photos by Katherine McMahon
If you visit a beach on the Central Coast this summer, you may find yourself strolling out over the water on a wooden pier. Today, these structures are popular tourist destinations, but most were built for a very different reason. Back in the 1800s — long before Highway 101 was built — ships were the main suppliers of goods to this quickly-growing region. Piers allowed ships to offload their passengers and cargo much faster (and safer) than using the small barges of the past. These piers quite literally helped build the cities they belonged to.
Once the railways and highways were built, the piers weren’t needed like before. Several of them fell into disrepair and were removed, but some were repurposed and have become beloved recreational features in their beach communities.Read More