We all know that the beauty of the central coast extends from the serene scenes of the coastal waters to the rolling hills of the surrounding wine country. On any given day, especially during the summer, one can encounter hundreds upon hundreds of people travelling the paths of our beautiful area. Multiple advertising dollars are spent annually to attract people to a specific destination, winery, monument, etc. As seasoned locals we would like to suggest a few day long activities that would maximize time and open up to pristine sights, some not advertised on any map:
• Adelaida AVA Wine Day
Wine Tasting Options : Dubost Winery, Law Estate Wines, Le Cuvier Winery, Michael Gil
Activities: ask for a vineyard/production tour at Le Cuvier Winery, walk between the vines at Dubost Winery
Lunch: Pack a picnic, try the food parings at Le Cuvier Winery
• North Coast Play Day
Wine Tasting Options: Hearst Family Wines, Moonstone Winery, Black Hand Cellars, Twin Coyotes, Cutruzzola Vineyards, Stolo Family Vineyards
Activities: Hearst Castle, Elephant Seals, Moonstone Beach Boardwalk, Fiscalini Ranch Preserve
Lunch: Robin’s, Moonstone Bar and Grill, Linn’s Restaurant
Dinner: Sea Chest, Saw’s Ear
• Stay and play in Cayucos
Wine Tasting: Cayucos Cellars, Full Moon Wine Bar
Play: walk the bluffs north of town, walk the beach to Morro Rock (at low tide), hike hang glider hill,
Lunch: Schooners, Cass House Grill, Duckies, Sea Shanty
Dinner: Café della Via
• Templeton Field Trip Day
Wine Tasting: Clavo Cellars, Tin City Wineries (Aaron Wines, Desperada, Levo Wines, ONX Wines); Beer: Barrel House
Play: Saturday morning farmers market, stroll along the streets of the town
Lunch: Kitchenette, Nature’s Touch Nursery and Harvest
As veteran wine tasters, we recommend a maximum of three wineries per trip, lots of water and of course eating before, during and after.
Do not forget, always designate a sober driver and taste responsibly.
Our journey on the most amazing drive in California starts in the heart of Big Sur, along coastal Hwy 1. This trip focuses on short stops and does not include the amazing camping spots available along the way. So fasten your seat belts because this will be the trip of a lifetime.
Nepenthe is an amazing stop for delicious nibbles, great local Santa Lucia Highlands pinot noirs and the most refreshing cocktails. The Phoenix gallery on the ground level is sure to delight the eye and the senses with art, books and exquisite lotions, among silk garbs and garden gifts. There is also second level café for those looking for a quick bite. The top level opens to amphitheater style seating and the entrance to Nepenthe Restaurant. If available, request a table on the ocean side patio for the most breathtaking views of the Pacific. Nepenthe’s webcam is set up on their website at www.nepenthebigsur.com , so do not hesitate to check the weather and the crowd levels. This stop is a very popular destination during summer and the weekends, so we suggest you time it wisely, otherwise parking can be a bit of challenge.
With a full belly and a heart ready for adventure, set sail south through the newly constructed tunnel. Many guests have suggested a stop at the New Camadoli Hermitage Monastery for a bit of zen and some great gift items, including cards, coffee, fudge and granola.
Next on the itinerary would be a quick stop at Sand Dollar Beach. A myriad of steps and turns will settle the earlier lunch and open onto a gorgeous beach. Make sure to wear appropriate foot wear for an easy hike. The climb back up can be easily listed as a calorie burning activity.
The next stop on our Highway 1 Discovery Route would be the amazing Salmon Creek Falls. A very easy walk-hike from the highway opens up to beautiful boulder created pools and majestic falls. Other hikes also present themselves at this site, however, they require some experience and appropriate attire.
One of the last attractions on our personal list would be Ragged Point Inn and Restaurant. The lawn area in the back uncovers breathtaking views of the coast. Do not forget to check out the local artwork and local reclaimed wood sculpture.
As the hours of sunshine dwindle and you sail on the highway towards Cayucos, add to the list the elephant seals. A boardwalk allows visitors to admire the mammals in their natural habitat, enjoying the beach. Thirty-five minutes of driving left and you have arrived to On the Beach, bed and breakfast. Slip into our comfy robes, grab a glass of wine and let the sound of the ocean lull you away.
When in Cayucos…
-These are a few of our favorite things-
A perfect day starts with a morning walk on the bluffs north of town. While sipping on a freshly brewed cup of local coffee from On the Beach (SloRoasted.com – The Morning Fog Lifter) you can watch the waves crash into the shore and breathe in the fresh air. I prefer to go to the windmill and then thread back for some hot breakfast at the bnb (9am-11am). With a full belly and a warm heart, it’s time to spend a few relaxing minutes on the roof top deck. An invigorating shower is followed by some wine tasting at Cayucos Cellars, half way down the block (CayucosCellars.com). This sensory experience can only be followed by two tacos from Ruddell’s Smokehouse (SmokerJim.com) ; if in season the smoked ono is sure to delight. Lunch cannot be complete without a sweet treat from the Brown Butter Cookie Company (BrownButterCookieCompany.com).
After a quick siesta at the hotel and a cup of tea, the journey is back on for some more wine discovery and education at Full Moon Wine Bar (Full Moon Wine Bar and Bistro). A flight of wines and a cheese plate, while looking at the ocean, is just what the doctor prescribed to take you through to dinner time. The decision process involving the evening meal can always be daunting. Will it be Italian at Caffe della Via (CafeDellaVia.com), tantalizing French Style cuisine at Hoppe’s Garden Bistro (HoppesBistro.com) or a tasting menu at The Cass House (CassHouse.com)? The casual side begs the question of: Duckies Chowder House, Sea Shanty (SeaShanty.com) or Martin’s (Martins.com)?
If one’s solar plexus is longing for more, a late night snack will most likely be encountered at Schooners Wharf, alongside some delightful cocktails (SchonersWharf.com). The later night excitement along with live music (a couple of times a week) can be encountered at the Old Cayucos Tavern.
It is considered appropriate to enjoy the town as if you lived here, as long as you remember not to leave any trash behind, always wear a smile, and tip your servers.
Until the next time, we wish you health, happiness and loads of Cayucos fun time.
Cayucos Pier Project
Throughout the years visitors from near and far have found Cayucos while traveling Highway 1. A short stretch of this world renowned highway offers majestic views of a wooden pier, built originally in 1872 by Captain James Cass, and the town adjoining it. For Cayucos the pier is correlated to the identity of this town and its mystique. It is impossible for us to imagine the town without it, as the two go hand in hand. On an even more personal note, the structure is also the identity for On the Beach Bed and Breakfast, as we often indicate that we are located at the foot of the pier.
Time and weather are known to affect even some of the most solid elements, such as rocks. The two conditions, in addition to a lack of adequate maintenance over the last 50 to 100 years, have brought the pier to a state of deterioration deemed unsafe for foot traffic. In the last several month the pier has been closed to the halfway mark to prevent any possible injuries. However, as a state owned landmark, under the jurisdiction of the county, this historical pier is set to have the much needed reinforcement and replacement of pilings.
Rick Rengel, one of our two owners at On the Beach, is also a well-known architect in San Luis Obispo county. Rick has recently overseen the restoration project at Port San Luis, and kindly volunteered his knowledge and expertise to this project.
The community has also proved its commitment to the cause. There is a local committee in direct contact with the county that oversees all donations and causes meant to raise awareness and contributions for the pier project. The outdoor/beach concert was one of the many successful events organized by the members and supported by the community. There is talk of an annual event stemming from this fundraiser.
Please visit savecayucospier.org for more information, historical photos, and details on how to get involved.