Mini Central Coast Getaway

October 29, 2015

Over the Columbus Day holiday weekend, we got away to do Fall-ish things. We drove four hours to the Central Coast of California, this is the place we often wander to when we need to get out of town. I swear it’s so beautiful there, and if I won the lottery, that’s where I’d be living. You’ve got the coast and the mountains, the country roads, the farms, and vineyards all within reach and with way fewer people than urban Los Angeles, and seriously, that’s what I’ve been craving lately. And oh it has the right amount of cool that keeps me continually mystified and enamored!

After a quick breakfast, we got the littles situated in their carseats, The Head and the Heart and The Civil Wars on blast, and by 9am we were on the road. We made our way towards Buellton, stopping there to refuel our bellies at Industrial Eats, a first for us and we quite liked it very much, the Korean short rib pizza was right on the mark, and if you like spicy foods, order it! After lunch we hit the road again, this time we headed straight to the hotel, after settling in we went for an evening dip in the pool to relax, and cozied up in bed for a long snooze and snore, dreaming about the next day’s adventure.

Going out for breakfast is something we really relish doing while on vacation, so before we headed to the farm, we made our way to Kitchenette in Templeton. The cutest little space with white subway tiles floor to ceiling and accented by a Martha’s Vineyard type of blue paint on the woodwork. The space just felt really welcoming, it was like being in someone’s beloved home kitchen. Coffee and a breakfast burrito for me, while the hubs had chilaquiles, and the littles ate a big bowl of good ole healthy oatmeal.

We had a full day to go apple picking, which I had to say was a bit of a doozie, as there were two Golden Delicious trees to pick from, but we tend to look on the brightside of things. So as long as the littles are out in the open air, free to roam wild, they’re happy campers. We had great fun walking through a corn maze whilst picking up corn trivia knowledge at the various checkpoints along the path, my 2nd grader did all the reading while little brother lead the way. We let the littles pick out several pumpkins, our loot ranged from the Jack-be-littles to the Cinderella fairytale to your regular ole round orange pumpkin. We all had our own helping of fresh apple berry slushies, slurped those bad boys down so fast and suffered the consequences of major brain freeze. After the morning at Jack Creek Farms, which by the way, had the friendliest people working there, we headed to Moonstone Beach. We set up our picnic blanket and munched on Trader Joe’s sandwiches and snacks, but before lunch, before all of that we had the most delightful time playing chicken with the tide, shooing away seagulls as they tried to get to our lunch bags when we had our backs turned, the four of us scoured up and down the beach collecting rocks that have been tumbled over and over by the oceans forever. All of which got tossed into a jar at home that’s filled with other rocks, seashells, and natural curiosities that we have collected over the years. While all this was happening, as they played their tender little hearts out, as sunbeams and ocean spray rained down on their soft skins, all the happy motherly feelings had consumed my entire body, my eyes welled up just the slightest, trying to keep it all together for everyone’s sake, but man oh man, motherhood is really quite something else.

Our adventure did not end at the beach, we decided to walk around the downtown area of the little beachside town of Cambria. A tiny, quaint, town, with a bohemian, artsy kind of vibe. We enjoyed doing some window shopping at the antique shops and checking out the scarecrow festival. These paper mache scarecrows were all done up and some had a theme to them, like one was Belle and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, another was the farmers from the American Gothic painting, they were on display up and down the town’s main drag. It was so darling, my littles have declared that they want to make their own paper mache scarecrows and get our neighborhood to host a festival just like that one. I’m not holding my breath, but dreams are good, and I will encourage their dreams always. At the end of a long day out exploring, we were pooped, and we crashed, and crashed hard we did. Slept like sandbags all night long.

We couldn’t leave town before checking out Scout Coffee. On our way out of Paso Robles, we stopped for pastries and lattes at Scout Coffee in San Luis Obispo. I had recently read an article about them in a magazine, and they did not disappoint coffee-wise or interior decor-wise. Both were equally delicious, the large yellow floral print accent wall, tree stumps when you walk in, and industrial stools, high ceilings, open space, really sealed the deal for me. They also had a well curated merchandise area,  I wanted every single thing, from mugs, to cookbooks, to dish linens, to fine chocolates, and small housewares. Luckily for me, I didn’t go home quite empty handed, made out with a bag of whole bean Ethiopian coffee (my favorite) and a diner style mug to add to my coffee shop diner mug collection.  Finally, it was time to hit the road again. We made it home just before we got stuck in any crazy LA traffic. Another one for the books. This is one place that never ever gets old for me, but I hope one day I could grow old with my Mister there.

Below is a collection of resources of our favorite things to see and do in the Central Coast Area (all of which we think are kid friendly as well). Somethings on the list we didn’t do on this trip, but have done in the past that we really enjoyed.

Ostrichland USA//Solvang, CA
Avila Valley Barn//petting zoo//farm store//picnic area//hay rides//u pick veg//San Luis Obispo, CA
Moonstone Beach//Cambria, CA
Jack Creek Farms//Templeton, CA
Elephant Seals Viewing//north of Cambria//San Simeon, CA
SLO Thursday Night Farmers Market/food/live entertainment/fresh fruits and veg//San Luis Obispo, CA
El Moro Elfin Forests//old pygmy oaks/boardwalk trails//ocean views//Los Osos, CA
Pasolivo//tour//shop//Paso Robles, CA
Industrial Eats//Buellton, CA
Firestone Walker//brewpub//taproom//Buellton, CA
Barrelhouse//taproom//large outdoor space//Paso Robles, CA
Bell St Farm//food//indoor and outdoor seating available//zatar whole roasted chicken to go//Los Alamos, CA
Bob’s Well Bread Bakery//Bread//Baked sweets//sandwiches//Los Alamos, CA
Batch//build your own ice cream sandwich//San Luis Obispo, CA
Big Sky Cafe//San Luis Obispo, CA
Scout Coffee//San Luis Obispo, CA
Spearhead Coffee//Paso Robles, CA
Kitchenette//Paso Robles, CA
Brown Butter Cookie Co.//Cayucos and Paso Robles, CA
Eberle Winery//vineyard//wine tasting//Paso Robles, CA
Solvang Restaurant//scandinavian//abelskivers//breakfast//lunch//Solvang, CA
Marriotts throughout area, all have been pretty reliable
General Store Paso Robles//Paso Robles, CA

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