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Old 01-09-2013, 03:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Elephant Seal Watching in Central Coast CA

I am planning a trip out to Central Coast CA to go Elephant Seal Watching. While I am there, I was also planning to go visit Hearst Castle. I will be there for full two days. For those of you that are familiar with this area, what else would you recommend that I do/see while I am there?
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just love this area of California! Cambria is nearby, and is a lovely little town. There is a lovely wooden boardwalk where you can stroll along the coastline and shop. I would also recommend Paso Robles for some wine tasting. You can go wine tasting at some fabulous wineries. Many are small, family owned and operated wineries with limited production. Some wines are only available in the tasting rooms where you are often greeted by the owner or a family member.
For a list of wineries with info on wine tasting visit:
http://www.cheers2wine.com/paso-robles-w

If you drive a little further south to Pismo Beach, you can rent an ATV and ride the sand dunes at Oceano Beach. The dunes are huge and really a blast.
http://www.cheers2wine.com/Oceano-Dunes.

San Luis Obispo has a famous Farmer's Market on Thursday evenings in their downtown section. Very nice fresh farm items, crafts, flowers, food, and live entertainment.

Hope your trip is a blast!!
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pammy4501 View Post
I just love this area of California! Cambria is nearby, and is a lovely little town. There is a lovely wooden boardwalk where you can stroll along the coastline and shop. I would also recommend Paso Robles for some wine tasting. You can go wine tasting at some fabulous wineries. Many are small, family owned and operated wineries with limited production. Some wines are only available in the tasting rooms where you are often greeted by the owner or a family member.
For a list of wineries with info on wine tasting visit:
http://www.cheers2wine.com/paso-robles-w

If you drive a little further south to Pismo Beach, you can rent an ATV and ride the sand dunes at Oceano Beach. The dunes are huge and really a blast.
http://www.cheers2wine.com/Oceano-Dunes.

San Luis Obispo has a famous Farmer's Market on Thursday evenings in their downtown section. Very nice fresh farm items, crafts, flowers, food, and live entertainment.

Hope your trip is a blast!!
All great suggestions! San Luis Obispo is my old stomping grounds as I attended Cal Poly. The Central Coast is such a fantastic area. If you are needing somewhere to stay, the Madonna Inn is a funky, historic pink palace. Its not for everyone but if you like something off the wall and have a sense of humor, you might enjoy it. Thursdays Farmers Market in SLO is the best! Great BBQ as well as all the other things mentioned. ENJOY!
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My daughter lives in this area & works at CalPoly now---so we have made some great memories there. She was married there last spring & we had a 3 day wedding which was fantastic at Dancing Deer Farm in Atascadero/Tempelton. She belongs to a beautiful, scenic wine place called Pear Valley---where we spent an afternoon doing a picnic & tasting several of their famous wines. There was a morning of wine-tastings in the area that same day. So many beautiful places there!
Before she moved to this area I was not to keen on CA. but did not know the central coast---I have a new impression of CA. now---a very good one. Enjoy your time & let us see what you did via photos!
Oh yes, I second what Pam said about Cambria---we have been back a few times now!
We also saw Hearst & some elephant seals (at Christmas)---saw Hearst again in April---worth a 2nd look!
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The seals are amazing. The beach is covered with seals for a far as you can see. The big bulls get rambunctious and could be dangerous. I sat down near a young female...not a baby, more like a teenager. We chatted for a while, and she kept looking up at me with those huge eyes. DH wanted to take a picture and suggested that I put my hand close so that it would look like I was petting her. She turned her head towards me with the sweetest expression. Then I did pet her head...and she liked it. I have a framed enlargement, but I can't find a copy to scan...that's the problem with having 22 million photographs.

All that to say...visiting the seals is an amazing experience.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I like going to Solvang when I'm in that part of California. And I could spend weeks at any of the beaches in Big Sur/Carmel.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The first time my husband took me to California, we flew to LA and drove up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco, stopping and staying the night in little towns along the way. When we came up on the stretch of beach where the seals were sunning, I started screaming "NO! THOSE SEALS ARE BEACHED AND DYING!!!" There were so many of them and I'd never seen anything like it before. My sweet husband just laughed and explained it all to me and down we went for a closer look. I was running ahead of him as I was planning on petting a little one and he was yelling at me to stop! Those things move pretty fast!

Hearst Castle was amazing. I really want to go back there one day.

Have a wonderful time and take lots of pictures!
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I like going to Solvang when I'm in that part of California. And I could spend weeks at any of the beaches in Big Sur/Carmel.
Very interesting little spot---do breakfast here if you can!
Don't forget Monterey---two European lady friends & I spent several days there some years ago together---what a beautiful, friendly spot!

My DD & SIL do swing dancing at the Madonna Inn--quirky & fun!
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I will also chime in again and agree - if you can make of up the coast to the Monterey Peninsula...Big Sur, Carmel and Pebble Beach. Born, raised and lived there for 30plus years. IMO God's Country....most beautiful scenery in the world, fabulous restaurants, and amazing art galleries. I highly recommend Post Ranch in Big Sur if you are staying overnight. Em Lee's in Carmel for breakfast is a must! Forge in the Forest for drinks and and a chat around the fire after dinner!
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think if she takes our advice she needs to make her trip at least a one week if not two!! I agree, and forgot about Solvang. And I think Carmel is heaven on earth, and one of the most dog friendly cities around.
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