SloCal Travel Guide :: Where to Stay, Eat, and Play!

Spring is in full bloom and I've been bitten by the travel bug! If you're on a budget, you should consider taking a California road trip! One of the greatest benefits of living in California is the opportunity to drive south along the coast and stopping along a few great cities. Here's a few hidden gems, restaurants and activities you must try in San Luis Obispo, CA!


1. The Cliffs Resort + Spa
A beautiful oceanfront resort that is halfway between LA and SF on Highway 1. The Cliffs Resort is the perfect getaway spot for couples just minutes from the beach. I woke up feeling relaxed and enjoyed the gorgeous sunrise from our balcony. Don't forget to grab breakfast and a mimosa at The Marisol before your day of adventures!


Suggested Hike:
Hiking in Montana de Oro State Park
Pecho Valley Rd. at Montana de Oro State Park, Los Osos, CA 93402

For trails along Montana de Oro, the Bluff Trail is an easy, flat walk along the ocean bluff passing sea caves and coves. For a more intermediate/advanced trail, try Valencia Peak which is 4.5 miles round trip (1275 ft elevation gain) and provides 360 degree views of Montaña de Oro from the top.

2. Cass House
The Cass House was completely restored in 2018 as an intimate, five-room boutique hotel in Cayucos, CA. This elegant boutique has a bakery and restaurant. The Grill offers a menu with items from the Central Coast and local farms. This is a beautiful venue for weddings and special occasions! 



1. Dune Buggy
For the thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, you should try riding in a dune buggy or rent an ATV at SunBuggy. This was my second time riding in a dune buggy and trust me, it's not for the faint of heart! Tip, bring a bandana to cover your mouth and wear layers and clothing that you won't mind getting sandy. It can get quite windy on the dunes. Also, don't forget the sunscreen!

2. Hearst Castle
Located on the Central Coast of California nestled between wine country and the Pacific Ocean, Hearst Castle is an opulent mansion and one of the state's top tourist destinations. Home of publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, this incredible "castle" and its grounds are best experienced through a guided tour.


3. Visit the Cal Poly Campus
Fun fact: I actually attended Cal Poly SLO for 2 years studying Biological Sciences. One of my favorite spots to explore on campus is the Architecture Graveyard. On the grounds, you will find 15 design projects from former architecture students and engineers. Bring your camera and get lost wandering around. If you're lucky, you will spot the family of horses. Dogs and bikes are welcome on campus!


Restaurants + Cafes

"Early California history and contemporary art blend here—just as Old World winemaking combine with an array of modern farm-to-table flavors. " -

1. Scout Coffee Co.
A few great spots you can't miss to grab coffee is at Kreuzberg and Scout Coffee Co. You can find colorful yellow wallpaper, delicious lattes, and a comfortable spot to hangout.


2. Vegetable Butcher
Vegetable Butcher’s creative, Latin American-inspired cuisine mixes modern Mexican and California flavors. The menu offers dishes for vegetarians, vegans and meat lovers. The husband-and-wife team, who recently relocated to Central California, develop their menu items using fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farms. This is the perfect spot for a healthy lunch or drinks with your friends.


3. Blue Heron
Blue Heron was created in the image of Baywood Park, California. The space that is refined and elegant while being welcoming and true to the landscape. Sit by the warmth of the fire lit outdoor lounge or sit inside in the elegant dining room. The menu is an ever-evolving reflection of the 5 acre farm and the surrounding waters. This was Scott and I's favorite date night restaurant in SLO. I would highly recommend!

4. Robin's in Cambria
Robin’s features handcrafted comfort cuisine with an array of international flavors made from farmers' market fresh ingredients. Housed in a retired adobe home in the historic East Village of Cambria, Robin’s is a favorite with locals and visitors for its warm hospitality, cozy atmosphere and charming gardens. Enjoy spicy curries and delicious brussel sprouts.

5. The Bakery at Cass House
If you can't manage to snag a room at the Cass House, you should stop by the Bakery. Trust me, once you take a bite out of one of their baked goods, you will fall in love! Take a few scones, cookies, and quiches for the road!

Thank you to VisitSLO for partnering with me on this trip. Share your favorite spots to stop during a California road trip!
- Ally