Happy HallowThanksMas greetings are upon us as the fleeting summer swiftly turns from long days to cool nights. It’s time to get away for an early fall sojourn, and California’s Central Coast, particularly Cambria and Cayucos, is the perfect place to get away from it all.
Now is the time to treat yourself to some slow time, where the only things that matter are the seals and your family’s happiness. When I refer to slow-time, I’m not talking about the same old stories at the annual family reunion that seems to drag out in length, year after year slow-time. Central Coastal California time is just the opposite.
For instance, when you drive on Pacific Coast Highway, the beauty is so spectacular, the miles go by slower, as you smile, viewing the vast vistas of coastline and mountains. Walking the boardwalk on Moonstone Beach, your attention will be distracted by watching the mesmerizing waves as they crash onto the beach and the many forms of flowers, trees and welcoming wildlife that will pop up to say hello. Life at the beach has always moved at its own pace.
If you have a late summer or early fall vacation coming up, you should consider Cambria and Cayucos for the surfing, sight-seeing, great food and even some top-notch local wineries. Pico Creek, Moonstone Beach and Cayucos Pier are good places to surf, and remember full wet-suits are necessities, but if you see seals, beware of great whites. If you have never been, Hearst Castle is one of the most interesting places on the planet, and it takes sight-seeing to a whole different level. If you plan to visit the castle, take a few minutes to check out the history behind it. Knowing a little before you go will make the visit so much more fascinating. It is a ‘do not miss’ opportunity for vast amounts of relevant historical information about a man and his peculiar proclivities that shaped this country as much as any American president.
Here in Central Coastal California, the local restaurant scene buzzes with time tested originals and new eateries that would be successful in Union or Copley Square; it’s definitely worth visiting Cambria and Cayucos just for the food. One restaurant in particular, called Linn’s is amazing; they’ve been doing farm to table since 1989 and almost all the produce comes from their farm.
Arron Linn offers the most encompassing menu I’ve ever seen. If you are driving on Hwy 101 in central California, detour to Linn’s in Cambria; it’s only a little more than half an hour drive, and well worth your time. They make fresh baked goods, chocolate eclairs and the best fruit pies anywhere, not to mention the fabulously fresh seafood, scratch-made soups, four different house salads and eight entree salads, all made from Linn’s farm produce and grass-fed beef from Hearst Ranch. There are five different retail spaces at Linn’s, so if you are there, make sure to visit the rest of Linnworld behind the restaurant.
Right next door to Linn’s on Main Street, one of Central Coasts’ most influential curators and cultural historians presides over her eclectically curated The Vault Gallery, owned by Laylon, who humbly exposed she worked at the Monterey California Fairgrounds in 1967 where the Monterey Pop Festival took place. Laylon’s gallery reflects the immense depth of her cultural and artistic knowledge not to mention her exquisite taste.
Downtown Cambia has a lot to offer; Madeline’s Restaurant & Wine Shop offers local and international wines of distinction. Chef David Stoothoff’s menu will tantalize your taste-buds while his wine list will offer the perfect pairing to accompany his cuisine. Want to continue the creative culinary creations you’ve sampled while in Cambria?
Make sure to visit Montello Tasting Room, a mecca of flavor infused olive oils and vinegars. They can provide you with a vast selection of gourmet oils and vinegars to make your dishes sing. Take a moment to check out the high quality olive wood kitchen utensils, bath and body products, and the wonderful artisanal foods including a good selection of olives.
Lodging on the central California coastline offers everything from State Parks with camping facilities to intimate boutique cottages, and the distinctive luxury of Ragged Point. Currently, you cannot drive any further north on Pacific Coast Highway 1 than Ragged Point or south of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in Big Sur due to a landslide that cannot be removed; Caltrans is waiting for it to settle before attempting to reconnect the highway. Do not let that little detail deter you from visiting the central coastal California.
If early fall is not the right time for you to head to Cambria and Cayucos, don’t fret because in March, temperatures begin to rise into the 60’s and 70’s. So, whether it’s spring or fall, and all summer long, visiting Central Coastal California is fun for all.
…and if you’re looking for more adventurous ideas while driving on California Highway 1, check out www.highway1discoveryroute.com