Things to Do around the Central Coast
The Central Coast of California is the region between Ventura and Santa Clara. Its rugged coastline stretches for 350 miles and includes popular destinations such as Santa Barbara, Big Sur, and Monterey Bay. Road trips have surged in popularity since the pandemic and the best part of the Central Coast is that it is easily accessible from Los Angeles.
Taking a weeklong “work from home” staycation in Cayucos, a sleepy seaside town 10 minutes north of Morro Bay and 20 minutes north of San Luis Obispo is the perfect way to escape quarantine cabin fever. Even with the pandemic, there are many activities and things to do!! If you’re new to road tripping, or just want some ideas to get started, here are a few recommendations by bonifed weekend warrior.
Phoenix Books - San Luis Obispo, CA
Giovanni’s Fish Market - Morro Bay, CA
Ambyth Estates Winery - Paso Robles, CA
Negranti Creamery - Paso Robles, CA
Click here for the seafood boil recipe.
Giovanni’s Fish Market 1001 Front St., Morro Bay, CA 93442
Since 1973, Giovanni’s Fish Market has been family owned and operated, becoming a local favorite as well as drawing in visitors and tourists.
Giovanni’s offers locally caught seafood for purchase, as well as a restaurant that offers American favorites such as fish and chips, and oysters on the half shell. They even offer delivery to anywhere in the United States.
While we did not eat at the restaurant, Giovanni’s knowledgeable staff helped us pick the best seafood for our paella!
Phoenix Books 986 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phoenix Books is exactly how you would imagine an old-school independent bookstore! I happened along this absolute gem of a bookstore while making a quick stop for a slice of Sicilian pizza at Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica in San Luis Obispo. What had caught my eye were the words “New, Used & Rare Books” and a cart at the entrance displaying 25-cent books.
Upon entering, you are instantly greeted by packed shelves and towers of books stacked on the floor, which can seem overwhelming. I loved the treasure hunt aspect of it!
I was drawn to the “Cooking” section and came across a first-edition of The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne. Published in 1961, this hardcover book contains over 1000 recipes that were published in the New York Times between 1950-1960.
I ended up with a few great finds-- The New York Times Cookbook, Persian Miniatures, and The Essential Jazz Collection.
Ambyth Estate Winery 510 Sequoia Ln., Templeton, CA 93465
AmByth Estate (AmByth means “freedom” in Welsh) produces bio-dynamic natural wines, that is wine that is minimally processed and with special consideration to the earth during production.
The winery was founded in 2003 by Phillip and Mary Hart, who both have a family history and passion for pure organic farming.
We entered the storeroom and instantly noticed the amphorae, terracotta vessels which have been in use since the Neolithic era (10,000-4,500 BC). The amphora allows the wine to breathe naturally and leaves a subtle earthy taste.
Our private wine tasting was intimate. Led by Robyn Hart, we tasted a selection of wines that progressed from light to full bodied. My favorite was the 2014 PlayGround, a red blend aged for 30 months in an oak barrel.
AmByth wines can be found in restaurants, specialty wine shops, and online.
Negranti Creamery 2989 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, CA 93446
This isn’t your typical ice cream shop! Negranti Creamery specializes in sheep’s milk ice cream which is lactose-free and vitamin rich.
Negranti Creamery was founded in 2011 by Alexis and Wade Negranti. Driven by a passion for animals and good food, the couple embarked on a quest to produce high quality ice cream from sheep’s milk!
The creamery is in a beautiful farmhouse chic building that lets in plenty of natural light. There were so many lovely flavors like strawberry basil and Thai iced tea.
I chose the birthday cake in a cone and it was sublime! The texture can be described as similar to gelato with a slight airiness. Although birthday cake flavors have a reputation for being overly sweet, Negranti’s version struck the right balance.
Pints are available at grocers such as Whole Foods and Erewhon. Negranti even offers an ice cream truck for events and parties!