California’s Central Coast is an ideal destination for couples looking for a romantic weekend away. The coastal town of San Luis Obispo, SLO for short, lets you enjoy the beautiful California climate without the fast pace of a big city like Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Located just a short drive from the coast, within the gently rolling hills of wine country, SLO is home to beautiful scenery, friendly locals and plenty of ways to spend the weekend enjoying each other’s company.
Any time of year is perfect or a romantic trip to San Luis Obispo. During the summer months the temperatures are warm and the sun is bright, but, thanks to its location close to the coast, SLO doesn’t get the overwhelming heat of other California locales. During the winter season temperatures drop but rarely get low enough to be uncomfortable. No matter what time of year you visit you will find clear skies and fresh air.
Nothing beats wine tasting when it comes to romance and SLO has plenty of opportunity. During your stay make sure you plan to spend some time visiting some of the local wineries the area is famous for. The coastal breezes and sloping hillsides of the region are ideal for growing grapes and the rustic wineries in and around town each offer their own unique wines and personalities. One of the easiest ways to explore the local wineries and tasting rooms is with a tour like the Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour. This convenient tour starts at $99.95 and gives you approximately five hours to take advantage of the bus that makes stops at more than 60 area wineries. The bus will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel (so there is no need for a designated driver!) and takes you to wineries of your choosing. They give you 40 minutes for wine tasting sessions before picking you up to head to the next winery.
Locals and faithful visitors to SLO know how to appreciate the great outdoors. Not only is the area rich with natural beauty, but it is bursting with great opportunities to get outside and stretch your legs. One of the most popular ways is by getting out and hiking one of the many popular trails. One of the most well-known hikes in the area is Bishop Peak. It is the highest peak of the Morros, or Nine Sisters, which range from SLO all the way to nearby Morro Bay on the coast. The hike is a good intermediate trail and gives you incredible views of the surrounding landscape. It’s an ideal way to spend quality time with that special someone in one of California’s most romantic settings.
If the hiking trails aren’t your thing you can still enjoy the fresh air in town with a walking tour of downtown SLO. Try the Taste of SLO Downtown Walking Food Tour so you can explore the quaint downtown area while snacking on some of the tasty treats it has to offer. Tickets start at $104 per person and the price includes all foods and wines sampled during the tour. Tours last approximately 2.5 hours and include stops at local eateries and tasting rooms so you will get your fill of lunch, snacks, sweets, craft beers and local wines.
The walking tour gives you a great sampling of the local cuisine, but it is by no means exhaustive. SLO has an excellent reputation as a foodie destination thanks to the numerous restaurants in town serving fresh, farm-to-table cuisine made from local meats and produce. With so many choices you will have no problem enjoying a romantic dinner with your honey during your visit.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, make sure you stop in at the Brown Butter Cookie Company, which recently opened up its newest location in downtown SLO. The sweet treats are favorites among locals and visitors alike and are a welcome addition to the area. The delicate cookies sold here aren’t only a great treat to enjoy during your visit but they make great souvenirs (of the edible kind!) to bring home for friends and family.
After a day of hiking, exploring or wine tasting, a romantic sunset is a must. One of the best places to do this is at nearby Avila Beach. Spend the afternoon taking a relaxing walk along the beach while you watch the incredible scene of the sun settling into the distance over the Pacific Ocean.
No matter how you choose to spend your weekend in SLO you will go home relaxed and rested, but with so many ways to spend your time together in this beautiful location, you will be ready to plan your next getaway to try more of the experiences waiting for you.
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