Each year Sunset magazine sponsors SAVOR The Central Coast, an extended weekend offered at the end of September and designed to spotlight the rich, cultural and agricultural contributions of the Central Coast of California. Attendees come from all over the US which took place from September 24-27.
The program started on Thursday morning with an array of adventure tours to introduce guests to the diversity on offer in San Luis Obispo County. From Hearst Castle to Morro Bay, kayaking, visiting a distillery, wine and cider tasting, the choices appealed to all manner of adventure.
Photo Credit: SAVOR The Central Coast
We experienced the Find Your Muse in the Gardens of Paso Robles Inn tour which was guided by an artist from Studios on the Park. We sipped wine, as we applied acrylics to canvass, enjoyed lunch on the patio and left with our own painted masterpiece. The opening night party, Strings at Sunset, took place at Vina Robles Amphitheater, a state-of-the-art entertainment venue. The amphitheater was also the backdrop for the Sunset International Wine Competition. Entertainment included music, dance and song in the outdoor setting to create a magical evening.
The main weekend Grand Tasting events were held at the Santa Margarita Ranch, a large venue between San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. Wine and food tastings shared the spotlight with culinary demos at Chef Central. At Winemaker Central guests received an in-depth look into the world of beer and cider production, hops, barrels, bottles and yeasts that make for the endless variety of styles and flavor profiles of brewed beverages.
Photo Credit: SeaCrest Hotel
For lodging over the weekend, San Luis Obispo County is filled with diverse options including hotels in Pismo Beach. The quintessentially-classic beach town offers all the nostalgic attractions that hearken back to the dune buggies of a bygone era with plenty of history, legend and lore. SeaCrest hotel hovers at the edge of the Pacific and offers breathtaking ocean and sunset views from its extensive grounds. Nearby is the oceanfront SeaVenture hotel which boasts legendary brunches, adding modern twists to breakfast classics.
In Pismo Beach many restaurants abound including Giuseppe’s Cucina Italiana, which fires up some of the crunchiest wood oven pizzas outside of Puglia, with home-grown produce and wines coming directly from the family. This is an authentic taste of Italy. Right next door to Giuseppe’s, The Taste of the Valleys Wine Bar boasts 1,000 different wines, making it one of the Top 20 Wine Bars in America according to Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Owner Ashe and his wife Lisa take great pride in their selections.
Photo Credit: Michael Reiss
Many beach towns have changed with the times, however Pismo Beach is timeless, offering waves, wines, delicious dining and laid back California Dreamin’. Next year’s SAVOR the Central Coast event is scheduled for Sept. 22-25, 2016.