Maria and I decided that is was time for some bonding, so we headed up the coast for a weekend in San Luis Obispo!
We left LA around 1:30pm, with some great podcasts ready for the drive up. It took a little over four hours to arrive at Rachel’s house, but we made it safe and sound! We (Maria, Rachel, her boyfriend Ian, and me) headed to Downtown SLO in search of dinner and drinks, and decided upon “Firestone Grill,” a favorite among SLOcals (SLO+locals=SLOcals). It was freshmen move-in weekend, so the restaurant was packed with eager-looking freshmen and their parents. I told Maria that the tri-tip sandwich was the ONLY way to go, and she followed my lead. We also ordered onion rings and fries for the table, as well as adult beverages. It was a HUGE and very delicious dinner. We then hunkered down for the evening and prepped for the next day.
We woke up excited for the day ahead. There were a few clouds in the sky, but the weather app said it was going to burn off later in the day. First stop of the day was breakfast at another SLO favorite, “Breakfast Buzz.” They’re famous for the breakfast burritos (which are two-for-one on Tuesdays), so I obviously had to get one. Our stomachs full, we headed off to the next stop!
Hidden way down See Canyon Rd. in Avila Beach is “Gopher Glen Apple Farm,” an adorable little apple shop. While we were expecting a cider tasting, we were treated to an adorable mom-and-pop-type store with many homemade apple products! One of the staff gave us an apple tasting, and I swear they were some of the best apples I’ve ever had. We grabbed a bottle of hard apple cider to enjoy later, and headed to our next stop.
No trip to SLO is complete without a wine tasting (or two)! We headed to just down the road to “Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards,” one of my favorites! Not only do they have good wines, but apple ciders as well–and some apple-grape mixtures! At Kelsey, they give you little poker chips to redeem each pour of wine, so you can go at your leisure. We tried a delicious variety of ciders, wines, and mixes, all while basking in the sun that vibrantly poked through the clouds. Also visible were the dozens of wild peacocks that roam the property!
Next we headed back into SLO, picked up Ian, and headed to “Baileyana,” another SLO winery favorite! We found a cute picnic bench outside and they brought out new wines for us to drink every 10 minutes or so. It was a lovely afternoon!
I’ve said this MANY times before: happiness is a sandwich from “High St. Deli.” There’s just something about these sandwiches, I can’t quite explain it. But if you’re ever in SLO, you need to get one. Just trust me. So that was our lunch stop! Maria was thoroughly on-board for all of my food-related nostalgia that I needed to indulge, thankfully.
After eating our fill, we meandered around Downtown SLO again, and I pointed out SLO staples (and personal stories associated with them) to Maria. I was immediately brought back to my college years, and then was awoken by a man laying on the sidewalk shouting at people who were walking over him. Nice snap back to reality.
Time for dessert! And what better place than the “Madonna Inn.” We each got our own sweet treat (Dutch caramel apple pie for me), and fell into sugar comas. But before heading out, we went upstairs to the gift shop and I purchased myself two signature Madonna Inn water goblets! And now I will proceed to never drink out of any other cups ever again.
Exhausted from the day of fun, we headed to bed…well, Rachel and Ian headed to bed. Maria and I stayed up until about 2am talking about random things. Equally as wonderful as a full night’s sleep.
We slept for as long as we could, packed up, and said our goodbyes to Rachel and Ian. For breakfast, I suggested we get coffee and donuts from “SLO Donut Company,” or as it’s most often referred to, SloDoCo. Known for their delicious and slightly crazy donuts, I was very excited to get some of my favorites and try some new concoctions! The flavors we got: maple bacon bar, Chai cream cheese pillow, Cap’n Crunch, lime basil, Thai tea, and Fluffernutter. Oh yeah. We didn’t eat them all in one go, I swear.
We then hit the 101 South for gorgeous Santa Barbara! We stopped along the way to take some scenic pictures.
Maria had never been to Santa Barbara, and I thought State St. would be a good place to show her. We wandered around the shops before giving into our hungry stomachs. The place that caught our eye was “Hoffmann Brat Haus,” a Belgian restaurant right in the middle of State St. I ordered a mango jalapeno chicken brat with caramelized onions and bell peppers, and we shared some delicious fries with chipotle and rosemary aiolis. YUM. After one more bathroom break for the road, we headed back down to LA, our stomachs full and happy from the weekend.
I can’t wait to head back up to SLO again! Adam and I are planning a trip around November, so stay tuned!
-Girl in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara 🙂