Wednesday, September 3, 2014

California Central Coast

Trip Duration: 3 days/2 nights


La Quinta Paso Robles
2615 Buena Vista Dr
Paso Robles, CA 93446

This is the best La Quinta I've ever stayed in. We stayed in a 2 double bed 2 rooms suite and it's huge! The living room has a murphy bed which is much more comfortable than a sofa bed. It also has a good size dining table for 4. The bathroom has double sinks. Breakfast is included every morning. Everyday they serve an organic farm-to-table food during breakfast in addition to the regular hot breakfast they have(eggs, potatoes, waffles, etc). Best of all, La Quinta allows pets without any additional fees! The only downside I can find is that the bed is too soft for me. Other than that, the hotel is perfect!

Things to do:
  • Robert Hall Winery, Paso Robles
    • I picked this winery because they have a bocce ball court. We've been meaning to go play bocce ball, but haven't had time to do it, so I figured this is a nice opportunity for us to do this. Using the bocce court is free, but reservation is recommended. They have 2 courts side by side. When we came, noone was playing because it was super hot outside and there's no shade in the bocce court area. We bought a bottle of their muscat wine and they gave us wine glasses so we can play and drink on the bocce court. You also get a free wine tasting for each bottle you purchased(or it's $10/tasting). The grounds here are very pretty and there was even a wedding on the side patio when we were there. 
  • Rotta Winery, Templeton
    • We went to this winery on our 2nd day in the area. We all love dessert wines and when I checked on Yelp, everyone raves about how good their dessert wine is, so off we go. Their tasting room is small. It's $10/tasting for 9 different wine tasting and free with 2 bottle of wine purchase. They also have an outside patio. They had 2 dessert wines in the tasting menu, Zinfandel Port and Black Monukka. Both of these are very sweet! I love sweet dessert wines but even for me these are extremely sweet. The group before us bought the last bottle of Black Monukka that they had, so it looks like this wine is a hit for their wineries. 
  • Castoro Cellars, Templeton
Entrance to the winery
    • This is my favorite wineries from all the wineries we visited. They have beautiful shaded grounds and they have the best wine from all we've tasted on this trip. Wine tasting is free for 3 wines or $5 for 7 wines. It's also free with a purchase of a bottle. If you check in at Yelp, you also get 10% off your purchase. We tasted 5 different wines because they were about to close when we came in and all 5 are great! We ended up buying 3 bottles here(Muscat Canelli, Orange Muscat Late Harvest and Cabernet Sauvignon). 
  • River Oaks Hot Springs, Paso Robles
The biggest indoor hot tub they have(fits 6 people)
    • After a long day hiking and wineries-hopping, we went to this hot springs. Their biggest tub can fit 6 people, so it's nice when you have a bigger group. Their price is very reasonable too and an extra 10% when you check in at Yelp. Customer service here is very disappointing. I wish they were friendlier. We checked in at front desk and paid for the tub. She asked if we've been there before and we said no. She took us to our indoor tub and told us we can lock the door if we want to. And then she left. We were trying to figure out if we can change in the locker room, if we get any locker or towels, so we went back to the front desk. We asked if we get locker and she said no, it's for massage only. Okay, so we asked for towels or robes and we were told towels are for rent for $1 each and robes are for massages only. We rented the towels and we just put our stuffs inside the tub room. When we were done, we went to the locker room to take showers. They have 3 showers in the women locker. The one I used does not have body wash, only shampoo and conditioner. They also only provide 1 hair dryer. Aside from these downsides, I still feel very relaxed after the hour long soak.  
  • Toro Creek Beach, Cayucos(Whiskey friendly)
Happy Whiskey, Morro Rock in the background
    • It's really tough to find an off-leash dog friendly beach in this area. After Googling around several times, I finally found this place. There is no address that I can find, so if you use a GPS, you can put in an intersection of Toro Creek Rd & Hgwy 1. You will see a little parking spots and the entrance to the beach is near there. The beach is clean and you can see the popular Morro Rock from this beach. I love that Whiskey can be off leash in this beach and everyone seems very friendly.
  • Bluff Trail @ Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Cambria(Whiskey friendly)
Bluff Trail
View from Bluff Trail
    • This is a very nice hiking/walking spot in Cambria. I could not find an address to put this in the GPS, so we put in an intersection of Sherwood Dr./Wedgewood St. & Windsor Blvd.. There's a small parking area near the entrance of Bluff Trail. The view here is breathtaking! You can also see whale spouts and maybe even whales jumping out of the water if you are lucky. The trail is short, about 1 mile one way. In the other side, there's also an entrance, but I'm not sure how to reach the other entrance. The only downside of this trail is that there is no restroom! 
  • Mission San Miguel, San Miguel
Inside of Mission St. Miguel Church
    • If you are taking 101N home from Paso Robles, you should visit this place. It's one of the California Missions. The church is really small, but it's very beautiful, just like all of the other missions. They also have museum tours, but since it's too hot for Whiskey to leave him in the car, we decided not to do the tour. 
  • Hoppe’s Bakery, Cayucos(Whiskey friendly) -- Not recommended
    • We were trying to find a Whiskey friendly place that is not too expensive. Hoppe's Bakery is a smaller place beside the popular Hoppe's Bistro. The entrance is exactly beside Brown Butter Cookies Company and very easy to miss. They have both brunch and lunch menu. We tried the Chicken and Waffle and Lobster Roll and we weren't impressed by it. Outdoor area is very clean and nice though.
  • Brown Butter Cookies Company, Cayucos
    • This is a must visit when you are in the area. I've never had brown butter cookies before, so I was excited to try this place. They have different flavors and they do have some samples. We ended up buying original, espresso and cocoa brown butter cookies and we also got the honey cookies. Our favorite is the honey cookies, but everything else taste really good as well. 
  • Hana Teriyaki, Paso Robles -- Not recommended
    • This looks like a family-owned Korean/American restaurant. We ordered their Bulgogi, Crispy Tofu Salad, Short Ribs and Tofu Soup. Overall, the foods are okay since it's probably the only Korean restaurant in the area. But having eaten at great Korean restaurant, I feel like this restaurant is below average. The tofu soup is tasteless. Bulgogi and Short Ribs are okay. The Tofu Salad is not bad. If you are craving for Korean foods when you are in the area, this restaurant would be good for you. If not, I'm sure there are other better restaurants in the area.
  • Robin's Restaurant, Cambria(Whiskey friendly)
    • This is my favorite restaurant throughout the entire trip. They have a nice shaded outdoor area. Service is a bit slow, but the foods are good. We ordered the Salmon Bisque, Angus Burger and the Open Faced Sandwich. You can replace your side of fries with the Salmon Bisque. All of the foods are good and their black iced tea is also great! 
  • Buona Tavola, Paso Robles(Whiskey friendly, small outdoor area)
    • I love this little Italian restaurant. The restaurant is small, but it's very cozy inside. It's very busy when we went there. Service is very slow, but foods are good. Our favorite was the Linguine ai muscoli di mare e porri. We love seafood and the white wine garlic and leek sauce is delicious! Aside from that we ordered Bruschetta ai funghi trifolati(good), Agnolotti di scampi allo zafferano(okay), Tiramisu(good). I would come back to this restaurant next time I'm in the area.
  • Dolce Galleria, Paso Robles
    • Since it was so hot when we were here, we decided to get some ice cream to cool off. This place has ice cream, frozen yogurts, wine, crepes and also foods! It has unique atmospheres. The furnitures around the place are all unique and for sale! The gelato is great. You can sample the flavors before you make your final pick. We tried the frozen yogurt as well, but we were not a fan. We did not try the foods, but we've seen some people who came in just to order the foods, so it might be good as well!

pciltraveldiary's Central Coast California album on Photobucket

Day 1
San Jose to Toro Creek Beach
Lunch @ Hoppe’s Bakery
Hotel check in
Robert Hall Winery
Dinner @ Hana Teriyaki

Day 2

Breakfast @ hotel
Hiking @ Bluff Trail

Lunch @ Robin's Restaurant
Rotta Wineries
Castoro Cellars
River Oaks Hot Springs 
Dinner @ Buona Tavola 

Day 3

Breakfast @ hotel
Mission San Miguel on the way back home
Old Mission San Juan Bautista on the way back home(We didn't get a chance to go here, but this is also on the way home)

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