I didn’t know much about San Luis Obispo but we decided to take a trip down the coast with some family. We spent the entire day at the beach, watched a lovely fireworks display, ate at Splash Café (the steamed clams were delicious!!!), played in the indoor swimming pool, walked the piers, fell in love while discovering Avila Beach, and in general just relaxed with family.
Tips for discovering Avila Beach
- Parking can be a beast, get to Avila Beach early in the day to find a spot. If the parking lot is filled you can try your luck on the streets, but parking can be tight on popular weekends.
- Don’t miss strolling along the Avila Pier which was built in 1890!
- Grab a delicious ice cream on the boardwalk and watch the sunset.
- People watch by swinging on the swing set that is located central to the Boardwalk.
- A lovely farmer’s market is available during Spring through early fall. The produce is amazing!
- On your way out or in, stop at Avila Valley Barn for local sundries and to feed the goats!
A few weeks ago the bebe and I went on an adventure with friends to the City (San Francisco for you non local people) where I finally was able to walk through the famous Ferry Building. What was once a crumbling and dismal area is having a resurgence and the Ferry Building now holds all sorts of delightful things for the senses.
Here are a few snapshots of stuff we saw/ate/sampled.
We had a great time and our lunch was delicious Mt. Tam cheese, Acme bread and organic chocolate. If you ever have a chance to get up there, stop by for some food- just try to avoid lunchtime during the week.
The beach had been calling for a very long time. So this past week Mr. P and I loaded up the bebe on a plane and flew to Hawaii. We were hosted by Ps generous aunt and uncle at the Ko’ Olina Marriott Beach Club. The resort was absolutely gorgeous- it had a private lagoon and rooms that were bigger than our condo.
We didn’t want to be busy we wanted to lay on the beach, wade into the waves and sample some local hangouts. We did all that and more.
Strawberry picking isn’t a very popular activity to do in the Bay Area. U Pick farms went away when the Valley moved toward a more technological industry. There are however a few places left, one being Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport, California which offers berry picking and a shop for jams and pies.
Swanton Berry Farm is north of Santa Cruz and accessible from Highway 1 along the coast. Parking is super easy as there is a large dirt field or you can park closely to the strawberry patch. Before heading out to the fields, head into the store to pick up a cardboard tray to hold your berries. When you are done wandering through the patch collecting berries head back into the store. Payment is on the honor system which I’ve literally never seen anywhere else. Weigh your berries and add your payment to the cash container.
The store has a ton of other items to purchase like fresh strawberry shortcake, strawberry apple cider, pies and cobbler.
After that we had a lovely lunch and then sat on the beach at Natural Bridges State Park and watched the rising waves.
Strawberry picking at Swanton Berry farm is such a fun hidden gem in the Central Coast. It’s perfect for tourists and bay Area natives alike, giving a country farm U Pick feel in a beautiful seaside location.
What to Know About Strawberry Picking at Swanton Berry Farms
- Bring cash, in addition to picking strawberries there are tons of berry products to purchase.
- The strawberries are organic but pricey at $4 per lb.
- The best time to visit is April – June but I’ve been as late as September and the berries were still delicious.
- The store has some history of the farm and lots of things to taste test so take your time and enjoy the view.