Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring a 3-Night Stay on Cambria's Moonstone Beach, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Animal Encounters
Activity Level 2
Pace Level 2
Welcome aboard for this unique itinerary that visits a rookery, ranches, farms and barns amongst the charming towns and along the backroads of California’s idyllic Central Coast. On this memorable coastal adventure that travels through the Santa Ynez Valley, Avila Valley, and rolling hills of Paso Robles, we’ll meet the owners and their animals, learn about their products and taste the plethora of amazing flavors while enjoying a relaxing three-night stay at an adorable boutique inn along Cambria’s Moonstone Beach.
From our departure points we set out this morning for the tranquility of California’s Central Coast. We’ll travel by deluxe motorcoach into the Santa Ynez Valley, a secluded region of rolling hills dotted with horse ranches, vineyards, olive trees, Scrub oak, and early California-style architecture. We’ll enjoy an included boxed lunch picnic and then visit a family-owned, boutique olive farm where we’ll take a stroll amongst the olive trees and learn their process of growing, harvesting, bottling and shipping. We’ll then do some olive oil tasting, savoring the different flavors and textures as you are guided through how to taste and what to look for in olive oil. This afternoon, we’ll continue to a luffa farm nestled into the small town of Nipomo. When you hear the word “luffa,” do soft, fluffy gourds come to mind? Contrary to popular belief, luffas don’t come from the sea but grow inside of what looks like a large squash. But the luffas grown and sold here aren’t the same as those sold in drugstores which are generally stiff, brittle, and not very spongy. Learn about the 12,000-15,000 heirloom luffas that are grown and harvested here without any harsh treatments resulting in a soft, washable, non-abrasive plant-based sponge. We continue north along the coast to the quaint seaside village of Cambria – the artists’ colony nestled in a forest of towering Monterey Pines along a craggy stretch of California coastline. We’ll spend the next three nights at a charming inn that features boutique rooms with cozy fireplaces and a heated pool and spa. The inn features an oceanfront setting on Cambria’s Moonstone Beach, a spectacular stretch of rugged coastline which offers an extraordinary array of tide pools, walk-able bluff-top boardwalk and a spectacular vantage point for memorable sunsets. This evening we’ll enjoy an included dinner with choice of entree at Linn’s Restaurant, the Cambria icon and locals’ favorite that’s known for its contemporary comfort food classics like chicken pot pie. But be sure to save room for what they’re most famous for – warm olallieberry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! (Lunch, Dinner)
After an included breakfast, we’ll visit a unique ranch – in fact, this Clydesdale horse ranch is the only place on earth where you can visit majestic Clydesdale horses grazing on nearly 2,000 acres of rolling pastures speckled with pristine Monterey Pines and an exquisite view of the Pacific Ocean! This family has been breeding Clydesdales here for over 30 years, while showing them all across the U.S. and Canada, and now they’re sharing their Clydesdales and their passion for them with us. We’ll board an open-air trailer for a driving tour through the ranch learning about the history of the ranch and taking in the incredible views. We’ll enjoy an included lunch in a picturesque setting and an opportunity to meet the horses – truly sweet and gentle giants. This afternoon we’ll enjoy a scenic ride along the coast north of Cambria to the elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas. This location is one of only a few spots in the world where northern elephant seals can be seen in vast numbers. Although elephant seals spend most of their lives in the open ocean, they arrive at this rookery to give birth, breed, molt and rest from long migrations in the ocean in search of food. We’ll continue to William Randolph Hearst State Beach to take a walk along the pier in this protected cove. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore Cambria’s West Village, relax at the inn or take a walk along the Moonstone Beach boardwalk. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at a variety of restaurants in Cambria’s charming East Village. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll travel east along the backroads through the rolling hills of Paso Robles, home to the oldest grapes in California – they were planted by Franciscan monks as they made their way north on El Camino Real in the late 1700s. With over 200 wineries, this wine region is not only the fastest growing wine region in the state, but more importantly, it’s producing world-class wines – especially Rhone varietals and blends. We'll visit a ranch-style winery with 200-acres of wine grapes, 15-acres of walnuts, 10-acres of organically certified olives, a 5-acre pond, covered bridge and a culinary garden all tucked into the oak-studded hills of the Paso Robles wine country. We’ll board a miniature train and take a ride through this 2,700-acre wild ranch that has a rich history, dating back to the 1880s when it was used to raise livestock. We’ll encounter an extraordinary biodiversity while learning about the rich history of the ranch, their organic farming techniques and viticulture practices. We'll enjoy an included catered lunch with wine tasting in a picturesque setting where rustic elegance meets wine country charm. This afternoon we return to Cambria with time at leisure to browse the charming shops, boutiques and galleries in Cambria’s quaint and historic East Village. The galleries offer an eclectic selection of everything from art glass to watercolor paintings, nature photography to abstracts created by both well-known and local artists. This evening, enjoy dinner on your own at one of the oceanfront restaurants in Cambria, or take advantage of transportation to downtown San Luis Obispo’s Farmers’ Market (weather permitting) to stroll amongst four lively, historic blocks filled with just-picked produce for sale, local restaurants selling barbecued specialties and local performers. (Breakfast, Lunch)
After an included breakfast, we’ll travel south to Avila Valley and visit the Avila Valley Barn which opened in 1985 as just a table and umbrella with fruit and vegetables for sale. Over time, the farm stand grew little by little and now includes a barn, bakery and sweet shoppe, farm animals, and gift shop. You’ll love the sweet country charm and fresh local produce for sale. We’ll continue south to Los Olivos, the charming and historic town tucked into this picturesque Santa Ynez Valley. Enjoy an included gourmet boxed lunch along with time at leisure to explore this walkable, two-block village known for its love of the arts, unique boutiques and tasting rooms. This afternoon we’ll visit an animal rescue farm that is a haven founded on a love for abandoned animals. While primarily a home for miniature donkeys there are a number of other animals including goats, sheep, pigs, turkeys, chickens, geese, a tortoise and Zeyore the zonkey – half zebra and half donkey! You can cuddle and feed nearly every four-footed animal – and they sure love the attention! We continue south to our departure points, arriving this evening with many fond memories of our time exploring the ranches, farms and barns along California’s beautiful Central Coast. (Breakfast, Lunch)
While we make every effort to operate our tours as outlined in the itinerary, we ask for your patience, understanding and flexibility and to retain a sense of adventure while traveling with us. Situations may arise that necessitate changes to the itinerary. Should we need to adjust the itinerary either prior to or while on tour, these changes will be communicated to you and only done when absolutely necessary.
Thank you for your patience while we process this...