We hesitate to even share this particular Designer Escape, as we always want to be able to find a room at one of our new favorite inns. Suggested by one of our star clients, the Casitas of Arroyo Grande provided just the right amount of R&R over the holiday break. The comfort of a trip back to Cal Poly, my alma mater, paired with the views and weather of the coast were simply paramount.
Situated on a 7 acre estate, The Casitas of Arroyo Grande Bed and Breakfast overlook central coast vineyards and hillside. Located half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, The Casitas are close to San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach and other central coast landmarks. Guests can decide on wine tasting—over 15 wineries are within a 15 minute drive—a day of horseback riding at the beach or a trip to nearby Hearst Castle. Among the amenities The Casitas offer guests are an in room fireplace, private deck and a gourmet breakfast made by the innkeeper, Tony and his wife, Pat. Waking up each morning with coffee waiting on our patio and breakfast soon to follow, was only the beginning of the stellar service we received.
Laetitia Winery: At Laetitia, the team is passionate about producing premium estate wines that showcase the distinctive qualities of the Arroyo Grande Valley. Located in Southern San Luis Obispo County, the relaxing coastal property overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Originally known for Methodé Champenoise sparkling wines, they continue to produce seven unique Sparkling Wines—however they are just as well known for their handcrafted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, too.
Chamisal Vineyards: Chamisal is situated on the edge of San Luis Obispo in the Edna Valley appellation. This area is recognized as one of the premier Chardonnay and Pinot Noir regions in California. We enjoyed the Estate Flight which is a hosted tasting that includes at least four wines from Chamisal’s rotating list of Estate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Rhone-style wines. The Estate Flight can be experienced on the winery’s Estate Patio, which affords a breathtaking vista of the Estate Vineyard’s soft rolling hills.
Talley Vineyards: Talley Vineyards is also located in the Arroyo Grande Valley, pouring current releases of Talley Vineyards, Bishop’s Peak, and Mano Tinta wines. The tasting room has spectacular views of the Rincon Vineyard and is surrounded by incredibly lush landscaping, crops and three picnic areas. Talley Vineyards is just a few minutes’ drive from either Arroyo Grande or San Luis Obispo.
Justin Winery: On your way to or from Arroyo Grande, enjoy stunning views of Justin Winery’s vineyards from their new Paso Robles tasting room. Bathed in natural light, it’s the perfect setting to learn about and taste our wines, including new vintages and limited releases. Heighten your wine-tasting experience with the best from local cheese makers or visit the restaurant or inn for a deeper wine experience.
Novo: In the colorful San Luis Obispo dining room or on the large creek-side deck under the heaters, this animated downtown eatery will take you on a culinary world tour. The salads, small plates, and entrées come from nearly every continent. The wine and beer list also covers the globe and includes local favorites.
Gina’s Italian Cuisine: Nestled in the center of Arroyo Grande, this unpretentious Italian restaurant delivers comfort food at its best. Locally grown foods and a robust wine list, families and friends alike can easily enjoy an evening that is affordable, too.
Ember: Located in an Arroyo Grande old pole barn, Ember serves Italian-inspired California cuisine. “Funky” is embraced and corralled into what sets the stage for a fun and entertaining evening. Quite literally a show—the restaurant features great service and an open kitchen with a wood fired oven, a brick-and-mortar fireplace/hearth outfitted with a Tuscan grill and spit-roaster to conjure the essential flavors of honest food and drink.
La Granada Hotel & Bistro: The Hotel Granada was originally built in 1922 by Mr. and Mrs. Remage who operated it as such for forty-six years. It was located next to the Elmo Theatre, which was the town’s premier Vaudeville venue. At once thought to be an enclave for traveling artists and actors during the Vaudeville era, rumor is the hotel rooms were rented by the hour in the 1920’s, contributing to San Luis Obispo’s brothel business for many years of its operation. Chef Justin Casey creates a menu of Californian cuisine with European influence, using the best local, sustainable and naturally raised ingredients whenever possible. The wine list includes local and international labels paired to the cuisine by General Manager and Sommelier, Robert Williams, along with handcrafted cocktails and artisan spirits. The ambiance and design only add to the dining experience—and don’t forget to check out the art bar while you are there.
San Luis Obispo: One of the reasons San Luis Obispo is so happy is because of its walkability and friendliness to pedestrians. Downtown San Luis Obispo encompasses about seven blocks and five streets filled with retail and dining tucked into historic buildings. Take a stroll down Higuera Street, the main drag for shopping. But don’t forget about the streets of Monterey and Marsh and all the cross streets in between. You will find that downtown is filled with off-beat boutiques and familiar chain retailers that provide a mixture of affordable and lavish shopping options. Along with the shopping you will discover that downtown is also the dining and entertainment hub of town.
Chameleon Fine Furnishings: In my college life I worked for a lovely lady named Camay who wanted to create slip covers in a way that didn’t have the typical shabby chic look, but still had all the fabric flexibility. A senior project and 20 years later, she has succeeded and now has her own furniture store in Arroyo Grande. You can imagine my surprise when I walked in to the “Kerrie Sofa”. Chameleon and team are passionate about fabrics, colors and creating home design products which make decorating flexible, affordable and fun! Chameleon, in the heart of the town, is the home and factory of Chameleon Fine Furniture and manufacturer for custom and Ready-to-Wear home fashion products.
Sycamore Mineral Springs: Voted one of the top destination mineral spring resorts in the world by both Spa and Spa Finder Magazines, it is easy to see why this iconic mineral spring spa resort is so popular. You can come for a treatment or stay for the day—we recommend the detox package that starts with Pilates, ends with a soak, scrub, lunch, massage and facial. The views are spectacular the area is perfect for a long walk or hike. We felt the staff truly had a commitment to wellness and specific health needs.
Pacific Dunes Ranch: Come and enjoy a little piece of heaven tucked away in the scenic dunes of the beautiful Oceano Dunes Preserve, along the Pacific Ocean. For an unforgettable experience, rent a horse at the stable for an exciting ride to the beach. We enjoyed the dunes, gardens and beach with Lou and Jeanine—our very special horse escorts.