Fall in Love With Central Coast California

Pinnacles National Park, on Central California Coast, is known for its rock climbing, stargazing, and hiking opportunities with over 30 miles of trails ranging from flat grasslands to uphill climbs through caves and to the iconic rocky spires.

There is so much to fall in love with along Central Coast California. Here are updates and specials:

Romantic Getaways

Couples can enjoy intimate getaways in California’s Central Coast wine region and its coastal towns. The Aphrodisiac Package at Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles offers a Tuscan-style experience, including a two-night stay, a vineyard tour and wine tasting, a couples massage, $500 food and beverage credit, and wine tastings at three wineries. Another option is a private fire pit experience at The Cliffs in Pismo Beach, complete with a dedicated server, bubbly, strawberries, and a S’mores Kit, all while taking in the views of the Pacific.                              

The Mar Monte Hotel in Santa Barbara, California is offering a romantic getaway package that combines a mix of land, air, and sea experiences. The Mar Monte by Land, Air + Sea Package includes a private one-hour flight tour and three-hour wine tasting experience in downtown Santa Barbara in a luxurious limousine, complete with a cheese and charcuterie board and bottle of wine. During your stay, you’ll also enjoy three nights in a luxurious Deluxe Oceanview Suite, a romantic four-course dinner with wine pairings at the costa Kitchen & Bar, a private sunset charter on the Azure Seas Yacht, a private beach picnic with Santa Barbara Picnic Company & Café Lido, a dedicated concierge, a champagne welcome amenity, and daily breakfast by the pool at Café Lido.

The Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach in Oxnard, California, provides a romantic retreat for couples with their “You, Me and the Sea” package. Located just steps from the beach, the resort boasts a contemporary Spanish Hacienda-style design and offers all-suite accommodations, perfect for a romantic getaway. The package includes a bottle of Cava sparkling wine, house-made chocolate-covered strawberries, and a late checkout to ensure a relaxed stay. Enjoy dreamy sunsets, delicious food and drinks at Ox & Ocean, and immerse yourself in one of California’s most picturesque coastal destinations.

Milestones & Anniversaries

National Park Celebrations: 
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and Point Lobos State Marine Reserve are celebrating their 90th and 50th anniversaries respectively, marking their continued efforts to protect and preserve their diverse plant and animal species. The Natural Reserve joined the California State Parks system to preserve its over 300 plant species and more than 250 animal species, while the Marine Reserve’s Ecological Reserve designation protects its intertidal and subtidal flora and fauna. 
  • Pinnacles National Park, known for its rock climbing, stargazing, and hiking opportunities with over 30 miles of trails ranging from flat grasslands to uphill climbs through caves and to the iconic rocky spires celebrated its 10-year anniversary in June 2022.

New Experiences

The Auschwitz Exhibit is making its highly anticipated west coast debut in Simi Valley on March 24, 2023. This groundbreaking exhibition has been traveling the world since 2018 and Simi Valley is the only West Coast location for the entire year. The exhibit has received widespread recognition for its powerful and moving content, selling out at every location it has visited so far. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience this extraordinary exhibit, which brings the tragedy of Auschwitz to life in a deeply impactful way. Don’t miss your chance to see this moving tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.

Big Sur Salts, the only sel gris harvester in the country, offers two ocean-side experiences for travelers. The Ocean to Table Experience takes visitors on a scenic drive down the coast of Big Sur to explore the formation of salt crystals. The Aqueous Yoga experience blends the serenity of the ocean with yoga, promoting well-being and skin rejuvenation through custom yoga pools filled with purified Big Sur salt water, set up either oceanside or in the scenic valley.

The Santa Ynez Valley is expanding its offerings to adventure-seekers with the new Highline Adventures. Situated on a sprawling 1,200-acre ranch near Buellton, California, Highline Adventures provides a special way to educate visitors on the local history, environment, and culture through a range of outdoor activities. Visitors can take part in the longest and fastest zipline in California, consisting of three tandem ziplines ranging from 1,300 to 3,360 feet long, soaring 1,000 feet above the stunning Santa Ynez Valley. In addition to the zipline, an aerial ropes course awaits with 85 challenging elements to climb, crawl, swing and hang from, surrounded by towering oak trees. Highline Adventures is the perfect addition to the already popular destination for bachelor/bachelorette parties, destination weddings and honeymoons.

Food & Beverage

A second location of Aabha Indian Monterey opened in December 2022. Located in the historic Duarte House, Aabha emphasizes classic Indian cuisine through a coastal California lens, and boasts over 100 hookah water pipes and 30 flavors.

A locally owned and family-run restaurant, Pismo Bites, opened its doors on February 1 in the heart of downtown Pismo Beach. This new establishment specializes in creative “beach grub,” serving dishes such as breakfast burritos with a twist, corn dogs with a special flair, and freshly squeezed lemonade. Although there is no website available, you can follow the restaurant on its Instagram page.

Taco lovers rejoice, as Oxnard introduces the updated Oxnard Taco Trail. Boasting a sizable Hispanic population, Oxnard is home to some of Southern California’s finest taquerias and taco trucks. Embark on a journey to find the ultimate taco and visit local restaurants, mom-and-pop shops, and food trucks serving delicious street tacos, quesabirria tacos, seafood tacos, and more. With the free Oxnard Taco Trail mobile pass, you’ll receive exclusive discounts and the chance to win a “I Conquered the Oxnard Taco Trail” t-shirt!

Coming Soon: 

  • Ad Astra Bread Co. is set to open in the summer of 2023 in Monterey. This micro-bakery, specializing in natural leavened sourdough bread, is moving to a spacious 3,000 square-foot location with sidewalk tables for outdoor dining.
  • Heirloom Pizza Co. is set to open in March 2023 in Salinas. This restaurant specializes in both deep dish and thin crust pizzas and is located on the thriving Main Street. The Art Deco-designed building will also feature a live music venue, making it a go-to destination for pizza and entertainment.
  • Nicolás Cocina de Herencia, a new restaurant located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, is expected to open this winter. Chef and owner Susana Alvarez, who is known for her work at the popular Villa Azteca in Salinas, will bring her heritage to the table by serving specialty dishes from the Mexican state of Michoacán, incorporating recipes from three generations of her family. Get ready to indulge in a delicious culinary experience like no other!

New Hotels

The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern – an Auberge Resort, one of California’s most highly anticipated hotel openings, has finally opened its doors to guests in early 2023 in Los Olivos. This historic property dates back to 1886, when it was a popular stagecoach stop, and has since gained a legendary reputation on the Central Coast. Today, the Inn at Mattei’s Tavern continues its rich history as the ultimate luxury destination in the Santa Ynez Valley, preserving its storied past and welcoming guests to experience a new chapter of timeless luxury and hospitality.

The Pacific Motel has a rich history, originally operating as one of Cayucos’ first inns. The property consists of 13 historic 1920s bungalows that underwent a complete renovation and rebranding in the fall of 2022. Despite the updates, the motel retains its classic motor lodge charm and continues to drive tourism to the iconic seaside city on the Central Coast. With its cozy atmosphere and convenient location just steps from the beach, guests can easily explore all that this beloved California beach town has to offer. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by blue-and-white-striped awnings and nostalgic amenities like Bluetooth-enabled Tivoli radios and fireplaces. Guests can enjoy the comfort of high-quality Parachute brand robes while snuggling up in front of the fire.

Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach, a new addition to the Curio Collection by Hilton, has recently opened in Oxnard after undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation. The resort is Southern California’s only all-suite oceanfront property and boasts a contemporary Spanish Hacienda style. With its prime location along the coast, Zachari Dunes offers guests the chance to experience one of California’s most quintessential destinations and indulge in luxurious all-suite accommodations. Guests can also enjoy stunning sunsets, delicious food and drinks at Ox & Ocean, the resort’s dining and cocktail destination.

Coming Soon:

  • Projected to open in early 2023, Hampton Inn & Suites (Marina) is perfect for the budget traveler. The 90-room hotel will offer a 1,200 sq. ft. meeting space, fitness room, guest laundry, a sundries shop, an indoor pool and an outdoor patio across 2 acres. 
  • The Home2 Suites by Hilton (Marina) is set to open in the late summer or early fall of 2023. This 93-room all-suite hotel, designed with families and pet-friendly guests in mind, offers the ideal accommodation for extended stays. Each room is equipped with a kitchenette, making it the perfect choice for travelers looking for a home away from home.

The Lompoc Valley Flower Festival is a hometown tradition that takes place over a magical, late-spring weekend from June 22nd to June 25th. Visitors can spend their time exploring the beautiful flower fields of Lompoc and enjoying three days of festivities, including a carnival, live music, food and vendor booths, a parade, and more. This festival celebrates the valley’s agricultural heritage and is the perfect way to spend an extended weekend with friends and family.

Pebble Beach makes history as it hosts the U.S. Women’s Open for the first time in July 2023. From July 5th to 9th, the world’s best female golfers will compete for the highly coveted championship on Pebble Beach Golf Links.

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