Summer Road Trip: Central Coast

Even after all our 2018 travel so far, Luke and I knew we wanted to get out of town for the 4th of July. We originally had grand plans to finally check Montana off our list, but when our friends who live in Paso Robles – a small wine region just inland from San Luis Obispo – invited us up to their vineyard, we couldn’t resist!

Our friends Rich & Tracy own a gorgeous vineyard property in Paso, Terra Mia, with rows and rows of grapes (most of which are sold to nearby wineries), three homes and a gorgeous wedding and event venue (complete with a fresh water swimming pond!). It’s a stunning landscape from every angle and always such a treat when they invite us to stay! Depending on who else is around (Rich & Tracy are the ULTIMATE hosts and entertainers. I can’t remember a time we’ve visited where there hasn’t been at least one other friend, relative or couple also bunking at the vineyard!), we either stay with them in their home, or, as we did this past trip, in their adorable vacation rental down by the pond. They were kind enough to keep it off the booking site for us for the week of the 4th and it was soooo nice to have the little sanctuary all to ourselves. If you’re headed to Paso and looking for accommodations, I can’t recommend it enough.

DAY 1 // We drove up late Tuesday night so we could get a good sleep and wake up in wine country on the 4th! We left San Diego around 6:30 pm and made it to Paso by 11:30 pm, so easy. The Central Coast region of CA has so much to offer and if you time your drive right, it’s really not that bad. After a rest we woke up bright and early to experience the famous 4th of July parade in nearby Templeton. Armed with a cooler full of Bloody Marys and a veryyyy patriotic ride, we were off!

IMG_4157{ no better way to show up to an Independence Day Parade than in the bed of a red vintage Chevy }

As the parade wound down we made our way to our friends’ favorite wine bar in Templeton, 15 C, for some bubbles. After a few celebratory (‘Merica!) bottles of 15 C’s finest sparkling wines, we headed back to Terra Mia to freshen up and get ready for the barbecue Rich & Tracy had planned down by the pond.

IMG_6713{ we’re the kids in America :) }

I made a point to put my phone away at this point in the day, so no more photos, but it was so nice to just relax under the Willow trees, sample some incredible magnums of Justin Rosé, go to town on Santa Maria tri-tip and ribs, and swim in the pond amongst the Koi fish and ducks! A perfect afternoon if you ask me.

Once most of the BBQ guests trickled home, a shower and a refresh was in order. Then we made our way to the Pub! Not an actual Pub, mind you, but the one Rich has built into his home up the hill! It’s something of an honor to drink in Richie’s pub, and it’s usually where nights at Terra Mia end up! After a second feast on leftover ribs and one too many bottles of red (and a round or two of Sunday Gin & Ts of course!), we were down for a much needed snooze. 4th of July: Success.

DAY 2 // You might think we’d take it easy the day after the 4th but nope. Not when you’re in Paso. We grabbed a quick bite at one of favorite downtown Paso spots, La Cosecha. Little empanadas for an app, soup and a salad were just what we needed after a big 4th. Comfortably full and feeling mostly back to life, we headed straight to our happy place: Adelaida Vineyards! Adelaida is hands down one of our favorite vineyards in Paso. Their tasting room and property is gorgeous, and all their wines are estate grown. We lounged on their patio and took our sweet time tasting through their current line up. Once bottles were purchased for home it was off to our next adventure.

IMG_7735{ the views from Adelaida never get old! }

After a tasting at Adelaida we headed down the road to a new-to-us winery, McPrice Myers. We’d met the winemaker, McPrice (yes, his first name!) at the BBQ the day before and wanted to try his wines. After another lovely tasting we headed back into town for lunch.

IMG_9904{ ‘gramming at McPrice Myers }

We grabbed a quick sandwich at Red Scooter Deli, as we had a few sales appointments to get to (a little, work, a little play!). After successful meetings at a few more of our favorite spots: Third Base Market & Spirits (one of the most incredible selections of any gas station liquor store I’ve ever seen!), The Hatch and the. coolest. speakeasy, Eleven Twenty-Two, it was back to what we do best, lol.

IMG_1104{ working v v hard // sales appointment at The Hatch! }

Work done and dusted, we met up with Tracy and friends at Treana for some live music, paella and more vino of course! Every Thursday evening, Treana hosts these “Thirsty Thursdays,” with a different musician and food truck set up in their beautiful courtyard. Such a fun atmosphere! Definitely check this place out if you happen to be in Paso on a Thursday.

IMG_0189{ charming outdoor space at Treana }

As if we hadn’t imbibed enough (hah) on this 5th of July, we headed back to the Pub for a few too many You & Yours‘ cocktails (we always joke that we drink Rich & Tracy out of all the bottles we bring them before we’ve even left!) and a verrrrrrrry late but very delicious pasta dinner (because Paella is really just an appetizer, right?).

IMG_9925{ Sunset over Terra Mia! }

DAY 3 // The morning of July 6th was no one’s friend… I’ll just say that. After forcing ourselves to eat breakfast and a subsequent snooze on the couch, we rallied and did the only appropriate thing to do in such a state: head to another winery! And I’m SO glad we did because we found a new favorite, Clos Solène. Be sure to book ahead as Clos Solène is appointment only, but so so worth it. The property is currently being brilliantly replanted by the owners (an adorable Frenchman from SERIOUS winemaker lineage and his wife, Solène) but the tasting room attendants are incredibly knowledgeable, not to mention the wines are delectable. So clean, elegant and well made, you could drink each one for days, especially the Viognier blend (my favorite white grape!).

IMG_2155{ hair of the dog: wine tasting at new fave Clos Solène }

Happily feeling the shampoo effect, we hit up one of our favorite areas in Paso, Tin City, a little micro-neighborhood of wineries, breweries and distilleries! BarrelHouse Brewing Co. is a favorite of ours and with the heat upwards of 100 degrees, not to mention a hangover for the books, a nice cold beer was just the ticket. Feeling a bit wine tasted-out, we headed back to Richie & Tracy’s for a casual, relaxing meal al fresco and a (somewhat) early night.

IMG_9919

{ cheeky kiwi waiting for the grill to heat up }

DAY 4 // Having most certainly overstayed our welcome at Terra Mia, lol, we made our way leisurely back down the coast, stopping for a final, romantic evening in our favorite place of all time: Santa Barbara!

About an hour and a half’s drive later, we pulled into one of our favorite hotels, The Belmond El Encanto. We booked through American Express travel and decided to wait an hour or so to get into an upgraded room, happy to spend the time enjoying lunch and a cocktail on their terrace, followed by a little pool time. After a series of unfortunate and out-of-character events for this hotel group, we were double upgraded to a fountain suite, lol. I’ll spare you the details, as I’d like to believe our experience was simply an off day for the property.

IMG_5245{ Au Bon Climat Chardonnay on the balcony before heading into town }

Wanting to soak up all the day light possible on our last full day of vacay, we showered, cleaned up and headed down to the harbour! After a good stroll along the boardwalk, cocktails were in order. We popped into a place I’ve been DYING to try ever since it opened, Loquita. Perhaps the most successful execution of a tapas bar I’ve ever experienced, we nibbled on croquetas and pan con tomate while sipping on gorgeous and deliciously crafted Spanish-style G&T’s.

IMG_9601{ the prettiest G&Ts at Loquita }

After our warm-up course, we made our way to the Funk Zone. Fun fact: we were thiiiissssssss close to signing a lease on a space for You & Yours in the Funk Zone originally! After a few unrelated things fell through, we reevaluated and decided to stay in San Diego. Having whiffed making a reservation, we put our name in at The Lark and killed time perusing the other shops and tasting rooms in the area. After a quick wine tasting (as if we hadn’t done enough of that already omg), it was time to sit down for dinner! The Lark is one of my favorite restaurants of all time and if you’re anywhere near Santa Barbara, it’s a must! We had some of our favorites: the Little Gem salad and the scallops; and some new things too: Sea Bass and the Texas Picnic (ham, bread, pickles + pimento cheese!) of course. Full & happy, we made our way back up to the Belmond for a good night’s sleep.

IMG_4722{ Stearn’s Wharf }

DAY 5 // Again, wanting to soak up every little bit of our time in SB, we grabbed an early breakfast at the hotel and made our way back to the harbour, taking a nice long stroll along Stearns Wharf (one of Luke’s favorite places in the world!), followed by a breakfast beer at Brophy’s because why not tack another one on. Originally having planned on walking along State Street for some shopping, the heat changed our course straight back to the pool! After a couple of hours (and lunch!) by the pool, it was time to pack up and head home.

IMG_0818{ one last Rosé :( }

For more of our favorite places to eat, stay and things to do in Santa Barbara, see my previous Santa Barbara recap!

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