Mom, Are We There Yet? Blog Repost: Road Trip to Hearst Castle & More
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Mom, Are We There Yet? Blog Repost: Road Trip to Hearst Castle & More

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Deborah, creator of the Mom, Are We There Yet? blog recently went on a road trip to Cambria and the Central Coast!

She and her family visited the elephant seals, Hearst Castle, Nitt Witt Ridge, and more. They loved that Cambria has no chains, only unique storefronts and eateries! They were also fascinated by the old buildings in town, many of them now housing businesses and restaurants, like Robin’s, where they ate dinner one evening.

Deborah and team ventured out during the crazy storms a couple weeks ago, but they still had a great time. Check out their amazing adventures here!

 

Darling Magazine: The Solo Getaway of Your Dreams

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Recently, Cassie Winslow from Darling Magazine took an incredible solo trip to Cambria, and basically, she stole our hearts in the process. We love her beautiful photography, her independent soul, her stylish aesthetic, and most of all, her do-it-all itinerary! Here’s a sneak peek of her fantastic article:


“Nestled on the Pacific Coast just 20 minutes west of Paso Robles lies a charming California village lush with nourishing energy, splendid farm-to-table restaurants and welcoming locals. Inviting spaces and a wealth of opportunities to rest and recharge make Cambria an especially lovely destination for a solo getaway.”


Read the rest of the article here! Be sure to follow them on social media, too. Trust us when we say you won’t want to miss out on their adventures—but they don’t just travel. Darling Magazine is a resource for beauty, fashion, business, art, hosting parties and everything in between. It’s delightful, we promise.

 

TalesoftheCork Repost: Sipping a Cambria Moonstone Cellars Tempranillo

Cambria is brimming with wonderful tasting rooms and estate wineries throughout the area. TalesoftheCork’s Greg Stobbe shares his review of Moonstone Cellars’ 2009 Paso Robles Tempranillo in his recent blog post below. Check out the preview and then head over to his blog for the full story!

Photo Credit: Greg Stobbe, TalesoftheCork

Photo Credit: Greg Stobbe, TalesoftheCork

 

Greg’s story starts here:

Visitors planning a trip to Cambria, California, often stroll along the wooden boardwalk, go whale and elephant seal watching, visit  Hearst Castle and a dine at one of Moonstone beach-side restaurants.

But in downtown Cambria, a small boutique winery and wine shop should be on your list, besides window shopping. Pencil in Moonstone Cellars.

While we don’t get over to Cambria very often, a leisurely walk in the picturesque town and nearby ocean boardwalk, visitors will find boutique and antique shops, mom and pop cafes and restaurants and the local wine shop and winery: Moonstone Cellars.

Continue reading, here.

National Trails Day – Repost from The Mommy-Files

National Trails Day is Saturday, June 4th! It’s the perfect excuse to get outside and hike one of the many winding trails within Fiscalini Ranch. Adventurers will love the easily-accessible tide pools, and families with small children will appreciate the “well-manicured pathways,” as described by The Mommy-Files, an awesome blog whose writer took a hike through Fiscalini Ranch last Christmas. The weather is certainly warmer now, but the views are just as breathtaking. Don’t forget to share your photos with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the chance to be featured!

The Mommy-Files adventure begins here:

For those of you who know me, I am always up for a hike, with Russel it usually takes a bit more convincing. So when we headed out, it wasn’t with the anticipation of finding a hike. We just happened upon one. Taking a drive up Hwy 1, we came to Cambria, which is a lovely coastal town. We followed signs to the beach and found ourselves at Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. Nice wide-open spaces with neatly manicured pathways. We saw couples with strollers, young kids riding bikes with their parents, the elderly out on a stroll – all age groups. Click here to continue reading.

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Photo Courtesy of The Mommy-Files

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Photo Courtesy of The Mommy-Files

JoshWillTravel Explores Historic Cambria

Our friend Josh, from the JoshWillTravel blog, went on the historic tour of Cambria at the end of April, and he took some great pictures in the process! Cambria has some amazing history, and as we celebrate the sesquicentennial, there’s never been a better time to explore. You can check Josh’s pictures out here, and if you want to take the historical tour for yourself, check out the Cambria Historical Society website, create your itinerary and book your stay today!

Photos Courtesy of JoshWillTravel.Wordpress.com. Click here to see his full walking tour experience.

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Santa Rosa Creek Chapel, Photo by JoshWillTravel

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Cambria Historical Museum, Photo By JoshWillTravel

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Historical Plaque, Photo By JoshWillTravel

A West Coast Literary Adventure from Dudley News

From classic authors like Robert Louis Stevenson and John Steinbeck to controversial counter-culturists like Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson…California’s coastal communities have inspired authors for decades. The seaside towns and bustling cities that line the Pacific have fueled the minds and creative juices of some of the greatest musicians, writers and artists of our time. Follow UK writer Chris Flavell on his trip as he explores the West Coast cities that have provided inspiration for some of America’s most iconic literature in his article The Beat Goes On: Exploring the West Coast’s Literary Haunts. Chris travels through California from San Francisco to Cambria before arriving in Las Vegas on his journey that explores the spots that influenced these creative geniuses.

Credit: Chris Flavell, Dudley News

Credit: Chris Flavell, Dudley News

Chris’s adventure begins here:

WRITER Jack Kerouac in his seminal novel On the Road wrote of the fabulous white city of San Francisco and her eleven mystic hills framed by the blue Pacific with its advancing wall of potato-patch fog.

Those haunting words fresh in my mind began a trip to explore the homes, haunts and inspirations of writers of the West Coast of America. From its bustling cities, small towns and mesmerizing coastline, each has offered some of the world’s greatest writers a place to work, play and create. Kerouac, Allan Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and many others that made up the Beat Generation of writers all have links to San Francisco. Jack London and Mark Twain also spent time wandering its hilly terrain on route to penning some of history’s classic literature.

A short ride down the coast brings you to John Steinbeck country. Land that helped forge such classics as Of Mice And Men, Cannery Row and East of Eden.

Further still brings you to the refuge of Henry Miller in Big Sur. Then, as you begin to cut in-land and head to the hot, dusty roads leading to America’s party city of Las Vegas, you don’t have to look far before Hunter S. Thompson’s crazy journey in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas begins to take shape.

Continue reading the full article at DudleyNews.co.uk, here: http://bit.ly/1TqBINf

Getting the Most Out of Central Coast Wines in Cambria 

Editor’s note: Last year we announced the launching of our Cambria Ambassador Program. Partnering with bloggers throughout California, we’ve invited them to use their photography, outdoor, and food and beverage expertise to give travelers like you an exclusive preview of Cambria.

Who doesn’t love wine tasting? The opportunity to explore new places, new flavors and get to know good people. A good wine tasting experience often involves much more than delightful wines. The problem is sometimes a day of wine tasting comes with a lot of hassle as well whether it’s the 40 minute or more drive to the area, figuring out who is your designated driver or getting lost in the often poorly marked wine country. Don’t get me wrong it’s worth the adventure, but sometimes if you’re like me, finding a simpler way to wine taste is well worth it.

Luckily in Cambria you’ll find a variety of options that allow you to get the most out of Central Coast wines without dealing with the many hassles that can come along with a wine tasting experience.

Wine Tasting On Main Street

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Cutruzzola Vineyards

Right off the Pacific Coast Highway in the West Village, you’ll find some of the best wineries Cambria has to offer all within a block or so of each other. This gives you the perfect opportunity to taste a few different spots, get a short walk in, and not worry at all about the drive to get there. You can even wander over to Moonstone Beach afterwards for a relaxing evening.

Start off at Cutruzzola Vineyards where you will find the unique dry Riesling that exist along the Central Coast as well as smooth Pinot Noirs. Either have a tasting up at the bar or sit down around their beautiful dining room table where you can relax for awhile with a nice glass.

Afterwards, make sure you don’t miss Moonstone Cellars. Here you’ll find a change in varietals along with the Central Coast classics. On the whites make sure to try their Viognier and Grenache, and Syrah to round out the reds.

For more stops right off the Pacific Coast Highway, check out the Pacific Coast Wine Trail, which highlights ten wineries along the Central Coast. 

Wine : Taste

Wine : Taste

Trying Everything In One Unique Place

Another great way to avoid the hassles of wine tasting is finding a spot where you can taste a little bit of everything. While I’m often disappointed by this style of tasting bar, every once in a while you find one worth revisiting and in Cambria Wine : Taste hits that mark.

Here the proprietor and her staff handpick a rotating selection of wines for you to taste from both local wineries and abroad. Making sure you can easily explore the Paso Robles wine appellation without leaving downtown Cambria.

When The Wineries Come to You

On top of these regular wine tasting experiences, Cambria and the Central Coast offer unique opportunities where the wineries come to you. This winter you’ll find not one but two events where winemakers from throughout the Central Coast will gather with food, art and more.

If you haven’t attended one of these all access events before, they provide a great opportunity to get to know a wine region, compare different styles, and try wineries you might never have found otherwise.

blendfest2016The first opportunity this winter is the Cambria Art & Wine Festival, taking place the weekend of January 29-31. This event includes 40 wineries as well as local artists and eateries. On Saturday, you can wine taste at three different locations. On Sunday, join the BBQ and local art demonstrations all while enjoying local wines.

The next month head over to San Simeon for BlendFest, where 30 local wineries will take over the Hearst Property in Old San Simeon. The weekend of February 19-21 will be filled with wine tasting overlooking breathtaking views. On top of that, the event offers a winemaker dinner and wine blending session.

Great Wines With Ease

One of the many great things about Cambria is how easy it is to explore and get to know the local wine regions. While a trip into Paso Robles is fun, sometimes you want to stick along the coast while still enjoying flavorful wines. Luckily, in Cambria you can get the full experience of wine tasting without any of the difficulties that can come along with it.

 

Megan's Bio PhotoMegan MacNee is the founder and writer at Traveling Nine to Fiver, a blog focusing on encouraging full-time professionals to make the best of their days off and get out to explore the world. Megan moved to Southern California from the Mid-West when she was nine, and after college, moved up to Sacramento. She’s constantly trying to explore more of California and the West Coast by taking day trips, weekend trips, extending work travel and more. To sum it up, she’s a beach-loving foodie and wino, making the Central Coast a perfect destination. When she’s not traveling and blogging, Megan spends her days working in the political world in Sacramento.

 

Eroica California: Italian Vintage Bike Race Comes to Cambria

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by Jeff Dykzeul, central coast resident and volunteer coordinator for the upcoming Eroica California vintage bike race. Because of his regional cycling knowledge (he knows every little nook and cranny for each of the three Eroica California routes!), Jeff seemed like the perfect candidate to help educate all of us about the upcoming cycling event. You can learn more about Jeff on his blog Velobum which focuses on year-round cycling in Paso Robles and beyond!

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Jeff D on Peachy Canyon Road

Hello, vintage cycling fans. I’m the volunteer coordinator for the initial 2015 edition of Eroica California. I live right in the middle of the three Eroica routes and have ridden all of the roads being used for Eroica many times, except for those sections on private lands that are being opened up just for the event. I’ve been cycling almost my entire life, progressing from a tiny red Schwinn with training wheels to my current #1 bike, a titanium Litespeed Vortex. That’s me picture to the right, stopped at a vineyard along Peachy Canyon Road with my not-quite-vintage Joe Bringheli lugged steel road bike.

As a member of the South Bay Wheelmen club in Redondo Beach CA, I helped put on the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix for 10 years, as well as the final stage of the Tour of California in 2006, which was a circuit race in Redondo Beach. Happily for me, the fellow who started the SBW club back in the early 60’s, friend and hall of fame cyclist Ted Ernst, will be one of the judges of the Eroica Concours d’Elegance. I have ridden in many parts of the United States, as well as in Mexico, the Pyrenees and French Alps, and have assisted the manager of the United HealthCare pro cycling team for a couple of editions of the Tour of California stage race. I got involved with the Eroica California event because I am a volunteer with the Hospice of San Luis Obispo organization and Hospice SLO is the charity beneficiary of the Eroica event.

The origin of the Eroica event goes back to 1997 in the Tuscany region of Italy, where Giancarlo Brocci created it to celebrate old style non-competitive cycling. Vintage bikes, vintage clothing, using dirt/gravel roads, and a laid-back attitude so that riders can enjoy the food, drink, music, scenery and socializing without concern for all the stresses involved in racing. This formula has become a big hit with cyclists and has led to the international expansion of the event. Wes Hatakeyama, long-time cyclist and resident of San Luis Obispo County who has participated in Eroica events, was instrumental in bringing Mr. Brocci to our area, resulting in Paso Robles being selected to host the event.

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Vintage Nishiki at a winery entrance on Vineyard Drive

The original Eroica event in Tuscany takes place in early October, and currently there are several additional versions of the Eroica event sanctioned by Mr. Brocci: Eroica California during mid-April, a springtime version in Italy during early May, Japan in mid-May, Spain in early June, and Great Britain in mid-June. An online launch point for all the versions is athttp://www.eroica.cc/.

The California version will be unique in that it is the only edition that takes riders to the ocean. In our case, the long route includes the beautiful beaches and seaside towns of Cayucos and Cambria. All of the Eroica California activities are centered on the downtown park in the city of Paso Robles, from Friday evening April 10 through Sunday April 12. The Concours d’Elegance will take place in the park, as well as having cycling vendors, entertainment, food and drink. All three Eroica rides (short, medium and long) will start at the park Sunday morning, and end at the park later in the day.

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Geneseo Road near Cass Winery

Eroica California will provide a unique opportunity for cycling fans to witness a gathering of vintage bicycles, equipment and clothing in one spot. California fans will be able to meet old and new friends from around the United States and from overseas. Riders will travel on backcountry roads paved and unpaved through verdant vineyards leafing out in the springtime sun. Well-known former professional cyclists Andy Hampsten and George Mount will be guests at the event. And, of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to sample the wonderful hospitality of Paso Robles, Cambria, Cayucos, and the whole of San Luis Obispo County, including restaurants, wine and beer tasting, museums, parks and entertainment.

As I mentioned above, I live in this beautiful region and know virtually every road that will be used for the three Eroica California routes. To see the route maps hosted at RideWithGPS, click on any of these links here: short route, medium route or long route. I’d like to share with you some of my personal photos from roads that will be used for Eroica California, click on any image to start a slide show. I hope you enjoy the pictures and I hope to see you at Eroica California! Now, I wonder if I can find one of those tiny red Schwinn bikes with training wheels…

Eroica California takes place April 11 & 12 in Paso Robles. For more information, please visit eroicacalifornia.com.

 

Paso Robles Winemaker Interviews + Win BlendFest Tickets

Ambassador Matt Browne of hootnannie.com

Ambassador Matt Browne of hootnannie.com

*This contest is now over. Congratulations to our winners, Alice O. and Cynthia C.!

The following article was written by Matt Browne, a member of Cambria’s ambassador team. You can learn more about Matt on his blog Hoot N Annie which focuses on regional wines from the Paso Robles area.

BlendFest is a first of its kind wine event here on the central coast. As the name implies, it’s all about blends…wine blends that is. I think it would be difficult to walk into a tasting room today and not find at least one blend on the tasting menu.

Due to the significant rise in blends (and number of wineries) in the area, introducing this new event seems only logical. Wineries are constantly looking for a way to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack and this focus on blends may just help those that are participating.

The list of wineries attending (29 as of right now) is rather impressive for a first year event, you can check that list here. I took this opportunity to get in touch with a few of my winery friends to get their take on this new event. It will be interesting to chat with them after the event as well to get their thoughts on how it went.

For consistency, I asked each of them the same three questions. Here we go:

Jason Haas of Tablas Creek

I am not aware of a wine event that strictly focuses on blends. What is it about this idea that intrigued you to want to participate in BlendFest?

UntitledI think that Paso Robles is making a name for itself around blends – both traditional, like Bordeaux and Rhone, and modern, across old world regions – so it’s a great way of highlighting one of our points of distinction. On a more personal level, at Tablas Creek we’ve overwhelmingly focused on blends since the beginning, and I remember when you had to overcome this when you were out presenting the wines… that the assumption was that a blend wouldn’t be as good as a varietal wine. I’m thrilled that we’re past that, but think that an event focusing on the great blends that we make can only be a good thing.

What do you think blends offer the wine consumer that solo varietal wines cannot?

I make the analogy to cooking: how often do you cook with just one ingredient? Having the different flavors – and maybe even more importantly, the different textures, tannin structures, and fruit-acid balances – of the different grapes allows you to build a wine that’s more complete and less manipulated than you’d often have to do with a single grape. What’s more, I think that it helps you express terroir. If you believe that there is an innate character that the place gives any wine that’s made there, then blending different grapes, each with their own flavor characteristics but each sharing the character of the terroir, will emphasize the terroir relative to the typically higher-volume flavors of individual grapes.

Do you know what wines you’ll be pouring at the event?

We’ll be pouring the 2013 Cotes de Tablas Blanc, the 2012 Cotes de Tablas, and the 2012 Esprit de Tablas.

 

Jennifer Abascal of Vines on the Marycrest

I am not aware of a wine event that strictly focuses on blends. What is it about this idea that intrigued you to want to participate in BlendFest?10633818_10152224685800882_4797155627155066909_o

Paso has become known for its creative and delicious blends. We actually chose Paso to start our winery because we wanted to make blends. What a clever concept for a Paso Robles festival!

What do you think blends offer the wine consumer that solo varietal wines cannot?

I think wine drinkers can get pigeon-holed into only drinking the 100% varietals they are most familiar with (or the ones they can pronounce easily). Blends give us an opportunity to open up our perception of what we like by exposing us to many grape varieties at once. Blends also give the winemaker a chance to really express his or her artistic vision.

Do you know what wines you’ll be pouring at the event?

We will definitely pour 2012 My Generation our blend of estate zinfandel with syrah, mourvedre and petite sirah (it is our most popular blend). We will also pour our 2012 ‘Round Midnight blend of Syrah, Genache and Mourvedre. If we have enough, we plan to pour 2012 Spanish Bombs our first vintage of an all estate blend of Cabernet, Tempranillo, Grenache and Carignane.

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(Guest Contributor) From Pines to Sea, Cambria Has it All

While I have yet to travel much out of state or even internationally, I am grateful that I live in California, one of the best states to be in. I have been able to explore much of The Golden State: San Francisco, San Diego, the Central Coast and, of course, being a SoCal native, very much of my own backyard.

When I am lucky enough to head up north, Solvang, Morro Bay, and Carmel are places that always are a must. But, at the top of that list? Cambria comes to mind. Nestled about 40 miles north of San Luis Obispo and whistling distance to San Simeon of Hearst Castle fame, Cambria might seem small to some, but they actually have so much to offer within their realms!

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Another beautiful sunset on Moonstone Beach in Cambria, CA!

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Last year, when I got to spend time there, I was in awe at how peaceful and versatile their natural wonders are. If you want to take a walk through the pines and feel transformed to a magical forest, you can easily obtain that feeling throughout their winding neighborhoods. If its the beach calling your name, one of my most favorites is in Cambria: Moonstone Beach. Boasting a gorgeous one mile boardwalk trail, this is the ultimate getaway for those looking for the sea without all the hustle and bustle. I enjoyed sitting on one of their wooden benches just taking in the ocean breeze and serenity. You might even spot a sea otter, or if you are super lucky, a whale!

Speaking of otters, Cambria is famous for being home to many, as well as dolphins and seals, which are quite abundant in this coastal community.

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Some of the Central Coast’s marine life.

If it’s wine you are in search of, there is a reason Cambria is said to be the “Wine Enthusiasts Getaway!” The Central Coast is home to many of the best vineyards around, so don’t think Napa is the only wine destination in California. Here, you will find their wonderful Wine Walk Trail—perfect to unwind after a day of taking in nature.

Or, if you would rather enjoy yourself in shops from posh to quirky, don’t worry, they have you covered for that, too! Their downtown village cannot get much cuter, with several inns, restaurants, shops and coffee houses lining the main drag, ready to serve you delicious dinners, desserts, ice cream and more. I always have to check out the antique shops; my parents have gotten me some of my favorite birthday gifts within these stores.

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Hearst Castle

The beautiful Hearst Castle.

Go just a few miles out of town, and you will hit San Simeon, where no trip to this area is complete without checking out Hearst Castle. You will even see zebras on your drive up! Majestic and eclectic, The Castle is a must for all ages, and I especially hope to visit at Christmas time one year, they go all out making it a wonderland.

Whether you want to get away from it all with your honey, do a weekend with the girls (or boys), family (Mother’s and Father’s Day are practically here) or even on your own, Cambria is the perfect spot to do so. As a writer, I know this would be a beautiful, quiet escape to write, with the beach and seagulls as my background noise and a glass of wine on my table.

Summer is coming up, so why not check out all Cambria and the Central Coast have to offer?!

By Mary Lansing

Highway Closures

Highway 1 Closure

If you're heading to the Central Coast, be sure to be mindful of the stretch of Highway 1, 21 miles north of Cambria. Caltrans is busy with a major construction project to make traveling along the stunning Pacific Coast Highway a safer journey.

Highway 1 Storm Repair Along the Big Sur Coast Due to multiple active slides, State Route 1 is now closed between Ragged Pt. (SLO 72.87) and just south of Nepenthe (Mon 44).

Worried about Highway 1 Road Closures? Cambria and Hearst Castle are easily accessible from Highway 46 West from 101 South of Paso Robles or from northbound Highway 1 from the city of San Luis Obispo. Travelers from the north can easily take Highway 101 as an alternate route to Highway 1, which reduces travel time to Cambria by about 25 minutes.

For the latest road closure information visit the Caltrans website.