|SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY – Big City Culture, Small Town Charm
Located half way between the big city lights of San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo County offers historical and cultural attractions, activities and events rivaling that of a larger metropolitan area. Discover the unparalleled beauty of the county’s extensive coastline and rural landscape matched only by the colors of artist palettes, where missions stand as a reminder of the Spanish influence of California’s early history and Hearst Castle is a monument to one man’s vision and wealth. Live theatre, touring Broadway shows, first-class performing arts venues, symphony, ballet, opera, musical festivals, an international film festival and the cultural offerings of a major university perfectly complement leisure pursuits of a visit to San Luis Obispo County.
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SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY – Big City Culture, Small Town Charm
(San Luis Obispo County, CA) — Located half way between the big city lights of San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo County offers historical and cultural attractions, activities and events rivaling that of a larger metropolitan area. Discover the unparalleled beauty of the county’s extensive coastline and rural landscape matched only by the colors of artist palettes, where missions stand as a reminder of the Spanish influence of California’s early history and Hearst Castle is a monument to one man’s vision and wealth. Live theatre, touring Broadway shows, first-class performing arts venues, symphony, ballet, opera, musical festivals, an international film festival and the cultural offerings of a major university perfectly complement leisure pursuits of a visit to San Luis Obispo County.
El Camino Real
Located on Monterey Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the fifth of the 21 missions, was founded in 1772 by Father Junipero Serra and named after Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse, France. San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was the first mission to use red, fire-resistant clay tiles for the roof due to repeated fires to the original thatched roof. The museum features a rare collection of early California photographs and artifacts, authentic Chumash Indian vessels and the original Mission altar. (www.missionsanluisobispo.org)
Mission San Miguel Arcangel, the 16th mission, was founded in 1797 by Father Fermin de Lasuen and named for Saint Michael the Arcangel. Under the direction of Esteban Munras, Indian artisans painted the walls and ceilings with ornate designs and the original murals still exist today. San Miguel Arcangel, located at 775 Mission Street in San Miguel, is one of the few missions that remains as originally constructed. (www.missionsanmiguel.org)
The missions are connected by the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, with trail signs found on Highways 101 and 227. A 5.5 mile portion of the trail is open for hiking and equestrian use in Atascadero, along the Salinas River.
San Luis Obispo's Dallidet Adobe, designated as a State Historical Monument, was the first commercial winery on the Central Coast. It is said that in 1886 there were about 7,200 vines that produced 3,300 gallons of wine. Today the property features a variety of original trees and shrubs in an enchanting Mediterranean garden. The Dana Adobe, located in Nipomo, is the oldest residence in the county and also a State Historical Landmark.
The Enchanted Hill
Located on scenic Highway 1 in San Simeon is the impressive historic hilltop estate was built by newspaper publisher, art collector and movie producer William Randolph Hearst and designed by famed architect Julia Morgan. A “must see” experience for every visitor to California’s Central Coast, Hearst Castle is open to the public as part of California’s State Parks and one of America’s best known house museums. Only closed three days a year, guided tours are offered seven days a week.
Three new tours are offered: the Grand Rooms provides a broad overview of the 161-room Castle and is particularly well-suited for first time visitors, the Upstairs Suites, and Cottages and Kitchen. At the conclusion of each tour, visitors are invited to stroll on their own through the gardens and around the Neptune and Roman Pools at their leisure. A seasonally offered special Evening Museum Tour allows visitors to experience the historic mansion in the evening hours with guests and staff dressed in 1930s period attire throughout the estate as part of the Living History Program. Hearst Castle houses over 20,000 artifacts from Ancient Egypt to Art Deco collected by Mr. Hearst from around the world, including antique ceilings, Greek vases dating from 700 B.C., rare oriental carpets and myriad works of European art. Advance tour reservations are strongly recommended. (www.HearstCastle.com)
San Luis Obispo County is a magnet for painters, sculptors, photographers, potters, jewelers and artisans of all types. Showcasing local, national and international artists, San Luis Obispo County art galleries offer art enthusiasts hours of enrichment, including gallery exhibits of watercolor, sculpture, oil paintings, ethnic masks, fine art prints, ceramics or glass. Art in Public Places has transformed the San Luis Obispo Creek walk in downtown San Luis Obispo into a living sculpture museum, featuring the colorful and sometimes whimsical work of local artisans.
Annual events showcase the talent of resident and visiting artisans: Cambria Art & Festival (January), Above the Garden Plein Air Festival, Atascadero (April), Festival of the Arts, Paso Robles (May), Art in the Park, Morro Bay (July), “I Madonnari” Italian Street Painting Festival, San Luis Obispo (September), The San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival (October) and Open Studios Tour, San Luis Obispo Countywide
Studios on the Park in Paso Robles is an open studios art center that invites visitors to witness the creative process in action and features 40 working artists and two galleries offering a full range of art from photography to printmaking, to pottery, sculpture and jewelry. The first Saturday of the month Studios stays open late with live music and refreshments. (www.studiosonthepark.org) Sponsored by the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council, 20 participating Art After Dark galleries, studios and other venues in downtown San Luis Obispo stay open late and host special events and artist receptions on the first Friday of every month. (www.sloartscouncil.org) In Morro Bay, the Embarcadero Art Walk is held the second Friday of every month.
A major performing arts venue in San Luis Obispo County is the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center on the campus of California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly), which features a concert hall, the pavilion and a recital hall. (www.pacslo.org) The Clark Center for the Performing Arts in Arroyo Grande is a premier venue for professional and community performing arts programs, (www.clarkcenter.org) and big name entertainers perform at the Paso Robles Events Center during the California Mid-State Fair in July (www.midstatefair.com).
Cultural events in the county include the Cal Poly All-State Music Festival (April), Avila Beach Blues Festival (May), Central Coast Renaissance Festival in Cambria (July), Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo (July), Central Coast Shakespeare Festival in Avila Beach (July & August), Stone Soup Music Faire in Grover Beach (August), Jubilee by the Sea in Pismo Beach (October) and Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles (November). In addition, communities throughout San Luis Obispo County host summer concert series.
The San Luis Obispo Symphony performs at the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center and hits the road for special performances at Hearst Castle, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and their Pops by the Sea concert in Avila Beach (www.slosymphony.com). The Performing Arts Center is also home for performances by the Pacific Repertory Opera (www.operaslo.org) and the Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo (www.civicballetofslo.org). Live theater productions are performed throughout San Luis Obispo County, including Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre at the Spyglass Inn Restaurant in Shell Beach (www.murderinmind.com), Great American Melodrama & Vaudeville in Oceano (www.americanmelodrama.com), Pewter Plough Playhouse in Cambria (www.pewterploughplayhouse.org), and the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre (www.slolittletheatre.org).
In March, movie-making magic takes over downtown San Luis Obispo with the annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. Nearly 100 independent and classic films are screened at the Fremont Theatre. The festival includes special events, workshops, interactive sessions and presentation of the King Vidor Lifetime Achievement Award. (www.slofilmfest.org)
Several museums chronicle the region’s colorful past with vast exhibit collections: the San Luis Obispo Historical Museum, located in the old Carnegie Library in downtown San Luis Obispo (http://historycenterslo.org/), the Carnegie Library and Historical Museum, located in the Paso Robles Downtown City Park (www.pasorobleshistoricalsociety.org) and the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum on Riverside Avenue (www.pasoroblespioneermuseum.org). An interactive museum with nature walks offering a stunning view of Morro Bay and Morro Rock is the Morro Bay Natural History Museum (www.slostateparks.com/natural_history_morro_bay.asp).
The county also has two new museums with permanent and rotating interactive exhibits designed for small children: San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum in downtown San Luis Obispo (www.slocm.org) and the Children’s Museum at the Paso Robles Volunteer Firehouse (www.pasokids.org).
The Estrella Warbird Museum in Paso Robles houses a collection of military aircraft and memorabilia, plus unique and historical aviation items (www.ewarbirds.org).
A member of the Historic Hotels of America, the Paso Robles Inn has a rich and colorful place in Paso Robles history starting in 1844. Renowned for its therapeutic natural artesian hot springs, the Paso Robles Inn hosted outlaw Jesse James and international dignitary, composer and famed pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski and nursed both to health. The old wells have been tapped but select rooms offer soothing thermal waters for the average mortal. Located in the heart of Paso Robles next to the City Park, the hotel also features the restored historic Grand Ballroom, a first-class steak house, cocktail lounge and an old-fashioned coffee shop. (www.pasoroblesinn.com)
About Visit San Luis Obispo County
Visit San Luis Obispo County promotes San Luis Obispo County through marketing, public relations, advertising and group sales. The member base is comprised of over 500 tourism industry-related businesses, including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and retail stores. Please visit the Visit San Luis Obispo County website at www.VisitSanLuisObispoCounty.com.
For more information about our Pow Wow Media Partners please visit: BEST WESTERN PLUS Colony Inn & Conference Center www.atascaderobestwestern.com; Martin Resorts www.martinresorts.com; Hearst Castle www.hearstcastle.org; Travel Paso Robles Alliance www.travelpaso.com.
During Pow Wow visit us in the Visit San Luis Obispo County booth #1884