San Luis Obispo Mom Adventure Blogs

Wine Tasting in Buellton near Solvang

July 22, 2019
Have you ever watched the movie Sideways? It's a story about two San Diego State University alumni (like me!) who decided to go to Buellton for some wine-tasting adventure as a bachelor party. It's a wonderful story and very comical.

Lucky for us, Buellton is only an hour south drive from here! It's also on the way to Solvang, the Danish Capital of America. In Buellton, there is a main street where you can hit many wine tasting rooms within the same block called Industrial Way. Once you've parked, you will not have to repark again to get to these wine tasting rooms which makes it such a fun and easy adventure. See the list of wineries in Buellton that we visited below:

Alma Rosa

This place has such an elegant tasting room. I loved the sleek, modern and fresh feel as you sit down and enjoy a tasting. Tastings were refreshing and they did a great job of making sure the wine bottles were chilled before pouring. I would definitely recommend coming here with a loved one to relax and chill. Address: 181 Industrial Way C, Buellton, CA 93427

Imagine Wine

Our double stroller didn't quite fit through the door so we hung out outside in the patio area. It is small and quaint and was the first wine tasting room that we visited in that strip. The rest of the tasting rooms on this list are all literally next to each other. Address: 140 Industrial Way d2, Buellton, CA 93427

Tierra Y Vino

Tierra Y Vino is kid-friendly and dog-friendly and you can bring your own food here to enjoy the wine with. It's definitely the most casual atmosphere of the bunch. Address: 140 Industrial Way, Buellton, CA 93427

Buscador Wine

Don't be surprised if the winemaker himself pours you your tastings! I think this made Buscador more memorable for us. How often do you get to taste wine and ask the winemaker himself about it! Address: 140 Industrial Way, Buellton, CA 93427

Kalyra Wine Tasting Room

Also right in the same strip, Kalyra has a urban feel to the tasting room with an outdoor picnic table and a nice shady outdoor space. Address: 140 Industrial Way, Buellton, CA 93427

If you want, you can also stay at the Sideways Inn in Buellton, where the characters in the movie Sideways stayed at. It was really family-friendly, well-kept and with a very decent rate. Read more about our stay there in this blog entry.

Find a Hotel in Solvang.

 

Spyglass Park and Hidden Beach

July 16, 2019
You're going to discover a hidden secret if you stumble onto this post. As a local, I've discovered that you can actually walk down from Spyglass Park but don't stop once you get all the way down. If the tides are not too high, you can curve around the bluffs to the right and find a small tiny beach! Now all of this is risky so I don't advise you to do it if the winds, weather and tides are not in your favor. I've seen a few guys with coolers traveling around those rocky trails down and then disappear around the corner. 
(Photo taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com)
The very first time I went to Spyglass Park was to take my kids to the new playground structure that they have just replaced there. The view is fantastic as I'm watching the kids. It's an amazing backdrop. After I brought my husband here for our second visit, I asked him to watch the kids while I try to hike down to get a closer glimpse of the view from down there. 

You can also find surfers along here. 


Address: 2549 Spyglass Drive, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
All photos of Spyglass Park in this post were taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com. Please give credit if you plan on using them.
 

The Rooftop at Inn at the Pier Hotel in Pismo Beach

July 15, 2019
A dear friend from the Bay Area came down and visited me. I wanted to take her to a special place where a successful yuppie like her would appreciate. After some research online, I decided to take her to The Rooftop at Inn at the Pier hotel in Pismo Beach that overlooks the pier and ocean. It was absolutely the right pick!

The entrance to the hotel took a bit of time to figure out because it's on the opposite end of the beach parking lot. However, once we got on the property, I instantly felt relaxed.

In order to use the elevator to get to The Rooftop, a key is required so I asked the front desk if we could get to The Rooftop (because we're not staying there as a hotel guest) and I'm glad the front desk personnel was so pleasant as she activated a card and handed it to me. She hoped we would enjoy it. I was already excited! This key in hand was special.

As we slid the card into the slot of the elevator and pressed the button to get to the top floor, my friend and I looked at each other with amazement as everything looks so new. As we exited the elevator, it was easy to find the entrance to The Rooftop as the sunshine brightened the room from inside. Like finding an oasis in a desert, we've entered The Rooftop with the sound of the heavens in my head.

To my surprise, there are actually small pools up here! There were also kids from the hotel enjoying a nice time with their parents. There was the bar at the very end, opposite from the ocean. And then there was the view of the pier and ocean! 

Seriously, you can not get a more vertical view of the Pismo beach pier from anywhere else!

With many lounge seats, patio tables and chairs, you pick a place to sit and a server will come to you to take your order. The place had many patrons there already and we found a table as close as we could towards the ocean.

We ordered drinks and food. My friend ordered the Bloody Mary and I ordered a local beer called Cali-Squeeze. Both were very refreshing and great!

I ordered the clam chowder, while my friend ordered the corn and home made chips. All were delicious and definitely chef-ly made!


We talked and laughed. We shared personal stories. It was the best hang-out place that my best friend and I have ever shared together and we've known each other since I was four years old. I can't wait to come back to The Rooftop again.

All photos were taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com. This review and experience are my own and not sponsored or endorsed in any way. Find hotels in Pismo Beach.
 

Madonna Inn Pictures in San Luis Obispo

July 15, 2019
Even after becoming a resident of San Luis Obispo County, I'm always so happy when we get to go to the Madonna Inn for dinner. I have yet to have a staycation here but I can always dream. 

Here are the pictures I've taken while visiting here whenever we'd come for a meal or an event. SanLuisObispoMom.com will continually add more to this page as more pictures are taken.



Desserts we've tried:
Raspberry Delight


Pink Champagne Cake


You can also pre-order a whole cake for special occasions like this Pink Champagne Cake I ordered for a special family member.

Other delicious and beautiful cakes in display from orders at Copper Cafe at the Madonna Inn


Events we've attended:
Circus Vargus at the Madonna Inn


Valentine's Day Dinner at the Madonna Inn


Entrees at the Madonna Inn:
Alfredo Ravioli from a daily special at Copper Cafe


Other neat things at Copper Cafe at Madonna Inn:

New Vegan Options

Find a Hotel in San Luis Obispo, California.
 

Ventana Grill Panoramic Beach and Cliff Views

July 12, 2019
 (Photo taken at Ventana Grill by SanLuisObispoMom.com)
Before my family and I moved to the San Luis Obispo area, my husband was raving about the dinner spot that his company took him after his final interview. They had flown him from South Carolina, where we had lived, to come to San Luis Obispo for this new job opportunity. It didn't take him long after that to make his decision. He wanted to move here and be able to see this panoramic view with me. 

We had moved here in January 2019 so it had not been long. Within a week of moving our whole family here, my husband took me to Ventana Grill, where his company had taken him, and I got to see the view he couldn't wait to show me. It is out of this world! 

This view and the location of this restaurant took some bravery. It is right above the bluffs. I can't imagine the special planning it took to build this right here. Anyone is welcome to walk around the balcony and take wonderful pictures for memories. I often look back on the photos I've taken here. 

(Photo taken by SanLuisObispoMom on the balcony of Ventana Grill)

Ventana Grill is a really special place to us and when we have visitors, we try to take them here for dinner. The ambiance is perfect, service is excellent and food is high quality. They do take reservations but it's not required. We've dined here without reservations but you're not guaranteed a window seat. Even without sitting by the window, you can still see the ocean and cliff views and at anytime, you can walk outside on the balcony and see this wonderful panoramic view of Pismo Beach and Shell Beach.

To see other restaurants in San Luis Obispo county, including the beach areas under this county, go to: Family-Friendly Restaurants.
 

Circus Vargas at the Madonna Inn

June 30, 2019
Yesterday on June 29, 2019, my family went to the Circus Vargas performance at the 4pm showing. It was nice to break our day with a fun family-friendly show at the beautiful Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California! See below for our highlights, videos and pictures that SanLuisObispoMom.com captured at this show time.

Parking was $10 per vehicle to park by the circus. We arrived about 25 minutes before the 4PM performance to enjoy some pre-show activities for the kids on the stage. As you enter through, you'll find food and merchandise available for purchase. So if you didn't have time to eat beforehand, don't worry, they have options! 

It was very nice that they had a lot of fun kid's activities for the pre-show. It helped our kids release a bit of energy and get them excited. After they've alerted us to return to our seats, they started dimming the lights and the show began! 

The opening was so thrilling because all of the performers were on stage to welcome you with dance! I couldn't wait to see what's to come! We sat in the arena section and because we got there early enough, we found seats along the entrance so we were able to see everything in plain view. 








One of the many fascinating performances was when this contortionist shot an arrow with her feet and hit her target!


There were performances that were absolutely delightful while there were others that were scary; like when this circus performer jumped through a ring of knives while walking on a trampoline!


Usually when I think of the circus, I would think of looking up at trapeze tricks and Circus Vargas did not disappoint!


My son's favorite was when the juggler was juggling 10 balls at once!


When it was the final performance, we were at the edge of our seats when the motorcyclists came out! They started out with two motorcyclists inside a globe and then gradually moved up to four! It was incredible and no one got hurt!


They even performed in the dark at one point!

When the fourth motorcyclist joined in, I could barely open my eyes!


These were the highlights that SanLuisObispoMom.com captured and there were many performances not shown here! The circus show is great for any age and it's very family-friendly. 

Circus Vargas usually comes to San Luis Obispo, California every year! Right now they are performing at the Madonna Inn from June 28 - July 8, 2019 so if it's not too late, you can still catch their show for 2019!

See Circus Vargas prices and show times at: http://www.circusvargas.com.




All photos and videos were taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com. Please give credit to SanLuisObispoMom.com if you plan on using any of our media. Thank you! 

Visit the website of Circus Vargas to find out more details on their next circus show!
Find a Hotel in San Luis Obispo.
 

California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

June 24, 2019
Without traffic, San Francisco is only a 3.5 hour drive north from San Luis Obispo. With a famous major city this close to SLO, we took advantage of the proximity and went on a family weekend getaway this past weekend to explore San Francisco and the California Academy of Sciences! 

The California Academy of Sciences is an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest and natural history museum (plus more) all in one place! This multi-storied building with also live animals at almost every corner of the large space is fun for the entire family. It's an incredible experience and you won't find any place like it. California Academy of Sciences is located at Golden Gate Park and you can get there by public transportation from really anywhere in San Francisco using the "Muni" system.
(First level of California Academy of Sciences has the planetarium)

(You can find this unique garden on the rooftop right above Level 3)

We started on the ground level which has the planetarium, rainforest, aquarium (you can get to the aquarium via the elevator inside of the rainforest), Curious Grove (for kids 5 and under), natural history, restaurant and cafe. The second level is the forum level, which we walked through the "What is Skin?" forum and the third level is the Education Center where students can get really interactive and learn more. We also saw beautiful gems and crystals on the third level. Lastly, the rooftop "R" level is the Living Roof with a one-of-a-kind garden where you can take in the beautiful view and a nice breath of fresh air. 

Broken down by each main level, scroll down to see  more pictures taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com. Looking back at these wonderful pictures is making me so eager to revisit California Academy of Sciences once again!

Level 1: 
This large dome structure on the first floor is the Osher Rainforest. It's luscious with different interesting creatures you can find as you continue the climb up and blissfully, with butterflies flying all around you. It's so beautiful and one of my favorite places to take pictures. It's also stroller-friendly and the sounds of nature was so soothing, my 3 year old was asleep in his stroller the entire time while we were inside the rainforest. 


After you've reached the very top of the rainforest, there will be a guide near the elevator who will press the elevator button to get you to the Steinhart Aquarium level that's underground from here.

The Steinhart Aquarium section is quite big. Just when you think you've seen it all, there continues to be more sections and beautiful sea life to see. It was at the aquarium that my 3 year old suddenly awoken and boy, what a sight for him to wake up to! Both of my sons loved the aquarium.




After a couple hours of exploring, it was time for lunch and surprisingly, the California Academy of Sciences has a wide range of dining options at the Cafe! There were options like chicken tenders and fries, sushi, desserts, craft coffee and more. So if you didn't pack a lunch, it's okay. The Cafe here is great!



After lunch, the exploration continued for the rest of Level 1. We spotted the large fossils of a Tyrannosaurus Rex towering over us, cute penguins swimming, and a rare white alligator (yes, a real living one!). 




Another really fantastic section on the first floor is Curiosity Grove, which is intended for children 5 years old and younger. As a mom of a 5 year old and 3 year old, this is such a great treat for the parents and little ones as we get to take a bit of a break while the kids release some energy in a child-centered space. There were blocks, puzzles, a small playhouse, tree house, books and a nursing room as well!



Level 2:
Importantly, I want to note that the first floor's restroom near the elevator had a really long line so I suggest going to the second level to go to the restroom if you want to find a shorter line (or in our case, no line at all)!

A quieter floor than the first one, level 2 is where we found the "What is Skin?" forum. My kids are still too little to indulge in this section but if you have time, learn more about the largest organ of the human body here.



Level 3: 
I really enjoyed seeing all the gems and crystals on level 3. I couldn't help but sing "Money, money, money" out loud in the singing style of a BTS song while looking at these beautiful rocks. This mama may have caused a few odd looks with my singing but these gems really put me in a good mood! This level is also where anyone can get hands-on and touch some fur and be interactive with some more learning materials in the Educational Center. 

From Level 3, you'll find a set or stairs that leads up to the Living Rooftop or you can take the elevator and press "R" to get to the rooftop

Rooftop Level: (above Level 3)
This rooftop level at the California Academy of Sciences is really special. The unique living garden and the view from up high makes this floor a great finale and ending to an amazing educational adventure! Even if you're a little tired, try not skip this floor! It's really worth it. 



After three hours at the California Academy of Sciences, it was time for us to start our journey back to our stay and locate our "Muni". If we get the chance again and when the kids are a little bit older, we would love to sign up for the planetarium show. There's just so much beauty and interesting knowledge to absorb! This trip here has been so eye-opening!

(All photos on this post were taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com. Please give credit if you plan on using any of these pictures.)

For more information about the California Academy of Sciences, you can go to their website: https://www.calacademy.org.

The price of admission varies by date. Check out the correct prices by going to the 'buy tickets' page from the California Academy of Sciences website and select the amount of tickets and exact date you plan on visiting. 

Address of California Academy of Sciences: 55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118

Find a Hotel in San Francisco.
 

Street Food Finds in SLO

June 21, 2019
There is just something really refreshing about street food that makes eating out so exciting. Although street food is illegal around here, like you know bringing out your pots of food and selling it on the corner of a street type, the many city-run farmers markets around San Luis Obispo area and the authentic little restaurant shacks are very close to it! You get to eat out on the streets or buy it and take it home while it's still piping hot. Here some of the great street food finds that we've found in the San Luis Obispo county area.

Shalimar, Indian food stand vendor, in downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers Market (weekly on Thursdays year round)

They have vegetarian options as well and your plate is packed full of flavor.

Tapatia Deli & Market in Grover Beach
Sometimes you can see them grilling in front and smell it as you're driving by. There are seatings right outside. When they have a hunk of meat cooking, you order inside and then come back out and get your food, freshly made right in front of you. It almost feels like you're going to a friend's barbeque. They are so friendly and welcoming.


Local Honey from Avila Beach Farmers Market (weekly on Fridays during the warmer months only)


The California Bee Company (CBC) is based in San Luis Obispo, California. They travel to farmers markets around here but we picked up our first eucalyptus honey from the farmers market at Avila Beach. They have a lot of different unique honey flavors like almond honey and others. It's great to pick up local honey if you tend to have seasonal allergies because it helps your system acclimate to the environment here when you are consuming honey sourced locally.

Juanita's Homemade Mexican Food in Grover Beach

Just the picture of the food says it all! Large burritos and home made tortillas made by theirs truly. They close earlier than most Mexican shops around here. They have a small store shack right in front of 7-Eleven. The only seating they have is right outside next to the parking lot on Grand Ave. It feels like street food at it's finest. Sometimes the owner loves to chat it up and it makes you feel like you've known her for years, even if it's your first time there.

See kid-friendly restaurants in San Luis Obispo county.
 

Circus Vargus Giveaway for San Luis Obispo

June 13, 2019

Win tickets to see Circus Vargas’ 50th anniversary extravaganza, 'The Greatest of Ease’ under the Big Top in San Luis Obispo at Madonna Inn June 28 through July 8! Always fun for the entire family, Circus Vargas’ incredible new 2019 production highlights an amazing cast of world- renowned performers! Death- Defying Acrobats, Daredevils, Aerialists, Jugglers, Contortionists, Clowns, Motorcycles and much, much, more! A magnificent, mega-hit production guaranteed to thrill and enchant children of all ages …only at Circus Vargas, where memories are made and cherished for a lifetime!
 
Sponsored by Circus Vargus, SanLuisObispoMom.com will have a giveaway for one lucky winner and their 3 guests to see the show! 

UPDATE: Giveaway Link is up at:
http://www.sanluisobispomom.com/giveaway.php. Good luck!


For more information about Circus Vargus, go to www.circusvargus.com.

(Enter Giveaway between June 17 - June 22, 2019 via the Giveaway form starting on Mon., June 17th on SanLuisObispoMom.com's website. Cut off time to enter will be 8:00 AM PST on June 22, 2019!)
 

Nightstand Before and After Chalk Paint

June 6, 2019
A new hobby that I picked up after I became a mom is finding old furniture and turning them into newly painted gems. I've experimented with spray paint and hand paint but now, I'm sticking to just hand painting because you have better control and it's less wasteful and more environmentally-friendly.

I found this faded brown nightstand on the curb after someone posted it on craigslist.org for free. They didn't ask me to contact them so it was a first come, first serve situation and provided an address. Within 10 minutes of finding the post, I went ahead and drove to their curb and lo and behold, someone has not picked it up yet. To me, this is treasure, free treasure. There's been times where someone has gotten to it before me so it always makes me so happy when I actually get to take it home! 

My favorite colors to paint furniture with are charcoal gray or light gray. For this nightstand, I chose light gray and used a bottle of chalk paint that I already had at home from another project. I originally bought it from WalMart; brand is Waverly. The name of this particular color is 'mineral'. 

Here are the before pictures:


Here are the after pictures after two coats of chalk paint: 

I used a pretty sticky lining pattern to line the drawers. This particular white/gray floral pattern is very sentimental to me. This is the same lining I used for the cabinets and drawers for the house we used to live in South Carolina before we moved to SLO. 

To read more about my usual process when painting furniture and the cost of my painting supplies, go to this entry: http://www.sanluisobispomom.com/blog/before-and-after-with-chalk-paint
 

About Me


SanLuisObispoMom.com Originally from San Diego, California, the publisher of SanLuisObispoMom.com is an SDSU alumna, a veteran's wife and mom of two kids who are two years apart. After living on the East Coast for 6 years, they now reside in San Luis Obispo County and here the exploration continues.

To find family-friendly activities in the SLO area, go to the 'Family-Friendly Things To Do' page.

Check out our sister site: ThePacificBeach.com.

Pacific Beach is a popular beach town in San Diego, California.

San Diego, California is about a 4 hour, 45 minute - 6 hour drive south of San Luis Obispo County (depending on how bad LA traffic is). Check out kid-friendly attractions in San Diego like LEGOLAND® California in Carlsbad (Read a thorough review of LEGOLAND California from SanLuisObispoMom.com), SeaWorld SanDiego, and the World Famous San Diego Zoo