"SLOw" Down for the Holidays with Pure Play in San Luis Obispo County's Charming Coastal, College and Wine Country Towns

Nov 21, 2013, 18:28 ET from Visit San Luis Obispo County

Get in the Holiday Spirit with these Great Hotel Deals, Events and Activities       

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif., Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With retailers, family and bosses pinging us every minute to get all the gift buying and other preparations made, it might seem like there's no way to avoid the holiday hysteria.

San Luis Obispo County – located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California's Central Coast -- has you covered!  This beautiful, tranquil destination -- with its pristine beaches, nature trails, charming towns and abundant vineyards and farms – invites to you to slow down for the holidays and experience pure play.  You'll get everything done, but have a lot more fun!

Holiday Hotel Packages

Instead of playing host at your house, why not let the hotels and restaurants in San Luis Obispo County do all the work?

The iconic and romantic Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, which boasts 110 uniquely themed rooms such as the Caveman, Cayucos Queen, Country Gentleman, Fabulous Fifties, Yosemite Rock and Love Birds, is offering the Winter Couples Escape package which starts at $391 and includes one night's accommodations plus ice skating, sparkling wine, local chocolates and spa treatments for two.  Foodies will love the 'Tis the Season package at Apple Farm Inn, which is famous for its local farm to table cuisine, fresh pastries, and pies. The package starts at $199 and includes a one night's stay plus $50 dining, $20 shopping, and $12 bakery credits.        

Many hotels are offering significant savings in return for Toys for Tots donations, such as Cambria Landing Inn in the artsy seaside town of Cambria (20 percent off) and Martin Resorts, which is featuring $20 off stays at Avila Lighthouse Suites, Pismo Lighthouse Suites, Best Western PLUS Shore Cliff, Best Western PLUS Shelter Cove and Paso Robles Inn. Many other hotels are offering winter savings just for staying at the right place at the right time, such as the Embarcadero Inn in Morro Bay (up to 20 percent off) and Oxford Suites in Pismo Beach (up to 30 percent off).  Click here for more holiday hotel deals.

Holiday Events

Our region is known as the Happiest Place in the USA, so let a little of that joy rub off on you and your loved ones during the holidays.  From Christmas in the Village with Santa and Very Merry Lighthouse Tours to holiday dog parades, teddy bear teas and Ugly Sweater Parties, there's no end to old-fashioned or quirky holiday cheer.

Old fashioned and Over-the-Top Merriment

There are more than 100 seasonal events going on in San Luis Obispo County, but no holiday retreat would be complete without a visit to the enchanting Hearst Castle, where you can step back into the 1920s and 30s and experience Christmas at the Castle like a guest of William Randolph Hearst. The castle boasts an amazing array of elaborate decorations throughout the castle, with two majestic 18-foot Christmas trees holding court in the Assembly Room. Insider's tip: reserve the evening tour in advance and get to see volunteers dressed up in period costume. You can also time travel in downtown San Luis Obispo at the Victorian Christmas Open House Tour at the historic Jack House & Gardens, or enjoy a traditional Forbes Pipe Organ Holiday Sing-Along at the nearby Performing Arts Center.

Various communities have created Christmas villages or parades with a Santa cameo and other traditional fun, including the Christmas in the Village and Christmas Concert & Parade  in Arroyo Grande, Christmas Light Parade in Paso Robles, Holiday Parade in San Luis Obispo and the 6th Annual Christmas in Cayucos, featuring Horse drawn carriage rides and children's activities. Cambria's Holiday in the Pines offers visitors many holiday discounts and events at hotels, restaurants and shops.

Enjoy a Quirky Yule

Animal lovers can make presents for their favorite beasts and watch them open it at Holiday Magic at the Zoo, or act like a polar bear and take a chilly Polar Bear Dip in the ocean at the Cayucos Pier. They can also watch canines in costume at the Pancake Breakfast & Doggie Parade in Avila Beach, or make like Santa's steeds at the Reindeer Run in San Luis Obispo, a 5K run followed by breakfast with Santa.

Other offbeat favorites include the Very Merry Lighthouse Tour, complete with carolers and refreshments in Avila Beach, the Lighted Boat Parade in Morro Bay or the SeaCrest Ugly Sweater Party in Pismo Beach, where you can win prizes for your cheesiest holiday knits.  Or check out the beloved annual Victorian Teddy Bear Tea in Paso Robles, where kids can bring their teddy bears to enjoy music, storytelling, gingerbread, tea and cameos by the Snow Queen & King, the Clauses, elves and more.

Holiday Adventures

Nature worshippers can celebrate the holidays with some outdoor adventures, such as a Cayucos Holiday Bluffs Nature Walk, where they can learn about the flora, fauna and history of the region. Or kick your adrenaline up a notch with an invigorating zipline tour over vineyards with Margarita Adventures, which is offering $20 off on $99 gift certificates.

Play in the Snow in Summer Weather

Looking for the snow without the shoveling and frostbite?  Enjoy snow in 70-degree weather at the Holiday Harmony & Light Up in sunny Pismo Beach, including Santa, carolers, tree lighting and bounce house at the pier. Or dive into 50-tons of powder at Winter Wonderland in Atascadero's famous Sunken Gardens, which also features a carousel, BMX bike demo, rides, food, crafts and more.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry – SLOwly of Course!

One of the most delicious things about SLO County is its abundance of farms, ranches and renowned wineries, giving diners a deep connection to the food. Savor mulled wine and other special offers such as Black Friday shopping at local wineries. Let us do the cooking and just show up for one of our SLO-food holiday pre-fixe dinners – from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Many of these unique wine and food events are in Paso Robles – just named 2013 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine – such as Black Tie Dinner in the Caves at Eberle Winery, Christmas Cookie and Wine Pairing at Vina Robles and New Year's Eve Party Mad Men Style at Robert Hall Winery. Click here to check out all the holiday wine and food events throughout the county.                          

Check out the detailed 2013 SLO County Holiday Guide on the Visit San Luis Obispo County website, where you can also find information on everything from outdoor recreation and agritourism to wine country and arts and heritage.  

About Visit San Luis Obispo County
Visit San Luis Obispo County promotes San Luis Obispo County through advertising, marketing, public relations and group sales. Its membership base is comprised of over 500 tourism industry-related businesses including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and retail stores. Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast is produced and managed by Visit San Luis Obispo County. For more information on Visit San Luis Obispo County, please visit www.VisitSanLuisObispoCounty.com.

SOURCE Visit San Luis Obispo County