These two places (San Luis Obispo and Los Olivos) captured our hearts today as we drove south to Highway 210. San Luis Obispo is a sleepy little city of about 44,000 with a lovely historic downtown, sweet little houses,
and a climate that seems just about perfect. It sits back a bit from the coast so it doesn't get fogged in but still keeps somewhat cool in summer. The winter temperatures hover around the 60s, sometimes higher and it only rains in December and January. Today when we were there it was 68 degrees with a balmy breeze. SLO (as the locals call it) is also home to a good university and has a vibrant foodie and wine community. What could be better?
Well maybe Los Olivos. This is a little town approximately 30 miles north of Santa Barbara, up in the hills. It's a wine growing area that specializes in pinot noirs and other reds, and it makes some very fine wines. We know because we tasted a few at this tasting room.
We sat outside for lunch at the Side Street Cafe and I hate to have to tell you this, but it was hot. And I'm talking about the ambient temperature, not the food. The food was good, the wine was too, as you can see.
This little town caters to rich people who drive up from Santa Barbara in cars like this one.
It's almost too precious, but we had a great time exploring it for a couple of hours. Then we headed across the LA basin to San Bernadino. We've avoided most of the freeway gridlock by traveling on Sunday afternoon. I'd hate to try to do it during rush hour.