By Yashy Selavadurai Murphy, Travel Writer and online at:
Ever looked for a quaint family friendly spot that caters to everyone – from toddler to Nani? Then say hello to San Luis Obispo. Even Oprah sent her team to check out what makes San Luis Obispo the happiest place on earth!
Half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo (SLO) caters to every whim you may have. Whether you’re looking for warm sandy beaches, wineries to explore, or hills to conquer, SLO has it all. From the avid adventure seeker to the leisure enthusiast, SLO is bound to put a smile on everyone’s face.
There’s one spot that fulfills the needs of couples looking for luxury, families with young tots looking for comfort, AND multigenerational travel groups looking for ease – the Madonna Inn. In the heart of SLO’s wine country, this resort has 110 unique rooms that will appeal to the inner artiste. Carousel, Jungle Rock, Caveman, Buffalo and Pony are just a few of the whimsical themes. Rooms are spacious and many have interconnecting capabilities. Every little amenity has been thought of, from cribs for tots to rock waterfall showers for the thrill seekers.
You don’t even need to leave the Madonna Inn if you don’t want to. You can easily lounge around by the stunning pool, relax at the spa, be one with nature while horseback riding, or work a sweat at the fitness centre. There’s beauty and charm here at the Madonna Inn that is perfect for travellers of all sorts.
: There’s no better place to watch a gorgeous sunset while sipping fine wines and soaking in the fresh California waves, than at this spot where sun, sand and sea mix beautifully.
Madonna Inn Bakery: Whatever you do, pop by the bakery and enjoy a piece of their famous Pink Champagne Cake. The incredible cream layered cakes with chocolate swirls taste ten times as good as they look.
Novo Restaurant: An ideal spot for dinner as you enjoy a fusion of global cuisines, all while enjoying the view of a serene creek. A curry, award-winning wine, and a trickling brook as you sit surrounded by family or your lover, is sheer bliss.
: If you’re looking for a casual meal, then their Trip Sandwich should be on your list. Ask for extra BBQ sauce if you like things saucy.
SLO Wine Region: Sip, swirl and savour acclaimed wines and tap into your inner wine geek. There are over 30 wineries and many have lounges and patios for those looking to spend some time basking in the sun with wine in hand.
Firestone Brewery: If beer is more your palate pleaser then either tour the brewery (make reservations a day ahead) or take yourself on a self-guided tour of their Barrelworks where you can learn about the art of ageing beer. Don’t forget to sample some of their rarest offerings.
Bubblegum Alley: No visit to SLO is complete without making your mark in this hidden alley that spans 20 metres. Even if you’re too shy to plaster your own bubble gum artwork, you can still appreciate some of the many unique impressions (some as old at 40 years!) left by visitors.
Beach: To stroll hand-in-hand with the love of your life or to tickle your little one’s toes, there’s a beach for you in SLO. Cayucos and Pismo Beach win our votes for some quality time at the shore. If lying idle is not your thing, you can also find spots where you’re able to cruise, kayak or surf.
Children’s Museum: Spend some educational time discovering and exploring the many hands-on exhibits and programs without someone telling you “please look but don’t touch”. It may be focused on the younger ones, but don’t be surprised if you leave having learned a thing or two yourself!
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