Whether it's a weekend trip, romantic getaway, family vacation, or your next home – it won't take theme parks or enormous attractions to get to the happiest place in America. According to Dan Buettner's National Geographic book Thrive, San Luis Obispo has snagged the top spot for happiest people in America.
At first, locals were thrilled. And then… The Oprah Show was thrilled. So thrilled, that Oprah's Network visited SLO to get a first hand feel of why San Luis Obispo's fresh air, charming streets, and breathtaking miles of beaches and mountains make people so happy.
Watch Yahoo’s segment with Dan Buettner, as he explains the six major areas that he used to rank SLO’s overall emotional health. Or click here to watch Oprah’s segment, featuring Jenny McCarthy, as she learns why SLO makes people so happy.
Courtesy of http://www.sanluisobispovacations.com/
Take a 36 hour tour of the Best Places to Visit in San Luis Obispo County!
Occupying a dramatic stretch of coast midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo County is nothing if not well-positioned. It has the Pacific to the west, the fertile San Joaquin Valley to the east and a delicious Mediterranean climate. It is here, on an isolated hill overlooking the ocean, that William Randolph Hearst built his bizarre, opulent castle (worthy of a visit), and it was here that the construction magnate Alex Madonna erected his own kitschy, faux-Alpine landmark, the Madonna Inn, a decade later. Like California itself, San Luis Obispo (SLO, as it’s called here) is both a place and a lifestyle. Sprawling and rural, it sits at the intersection of surf culture, cowboy culture and California cuisine. And that is a fine place to be.
1. Take a Hike | 3 p.m.
From the town of San Luis Obispo, drive out on Chorro Street, which passes the city’s 1772 mission, through a neighborhood of lushly landscaped Craftsman and Spanish-style casitas. Take Foothill Boulevard west to Los Osos Valley Road, winding out through artichoke fields, cow pastures and rocky peaks toward the small beach community of Los Osos. Stop at Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve to walk through sage scrub and gnarled, centuries-old coastal live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. For pygmy forests, head across town to the Elfin Forest Natural Area, a preserve where a wooden walkway winds through a sand dune landscape of wild hyacinths, succulents and rare horned lizards. A more ambitious hike can be found at the 8,000-acre Montaña de Oro State Park, a rugged playground of remote beaches, wildflower meadows, canyons and the 1,300-foot Valencia Peak.
2. Seafood Snack | 4:30 p.m.
Drive north to Morro Bay’s Tognazzini’s Dockside Restaurant for oysters from the bay, barbecued with garlic butter or raw on the half shell. Sit on a deck beneath a striped umbrella and watch the sea lions in front of the 576-foot “Gibraltar of the Pacific.” Then, take Highway 41 over the golden coastal mountains and through Los Padres National Forest to Atascadero. Skip the county’s best-known brewery, Firestone Walker, in favor of BarrelHouse Brewing Company, a big, beautiful brewery that turns out everything from unfiltered BarrelHouse IPA to Sunny Daze, a seasonal blond ale infused with clementine oranges and local honey. The backyard has picnic tables and a 1933 Dodge flatbed truck that serves as a stage for live music on weekend evenings. This summer BarrelHouse will open BarrelHouse SLO, a 15-tap speakeasy-style basement taproom in a 100-year-old building in downtown San Luis Obispo.
3. Worth the Drive | 7 p.m.
Conventional wisdom calls for dinner at a Paso Robles restaurant, where organic ingredients reign and the local wine lists are excellent. But a new restaurant, Ember, is worth the drive to Arroyo Grande, an underappreciated town about 45 minutes south. Opened last year by Brian Collins, who trained under Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, the restaurant has a Mediterranean-influenced menu that makes excellent use of the area’s bounty. There’s a wood-fired oven, exceptional pizzas and ambitious dishes like abalone from nearby Cayucos with crispy pork belly, pickled ginger, avocado and Meyer lemon hollandaise ($20) and prosciutto-wrapped artichokes with burrata mozzarella and an arugula-farro salad ($12).
4. Rural Night Life | 9 p.m.
For a quintessential West Coast college town experience, find a prime spot at the Sunset Drive-In, a 1950s-era theater that plays blockbusters beneath the stars. Afterward, go for coffee, dessert or cocktails at the Madonna Inn’s retro Silver Bar, where the carpeting is floral pink and the décor is charmingly gaudy. Or head to Vina Robles Amphitheater, a 3,300-person venue set in the vineyards of the Paso hills, where performances are few and far between, but sometimes feature the likes of Tony Bennett and Willie Nelson. For exceptional cocktails in an unexpected setting, try Whiskey & June in Atascadero. This down-home dive bar was recently bought by Daniel Green, who grew up in the area and has returned from New York, where he worked at three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park.
Courtesy of the New York Times. To see the video go here.
Monique Carlton - REALTOR®
Top San Luis Obispo Real Estate Agency on the Central Coast!
441 Marsh Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone: (805) 471-6921
BRE # 00184228
My web sites: www.SellingSanLuis.com
Company web site: www.San-Luis-Obispo-Realty.com