The Best of CA Highway 1
Award-Winning Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley Wine Regions in SLO County are Perfect for Wine, Adventure and Cultural Exploration
Find nearly 2,000 acres of vineyards in Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande wine regions located on the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route along with old historic California townsites, outdoor adventure, and well, great wine! Edna and Arroyo Grande Valleys offer the perfect growing climate for delicate grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – warm sunny days that turn into cool coastal nights. Weather that is also perfect for wine tasting adventures and outdoor play!
Edna Valley where cool ocean breezes and rich soil create ideal conditions for growing world-class grapes is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) located just a dozen miles from Arroyo Grande Valley in San Luis Obispo County. Surrounded by Tuscan-style countryside, guests can sample award-winning wines in more than 27 tasting rooms and attend annual wine tasting events like the Chardonnay Symposium and Harvest on the Coast. Take a tour of the historic Old Edna Townsite as part of the Highway 1 Discovery Route Stewardship Travel Program. Founded in the 1840s, Old Edna was once a bustling center for farming and ranching families and today is host to a wine tasting room and gourmet deli nestled within 100 year-old historic buildings.
The Arroyo Grande Valley is the perfect climate to take long bike rides and enjoy wine tasting among rolling hills. Just a short distance away is the Village of Arroyo Grande full of shopping, great places to eat, and CA’s only swinging bridge. The Lopez Lake Recreation Area is minutes from the tasting rooms of this region and offers a watery playground with 22 miles of shoreline ideal for boating, fishing, sailing, hiking and mountain biking. Families can enjoy the Mustang Waterpark perfect for cooling off in the summer sun and Vista Lago Zipline Adventure Park, perfect for the thrill seeker. This episode of On the Road with Jo highlights the region and will inspire you to visit the magnificent region.
SLO Wine Country Wineries
The vineyards of SLO Wine Country unfold along the seafront side of the coastal Santa Lucia Mountain Range in coastal San Luis Obispo County. Here, the land exhibits a distinct set of growing conditions that bind the region’s wines. From north to south, the SLO Coast extends from the seaside town of San Simeon to Nipomo. From east to west, it extends from the peaks of the Santa Lucia mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The geographic orientation of SLO Wine Country ensures a continuous influence of marine air from the Pacific Ocean.
Must-See Lopez Lake
Located just ten miles east of Arroyo Grande, Lopez Lake Recreation Area is one of the top choices for camping, leisure trips and interpretive hikes and boating with Rangers. With 22 miles of shoreline and summer lake temperatures around 70, there is something for everyone: camping, fishing, boating, skiing, sailing, windsurfing, picnicking, hiking and equestrian trails, mountain biking, canoeing, birdwatching and so much more. Many visitors to the Central Coast make Lopez Lake their staging area for visits to wineries, golf courses, historic sites and Hearst Castle. The warm climate of the Central Coast makes Lopez Lake the ideal, year-round recreational destination.
Must-See Historic Huasna Townsite
The Huasna Valley is known for its prime farmland, supporting both fruit orchards and crops of vegetables, berries, flowers and herbs. Huasna is located 20 minutes from the town of Arroyo Grande on the California Central Coast. Vegetables grown in the Huasna area can be found every week at the local farmers’ markets, held throughout the 5-Cities area. The roads surrounding Huasna Valley offer stunning views and can be enjoyed either by car or bicycle.
Must-See Swinging Bridge
Although not part of the Historical Society properties, the Swinging Bridge is an interesting historic site in Arroyo Grande. The only one of its kind in California, it is in the middle of town in an area known as “The Village.” The bridge is 171 feet long and swings 40 feet above the Arroyo Grande Creek. First built in 1875 by Newton Short, the bridge connected his property that was divided by the creek. The original bridge did not even have sides; they were added in 1902. In 1911 the bridge was given to the City of Arroyo Grande.
Must-See Old Edna Townsite
Located at the center of the Edna Valley wine region, Old Edna serves as a hub for information about the region as well a place to grab a bite to eat, do a little wine tasting and unwind after a long days travel. Revived in 1998 after being abandoned for nearly 20 years, Old Edna is located a short 10-minute drive from Avila Beach and downtown San Luis Obispo. The two-acre Old Edna Townsite is one-of-a-kind and hosts five historic landmarks. It is also home to Sextant Wines tasting room, a gourmet deli, and two fully restored vacation rentals with beautiful vintage touches. Book a tour of the Old Edna Townsite and see the Bohemian Gypsy Caravan, Madam Mayor’s Sippin’ Cellar and the famous Blue Belly Barn. Call to book your Old Edna tour at (805) 710-3701. Get inspired for your visit by watching this video.
Bike Tours of Edna Valley
How about taking a guided SLO wine country bicycle tour featuring Edna Valley, offering some of prettiest cycling along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route? Full day rides begin just outside San Luis Obispo and venture straightaway into wine country located just south of town. Get your camera ready for stunning views of picturesque hills rising above rows of grapevines. Bike riders can stop by award-winning wineries like Chamisal, Kynsi and Baileyana, with the highlight being a gourmet picnic lunch and complimentary tasting at Talley Vineyards, located at the south end of the Edna Valley. Longer cycling options into the rolling farms and ranchland south of Edna valley are also possible. After lunch, the ride yields beautiful views of the Nine Sisters, a line of craggy volcanic mountains stretching from SLO wine country to Morro Bay. This is an ideal California Central Coast wine country bicycle trip for cyclists of differing abilities and interests.
Stewardship Travel in Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley
Stewardship Travel is about adding a bit of “doing good and feeling good” to your vacation. As you plan your trip along the California Highway 1 Discovery Route, add an hour or two of fun volunteer time to your day or schedule a travel adventure to a natural, cultural or historic site. Stewardship Activities include:
- Old Edna Townsite Tour & Wine Tasting Options
- Paulding Science Trail Restoration & Creek Clean-Up
- County Creek Clean-Up Day for Salmon Enhancement
- Ancient Oaks Preservation Walk at Lopez Lake
- Natural History Boat Cruise on Lopez Lake
- Lopez Lake Fishing & Outdoor Ethics Clinic
- Casitas Estate Farm To Fork Farmers Market Lunch Tour
Be sure to download the SLO Wine map with info on wine tasting, lodging, dining and points of interest.