17th Annual Central Coast Orchid Show and Sale

Did you know the number of orchid species equals more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species? This fascinating fact and more information about orchids can be found here. But if you want to lay your eyes on the true beauty and unique characteristics of orchids rather than read about them, you’ll definitely want to check out the 17th Annual Central Coast Orchid Show & Sale in Arroyo Grande between March 31 and April 1.

Enjoy the numerous variations of orchids through demonstrations and plant tours then grab a bite to eat and sign up for door prizes and raffles. You can even purchase your favorite blooms and share their splendor with friends. For more event information click here.

Santa Clara Valley Spring Passport Weekend

Get your fill of Santa Clara Valley wines March 24th–25th at the Santa Clara Valley Passport Weekend hosted by Wineries of Santa Clara Valley! There will be over 20 participating wineries offering wine and food pairings, plus additional entertainment including music, art, winery tours, and barrel tastings.

With your purchase of the event’s wine passport, you’ll receive a souvenir wine glass and wine trail map. For more information on the event and how to purchase your wine passport click here. Cheers!

Santa Barbara Celebrates Its Earth-friendly Side with Ecotopia in March and April

Year-round climate perfect for producing savor fruits and veggies? Check. The ocean on one side and beckoning mountain trails on the other? Check. A community that’s long been committed to sustainability and is the proud founder of the first Earth Day celebration? Check!  It’s no secret that Santa Barbara’s South Coast is an Earth-lovers paradise. As a local with a bent for sustainability and all things eco, I’m looking forward to celebrating Santa Barbara’s green scene in March and April during Ecotopia—two months of recognizing the area’s unique sustainable aspects—because, when you live in a place as beautifully bountiful as SB, celebrating the Earth takes more than a day.

Follow Ecotopia on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and FourSquare for weekly updates or use my quick guide to making the most of Santa Barbara’s inviting Earth-friendly activities while lowering your carbon footprint at the same time.

  1. As a seafood lover, an occasional trip to the weekly Santa Barbara Fish Market (Saturdays in the Harbor from 7:00am – 11:00am) is a must. Fishermen are encouraged to harvest sustainably and the local catch means less oil and gas to transport. If you’d rather dine out, look for Ty Warner Sea Center’s Sustainable Food Program Member stickers on storefront windows. Continue reading

Pairings in Paso: Opolo Mountain Zinfandel and Spicy Pulled Pork Sandwiches

By Tina Swithin

Mountain-zin-w-bgLately, I’ve had Zin on the brain.  It isn’t surprising given that March is the Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival.  My friend, Coy Barnes of the Wine Wrangler recently said, “Zin is the anti-snob wine”.  I like that.  One of my favorite Zins is from Opolo Vineyards in Paso Robles- the 2010 Mountain Zin.  The mere thought of it makes me happy inside.  While visiting the Opolo Vineyards tasting room last week, I was lucky enough to sample it with their delicious spicy sausage cooked right on the patio grill.  After I add in the fact that it was a beautiful 73 degree day in Paso Robles, I promise to quit bragging.

While I was basking in the sun and enjoying the beautiful day (I know, I know.  I had promised to quit bragging), Alanna Davidson of Opolo placed a delicious recipe in my hot little hands.  Opolo’s famous Spicy Pulled Pork Sandwich.  Alanna was kind enough to share it with me and now, I will share it with Inside Paso Robles.  Without further ado, grab your 2010 Mountain Zin and let’s make some sandwiches! Continue reading

20th Annual “Taste of Solvang”

Enjoy the rich Danish culture and culinary heritage at this year’s Taste of Solvang. The annual event is now on its 20th year and is offering even more new features. To fit it all in, the event spans 5 days, so don’t worry about missing out. Make Solvang your next stop between  March 14 & 18 and savor the flavors of locally grown foods and traditionally prepared plates.