Feast of Lanterns in Pismo Beach

Images: Feast-of-lanterns.org

If you’re looking for a dose of culture along California’s Central Coast you’ll find it in Pismo Beach from July 25-29. Based on a long tradition, the Feast of Lanterns is an affair that was born from the area’s Chautauqua Assemblies (a movement focused on cultural and educational activities including speakers, music and art).

Pismo Beach’s event history runs deep, but the event welcomes all types of visitors who love fun new experiences. Join in on the festivities, including delicious food banquets, parades and dancing.

Check out the Feast of Lanterns Schedule for more information.

Advertisements

Shakespeare Under the Stars in Beautiful Paso Robles Wine Country

by Sasha Irving

Summer memories are made at the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival! This annual festival is the perfect way for all ages to experience classic Shakespeare plays and our warm Paso Robles nights!

The 2012 season featuring The Tempest runs from July 12 to July 28 at the beautiful River Oaks Amphitheatre. Considered by many to be Shakespeare’s final and finest play as well as his farewell to the art of theatre, The Tempest has magic, mayhem, comedy, romance and more!

The exiled magician Prospero, aided by her feisty sprite Ariel, casts spells, commands the elements, and conspires for vengeance. Meanwhile, drunken sailors, beautiful young lovers and strange creatures of the land lead everyone to an unexpected resolution – full of laughter and grace and forgiveness. Continue reading

Santa Barbara Encourages Car-free, Care-free Family Travel this Summer

Santa Barbara's family-friendly vacation activitiesIt’s not easy to find that perfect family destination. Planning the summer vacation can be a challenge when trying to cater to kids of all ages, interests of all levels and budgets of every size. But there’s a town at the southern tip of California’s Central Coast that might have everything you’re looking for, including less time spent in the car, standing in line or asking, “Are we there yet?” Welcome to Santa Barbara, where the perfect family vacation is all within reach… and within walking distance.

With gas prices on the rise, families are looking for more economical means of travel and what better way to see the sights, relax and arrive in style than by train! Santa Barbara county hosts nine Amtrak stations—Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Solvang, Buellton, Lompoc, Surf, Guadalupe and Santa Maria. Enjoy coastal views, comfortable seats and some car-free travel. This summer, you can save 20% with the Santa Barbara Car Free Special Amtrak California Discount Offer! Coming from the other coast? The Santa Barbara Airport offers over 30 daily departures via five major airlines. Continue reading

California’s Central Coast Highlight: May Events, Part 1

During the first few weeks of May, the four regions of California’s Central Coast offer so many wonderful events to enjoy. Here are just a few:

The Steinbeck Festival in Salinas looks at the life of the native-son novelist with tours of sites that played parts in his works and literary lectures (5/3 – 5/6). Ventura Music Festival features national and international performers in concert at historic and architecturally significant venues (5/3 – 5/12). Marina hosts the annual Festival of the Winds—the one time each year when hang gliders and giant kites might just outnumber raptors and songbirds along the coast (5/12). Carnival rides, two concert stages, a beer garden, music, activities and a celebration of small-town life are among the highlights of the Fillmore May Festival (5/17 – 5/20). The 30th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival celebrates the finest in food and wine, embracing all that defines Paso Robles Wine Country (5/18 – 5/20). Renowned as “California’s Strawberry Coast,” Oxnard’s nationally recognized California Strawberry Festival draws 60,000 visitors, who come to sample strawberry foods and browse for fine arts and crafts (5/19 – 5/20).

To find more events held throughout California’s Central Coast, visit TourTheCentralCoast.com.

California’s Central Coast, Historical Missions

Photo by Jeffrey Greenberg

Between 1769 and 1823, twenty-one missions were built throughout California. Eleven are located in the Central Coast—the largest concentration of California missions—and many are still active churches. Why not take a road trip and see them all? Here is a list of California’s Central Coast missions by region: Continue reading

Biking in Ventura County

Photos: Jeffrey Greenberg

Right now is a great time to get outside, get in shape, and have some fun.

Bicycle enthusiasts in Ventura will enjoy the 12-mile-long Omer Rains Trail, a coastal biking and walking route where you can exercise while enjoying breathtaking views. The trail connects to the Ventura River Bike Trail, which climbs gently inland for six miles to Foster Park. From there, you can bicycle nearly 10 miles to Ojai via the Ojai Valley Trail. Both of these trails follow the route of a converted railroad line.

For more information and to see a list of things to do outdoors in Ventura click here.