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

Culture 101: Santa Barbara’s Quick Guide to Over 101 Cultural Pursuits

Culture 101 in Santa Barbara

Or maybe “quick” is the wrong word because, really, culture has been imbedded in Santa Barbara since long before the Spanish settlers arrived. Dating back to the Chumash Native Americans and their basket weaving, wall painting, jewelry and intricately designed canoes, it would seem that the Santa Barbara South Coast gave rise to a love of art and culture over 13,000 years ago. Continue reading

Pairings in Paso: My Rosé Obsession

Imageby Jennifer Knoll

With Concerts in the Park beginning this month, both in Paso and Templeton, I would like to showcase my favorite wine, for one of my most special events.

Rosé  is the perfect accompaniment to any trip to a Concert, and it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that my infatuation with the pink stuff runs deep. However, it’s more than the flirty sensual color that appeals to me, but more its diverse, underrated personality. Rosé is an entity in and of itself. It harkens to red, but only enough to turn it “pink”, depending on the grapes used and the production technique. Its color/gender-busting ability takes it away from white and into a spectral range from pale orange to a vivid, near-purple. It’s crisp, lively, affordable, and pairs well with all food, especially summer fare and barbecue. The British rock band, The Feeling, in their song all about Rosé(!), serenaded best, “the white to your left/the red to your right/are all that I’d seen/’til I realized the love that I seek/ lies right in between.” Continue reading

Experience Paso Robles Wine Tasting (and Weddings) by Horse Drawn Carriage

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Imageby Tina Swithin

There is always something new to discover in Paso Robles, which is one of the many things that I love about this area.  A few weeks ago, I received a call from Morgan at Midnight Cellars who was eager to share news about the newest business to “trot” onto the Paso Robles wine scene.  If you are questioning my choice of words, let me explain that this business did in fact “trot” into Paso Robles.

If you are planning to indulge in the Paso Robles wine tasting experience, there are a variety of ways to visit tasting rooms: limos, wine tours, trolleys and now carriage rides!  Yes, I did say ‘carriage rides’.  Angel3 White Horse Carriage Co. is a welcomed addition to Paso Robles, providing wine tasting excursions by horse-drawn carriage.  You can sit back and enjoy the rolling hills, vines and fresh air from the comfort of a lovingly restored Victorian-era carriage.  Their tours include two to four boutique tasting rooms and a light picnic lunch in the midst of a local vineyard or can be catered to your individual needs. Continue reading

Lavender is BLOOMING in Paso Robles

Imageby Tina Swithin

Mmmm….the smell of lavender is in the air!  Just a whiff of lavender has the ability to instantly relax me.  I look forward to the month of May because I know that I’ll be receiving a call from a lovely woman by the name of Lila at Central Coast Lavender Farms.  That phone call means that the farm is officially open.  There is a short window of time each summer before harvest when you can actually get a sneak peak behind the scenes and into the world of lavender.  That time has come! Continue reading

Aloha from California’s BBQ Capital

Talk about a win-win situation! Residents of the Central Coast can now fly directly to beautiful Hawaii via the Santa Maria Public Airport…And now residents of Hawaii have a straight shot to California’s BBQ Capital!

Indeed, as reported in the Santa Maria Times, “Visitors to the Santa Maria Public Airport will be noticing a little more ‘island style’ starting today after Allegiant Air announces it will begin flights to Honolulu, Hawaii on Nov. 17…Andrew Levy, president of Allegiant Travel Co., said Santa Maria’s location and its already active service to Las Vegas played a big role in securing the Hawaiian service…’We believe we’ll be able to pull people from all over the area. We think it will be a good route.’” 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