We love the Avila Beach/San Luis Obispo area and on our last visit we had lunch at the Cliffs Resort bar – it had a marvellous ocean view and the hotel looked nice too. So we decided to come back and spent 3 nights over the Christmas period. The drive down was horrible with rain and wind so we delighted to get a room with an automatic fireplace with a partial ocean view. We drove to SLO to have dinner at Big Sky cafe.
On Christmas Eve we cycled to Avila Beach about 10 miles along the coast. It was a beautiful day and there were people on the beach having bbqs (along with inflatable Xmas tree). Back at the hotel we lounged around the pool enjoying the sun. That night we drove to SLO for dinner at Nova another favourite place where we’d been before. They have a huge outdoor deck that overlooks the creek and is really nice. Luckily most tables have a gas heater so we were kept toasty.
Christmas Day we decided to drive down the coast to the town of Guadaloupe and a State Park which was a nature reserve and had some huge sand dunes. Guadaloupe was a strange place as before WW2, many Japanese families lived here and owned farms. Then they lost everything in the war when they were forced into camps. Now there is only 1 Japanese family owned store and the whole town is run down. Most of the inhabitants are hispanic since they now work the fields.
After a wee walk along the beach, we then drove to Oceano Beach which is the only beach in California where it is legal to drive on the beach. So we tried it! Along with huge trucks towing ATVs, and people on horseback. Many people take their ATVs to race around the sand dunes and camp on the beach.
We had dinner at the hotel next door. It was OK but nothing special.