The California Central Coast is uniquely beautiful. I went to college there at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and fell in love with the beaches, the weather and laid-back lifestyle that is unattainable in either Southern California or the San Francisco Bay Area. My girlfriend also went to Cal Poly, several years after I did, so we decided to go back and make a week of it just before Christmas.
Our plans were to golf and do photography. It ended up that we did that and so much more! The San Luis Bay Inn was our base of operations and from there we went north twice to visit Hearst Castle, golfed at the course there at the resort, visited the monarch butterflies which were wintering at Pismo Beach, ate the best authentic Mexican food at a hole in the wall we stumbled upon with the help of Yelp, found a gem of a Thai restaurant in Los Osos (Noi’s), hot tubbed at night at the Sycamoe Springs Resort , and through the emtire week, did amazing photography!
Morro Bay is about a 10 minute drive from San Luis Obispo. San Simeon, where Hearst Castle is located, is another 40 minutes north of Morro Bay. We had already been to Hearst Castle once this week and upon raving about it to a friend, he said he could have gotten us complementary tickets through his wife. That sounded like a plan! Hearst Castle offers several tours and, during the Holidays, has a special evening tour where staff dress in period costumes of the 20′s so it’s a real experience of what it must have been like in the heyday of Hearst castle. How fortunate we were were to be gifted entry to the elegant evening tour so we ended up going back again only three days later!
Since this was an evening tour we left late in the day and happened to be passing through Morro Bay about Sunset. Hunger set in at the same time so we found some clam chowder and enjoyed the unfolding sunset from the restaurant. Before the sun set completely I suggested that we leave to get a better vantage point and got to this spot at the harbor with a nice view of Morro Rock to make the complete photograph come together.