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Honeymoon to: San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo is located along the coast in Central California and is situated half way between Los Angeles to the south and San Francisco to the north. It holds a special place in my heart as it is where my husband and I spent our honeymoon nearly 8 years ago. With so many breath-taking views, exciting places to visit, and fun hotel options it’s a perfect place for a newlywed retreat. In this article I’ve highlighted a few of our favorite spots and activities since trying to cover everything this beautiful city has to offer would take pages and pages!

Where to Stay
For our honeymoon my husband booked us a room at one the most beautifully unique places I have ever stayed-the Madonna Inn. This unusual hotel offers 110 rooms each with its own special theme; no two rooms are alike. Some rooms come with walls, showers, and bathrooms completely made of rock while others have waterfalls, balconies, and fireplaces. It is set amongst the beautiful green hills of Central California and is just minutes from downtown San Luis Obispo. In addition to the themed rooms the Madonna Inn also offers a day spa, pool, exercise room, steak house, bakery, and café. This incredible hotel is equipped to handle weddings as well so if you’d like your marriage to take place somewhere truly unique, they have the banquet halls or expo center to make that happen! The room my husband and I stayed in was called A Cabin Still and is quite popular due to its rock bathroom and walls. Other traveler favorites include the Caveman room, Gypsy Rock room, and Jungle Rock room. To see pictures of each suite, compare room amenities, and see a more detailed description of everything the Madonna Inn has to offer check out their website at www.madonnainn.com. This place truly makes for an especially memorable honeymoon experience and I highly recommend it!

What to see
Hearst Castle- This indescribably fantastic mansion was built by William Randolph Hearst and was completed in 1947. It is located about 45 miles north of San Luis Obispo in San Simeon, California and the hilltop on which it is set offers a truly magnificent view of the surrounding area. There are 8 different tours of the house and gardens that vary in length and difficulty. Private tours and those designed for individuals with special needs are also available. The large visitor’s center at the base of the hill offers a variety of different experiences prior to entering the Castle itself that range from historical exhibits, to a children’s gallery, to a National Geographic movie specially made for Hearst Castle. We have been able to take 3 of the tours so far and the grounds are so extensive that we have seen something different each time. This is a must-have experience you’ll never forget and one my husband and I greatly enjoyed! For pictures and tour schedules go to www.hearstcastle.org.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa- This beautiful mission was completed in 1793 and was the fifth one founded by Father Junipero Serra. It remains a working parish church today and stands in the center of downtown San Luis Obispo. A stroll through the mission will take you back through history as you view the incredible art, woodwork, fountains, and gardens that display the workmanship of another time. Today festivals and fairs still take place on the grounds and make it an ideal place to start your historical tour of this lovely city. For a picture tour and more information, check out the website at www.missionsanluisobispo.org.

Morro Bay- This quaint little coastal community is one of our favorite places to visit. We first discovered it on our honeymoon and enjoy going back today. Morro Bay offers a variety of unique shops in its historic fishing village and is also home of Morro Rock: a State Historic Landmark that reaches 576 feet out of the ocean just off the coast. It is especially beautiful when viewed at sunset. This lovely little town is located just a few miles north of San Luis Obispo and is definitely worth seeing! For more information, go to http://morrobay.org.

What to do
Wine Tasting and Vineyards- San Luis Obispo is known in part for its incredible vineyards and wineries. There are a large number of establishments that allow you to view the fermentation processes and sample the locally-made wines. While this is not an activity my husband and I tried we did have a wonderful time driving through the rolling hills, green vineyards, and fresh air of Central California’s wine country. The views are unforgettable and make travelling through this part of the state particularly enjoyable! Ocean Sports- It’s hard to be in Central California and not take advantage of the ocean that is so easily accessible here. Whether you just want to lie out on the beach or participate in a more vigorous water activity you’re sure to find it’s possible in San Luis Obispo. You’ll find opportunities to do everything from surfing and kayaking to scuba diving and windsurfing during your stay. Nothing says “romantic honeymoon” like a moonlit walk along a beautiful beach and here you’ll find miles of breathtaking coastline for you and your love to enjoy together! Of course the fact every view you have of the endless ocean looks like a scene from a postcard doesn’t hurt either!

There are so many more places to see and things to do in this part of California that it would take ages to cover them all! For a more extensive look at San Luis Obispo head to their website at http://visitslo.com . Here you’ll be able to find all the links and information you’ll need to plan the perfect honeymoon escape. It highlights everything from places to stay and local events, to restaurants and nightlife. San Luis Obispo can make an especially perfect newlywed getaway if you’re living in California and don’t have the time or budget for a far-off destination. I know my husband and I certainly enjoyed our honeymoon trip there and have loved every visit we’ve made since!

- Kelsey Gonzalez

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