Enjoy a SLO Weekend… Holiday Shopping Edition – The 11th Annual Friends of the Santa Margarita Library Holiday Craft Faire

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This holiday shopping extravaganza features VERY LOCAL (all from SLO) artisans/crafters that donate 10% of everything they make at the sale to the Santa Margarita Library. Please come out and support the small town’s library!

When: Saturday, November 23 from 9 am to 3 pm

Where: Santa Margarita Community Hall 22501 I St., Santa Margarita, CA

Why: SUPPORT THE LIBRARY!

What: Local crafters/artisans, book sale, bake sale, the whole shabang

Please tell them My Super SLO Life sent you! Visit the koco & viking booth, tell them you read about the event here, and you’ll receive 10% off your purchase!

see & do…Beach Boardwalk Trail

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The Grover Beach “Beach Boardwalk” Trail is great for everyone. The SLO State Parks department rates it as a moderate trail and it is ADA accessible. There are a couple benches along the path for you to sit and enjoy the gorgeous views and after our walk, we went back and sat there for an hour. We had a great time checking it out as newbies! There is a golf course on your right when you first start out, little sand dunes covered in pretty plants and flowers on your left, ocean views almost the entire time, and beautiful views of the mountains ahead. The trail is 2 miles round trip and you can tack on more if you continue onto Pismo Beach.

How to get there: Go West on Grand Ave. from Highway 1 or from Highway 101. Take Grand Ave. until it (almost) ends at the Oceano Dunes entrance. Park in the lot on the right (you’ll see a seafood restaurant). Parking is free! The trail is located right behind the public restrooms, if you’re looking north from the parking lot.

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see & do…Los Osos Oaks State Reserve

osos oaks 1We went on an interesting hike the other day through the Los Osos Oaks State Reserve. This place was pretty incredible with the 800 year old oaks on ancient Chumash and Salinans land. The trees tower you at 30 feet and there are also dwarfed oaks, size varies on the nutrients in the ground. I’m not going to lie, I was paranoid for the past few days because I thought, for sure, I would end up with a bad reaction to all of the poison oak in the park. It is EVERYWHERE! Everything I read about the trails said that it was a prevalent undergrowth but if you stayed on the path you were fine. Well, the path gets pretty narrow and the poison ivy/oak/sumac grows right on the edge. Coming from LA, poison oak isn’t really something we ever had to worry about, even when hiking in the wooded areas. I guess enough people walked the paths to trample any down. Before we went on our hike I studied up on it and I’m happy to report that I could spot it along our path. When we got home, I looked up how to wash it off of things and I was shocked to learn that the oil (the actual “poison” part) stays active for a year + on anything it touches and that it is difficult to get rid of. Yay. We left our shoes outside and I gave them a good rub down and our clothes got a double washing. Also, we took showers as soon as we walked in the door, being careful not to touch anything, including the dog.

I would recommend that you do this trail at least once. Trails aren’t well marked once you’re on them and we got lost. We tried to follow this map from the State Parks Department but I think we got turned around when a swarm of bees covered the path we were on and went on a trail heading the opposite direction. My paranoia about the poison oak got the best of me and I just waited for a couple days to blister up all over and I think that is enough to keep me from this trail for a while. The oaks are stunning and it really is cool to think that nothing has changed in 800 years.

How to get there: Head West on Los Osos Valley Drive from Highway 101 for about 9 miles. You will pass the Los Osos city sign with a bear and it will be on your left hand side with a sign. Park in the lot and head on in! There is a trailhead and a bridge that leads you into the reserve and you can choose to start your hike on 1 of 3 trails.

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see & do…Moonstone Beach in Cambria, CA

moonstone collageYou may remember I promised to share the locales of my birthday celebration from April and here is one of them…Moonstone Beach in Cambria, CA. This place is fantastic! This beach offers so much; seals, a long boardwalk, wild animal watching, rocks, tide pools, sand, and ocean. We strolled along some of the beautiful boardwalk that runs for quite a distance. Along our walk were some too-friendly squirrels that weren’t afraid of anyone, loud noises, or warnings. More squirrels will show up if you start to talk to one or if they think you have food. Obviously, people are feeding them and that is not a good thing. I’m not going to lie, I was scared at one point when they wouldn’t let me walk and didn’t heed any warnings from me or my husband. We spotted a big rabbit on our walk as well. The views are spectacular and they have some benches for you to sit and enjoy. All of my other photos were taken from an 8 ft radius, no joke. The multitude of formations was amazing. You can find all sorts of rock and it’s no wonder with all the different surroundings. We picked a short stair set to get down to the beach. The part we were at was rocky and you can just walk 10 feet to the sandy shore. Seals were just 25 yards from us and the tide was low. This is a great place to hang out for the whole day and relax.

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see & do…Charles Paddock Zoo

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The Charles Paddock Zoo is quaint but also allows you to get pretty close to the animals. We went on a Saturday and it was quiet, which made for a really nice visit. Admission is extremely reasonable at $5/adults, $4/kids 3-11, FREE/kids 2 and under. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, young and old. Visiting the zoo will only take you an hour but grab a seat and take your time. Bring a camera because this zoo is perfect for photography hobbyists and professionals alike. The zoo is connected to a great park for running, playing, and picnicking and they even have the, quintessentially SLO, “Santa Maria” grills. Getting here is only 20 minutes from San Luis Obispo center.

Our favorite animal at the zoo was the ADORABLE Red Panda. They have two of these long-tailed cuties. I could watch them sleep all day long, and we did for about an hour on a bench across from their pen! Enjoy your visit and let us know what you think!

tiger paddock zoo 2You can get so close to this Himalayan Tiger…about 3 feet!

red panda paddock zoo 2Our favorite- Red Panda!

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see & do…MontaƱa de Oro’s Bluff Trail

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This trail is incredible; views, paths, and tide pools. Bluff Trail is quite accessible and a hiking novice would be able to do half of the path. It is a bit over 2 miles and it’s easy to get sucked in by the beauty, so if you’re just beginning you’ll want to take it slow. Just know your limits and you’ll be fine.

How to get there: Take Los Osos Valley Road WEST until it ends up at MontaƱa de Oro. Follow the road up the mountain and it’ll be a slight left after a larger building on the left. Parking is off the cement on the left hand side, large enough for about 8-10 cars. Enjoy!