Two of my favorite things in the world: coffee and Kelly. Well, Kelly and I are back on the coffee grind (Get it?! Even if you think my pun is bad please keep reading…)! The Libertine Coffee Bar in downtown SLO is my latest and greatest fulfilling conquest in the never ending hunt for the enjoyment my very favorite caffeinated beverage.
Located on Broad Street right next door to the Libertine Brewing company, it’s open from 6am-6pm and features drip coffee, espresso, kombucha, and a variety of tea. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! SLODOCO has even hopped on this coffee train and is making donuts for the Libertine Coffee bar alongside other local chef’s treats.
I asked the barista for her what her recommendation on their most popular drink would be and she suggested the Bullet Proof coffee. It’s a drip coffee which features a teaspoon of coconut oil and butter (yes, butter…) blended in a magic bullet blender making the concoction creamy mix of froth with just the right amount coffee bite to it. It was filling, too. I only got a 12 ounce but was very satisfied.
This shop features outdoor seating on the corner of Broad and Pacific. It has an ambiance which makes you feel like you’re at a new and chic modern coffee shop with the rustic authenticity of a spot that has been well loved and established.
There are many items on the menu which can be personalized like the Liber-tea which is any of their many kinds of special tea’s poured with steamed milk. Each tea is special, so ask your barista about the many types of teas and the unique backstory on each one.
I can confidently say I will be visiting their shop many more times to thoroughly experience and explore the many other distinct menu items such as their Vanilla Chocolate cold brew and the Liber-tea.
Go check it out! And hit me up always if you want an espresso buddy…
My parents just visited me in San Luis Obispo! Naturally I wanted to show them an exciting new hike, and my favorite hikes are ones with ocean views. In the past, we have gone to Avila Ridge or Montana de Oro to hike but this time we went and climbed Cerro Cabrillo in Morro Bay.
Cerro Cabrillo means “Cabrillo Hill” in Spanish. It is an out and back trail and despite and only being the 6th tallest of the nine sisters at 900 feet, it’s a moderately strenuous hike. The last 500 feet are an extremely steep ascent involving rock scrambling.
The turn into the parking lot is off of South Bay Boulevard and when you’re driving, it comes up fast. It can be a hard turn to see from the road, once you are in the parking lot there is lots of room to park your car.
Begin your hike on the Quarry Trail which starts right at the parking lot. This trail will lead you most of the way toward the top, and is straight and flat for the most part at the beginning.
Travel along the Quarry Trail for a while, and when you reach the Live Oak trail junction, still keep on going straight.
Continue going straight until you see the trail start to curve left and up the hill toward the tiki head. If you hit the Park Ridge Trail junction you’ve gone too far.
The trail starts to get steeper here, but keep going because the view from the top is worth it.
The naturally formed tiki head can be seen in the face of the rocks on the side of the hill. You’ll be hiking up past him. This starts to be the part of the path which is not maintained by the park, and you’ll have to do some scrambling in order to reach the peak.
The final ascent is a steep 500 feet toward the top in 4 tenths of a mile on a path which is less well-traveled. Be sure to look out for poison oak as you climb in between the rocks.
As you ascend, you can see Hollister Peak, one of the other nine sisters off in the distance. Hiking shoes or sneakers with a good grip is helpful on this section of the hike. The sharp slope tested the traction of my dad’s shoes at times… most of the time the hill was the winner and my dad/his shoes lost.
When you complete the boulder scrambling and shoe traction testing ascent, get ready to feast your eyes on 360 degree views of the central coast including Morro Bay and Morro Rock to the North West, Montana de Oro to the South West, and the Santa Lucia Mountains to the East. YAS.
Below is a link to the parking lot at the trailhead.
The address for the trailhead is South Bay Boulevard, Morro Bay, CA 93442.
I remember the first time I hiked serenity swing it was the first quarter of my freshman year on a Monday Night, in the dark, with my new friend I had just made in the Poly Escapes program. We hiked serenity swing for the first time on this random Monday night in darkness because there was supposed to be a meteor shower. You couldn’t see much of Poly or SLO in the dark… but it was still fun. And a much fun that very first time was, every time I have hike it since then still seems to get better.
Over the years the serenity swing has changed. People have added a second swing next to the current one, and broken the existing one only to have it be replaced for a seat with what is consistently in my opinion one of the best views in SLO.
This hike is around 4 miles long (depending on which path you take) and has about 950 feet of elevation gain.
From the top you can see Morro Rock north of SLO as well as down south of SLO the Pacific Ocean near Avila. You can see Bishops Peak between the hills of Poly Canyon, the Architecture Graveyard, and the majestic campus of Cal Poly. It’s a beautiful sight.
This trail has a strenuous climb toward the end. It will have you climbing up what personally I think has to be about a 70-75 degree slope while at the same time wind is trying to gust you away. But trust me, in the end the view and the feeling you get when you reach the top makes it worthwhile.
When I did this hike for the blog, we parked in the intramural fields by Poly Canyon Village and trekked up the trail paralleling Poly Canyon Road toward architecture graveyard called Brizzolara Creek Trail. This is why the route in the map I embedded may look slightly different than if you were to just walk along Poly Canyon Road. Ultimately as long as you find your way to the entrance to the Arch Graveyard, you can find your way the rest of the way up the trail.
When you reach Architecture Graveyard, don’t take a left toward it, but instead turn right and walk up the path with a slight hill which will eventually lead you to a house and barn on your right. This path will lead you to the first gate which you can easily open and pass through.
Walk beyond the gate for a few tenths of a mile to come to a second gate. There’s usually some mud around this area shortly after is rains, so watch your shoes!
Once you get past the second gate keep right on the lesser steep path. You’ll be on this path for a while. If you have any confusion as to which turns to make, follow my trail on the map embedded at the bottom of the post.
Eventually you’ll reach another gate. This is the last gate you’ll go through before beginning the final ascent to the top of the hill. Turn left.
There are two paths to climb to get to the top of the hill where serenity swing is. Both are extremely steep, so it’s best to pick the one that doesn’t have people already on it at the moment (I’m not saying you’re going to fall, but just in case someone else does it’s best to have extra room).
For this hike, we took the path which is shown to the left on the way up, and the path on the right on the way down.
When you reach the top of the climb, go left toward the big tree. It’s the only tree in near sight and the one with the swing hanging from it. Then, go take some basic pictures. Post them to Instagram and revel in the likes. You’ve earned it.
Have another way up to serenity swing you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!
It’s national coffee day and you know what that means… Time to enjoy the aroma of the espresso beans and the creamy texture of a well pulled latte with whatever syrup combination your heart desires. Mmmm. Dreamy.
Both Americanos and black coffee are great too but they’re not as fun to daydream about… anyway if you’re looking for a prime spot to visit for this celebration of a day of all days, NATIONAL COFFEE DAY YAAAAS check out Scout Coffee on either Foothill Plaza or Downtown SLO on Garden Street.
The OG Scout on Garden Street downtown has been around since early 2014. The pictures in this blog post are from the newest Scout which just opened up in August of 2016 on Foothill (because it’s right next to where I live and where I will now be spending the majority of my free time and money…). But the owners Jon and Sara Peterson are extremely accomplished in the ways of coffee roasting, marketing, business owning and barista-ing.
According to theirwebsite, “Scout is truly a community place, where the products, service, people and space just can’t be beat.”
Each batch of coffee is roasted locally at their sister company right in here SLO,HoneyCo. If you’re not into coffee (I respectfully disagree with you 😉 ) Scout also has tea, house made sodas made with local produce, seasonal milkshakes, house-made almond milk, and fresh made baked goods (of which I personally recommend their legendary cookies).
There’s space to study and socialize, to read a book and to enjoy your drink. Be forewarned however that there are not many power outlets at either location, which is not necessarily a bad thing… It just means you need to actually talk to people around you or stay off electronics for a little while. If you’re looking for a place to study for long periods of time this might not be the right place.
Many of their products are on sale at both locations including T-shirts, tea, coffee, mugs, and more.
The decor is refreshing and homey, the espresso delicious and the ambiance cheery and full of life.
The almond milk mocha is one of the greatest things I have ever tasted in my life, and special because the almond milk is home made in house. Anything you order, however, will not disappoint.
Check out either location of Scout Coffee, today, and thank me later. Maybe by buying me one of those almond milk mocha’s…. 😉
Again, I’m a sucker for beach hikes. Even though this wasn’t so much of a hike but a walk, at a level elevation 3.5 mile out and back, it was a quite the trek fighting through the sand along the beach to Morro Rock. I guess it’s always leg day for me…
Conner and I did another sunset hike, and I suggest you do this walk at sunset too, because the outline of Morro Rock on the twilight sky is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Anyway, this “Hike” starts at a park called Cloisters Park which has a big parking lot and a clearly marked walkway to start. It’s a about a tenth of a mile walk from the park to Morro Strand Trail which is the coastal route to Morro Rock.
The paved walking route is relatively short, and features information about the surrounding area on the side.
When you get to Morro Strand Trail, turn right toward the beach. The area around the path is a protected Snowy PloverNesting Area from March 1st through September 30th, so keep this in mind and respect the habitat if you’re walking through the area at this time. We did this hike in mid September, so we were extra careful to watch for the birds!
After making the right turn, you’ll walk along a paved path and quickly reach a boardwalk with views of Morro Rock and the dunes.
Turn left again when you reach the end of the roped off walkway and make your way toward Morro Rock!
The rules to the beach are posted at the end of the boardwalk, including no dogs and no glass! I guess kites aren’t allowed, either… They frighten the Snowy Plover Birds. So unfortunately, don’t go bringin’ out your fancy kite because the Snowy Plovers will think it’s a hawk and get scared…
It’s about a 1.5 mile walk to Morro Rock from the end of the boardwalk area. Be sure to take some epic Morro Rock pictures when you get there, like this.
It’s a beautiful walk, especially in the evening with low tide and the sunset. Also for all you Pokemon fanatics out there, Conner caught a Pikachu on the beach by the rock.
This beach had more sand dollars on it than I have ever seen in my life. Seriously, I was consciously trying not to step on them all. So, I collected a bunch and made a Pinterest-worthy picture on the beach as seen above…
Morro Rock is known as the westernmost peak inthe Morros in San Luis Obispo County. Climbing Morro rock is not allowed, but five other peaks in the Morros that you can climb include five of the volcanic peaks: Black Hill, Cerro Cabrillo,Bishop Peak, Cerro San Luis, and Islay Hill.
The address is Coisters Park, Coral Ave, Morro Bay, CA 93442 and you can use the map to guide you to the exact coordinates here:
One of my favorite hikes in San Luis Obispo county is Valencia Peak. I’m a sucker for ocean view hikes, and if you are too then this is exactly what you’re looking for.
Montana de Oro State Park is about 25 minutes outside of San Luis Obispo and admission is free, which is perfect for when you’re looking for a quick hike with a view worth the climb. Take Los Osos Valley road until it comes to Pecho Valley Road and take this into the park. See the bottom of the post for exact trailhead coordinates!
There’s parking right in front of the trailhead, but beware that I have seen more than one minivan or sedan bottom out in attempt to park on this dusty and bumpy lot (but luckily Conner’s truck was up to the job).
The trail is about 2.2 miles up to the 1,347 feet peak, (about 4.5 miles roundtrip) meaning that gets very steep in some parts and also has sheer cliffside drop-offs, so watch your step. Usually when you hike you start a little ways up the hill (think Bishop’s Peak if you’re from SLO) but this hike it literally starts at sea level by the sea, so you’re hiking the full 1,000+ feet!
In the Spring, this route has a plethora of gorgeous blooming wildflowers, but in the Summer we at least get to see what remains of them… Still pretty. About 2 tenths of a mile in, you can look down to see Islay Creek campground which fun fact: I camped there in January once and it was reeeeally cold so if you’re gonna camp there maybe do it in a warmer month.
A little ways up you’ll come to a fork in the path on the right. Follow the signage and take the trail going straighter upwards. It says it’s only one more mile to the peak but keep in mind that it’s a steep one!
Be respectful of the parts of the trail which are closed for restoration, or roped off to restrict access. The reason they’re closed is either for your own safety, or for the preservation of the mountain itself so that everyone can continue to enjoy it in the future as well.
The beginning of the trail is extremely dusty while the following parts are covered in jagged rocks. These rocks can become loose and get dislodged so be careful to watch your step when climbing. The higher you get up the mountain the more common and steeper the rocks become.
As you’re heading up, if you’re facing west toward the ocean, off to the north-west is Morro bay and Morro rock, and South-east is toward Hazard Canyon Reef.
We did a sunset hike, but it’s a gorgeous view any time of day. There’s a false peak about halfway up the path in which my family and I thought we had reached the top the first time I hiked this trail, but then realized we were only halfway up… Keep on going and enjoying the view on both sides as you walk along the ridge.
Eventually you’ll be climbing switchbacks again. When you get to the real peak, you’ll be greeted by a sign signaling your 1,400 foot accomplishment and giving you the choice to turn either left or right to reach the 360 degree views of the ocean and the surrounding Central Coast.
I think that turning left is faster to get to the wind blown picnic table at the top, but my parents swear that going to the right is faster, and Conner chose to climb straight up the face of the rocks.
No matter how hot the weather may be at the start of the climb, it’s bound to be windy and chilly at the top so I suggest packing a sweatshirt. As always also make sure that you have water to avoid dehydration and put on sunblock to protect your skin as well as sunglasses to protect your eyes as this hike has no shade! And enjoy the views until the next time you come back to Valencia Peak.
Trailhead address: Pecho Valley Road, Montaña de Oro State Park, Los Osos, CA 93402
Today was a beautiful day, so naturally I had to hit the beach. Rather than just driving, I took the scenic route and rode my bike along the Bob Jones trail to Avila Beach. It was beautiful.
This fully paved five mile round trip walk, jog, or ride features views of the San Luis Creek and the Avila Beach Golf Resort Golf Course. The trip is relatively flat and shaded in many parts making it a great opportunity to get outside (and even to end up at the beach!). It is a great trip for any age or physical fitness level surrounded by excellent scenery. As always, make sure to bring water and put on sunblock before heading out on your adventure.
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in San Luis Obispo, so I put my bike in my car, and drove to the trailhead on Ontario road. If the Yaris can haul my bike to make the trip, so can you 😉
To begin the ride, cross Ontario street and watch out for cross traffic as the cars from either side do not have to stop. There is a crosswalk, but still be careful on this busy road. The trail is well marked, and this is what you will see on the other side of the road.
After riding for a few minutes you’ll reach the sign that honors Bob Jones and explains why the trail is named after him. He was a local activist and in 1983 retired to Avila Valley, until he passed away in 1994.
There are many other people who use the trail, especially on a busy day, so make sure to be courteous to those around you by signaling to them that you’re coming up from behind, and warning them of your presence. If you want to stop and take a break, there are benches which are littered along the sides of the path every once in a while which allow you to relax and take in the scenery.
Eventually you will come to a fork in the path. Go left. The Bob Jones trail continues on toward the left and goes underneath a bridge toward the shade. I’m not sure where you’d go if you went straight but it wouldn’t take you to finish off this amazing ride, which is why you should go left!
Once under the bridge you’ll ride past the Avila Village Inn. Make sure to stay on the path here too, and respect the property and the guests of the Avila Village Inn.
Coming up on the left side of the path is a playground.
There’s a basketball hoop as well a little ways up from here, and a helpful sign to put your location in perspective…
A few tenths of a mile further up, the road will become wider and you near the property of the Avila Beach Resort Golf Course. In this area it is important to remember to be respectful of the golfers and the golf carts, as they have the right of way. Bike vs Golf cart = not a happy ending for either party….
At around this time, you will also reach the San Luis Creek! It’s a peaceful place to stop and take in your surroundings when you’re only about a mile out from the beach.
Now begins the journey through the golf course. There’s a slight uphill here, but unless you’re like me the LAST time I tried to bike the Bob Jones trail with flat tires, you’ll make it up the hill no problem. (side note: never EVER try to do a five mile bike ride on flat tires after hiking Bishop’s peak earlier in the day, with your sorority big who bikes at Mock-9 speed…)
The last part of the ride is easy, biking over a beautiful bridge and then into a shaded tunnel of vines and flowers.
The flowery fencing will open up into the city of Avila and all of its bright colors and sandy wonders. After you cross the street, you’re at Avila beach and pier.
Make sure not to forget your bike lock so that you can lock your bike somewhere along the pier rather than having to bring it on the beach with you (I got a lot of weird looks…). And enjoy your triumph in the sun for having biked the Bob Jones trail to the sea.
I had to lie down on the ground to set up my camera’s self timer for that top left shot and also got a lot of weird looks there, too. But it’s a great shot so it was definitely worth it. All in all, Sunday well spent!
Get out there and walk, ride, or jog the all-fitness-level friendly Bob Jones trail next time you’re looking for a prime opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the Central Coast sunshine.
Address: 7001 Ontario Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405