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Mar 13, 2010 01:32 PM

Long Beach to Big Sur

We're taking a trip the week after Easter up the coast to Big Sur. We have a lot of flexibility since we'll be camping and also would like to stop and do some wine tasting. Are there any places you'd suggest that we try along the way? We tend to like interesting vs. fancy.

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  1. If you're going past Big Sur to Carmel, I would suggest taking the very scenic Carmel Valley Road 13 miles inland to Carmel Valley's wine tasting rooms. You could spend an entire day and walk between them all - Parsonage and Talbott are 2 of the best. If you did make that trip, you can grab tasty, cheap sandwiches at the Carmel Valley Market.

    In Carmel, I've put together many lunches at the Carmel Cheese Shop. It's like something you'd come across in Italy - tons of cheeses, all available to sample. They also have a few salami options, great baguettes and olives.

    Big Sur Bakery is a great stop any time of day and I would think it would fall under your "interesting" category as would most of Big Sur!

    2 Replies
    1. re: hungryinaz

      Another rec for the Cheese Shop in Carmel. The owner Kent is a great guy and really, really knows his food & wine.

      1. re: HoosierFoodie

        It's been sooo long since I've been in the Cheese Shop. Does he have any meats or pates? I'm thinking of an easy dinner or picnic supplies.

    2. What types of wine do are you looking for? the Central Coast has many wine tasting areas; greater Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barabara county, and in San Luis Obispo county, Edna Valley/Huasna Valley ("wahz-nuh"), greater Paso Robles--all within striking distance of 101 and 1 as you head up past SLO to Big Sur.

      a great discussion on the Santa Ynez Vlly wineries: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/689736

      There are several good spots in Los Olivos for wine tasting and a great store, Los Olivos Grocery, for food items you may need or want.

      The week after Easter finds many Central Valley tourists whose kids are out on post-Easter break, so campgrounds may be crowded. Also check for road conditions and weather in the BS area. There are some ongoing road construction projects. http://bigsurkate.wordpress.com/cal-t...

      For stocking up on campsite victuals, there are many good farmers' markets on the Central Coast:
      Solvang is Wednesday afternoon downtown, Santa Maria likewise. Los Osos is Monday on 2nd street downtown, Morro Bay on north Main Street near Taco Temple and Arroyo Grande at Spencer's Mkt on Grand Ave are Wednesday, San Luis Obispo is Thurs night, Cambria, on Main St., is Friday. Most have vegetables, fruits, fish, breads, local olive oils, meats, cheese, seafood. Locally produced and FRESH. Morro Bay has two good fresh fish markets open daily, Giovanni's and Tognazinni's, both on the Embarcadero right on the bay.

      Stock up on food, water, ice, and camping and auto GAS before heading up Highway 1 past Cambria. It is a wild and remote area; necessities can be few, far between, and expensive. Pack extra camera batteries.

      Please report back on what you find! Have a blast.

      3 Replies
      1. re: toodie jane

        I know AG has a FM on Saturday in the park downtown off Grand, do they have on Wed also?

        1. re: PolarBear

          yes, in front of Spencer's Mkt at 1600 block of Grand. It's a nice mellow morning market. Plenty of parking.
          Once a month or so, John Spencer hosts a free breakfast out front too. He also brings in his local vendors for food sampling.