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May 16, 2014 12:32 AM

Central Coast Vineyards With Beautiful Views?

DW's birthday is coming up, and I was thinking an afternoon spent at one of the costal vineyards would be a nice way to celebrate it.

Even though we're local, I have to admit we haven't visited as many of the vineyards along the central coast as I would have liked. Can anyone rec a place with great wines, beautiful views, and a place to sit outside to enjoy the view with a bottle and a picnic lunch (that I'll bring, not purchase on property)? Looking for a relaxed, relatively quiet place, not a party/festive vibe, anywhere from San Simeon to Lompoc. Views of scenic vistas, vineyards or water a big plus!

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  1. My two favorites are remote Rancho Sisquoc in the Santa Ynez Valley and the low-key choices found among the Far Out Wineries route west of Paso Robles. (We like Thacher ourselves) Both destinations are more gorgeous after rains green up the surrounding hills, but alas no rain in these parts now in a long long time.

    For a remote destination treat, but not a winery, is the former Hearst estate architectural gem called the Hacienda where you can find picnic tables on their sweeping lawns with great vistas at the historic facility on the Hunter-Liggett Army base and also visit the haunting Mission San Antonio del Padua - bring your own picnic and wine to this spot.

    You can stay at the Hacienda overnight too. The base has a small snack bar and pizza and occasional special dinner events in the grand main dining room of the Hacienda where they also serve a continental breakfast for their overnight guests.

    1. Calcareous has great vistas and has several tables where you can eat. They also have a bocce ball court that is kind of fun. The wine is very good which is an added bonus.

      In South County, I've enjoyed and have a lot of friends who enjoy packing a picnic and going to Tangent. Views will be of the vineyards and the Santa Lucias.

      1. Though I have never been inside- Laeticia up near Pismo on the 101 would probably have some nice views, though I would only want to make a rt turn out of there- would never cross the hiway and try to go south...