Our visit to the San Luis Obispo area was based out of Paso Robles, a community just north of San Luis Obispo in the heart of the central California wine country. To the west of there is the famous coastal highway that goes for 100 miles through Big Sur and on to Monterey. At the south end of the highway is Morro Bay and the aptly named Morro Rock, a prominent and scenic protrusion visible for many miles.
Along the coastal highway are the towns of Cambria (home of the Cambria Ale House), Cayucos (a quaint community with a lovely pier and beach), San Simeon (home of the Hearst Castle), and Piedras Blancas (locale of the elephant seal rookery where hundreds of these huge creatures reside for several months each year).
Cambria actually has more than just the Ale House, but that is where we spent most of our time. Shortly before we visited, Lady Gaga had shot a music video at the Hearst Castle and brought her entire 20 person crew to this pub at closing time and paid them to stay open a few more hours so they could relax after 'a tough day at the office'!
We were fortunate to be in this area when the elephant seals were breeding and birthing. It is quite a sight and smell with hundreds of them congregating and conjugating on the beach.
The Hearst Castle is a highlight of the road for many tourists. The symbol of opulence in a generation past, much of the property has been preserved well so visitors can tour parts of the building and see films taken of celebrities partying at the mansion.
While we were in the area we covered the south end of the coastal highway and took in the spectacular ocean views. We plan to cover the north end of the same road during our stay in the Monterey area, our next destination.