Attractions & Activities
The Pacific Ocean, a beautiful twelve minute drive from the Kaleidoscope
Inn, offers miles of pristine beaches. The Nipomo and Pismo Dunes,
Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Morro Bay, Cambria, San Simeon....each
beach has its own special attractions. Some are bustling with
sunbathers and surfers, others are isolated and private. Kayak,
surf, explore tide pools, bird watch, whale watch, people watch,
or simply relax in the sun! Explore what is becoming known as
the castle is truly an experience. It sits high atop Enchanted
Hill with a main house, four guest houses, two pools all surrounded
by gorgeous gardens. If you haven't seen the castle yet, remember
that no description can prepare you for this incredibly intricate
is 1 great wine region within 5 minutes of the Inn: Edna and Arroyo
Grande Valleys. The wineries here are well known and loved regionally,
and are now being discovered by wine buffs across the country!
In addition, there are 2 wine regions about 30 minutes of the
Inn: Santa Maria and Santa Ynez to the south (this includes Firestone
Vineyard if you want to visit with The Bachelor and his new sweetheart!).
If you want more than the several dozen of wineries offered by
these 3 close by valleys, we can send you off to the Paso Robles
wine region as well (about 45 minutes north).
Sideways Wine Tour
Yes, you CAN follow in the footsteps of Miles
& Jack's wine tasting adventure in the film Sideways!
Take your own road trip through famous Santa Barbara wine country,
about 30 minutes from the Kaleidoscope Inn. Check out this tour
map for planning your self-guided tour or indulge yourself
with the Kaleidoscope Inn's fabulous Wine Tasting Package
(scroll down this page).
are lots of antique shops around. Its a great way to spend an
afternoon...taking some scenic drives around this beautiful county
while stopping off at antique stores and cafes along the way!
Want some more shopping, we have a premium outlet mall
about 10 minutes north of the Inn.
got 'em. Some are designated scenic drives, some we just consider
scenic ourselves. When we have a free afternoon, we just drive
off into the hills to the east for a little spontaneous discoveries.
We discovered the Pozo Saloon on one of these drives! Pozo (population
58) is one of our historic little towns. This one is located many
miles from any other town. It has a saloon that has been continuously
run since 1858...they hold a few concerts out in the meadow behind
the saloon during the summer. Generally groups like Little Feat,
Marshal Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop, and Poco!
are 3 missions within 30 minutes of the Inn: Mission SLO in the
town of SLO, La Purisima in Lompoc, Mission Santa Inez in Solvang.
There are an additional, 2 missions between 1 and 1.5 hours north
or south of the Inn: Mission San Miguel in San Miguel, Mission
San Antonio in ..., and Mission Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara.
with golf pro Rudy Duran - "I've...never found an area as
unique and beautiful as California's Central Coast. I can honestly
say that it is a golfer's paradise." Our 11 area golf courses
offer ideal temperatures, scenic settings, ocean views, available
tee times, and affordable prices!
State Parks & Hiking...Montana
de Oro State Park, Los Padres National Forest, Santa Lucia Wilderness,
San Rafael Wilderness, Oceano Dunes State Vehicular REcreational
Area, Pismo State Beach, Point Sal State Beach, Morro Bay State
Park, and numerous additional State Beaches to the north and south.
We have SLO County hiking books for trail locating!
Spas, Hot Springs...We
don't yet know all of the local spa locations but, in an effort
to better serve our guests, we are systematically trying each
of them out! We can point you in the direction of a relaxing sweedish
massage, deep tissue massage, or our new favorite...a hot stone
massage. Our favorite hot springs are about 15 minutes from the
Inn...each totally private tub is located in a wooded hillside
- and they're open till 2am!
may ride horses for an hour along the beautiful Pismo beaches
or take to various locations in the hills for a day of riding.
If you are bringing your own horse, we know of a nearby stable
that will do overnight boarding for you.
Famous Oceano-Nipomo Dunes...Located
about 5 m inutes west of Nipomo, these are the largest coastal
dunes in the western United States. Great wildlife watching while
hiking these dunes. You may also ride ATVs in a special section
of the dunes. Rentals are available or you may bring your own
our favorite activities! Kayak at Shell Beach and explore the
cliffs and caves along the shore. Be sure to look for the many
seals and the elusive sea otters. You can't miss the hundreds
of pelicans! Another nice spot is at Avila Beach...if you can
manage a beach launch (we find this a bit trickier than launching
at the cliffs). Avila offers the same wildlife watching opportunities.
We can recommend some great after kayak lunch spots with outrageous
views and terrific seafood!
Road or Mountain Biking...Another
one of our favorite activities. We have discovered one very nice,
very easy off road trail that happens to pass within a stones
throw of our favorite hot spring tubs! Plus this pristine trail
ends at one of our favorite lunch restaurants at the beach. We
like this one so much, that we haven't moved on to additional
trails yet! But we do have a couple of SLO County bike trail books
if you would like to try some biking. There is also easy bike
renting if you don't want to bring your own bikes along.
migrating whales travelling between Alaska and Baja in our coastal
waters on whale watching boats from December
through April! Some whales may also be seen from coastal
Watching...See moms with babies along with the large
nosed dads crowding the beach from December
through May. Actually, we see some there year round now,
but there are hundreds of them in the peak months. The colony
returns each year to mate, give birth, and molt. Close to 1,800
pups are born here annually.
the fascinating annual Monarch Butterfly migration at our local
butterfly grove in Pismo Beach. Peak butterfly time starts in
November and runs through March. If you have never seen a monarch
grove before, be sure to check it out. When its warm, they flutter
all around the grove...when you have tens of thousands of butterflys
floating around, it looks kind of like a colorful snow fall. Current
number of butterflys is 20,000. We have had as many as
300,000 butterflys at the grove at one time!
County has a lot of birds (over 400 species) and consistently
scores in the national top 10 sites for the Audubon Annual Christmas
Bird Count. There are peregrine falcons, great blue herons, brown
pelicans, California condors, and sandhill cranes. Heck, we have
a lot of birds in our 1 acre garden alone! So many that we couldn't
recognize that we bought a birding guide. We have lots of golden
finches, woodpeckers, ...we have even seen a wild parakeet (he
hung out with our caged parakeets for a few days) and we sometimes
see a hawk at our fountain! The Oso Flaco Lake nature trail in
the Nipomo-Oceano dunes offers great bird watching while exploring
the sepcialized environment of the largest coastal sand dune on
the west coast. On a random visit, we saw hundreds of blue herons
at the Morro Bay Blue Heron Rookery.
Let us know if you are interested in the herons and we will investigate
the best time of year for viewing. Bald
Eagles are also around, particularly in the winter months,
around Lake Lopez, Santa Margarita Lake, Lake Nacimiento, and
Lake San Antonio.
of farmer's markets throughout the week offer lots of great produce
fresh from the fields as well as locally grown flowers. Daily
Market Schedule: Mondays-Baywood Park (2 to 4:30); Tuesdays-Paso
Robles (4 to 7); Wednesdays-Arroyo Grande (9 to 11:30)
& Atascadero (3 to 6); Thursdays-SLO (6 to 9pm) &
Morro Bay (3 to 5); Friday-Cayucos (8:30 to noon), Cambria
(2:30 to 5), & Paso Robles (9 to 12:30); Saturday-Arroyo
Grande (noon to 2:30), SLO (8 to 10:30), Morro Bay (4 to 7), &
Templeton (9 to 12:30); Sunday-Nipomo (11:30 to 2:30).