San Luis Obispo County Welcomes Your Furry Little Friend, Day 2
On the second day of my dog-friendly media tour in San Luis Obispo, I woke up very early and jogged on the beach to the Pismo Beach Pier. It was a great time to clear my mind and prepare for a fun-filled, packed day.
Our group set out again with tour guide Ray from Breakaway Tours and headed off to Morro Bay. Morro Bay is a seaside village located along scenic Highway 1. There you will find ocean-side golfing, hiking, and biking, as well as sailing, kayaking, fishing, surfing, and miles of unspoiled beaches. Franklin Riley founded the town in 1870, and Morro Bay developed as an abalone fishing industry in the 1940s. Since the beginning of the 20th century the town has been a center for beach holidays. The most popular beach is on the north side of Morro Rock, north of harbor.
We took a tiki boat tour of the Morro Bay Harbor on the Lost Isle Cruise as Captain Tom Pauly provided insight about Morro Bay. We photographed wildlife in their natural habitat and saw otters, seals, seal lions, and a wide variety of birds in the beautiful Morro Bay estuary.
Later, we had lunch on the Embarcadero at Tognazzini’s Dockside. Owner and local fisherman Mark Tognazzini welcomed us with a great meal of oysters, shrimp, and fish and chips. I had a hard time walking away from the amazing food and hospitality.
We then headed to check into the Best Western Cavalier Oceanfront Resort, a family-owned and operated property located on Highway 1. The Cavalier Oceanfront Resort is Cambria and San Simeon’s only oceanfront accommodation that offers direct access to dog-friendly beaches and 14 acres for walking dogs. And the view is breathtaking.
We left our pooches in the loving care of Faithful Friend Pet Sitting Service while we took a scenic tour of San Simeon, which is lined with the most scenic coastlines. San Simeon is known for its fishing and hiking, the historical Piedras Blancas Light Station, and the infamous Hearst Castle.
Hearst Castle, a national and California historical landmark, is located on the central coast of California. Architect Julia Morgan designed the mansion between 1919 and 1947 for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The mansion and property was later donated to the state of California.
Hearst Castle attracts more than one million visitors per year. The estate is an overwhelming example of Mediterranean Revival-style architecture, and it is home to priceless European art. We were all blown away by the tranquility of the pool.
Our next stop was lovely Cambria, which is a quaint town with a ton of character and an amazing sense of neighborly love. The seaside village is located midway between San Francisco and Los Angles on Highway 1.
We were invited to dine at Robin’s Restaurant, where a warm, dog-friendly, garden patio was surrounded, by flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. The restaurant’s menu offers everything from Vietnamese spring rolls to lobster enchiladas.
Cambria Tourism board member Linda Finley joined us for rich red wine from Sausalito Canyon, Singapore chicken satay with pickled cucumber salad and spicy peanut sauce, and crusted calamari with sesame-cabbage slaw and sambal ailio. The meze plate was vegan and gluten-free with hummus, tzatziki, piquillo almond tapenade, roasted garlic, and crisp lavash.
Our choice of entrée for the evening was between Thai curry shellfish, hoisin barbecue-glazed Scottish salmon, Portobello mushrooms ravioli, or braised lamb shank. I chose the braised lamb shank with goat cheese-kalamata potato cake, balsamic-marinated eggplant, roasted red peppers, and rosemary aus jus followed by Rosie’s salmon bisque. My fellow photojournalist let me try her Moroccan duck breast with saffron and dried fruit couscous, radish and sunflower shoots, and ginger chutney.
We finished the evening with three types of desert, which included a real carrot cake, decadent double chocolate cake, and a banana split.
Many thanks to Robin’s Restaurant owner Shanny Covey for a beautiful evening.