Pismo Beach is the perfect place for an overnight stay on the epic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway. California’s central coast is filled with boutique wineries, Hearst Castle, world-class golf, wildlife sanctuaries, historic missions and antique shops. Located between San Francisco and Los Angeles in San Luis Obispo County, the Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa is an ideal home base for day touring, and a wonderful place to retreat to each night. The hotel sits on a 40-foot-high bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by expansive lawns, never ending views and wonderful surf spots. It is a luxurious and conveniently located home base when exploring the wonders of the area.  

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In celebration of their 10-year anniversary, Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa recently renovated their pool area, remodeled their spa and refurnished their suites. With 60 spacious one bedroom and two bedroom suites featuring full gourmet kitchens, Lido at Dolphin Bay, and The Spa at Dolphin Bay, guests have all the comforts of home amidst the elegance of a Pismo Beach Hotel. The hotel is an ideal choice whether on a romantic retreat in your convertible along the PCH or on a family vacation. The oversized suites overlook the heated pool and ocean and boast full size private terraces, large living rooms and are pet friendly. The 24-hour fitness center also offers yoga classes. Among the many activities available, you will find great paths for cycling, nearby hiking at the Pismo Preserve and even kiteboarding. Their fine dining restaurant, Lido at Dolphin Bay offers gourmet California coastal cuisine featuring the area’s finest produce, seafood and meats with a contemporary flair. Ask for a seat on the patio where heat lamps will keep you warm while you enjoy gorgeous ocean views and sip one of their 850 wines available.

If California wine appreciation is part of your journey up the PCH make sure to spend a couple of hours at Tolosa winery in San Luis Obispo. Tolosa is located in the heart of Edna Valley, nestled amongst the northwest to southeast running volcanic hills of San Luis Obispo County. Edna Valley is the frontier for the most complex cool-climate varietals in California, especially Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The transverse valley is an extension of the sea, with a funnel leading past Morro Bay, 3,600 feet below the Pacific. The cold Pacific wind that sweeps down the coast and funnels into the valley and vineyards and the remarkable diversity of soil types are ingredients for nuanced and balanced wines of distinctive character.

Vintner Robin Baggett returned to Edna Valley almost 40 years ago with a law degree and cowboy dreams of owning a cattle ranch like his grandfather. He bought up four historic family ranches in the valley but quickly learned that he needed a more productive use for the land than running cattle. Founded in 1998, Tolosa recently elevated its game. Baggett shared,  “Following 10 years of experience at Alpha Omega with Cabernet Sauvignon, we are overlaying the proven Alpha Omega business model at Tolosa with a new winemaking team, new state-of-art winemaking equipment and facilities, new viticulture practices and new marketing in an all-out effort to make the best Pinot Noir in the world.”

Tolosa’s flagship wine, Primera, is a cellar selection of the best barrels of Pinot Noir from their estate vineyard, Edna Ranch. Their Monighetti private tasting room, available by reservation, is the perfect place for the serious wine enthusiast and guests to sip, swirl and savor. A seated tasting with a dedicated wine educator in a private setting allows for a focused discovery of wines selected specially for guests’ palates. The view overlooking the Monighetti section of the Edna Ranch perfects this elegant wine tasting experience. Their barrel tasting loft offers a unique opportunity to sample their exquisite Single Vineyard wines straight from the barrel, as well as a bird’s eye view of production activities in our barrel and tank rooms. Explore Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from renowned appellations and vineyards throughout California and taste why their own Edna Valley merits inclusion in this distinguished company.

As you continue along the PCH towards Hearst Castle remember to stop to see the elephant seals after if you are lucky enough to catch them in San Simeon. Headed north you will look forward to seeing Big Sur, Carmel by the Sea and Pebble Beach. Memories of the Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa, your walks along Shell beach and sunset happy hours will seem like a distant memory. Make sure that before you leave you ask the talented culinary team to create an epicurean picnic for you to take along on your ride.

Learn More: www.thedolphinbay.com

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