Family travel tips to share and how to master hotel stays is one of the most important.

Mini-Vacation in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles, CA March 25-28

Every once in a while I manage to tack on a little vacation time to a business assignment. A recent trip to Bakersfield (see prior posting) allowed me to take time for a short respite at a friend’s house in San Luis Obispo, California. Although I had previously visited San Luis Obispo early last year (see posting from January, 2009), I was able to take some new sightseeing opportunities. One highlight, located near the town of Los Osos, was the state park called Montana del Oro.

Spectacular views abound at the beach in Montana del Oro park.

Another “find” – for me at least – was in Paso Robles, California, where I was surprised and pleased to visit several fine wineries. Who knew that Paso Robles is designated as an official American Vinticultural Area (AVA for short)??!! Like most folks, I am well aware of Sonoma and Napa and the many wineries in those two Northern California counties. Turns out, however, there are literally dozens of wineries in or near Paso Robles!! And I managed to visit five such places on Saturday, March 27!

Castoro Cellars: great scenery and excellent wines. I purchased a fine ‘dessert wine’.

Eagle Castle winery. Just opened. Here I purchased a 375 mL-sized bottle of a “dessert wine” – basically a very sweet wine. Some folks turn up their noses at dessert wines but, hey, this sort of wine is just what I like! By the way, Eagle Castle charges a $5.00 ‘tasting fee’ (sadly, most wineries do this now) but visitors are allowed to taste up to fourteen (14) different wines! A great value and a fine tasting experience.