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Best of 2018: The Amazing Adventurer in Get Out! 


BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY

Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort

1215 Avila Beach Drive, SLO

Retreat to the wooded hills above Avila Beach for a chillaxing stay at the Sycamore Mineral Springs resort. Settle into one of the resort’s 72 guest rooms and take a dip in that famous naturally heated mineral water. “We’re out here on more than 100 acres, and it’s a beautiful spot,” General Manager Charles Crellin said. “It has a very relaxing and rejuvenating feel.” In addition to its hot springs, the resort also has a spa, which offers therapeutic massage. Each treatment also comes with a complimentary 30-minute soak in one of the resort’s mineral springs. 

—Chris

runner-up: City of Cambria


BEST PLACE TO GET SWIMWEAR

SLO Swim

795 Higuera St., SLO

Owner Shelley Filip has 32 years of experience working in the swimwear biz, so you could say she knows a thing or two about selling you a swimsuit! She said a vital part of SLO Swim’s success in downtown SLO is the diverse selection of suits for customers of all ages, shapes, and tastes. “We have swimwear for every body shape,” Filip said, “and not just the fashion stuff.” If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the store or on their website, Filip said she can put in a custom order for you. Happy summer shopping!

—Peter

runner-up: Pancho’s Surf Shop


BEST BOARD SHOP

Central Coast Surfboards

855 Marsh St., SLO

This staple SLO Town surf shop recently changed owners, and new head honcho Scott Smith told us he’s “really stoked” it’s SLO County’s favorite board shop. Smith noted Central Coast Surfboards has a “deep history” in the area—it first opened its doors in 1975. “Generations in this town have shopped here,” he said. In addition to selling any type of board you could imagine (surf, windsurf, skate, and snow) and tons of beach bum apparel, the shop is also hosting regular community events, like a once-a-week free yoga session. “We care about SLO and the people in it,” Smith said.

—Peter

runner-up: Moondoggies


BEST WATER SPORTS COMPANY

Central Coast Kayaks

1879 Shell Beach Road, Pismo Beach

click to enlarge PEOPLE POWER Central Coast Kayaks co-owner Tom Reilly knows that some of the coolest places on the coastline are only accessible by kayak or paddleboard. Maybe that’s why he’s co-running the best water sports company in the county! - PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • Photo By Jayson Mellom
  • PEOPLE POWER Central Coast Kayaks co-owner Tom Reilly knows that some of the coolest places on the coastline are only accessible by kayak or paddleboard. Maybe that’s why he’s co-running the best water sports company in the county!

Getting people out on the water for a safe, fun, and positive experience has been Tom Reilly’s mission since he and co-owner Eric Tebbets started Central Coast Kayaks. For 25 years, the duo has provided tours, rentals, and repairs to the community and tourists alike. Reilly said the Central Coast already has so much to offer people who want to get in the water, but there are also coastal spots you can only see in a kayak or on a paddle board. “I’m passionate about paddling and enjoy sharing that with others. My favorite area that we tour is the beautiful Dinosaur Cave,” he said.

—Karen

runner-up: Estero Paddle Boarding Company


BEST GOLF COURSE

Morro Bay Golf Course

201 State Park Road, Morro Bay

This contest is always a two-course race between Morro Bay and Avila—both fantastic, affordable, beachfront golf experiences. Morro Bay held the edge this year, and pro shop staffer Edward says he thinks it’s a mix of the course being a little more beginner-friendly and having just a little better ocean views (don’t worry, he didn’t sound braggy while saying it). “It’s a pretty ideal combination,” he said. Play a round of 18 holes for $45, or come after 3 p.m. any day of the week for just $15! You can’t beat that price to play this beautiful course amid eucalyptus trees and the sights and scents of the bay.

—Peter

runner-up: Avila Beach Golf Resort


BEST HIKE

Bishop Peak

SLO

Bishop Peak’s magnificence wasn’t lost on famous outdoorsman John Muir, who’s on record describing SLO back in 1883 as “encircled with beautiful hills,” with Bishop Peak being the “most conspicuous” of them. Almost 150 years later, locals are still marveling at this 1,546-foot “morro” and they’re ascending it by the hundreds each day! SLO Natural Resources Manager Bob Hill called Bishop, “one of the most iconic, well-loved landmarks in the entire region, offering spectacular panoramic views of the city and remarkable plant and wildlife diversity.” He reminded hikers to “tread lightly” and “stay smart and safe out there.” 

—Peter

runner-up: Avila Ridge

click to enlarge RIDE ON Melissa Trinidad goes for a spin on the best bike trail in the county—yes, it’s always been that paved path that takes riders from city to sea: The Bob Jones Trail. - PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • Photo By Jayson Mellom
  • RIDE ON Melissa Trinidad goes for a spin on the best bike trail in the county—yes, it’s always been that paved path that takes riders from city to sea: The Bob Jones Trail.


BEST BIKE TRAIL

Bob Jones Trail

Ontario Road to Avila Beach 

Grab you favorite bike and get out on the Bob Jones Trail to experience the journey from the city to the sea and back again. The trail begins in a parking lot area on Ontario Road near Highway 101 and runs for 3 miles to the corner of Avila Beach Drive and First Street. SLO County Parks and Recreation Director Nick Franco said the trail is being expanded to the Octagon Barn. “Ultimately, it means getting from anywhere in SLO to Avila and back again while being completely separated from the roadways,” Franco said. “We like to think of it as a really nice linear park.” 

—Chris

runner-up: Johnson Ranch


BEST OUTDOOR STORE

The Mountain Air

667 Marsh St., SLO

The Mountain Air has been around for 43 years in San Luis Obispo, and co-owner Josh Harring said not only is the store known for selling great products but it also provides customer service that he feels a lot of retailers don’t have anymore. “We try to hire outdoor enthusiasts and that’s a big deal,” Harring said. The staff goes through regular workshops with companies and product brands that the shop sells. This way staff is ready to answer questions and help customers. Harring said the Mountain Air stands by the products it sells, and he hopes that every shopping experience is memorable.

—Karen

runner-up: Four Seasons Outfitters


BEST BIKE SHOP

Art’s Cyclery

181 Suburban Road, SLO

It all started in 1982 as a small one-person shop in the sleepy town of Los Osos. Now located in San Luis Obispo, Art’s Cyclery has grown into a global cycling resource surrounded by the many trails the Central Coast has to offer. It’s on these trails that the cyclery staff gains firsthand experience with the products the shop stocks. The shop is local and online, supporting the needs of mountain biking enthusiasts and the basic needs of road cyclists. Art’s has a huge selection of mountain bike gear and a shared knowledge of the product and sport. 

—Karen

runner-up: Ira’s Bike Shop


BEST NURSERY/GARDEN STORE

Miner’s Ace Hardware

Nipomo, Arroyo Grade, Grover Beach, SLO, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Atascadero

A trip to Miner’s is always an adventure; the stores are stuffed with enough cool home improvement gadgets and doodads to spend an entire afternoon zigzagging the aisles. As far as garden supplies go, there just isn’t much more you could ask for: a variety of seeds, soils, plants, vegetables, herbs, and succulents, not to mention garden tools, planters, hoses, outdoor furniture, barbecues—really, the list is endless. With locations throughout the county, Miner’s is accessible to just about anyone on the Central Coast. Fun fact: Two brothers opened the original store in 1956 in Grover Beach. 

—Peter

runner-up: Farm Supply


BEST TACK SHOP

Farm Supply

Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles, SLO

What’s tack? Equipment for your horse, of course. In addition to selling a variety of agriculture, livestock, and gardening supplies, Farm Supply also has all the gear you need for your equine buddies. That includes everything from brushes and halters to saddle blankets. Whether your tack needs are for hard work on a ranch, or for riding and show, Farm Supply has got what are looking for. The company has its roots in SLO, where it began as a small farm supply store on Monterey Street in 1950.

—Chris

runner-up: Riding Warehouse


BEST PET SITTER OR BOARDING

Thousand Hills Pet Resort

173 Buckley Road, SLO

Thousand Hills Pet Resort provides premium doggie daycare, boarding, and training. Resort manager Kate Johnson said the resort is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing top quality care for its customers and their pets and giving back to the greater community. “When customers utilize our nonprofit pet resort, they will help us provide life-giving service dogs at no cost to veterans and first-responders with PTSD through our sister nonprofit New Life K9s,” Johnson said. The top priority for Thousand Hills is to ensure that customers can feel comfortable knowing their pet or pets are in good hands when they drop off their furry loved ones.

—Karen

runner-up: Happy Tails Kennel


BEST CHILDCARE

Robin’s Rugrats

Shell Beach

The best thing about children is teaching them, or at least that’s what Robin Reed of Robin’s Rugrats said. “My favorite thing about teaching children is their excitement at learning new things,” Reed said, “I have always loved working with children. I started working with kids when I was 12, and that was 44 years ago.” She said she really has to give credit to her lead teacher and school manager, Heather Moule, who has been with the Rugrats for eight years. The child care provider prides itself on the community and family that it has built over the years.

—Karen

runner-up: Cal Poly ASI Children’s Center

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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