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If you ever paid attention to surveys about why people love Fresno, one of the most commonly listed reasons is for its convenient proximity to a multitude of great California places to visit. If you got up early enough, and chose the right day of the year, you could technically snow ski and swim in the ocean on the same day. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. Last time I wrote a post about a fun place to visit for a day, I caught a little flack (and by a little, I mean, I was accused of single-handedly attempting to destroy that local economy – uh, what?) but I fully believe highlighting awesome areas that are within a single gas tank of Fresno is a totally pro-Fresno activity. Everyone likes exploring neat new cities, but not everyone can afford to live in them. If Fresno’s awesome Central location attracts those looking for both affordable, family-friendly living and conveniently located nearby travel – that still seems like a win to me! (So can we skip the hate mail this time? Clearly, if you read my posts often you know I LOVE FresYes!)
Now, on to this post’s highlighted destination…
Avila Beach, CA!
Have you visited Avila? If not, you really, really should! I want to give you two reasons (spoiler alert – neither are “the beach” because that’s too easy). My two favorite places to go in Avila Beach are Sycamore Springs Mineral Springs Resort and Spa and Avila Valley Barn.
Let’s start with Sycamore Springs (located at 1215 Avila Beach Drive, San Luis Obispo, California, 93405) – this is a place that my husband and I have stayed at to celebrate our anniversary twice. The spa-like rooms, quiet resort atmosphere and private hot springs tubs on every room balcony make Sycamore Springs a very relaxing and romantic couples’ destination. However, for those on a day trip and in need of some unwinding, the Springs also offers amazing, secluded redwood natural spring tubs, nestled on a forested hillside and rented out by the hour for groups of 2, 4, 6 or 8. The cost is reasonable ($13.50 per person) and the relaxation is unbeatable! I spent an hour in a hot spring tub over the past weekend, unwinding on a girls’ day out and it was just heavenly! HIGHLY recommend.
Want to enjoy a bit more family-friend Avila Beach destination? I’ve got you covered! My other most favorite Avila location is the Avila Valley Barn – located just down the street from Sycamore Springs, the Barn offers a rustic and relaxing old west atmosphere and a hospitable staff ready to make your experience incredibly pleasant. Avila Valley Barn offers a wide variety of fresh produce, desserts (homemade pies, handmade ice cream, pound and pounds of fudge!), hand-crafted jellies, jams, and sauces, fresh roasted corn on the cob, pressed apple-cider, amazing BBQ, gifts and housewares and a menagerie of friendly farm animals to feed and pet. Pumpkins are also available in the fall (one of my favorite times of the year to head to the Central Coast) but plan ahead, as weekends can become very crowded. (For good reason of course, this place is awesome!)
Whether you’re headed out of town with your honey, friends or the whole family you’re sure to enjoy a day trip to the Avila Beach area. The drive is pretty easy (just about 2.5 hours from Fresno) and in good company, it feels even shorter.
Have a favorite Avila Beach business or destination? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment pretty please! 🙂