The Five Most Stunning, Off-The-Beaten-Path Places

Keys 2 the Coast – By Gail

By now I think we can all agree that the Central Coast is stunning – rolling hills, endless ocean views, gorgeous valleys reminiscent of the Mediterranean. What better way to experience this beauty than by vacationing IN the most striking parts of it? A quick Google search can show any traveler the list of hotels in the area. But here we give you the five most ridiculously beautiful, off the beaten path, ‘wow-I-can’t-believe-this-is-real-and-not-a-movie-set’ homes and B&B’s that let you live inside the beauty.

Photo Credit: Greengate Ranch

Greengate Ranch – Right in the heart of Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo, this former horse ranch is now home to acres of vineyards, ponds, rolling green hills and The Carriage House, a 6000 sq. ft. ranch house with 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, and many amenities to make you feel spoiled, including a firepit, bocce ball court, and outdoor kitchen for those relaxing evening dinners outside watching the sunset. If this isn’t enough to convince you, then know that the doors of the home open fully to the terraced backyard that offers 360-degree views of the ranchland and vineyards. This is probably a good reason why Vogue Magazine, (Yes, that Vogue. Anna Wintour Vogue.) chose Greengate as one of their top farm wedding venues from across the country.

Photo Credit: Stepladder Ranch

Stepladder Ranch – Driving to Stepladder is a true Central Coast adventure in itself. First, you have the pleasure of traveling along the famous Route 1/Pacific Coast Highway, driving beside the spectacular blue ocean water the entire way up, until the beach town of Cambria is reached. Just a few miles past downtown and five miles inland after turning off Route 1, you arrive at a true California farm with all that you could hope for: acres of California avocados, exotic fruit trees (the only place on the Central Coast producing varietals that make you feel like you’ve traveled to Asia, as you taste mangoes, guava, passion fruit, etc right off the trees), baby goats, pigs and chickens, and the newest addition, the Stepladder Creamery, a built-by-hand barn facility where cheese is made onsite and then hand delivered to customers. And we haven’t even talked about the house yet! Set on the hill above all of this beauty is a luxurious rustic retreat; a house made up of 5 immaculately designed bedrooms, 4 baths, and the most amazing views you can ask for. Every part of this house is special, including the shower where you can stare out the window onto one of the best views in all of Central California. FROM. THE. SHOWER. Or walk outside, jump in the hot tub, and gaze across the gorgeous vistas.

Photo Credit: Venteux Vineyards

Winemaker’s Loft at Venteux Vineyards – Set above a working winery (Venteux Wine) in Templeton, this expertly designed loft will make you feel both rustic and modern at the same time. This one-bedroom hideaway is perfect for a writers retreat, couples getaway or ladies’ trip, specially made for those that yearn for the ambiance that comes with wine country, but still want the feeling of modern, metropolitan aesthetics which are apparent in the home design scheme – and all under a 150 year-old barn wood ceiling! Guests receive a complimentary welcome charcuterie platter, continental breakfast, and wine tasting.

Photo credit: CaliPaso

The Winemaker’s Cottage at CaliPaso Inn – There is no other word to describe The Winemaker’s Cottage other than luxurious. Everything about it oozes luxury, in the most intimate way. Set right in the heart of CaliPaso’s vineyards in popular Paso Robles, The Winemaker’s Cottage is part of the CaliPaso Inn and is a 1500 square ft. 2-bedroom suite, inspired by Italy right down to its imported furniture. Whether it’s spending breakfast around the 10-seat dining table with family and friends, an afternoon sitting on the private balcony overlooking the grape vines, or an evening gathering around the Cottage’s fireplace, there’s never a loss for ways to relax and rejuvenate.

Photo Credit: Laraneta Vineyards

Honey Oak House at Laraneta Vineyards – Entering Laraneta Vineyards in Templeton is unreal. In fact, as you arrive at the large iron gate and drive down the tree-lined path past the vineyards and rows of olive trees, you’ll feel like you are in the Italian countryside, and owners Joe and Melinda Laraneta make sure you are as relaxed as if you are. The Honey Oak Bed and Breakfast onsite at Laraneta Vineyards is comprised of only three rooms, so privacy and relaxation are all but guaranteed. And if this isn’t enough to make you feel like you are in the comforts of your own paradise, it gets even better… The winery and olive farm are not open to the public so the estate wines and extra virgin olive oil are poured and tasted for your appetite only. How is that for personal service?