- Held the first weekend of October
- SAVOR the Central Coast website
- Reservations are a must for the Friday special events and evening dinners. Same-day tickets are available for the Main Event.
Tips for Enjoying SAVOR the Central Coast:
- Buy tickets well ahead of time for the special events and dinners, or risk disappointment when they sell out. They're available at the SAVOR website.
- Early October may be starting to cool down where you are, and it may be cooler at the coast but inland San Luis Obispo County weather can still be hot (as much as 100°F). Check the forecast for each place you'll be going.
- It you're attending from out of town, local hotels offer some good package deals that include lodging and tickets.
Likes and Dislikes:
SAVOR the Central Coast is popular with folks who like food and wine. You might think of it as a bigger, more elaborate version of a local Taste of the Town event.
Everyone we met seemed to be having a great time at SAVOR. However, its association with Sunset magazine might lead you to have the wrong expectations. SAVOR may be better-suited for the casual grazer than the hard core foodie, but a lower ticket price than many similar events makes it a good value for money.
Special Events at SAVOR the Central Coast:
Friday events in 2011 included a tour of a goat farm or an abalone farm, hot air balloon rides, wine-making and some scenic hikes.
On Friday evening, the Western Wine Awards takes place and on Saturday, special dinners are held in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. The Paso Robles event called Paso Glow is highly recommended. It's held in the charming town square, beneath centuries-old trees.
The SAVOR the Central Coast Main Event:
SAVOR the Central Coast's Main Event takes place at Santa Margarita Ranch, a property whose roots go back to California's earliest days. It afford plenty of room for the event to spread out, so you never feel like you're stuck in a crowd, and the surroundings are so beautiful that they threaten to upstage the goings-on.
Over those two days, over 100 local wineries - along with those from a guest region in the west - will pour samples of their wines, which are easy to pair with small plates offered by Central Coast chefs and food growers. You'll also find a small but interesting selection of local craft beers to sample - and some great music to listen to.
A number of demonstrations take place throughout the day, but some of the featured chef demos and tasting sessions at the Main Event require an extra fee. Check the schedule and buy your tickets for those in advance to avoid disappointment.
As an extra, fun bonus you can take a ride on the Pacific Coast Railroad, a two-mile track that circles the property and - how fun is this - uses railroad cars that were retired from Disneyland. And for even more fun - in 2011, Infiniti automobiles offered test drives on an impromptu course set up nearby.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of reviewing SAVOR the Central Coast. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.