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Monthly Newsletter | October 2023

Welcome to the October 2023 edition of our newsletter!

🎃 Welcome to the October edition of our Monthly Newsletter, your passport to a month of exciting adventures and delicious discoveries in San Luis Obispo County!

Get ready to lace up your hiking boots for a spooky trek through Los Osos Oaks State Preserve, savor the flavors of Rambling Spirits, indulge in the finest wines at HammerSky Vineyard, try a new exclusive recipe by Chef Candice, celebrate Halloween at the Cambria Scarecrow Festival, and discover all the fun events celebrating harvest and halloween.

Join us as we continue to explore everything around this place we’re lucky to call home has to offer, and bring you our favorite ways to dine, sip, savor, cook, and celebrate our way through SLO County 🥾😋🍽️🍷🥳



Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, biodiversity, and cultural history. Located in the charming coastal town of Los Osos, this 90-acre preserve is a testament to California’s commitment to preserving its rich ecological heritage. Visitors to Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve are treated to a peaceful retreat where they can connect with nature, explore serene oak woodlands, and discover the secrets of this coastal haven.

One of the most striking features of Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve is its enchanting oak woodlands. These ancient trees, primarily coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia), create a serene and shaded environment that’s perfect for hiking, birdwatching, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll. The dappled sunlight filtering through the oak canopy adds to the reserve’s tranquil ambiance, making it an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The reserve is also home to a diverse array of plant and animal species. It’s a haven for birdwatchers, as it provides habitat for numerous avian species, including California quail, acorn woodpeckers, and great horned owls. On your visit, be sure to bring your binoculars and a field guide to make the most of the birdwatching opportunities.

Beyond its natural beauty, the reserve holds historical significance. The Chumash people, indigenous to the region, have a deep connection to this land, and their presence is still felt today. Archaeological evidence, such as grinding stones and shell middens, attests to their long-standing presence in the area. Visitors can pay their respects to the Chumash heritage by treading lightly and treating the reserve with respect.

Exploring Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts. The reserve offers several well-maintained hiking trails that wind through the oak woodlands, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and serenity of the area. One of the most popular trails is the 0.7-mile Chumash Nature Trail, which is accessible to all skill levels and provides interpretive signage to enhance the experience.

For more adventurous hikers, the Los Osos Creek Trail extends for 3.2 miles, offering a longer trek with opportunities for wildlife spotting and connecting to the broader Los Osos trail network. It’s also a great option for birdwatchers looking to observe the local avian residents.

Before visiting Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve, it’s essential to be prepared. The reserve is open year-round, but it’s advisable to check the latest operating hours and trail conditions before your visit. Keep in mind that this is a natural preserve, and visitors are encouraged to follow Leave No Trace principles to protect the fragile ecosystem and respect its cultural heritage.

Visitors should bring water, sturdy hiking shoes, and appropriate clothing for the weather, as the coastal climate can be unpredictable. Picnicking is not permitted within the reserve, so plan accordingly.

Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve offers an opportunity to reconnect with nature and explore the rich cultural history of California’s Central Coast. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a birdwatcher, or simply seeking a serene escape, this natural gem in Los Osos, California, invites you to discover its wonders and leave with a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

Los Osos Oaks State Reserve
1801 Los Osos Valley Rd
Los Osos, CA 93402

🥾 1.2 Miles
〽️ 92’
🦮 Dogs Not Allowed
🚵‍♂️ Mountain Biking Not Allowed



Rambling Spirits, a craft distillery infused with the essence of California, is thrilled to unveil the grand opening of its brand-new Bar & Grill as part of the San Luis Obispo Public Market. This remarkable endeavor, a labor of love masterminded by the dynamic duo of Jon Carpenter and Ariette Armella, promises to serve as a welcoming hub where the community can come together and revel in moments of genuine connection within a laid-back atmosphere.

The endeavor combines the expertise and passion of its founders. Jon Carpenter brings decades of experience in crafting beverages, while Ariette Armella boasts a rich background in communications and photography.

Having already made their mark in the Central Coast distillery scene with the Rambling Spirits Workshop nestled within the SLO Public Market, Jon and Ariette’s vision for creating a comfortable yet refined culinary and cocktail experience has finally blossomed into the new Bar & Grill at Rambling Spirits.

The new Rambling Spirits Bar & Grill boasts a meticulously curated selection of handcrafted cocktails, featuring favorites from the Rambling Spirits Workshop, making it a haven for craft spirit enthusiasts. The bar also proudly presents a thoughtfully selected wine list and a variety of local craft beers to complement the delightful menu.

Leading the culinary team is none other than the highly acclaimed Chef Brenen Bonetti, formerly the proprietor of the beloved Grinning Bear food truck and a seasoned veteran of California’s gastronomic landscape for over 15 years. Chef Brenen’s culinary prowess, creativity, and deep appreciation for Central Coast ingredients shine through, promising a menu that pays homage to the region’s rich flavors and locally-sourced ingredients.

Jon Carpenter, the founder of Rambling Spirits, expresses his excitement, saying, “We are overjoyed to introduce the Rambling Spirits experience to San Luis Obispo in a whole new dimension. Our Bar & Grill is more than just a place; it’s a gathering spot for our community. We envision it as a space where everyone can feel at home, relish in a convivial atmosphere, savor delicious drinks, and take a moment to create new friendships and memories.”

Rambling Spirits Bar & Grill
114 Tank Farm Rd
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Friday & Saturday
11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.


HammerSky Vineyards is a charming and picturesque vineyard and winery located in the renowned Paso Robles wine region of California. Nestled amid the beautiful rolling hills and studded with ancient oaks, HammerSky Vineyards offers a spectacular backdrop for wine tasting, vineyard tours, and other wine-related activities.

Founded over a century ago, today HammerSky Vineyards covers 50 splendid acres, providing both beautiful landscapes and a variety of exquisite wines. The vineyard primarily focuses on Bordeaux varietals, producing delectable wines with depth, complexity, and character. The climate and terroir of the Paso Robles region are conducive to the growth of these grape varieties, resulting in wines that are a true expression of the vineyard’s unique location.

HammerSky’s estate includes a lovingly restored farmhouse that adds to the vineyard’s rustic allure. This beautiful building, along with the vineyard’s other scenic features, makes HammerSky a sought-after venue for events, including weddings and private parties. The farmhouse offers comfortable accommodations for guests wishing to extend their stay and further enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the vineyard and its surroundings.

Guests visiting HammerSky Vineyards for wine tasting are welcomed with warm hospitality and led on a delightful journey through the vineyard’s premium wines.

Knowledgeable and friendly staff are always on hand to answer questions and provide insights into the winemaking process, the vineyard’s history, and the characteristics of its wines. This educational aspect enhances the overall wine tasting experience, allowing visitors to deepen their appreciation for the wines and the craftsmanship behind them.

Aside from its regular wine tastings and events, HammerSky also offers wine club memberships. Members enjoy a range of benefits, including shipments of HammerSky’s limited-production wines, access to members-only events, and discounts on wine purchases. This membership allows wine enthusiasts to maintain a close connection with the vineyard and consistently enjoy its superb offerings.

HammerSky Vineyards in Paso Robles’ wine country stands out as a destination of choice for wine lovers, couples seeking a beautiful event venue, and anyone looking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and tranquility of wine country. Its rich history, stunning scenery, exquisite wines, and commitment to hospitality all converge to create an unforgettable experience for every visitor.

HammerSky Vineyards
7725 Vineyard Dr
Paso Robles, CA 93446

Thursday – Sunday
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Last Tasting at 4:00 p.m.

Tasting Flight:

Reservations Not Required for the Tasting Room


Spooky Black Caramel Apples

By Chef Candice Custodio

These spooky black caramel apples are perfect for the season and will be a welcomed addition to any Halloween party. With just a little food coloring and chewy caramels, these apples are also spookily quick and easy to make! Consider stepping up the flavor by adding any of your favorite caramel apple toppings (crushed Oreo, chocolate shavings, coconut, etc!). If you are unable to find black food coloring, you can easily make your own with equal parts blue/red/green food coloring. 

Chef Candice Custodio

A Cal Poly Alumni, Chef Candice Custodio is a Los Angeles native now permanently residing on the Central Coast. She has held various positions as an Executive Chef, Restaurant/Menu Consultant, Private Chef, and has been featured on the Food Network’s Chopped. She is currently the Chef and owner of Club SupSup.



Cambria is a charming and picturesque town known for its stunning landscapes, artistic community, and unique festivals. Among the many events that grace this quaint town, the Cambria Scarecrow Festival stands out as a beloved tradition that captivates locals and visitors alike. With its roots firmly planted in creativity, community spirit, and a touch of whimsy, this festival has become an annual celebration that brings people together to celebrate the harvest season.

The Cambria Scarecrow Festival typically takes place in the month of October when the coastal breeze carries a hint of autumn’s arrival.

The festival transforms the town into a whimsical wonderland adorned with an array of scarecrows, each a unique work of art crafted by local residents, businesses, and artists. These whimsical creations line the streets, gardens, and storefronts, turning Cambria into a vibrant and enchanting destination.

One of the festival’s most endearing qualities is the incredible diversity of scarecrow designs on display. From classic scarecrows guarding pumpkin patches to imaginative and elaborate characters, the scarecrows showcase the boundless creativity of Cambria’s residents and businesses. Whether it’s a scarecrow dressed as a pirate, a famous historical figure, or a beloved movie character, the festival provides a canvas for artistic expression like no other.

Local businesses play an active role in the festival, vying for the coveted title of “Best Scarecrow.” Storefronts and restaurants participate wholeheartedly, crafting scarecrows that often reflect the unique character and theme of their establishment.

This friendly competition not only adds an extra layer of excitement to the festival but also encourages businesses to get creative and engage with the community.

Visitors to the Cambria Scarecrow Festival are encouraged to explore the town by foot, bicycle, or even via a leisurely drive, as they admire the scarecrow displays. The festival provides a map that guides participants to all the scarecrow hotspots, creating a delightful scavenger hunt atmosphere. It’s not uncommon to see families, couples, and friends strolling through the charming streets of Cambria, camera in hand, capturing the magic of the scarecrows and sharing smiles along the way.

Beyond the delightful scarecrow displays, the festival offers a variety of activities and events that make it a true community celebration. Local artisans often set up booths to showcase their crafts, and food vendors offer an array of delectable treats, from freshly baked pies to hearty soups that warm the soul on crisp autumn days. Live music performances can be heard throughout the festival, adding a joyful soundtrack to the festivities.

The Cambria Scarecrow Festival is not just a celebration of creativity; it’s also a testament to the strong sense of community that defines this coastal town. Locals work together to bring the festival to life, volunteering their time and talents to ensure its success. It’s a time when the town comes alive with a shared sense of pride, and visitors are warmly welcomed into the fold, invited to partake in the festivities.

In conclusion, the Cambria Scarecrow Festival is a delightful celebration of creativity, community, and the harvest season. It’s a time when this charming coastal town dons its autumn attire and welcomes all to experience the whimsical world of scarecrows. From the diverse and imaginative scarecrow displays to the vibrant atmosphere that permeates the town, the festival encapsulates the spirit of Cambria—a place where artistry, community, and nature converge to create something truly magical. If you’re looking for an enchanting and heartwarming way to celebrate the fall season, the Cambria Scarecrow Festival is an experience you won’t want to miss.


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If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading our newsletter! 🎃

We’ll be back next month with even more ideas to hike around SLO County; a new bar, restaurant, and winery of the month; another extra special recipe from Chef Candice; and more special events you don’t want to miss! 

See you next month!


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We love San Luis Obispo County, and San Luis Obispo Guide was started as a way for us to share why we love living here and why tourists love coming here to visit. There are so many wonderful people, amazing places, and incredible products to share (not to mention all the fantastic food, drink, and wine!), and we want to promote that through our website, social channels, and podcast so everyone can discover what makes SLO County so special.

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