California’s Central Coast


June 4, 2020
Words by Carolyn Steere
Photos courtesy of

If you and your significant other picture yourselves exchanging vows under a beautiful flower arbor in wine country, then consider the Central Coast of California. Rolling hills lined with row after row of grapevines, blue skies and magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean take you in as you venture along Highway 1. The sights, smells and tastes you discover along the way are quite intoxicating (be careful – there are over 300 wineries!), as are the diverse settings for a truly unique destination wedding.

Cradled within 20 acres of orchards, gardens and vineyards in Paso Robles is Allegretto Vineyard Resort, a Mediterranean-inspired resort with every amenity one can imagine for you and your guests. A luxury spa, farm-to-table cuisine, private label wine tasting, well-appointed guest suites and central location provide a good start, but then you can add in some unique venue settings. A favorite for us was the French-inspired Abbey for an intimate ceremony or seated rehearsal dinner. Larger celebrations are also possible in the Veneto Ballroom or numerous outdoor courtyard or garden settings. 

William Randolph Hearst once said, “I would rather spend a month here than any place in the world.” He was referring to the amazing Hearst Castle on a hill that he dreamed of and then constructed in San Simeon, on the California coast. He entertained the rich and famous in the 1920s and it is still where you can entertain your family and friends for an over-the-top wedding.

If your style is a bit more understated, the Summerwood Winery and Inn in Paso Robles offers some amazing wines (we didn’t taste one we didn’t like) and a picturesque setting for a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception. We made another unique discovery at Sextant Wines, which is near the authentic historic town of Edna, complete with a restored blacksmith shop. It’s been converted into a quaint location for a wedding reception or rehearsal dinner…your photographer’s creative juices will go into high gear in this totally fun setting.

Here’s our recipe for a perfect day: start with a morning stroll on the beach, then on to a bit of wine tasting, followed by pampering at the spa at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort in Avila Beach and top it off with a tasty dinner at a seaside restaurant. The Central Coast of California has the perfect blend of wines and fun.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do’s Fall/Winter 2019 issue. 

Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Catalina Island Company (1st); Allegretto Vineyard Resort (2nd & 3rd); (4th)

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