Unique Agritourism Destinations Leave Visitors Wanting More

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Wine Coast Country farmers, vintners and fisherman open up their doors to tourists to see how some of their favorite items are made.

It doesn't get any more farm-fresh than San Luis Obispo County.

Local farms and vineyards will open their doors this summer and fall to travelers who flock to California’s Central Coast to experience San Luis Obispo County’s unique agritourism destinations.

From discovering how luffas are grown to making fresh goat cheese from scratch, visitors in San Luis Obispo County can see first-hand how food, wine and unique local products are made in this rural region of California.

“We started our luffa farm 20 years ago as a mail-order Internet company, but within three weeks, I realized I had to change the way we were doing business. People just kept showing up wanting to know how luffas were grown. So we started showing anyone who was interested, and that’s how the tours came about,” said Deanne Coon, owner of The Luffa Farm in Nipomo, Calif. “We are one of the very few USA luffa growers and the only one that does free on-site tours that educate people about the life of a luffa.”

To make choosing these tours easier for California travelers, Wine Coast Country picked the Top 5 Agri-Tours in San Luis Obispo County and they are:

1. Farmers' Markets. The rich soil, abundant seas and mild weather make San Luis Obispo County an ideal place to grow a number of crops. Every day of the week there is a bustling farmers’ market happening somewhere in the region, providing a place where foodies can get farm-fresh eggs, produce, meats and cheese, among other things. slocountyfarmers.org.

2. Avila Valley Barn. A local-favorite, Avila Valley Barn is a great place to get fresh fruit and vegetables, ice cream, deli sandwiches, baked goods and gift items for the whole family. Open seasonally, this family-friendly destination also offers free hayrides on weekends to its “u-pick” fields and orchards, where people can pick their own produce right off the tree or vine. avilavalleybarn.com.

3. The Luffa Farm. This farm’s first small luffa crop was grown outdoors on the Nipomo mesa more than 20 years ago. Now, greenhouses are filled with luffas and it’s quite a sight to behold. The Luffa Farm is open Wednesdays through Sundays and offers free tours that require no scheduling. They also offer group tours for a small fee that include a catered lunch. theluffafarm.com.

4. Happy Acres Family Farm. This California state licensed working goat dairy started out with just one special goat named Stella. Now, the herd is made up of four unique breeds totaling over 200 head. Visit this farm for fun-filled tours and learn how to blend your own cheese, milk a goat, bottle feed and snuggle newborns, and so much more. Tours are by appointment only and cost $12-25. happyacresfamilyfarm.net.

5. Wine Tours. From wine country shuttles to private tours of barrel rooms and vineyards, there is no shortage of wine tours in Wine Coast Country. Visitors can even bottle their own blends in some cases. Go behind the scenes and into the vineyards with First Crush Winemaking, an educational experience unlike any other, or Talley Vineyards, which offers tours with the winemaker to provide an insider’s look into the winemaking process. winecoastcountry.com/play.

But this isn’t all Wine Coast Country has to offer. There are other unique tours, including those at the Oyster Farm, Lavender Farm and other local agribusinesses.

For more information, visit WineCoastCountry.com.

About Wine Coast Country
Wine Coast country represents the San Luis Obispo County Business Improvement District (CBID), whose mission is to promote increased occupancy in the 801 lodging properties that are part of the CBID constituency. WineCoastCountry.com promotes tourism to San Luis Obispo County’s distinct unincorporated areas. For more information, call Cheryl Cuming at (805) 547-CBID (2243) or visit WineCoastCountry.com.

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Whitney Diaz
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