Sep 22, 2011 7:53 PM by Jeanette Trompeter
Today is the last day of summer, and fall is upon us. But on the central coast, that means we're heading into one of the best times of year to take in our local tourist hot spots. Because, can you hear that? The crowds are gone, and for the most part, we have little pockets of paradise all to ourselves. And more reason, There's Place Like Home.
Sometimes it blows me away. The little getaways that are right in our own backyard. I'm not talking overnight adventures, although they easily could be. But even if you don't have the time or money for that...you can still easily pack a little paradise into your days. Especially right now.
"We just think this is the nicest area on the actual west coast. I don't think there's a nicer view in California than right here." says Jerry Anderson, who lives in Bakersfield, but spends a lot of time in Southern California.
People who are well acquainted with the loveliest vistas in our state, still find those to be found at patios along the central and south coast the cream of the crop. Such is the case at the Lido Restaurant and Grill at Dolphin Bay Estates in Shell Beach. "Well the setting, look at this! It's awesome!" says Robin Irwin. She and Mike Spangler spent an afternoon recently on the patio of the Lido. They live in Shell Beach, but are frequent visitors. "We come to catch a sighting of a whale, or dolphin." Irwin explains.
Spangler says there's no reason not to be taking in the treasures available right in our own backyard. There's just something about being down here and being so close to all the nature that's happening here. It's just irresistible. Why wouldn't you be here?
If it takes more than the view to draw you in, the chef at the Lido is a draw for many. Brian Collins is local but spread his wings to work at restaurants in San Francisco, including one Gourmet Magazine called the best in the country. He recently returned to the Lido after spending a few years at Full of Flatbread in Los Alamos. And he's all about serving up local fresh cuisine with a presentation worthy of the environment in which it's served.
And spectacular Shell Beach sunsets coincide beautifully these days with Lido's happy hour from 4 to 6 , where you can enjoy discounted drinks and free flatbread Pizzetas while taking in the spectacular surroundings.
Even if you arrive wound up and weighed down a bit by the worries of your work-a-day world, things change quickly once you take a deep breath and take notice of where it is you are. As you watch the pelicans ride the wind currents that come up come this time of day, you'll start to feel your worries drift away as well.
No matter what your day started like, when you wrap it up in a setting like this, the ending is pretty much picture perfect. And we have it all pretty much to ourselves right now. And yep, it's all right in our own backyard.
For more information on The Lido at Dolphin Bay, click here.
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