Everyone knows California’s Central Coast is home to near-perfect weather, gorgeous scenery and plenty of wineries, but did you know these bits of trivia?
The first motel in the world was opened in San Luis Obispo on December 12, 1925, charging $1.25 per night per room. Previous to this “motor-hotel,” drivers on long-distance trips through the countryside would get their beauty rest in their cars or camp out for the night.
The Southern Pacific Railroad laid tracks into San Luis Obispo in 1894, linking the poor farming community to the outside world. Produce from the area was soon clickety-clacking to markets all along the Southern California coast.
Upon its completion in 1947, the Hearst Castle boasted 165 rooms and 127 acres of extraordinary gardens, terraces, pools and walkways but, sadly, no moats, knights or dragons.
Formed by long-extinct volcanoes, The Peaks of the Nine Sisters of San Luis Obispo County were created 20 million years ago. Today, these escarpments provide unique habitats to many animal and plant species, most famously the peregrine falcons of Morro Rock.
The Channel Islands are home to over 150 endemic species. The unique animals and plants found on the islands are vigorously protected from invasive species through strict limitations on what excursionists may bring when visiting.
Bullfights were routinely held on Main Street in Ventura in the 1870s.
The film that catapulted Rudolph Valentino and his dreamy eyes to superstardom in the 1920s, The Sheik, used Oxnard and the Guadalupe Dunes in Santa Barbara County for its exterior shots.
After the earthquake of 1925, shaken civic leaders of Santa Barbara noted that most Victorian-style homes and businesses were destroyed while sturdier Spanish Colonial buildings remained. An ordinance was passed making the downtown a Spanish-Colonial-architectural-style-only zone.
In 1954, after their marriage ceremony in San Francisco and en route to Palm Springs, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio spent the first night of their honeymoon at the Clifton Motel, then located on the corner of 1st and Spring Streets in Paso Robles.
Like a never-ending glass of pinot noir, Paso Robles is an oenophile’s dream, surrounded by more than 26,000 acres of vineyards and over 200 wineries.
sources: travel.yahoo.com; tps.cr.nps.gov; stayinslo.com; santalucia.sierraclub.org; nps.gov; ventura-usa.com; santabarbara.com; travelpaso.com