Central Coast - open for business?

My wine group has been trying to plan a trip the Central Coast for months now. We keep waiting for things get better. Now we are thinking, maybe January? Has everything re-opened in the area? Some places had re-opened their tasting rooms, but weren’t doing any tours or private events. We obviously want the full experience and would not plan a trip until we were sure that everything was available.

Some people have asked about smoke taint and whether wineries will be making 2020 wines. I have not heard about issues with fires and smoke in the central coast so I assume everyone made 2020 wines in Santa Barbara Co. and Paso Robles.

Was just in Paso Robles last week. WIDE OPEN over there. Definitely a “Red” leaning town of you catch my drift. Posted mask mandate for anything inside, but with 95% of the people unmasked, grocery stores included. We had a blast though!!! Killer wines in Paso…

A couple other posters within the last 2-3 months mentioned that their Paso trips were great, but that wineries required reservations. So if you are planning in advance, then you can book reservations and it shouldn’t be an issue. Going there in a couple weeks as well and can report back, but we mostly stick to the wineries in our club membership and our usual spots like LPC, The Hatch, Spearhead Roasters, etc.

Santa Barbara and Paso Robles are both pretty wide open, though most wineries pivoted to “reservations only” because of the pandemic and many appear to have adopted the approach moving forward. Great time to visit. Not too much traffic and easy to get into restaurants. Lots of great places to eat in Paso and Solvang/Los Olivos, not to mention downtown Santa Barbara.

Thanks for the responses. I was last there in 2013. I’ve been ready to go back a for a while. There was some talk of fires near SLH in Monterey County, maybe limited production there. I would like to check out SLH for its potential and maybe to discover some value, but we’ll have plenty to keep us busy between SB and Paso.


Reach out if I can help with any questions or assistance you may need in SBC!

Cheers . . .

We were in SBC a few months ago and will be visiting Paso in October.
As others have said reservations may be required which is a good thing IMO.
Also was not able to visit some wineries due to limited hours like weekends only.

We’re heading out there in about 10 days. Had no real problems making appointments anywhere we wanted to go. Just annoyed it required so many appointments vs. walk-ins. As mentioned above the only problems were limted hours/days.

We were just down in Los Olivos/Santa Barbara last week. Everything is open. If you want recs, look in the travel section.

My friends were in Los Olivos last week. They said that all restaurants work without problems and they moved freely. The only requirement was the mandatory wearing of a mask.
I’m also interested in this topic. I also want to open a small restaurant on the central coast. I am a little scared of what awaits me because it is very risky and difficult to open a business right now. Another lockdown can destroy my business that has not really started.
I have already looked for a rental room, accounting software, and equipment.
I would welcome any advice on this.