Happiness found at Avila Beach

After a week of midterms, interviews, homesickness and overwhelming amounts of stress, I needed a break. A relaxing afternoon. So, I turned to my favorite place  – Avila Beach.

Since I was 12, I’ve spent every birthday at Avila – playing in the waves, eating Doc Burnstein’s ice cream, contemplating ways to get past the “no jumping” sign on the pier (dont’ tell my mom, but I conquered that one on my seventeenth birthday) and soaking up the ever-present sun.

“It’s always sunny in Avila,” my mom always says.

So I grabbed two friends, a couple of snacks, and made my way to the sandy shores of Avila beach.

On a hot day in San Luis Obispo, Avila looks like this. "I love this place," child development sophomore Alexis Benner siad. "Even when it's cold. Even when it's raining. I love Avila."

Avila is my favorite of the beaches in SLO county because my mom is right – it’s always sunny. And it’s always diverse. Filled with families, college kids and sometimes tourists, Avila connects me to the greater San Luis Obispo community. Saturday was filled with children running across the beach, building sandcastles and crying at the thought of leaving the beach. It reminds me of being that innocent. It reminds me of when my mom would bring me to Avila, and the stories she’d tell me about spending her childhood there. It’s a family tradition – one of many that San Luis Obispo has to offer.

“Avila is where you go to have a fun beach day,” graphic communication sophomore Kat Zeltner said. “It’s not like Shell Beach on Ceasar Chavez day.”

That’s what I love about Avila. It’s FUN. It’s carefree. It’s not the frat party beach.

“It’s the beach where three year olds run around naked and college kids play frisbee and everyone coexists,” Alexis said.

"Avila is the place to play," Kat said. "And the place to relax after a long week of midterms."

So if you’re looking for a relaxing, playful beach with some quality ice cream and a fun swing set, Avila’s your place. It’s easily SLO’s happiest beach. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

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Here we go again

Another blog, another introduction. Hello, world, this is a web page where I will share thoughts and commentary and multimedia goodies in hopes of making you fall in love with the town I’m lucky enough to call home.

San Luis Obispo (and the surrounding areas) and I have quite the history; my parents met in the Clyde P. Fisher Science hall; I’ve spent every single birthday of mine since I was 14 at Avila beach; and I learned how to navigate Amtrak and SLO transit before I took my first city bus in my hometown of Santa Rosa.

These are my parents (the ones who met thanks to San Luis Obispo). I felt like I needed to introduce you to them, seeing as they made me who I am and all, and if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be in SLO right now.

The thing I love most about this place that has now begun to feel more like home than Sonoma County (though I still get defensive when they call Paso Robles “wine country”) is that no matter what time of year, no matter who you run into, no matter how rainy it is outside, it’s always sunny in San Luis Obispo. Maybe not the physical sun you’re thinking of  — because there are rainy days and foggy days and less than pleasant days here  — but an emotional kind of sunny. We, as a community, are friendly here in SLO. Cars stop at pedestrian crossings; you walk into class and you smile and say ‘good morning’ to your professors; you make friends with the people who make your coffee at your favorite shop . . do you get what I’m trying to say?

San Luis Obispo is a happy place to live, rain or shine. So in order to spotlight that, this blog exists. In an effort to back up National Geographic and Oprah Winfrey, this blog will spotlight the reasons San Luis Obispo is so darn happy.

This is one of my favorite photographs taken in my time in SLO. Taken at Pismo Beach in January. Yes, I said January.

I will be stopping by local businesses, chatting with community members and befriending students in hopes of showing you, my dearest readers, why this place is so great.

If you’re reading this and thinking “Oh, she should write about (insert your favorite place in SLO here)!” then you should probably leave a comment and tell me about this favorite place of yours. I’m well versed, I’d say, in SLO hotspots, but I know there are a few handfuls of places I’ve never been.

So with that, get excited. Subscribe to this bad boy. Because if you aren’t completely, totally and utterly enamored by San Luis Obispo right now, you will be by the end of the quarter. Trust me on this one.