Why California’s Central Coast Is Optimistic About Food Tourism in Coming Months

Mecca in the middle.

There’s no corner of California not hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown. From shuttered restaurants to empty hotels, many of the state’s popular tourist getaways, which lean heavily on seasonal tourism for survival, have weathered the toughest blow. Yet, in Central California, home to destinations like Solvang, Los Alamos, Los Olivos and others, there’s a renewed optimism that business may be coming their way. According to Eater Los Angeles, it’s all about location.

“This portion of California coastline has always been seen as a backyard destination to more than half the state’s population between the Bay Area, Los Angeles basin, and Central Valley, each mere hours away, if not less. Add a growing wariness of long-distance travel (and the cratering of the airline industry), rock-bottom gas prices, and easy access from the 101 freeway, and suddenly Santa Barbara County seems like a getaway worth taking — particularly as Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses “regional variances” to the state’s stay-at-home order, which could open up the area in mere days, albeit with some modifications to dining rooms, tasting rooms, and other standard experiences within the county.”

Read more here.

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