The flowers are blooming, the sun is out in full force and in case you haven’t noticed, everyone is running around in their bikinis again. Not only does springtime mean shorter skirts and tiny tank tops, but more importantly, spring fever.

Yes, springtime is a time when we are forced to appreciate the perfect San Luis Obispo weather by skipping class and hitting the beach. And who better to spend a day of hooky with than your significant other? This spring mix it up and try something new with your favorite friend, because the Central Coast has quite a few romantic getaways.

San Luis Obispo is the optimum place for great outside activities with your significant other, but there there are also lots of great options just outside of town.

Go check out the elephant seals just north of San Simeon where mother seals sit on the beach playing with their newly born babies. Not only are these animals adorable and really entertaining, but the drive up U.S. Highway 1 is beautiful this time of year. The trip to the elephant seals is a great escape from town for the day. To find the best place to see elephant seals, go to www. slostateparks. com/nature/ wildlife/ elephant_seals.asp.

If the windy beach isn’t your dream date, then head east toward Paso Robles. Wine tasting is a fun way to spend the day and Vineyard Drive is especially green in the spring. This road leads to Peachy Canyon Winery, which provides a variety of vineyards to taste at. Pack a lunch and a blanket, buy a bottle of wine and enjoy a picnic along the roadside.

For a more private picnic setting, head to the California Valley, east of Santa Margarita to see the famous wildflowers in Carrizo Plain. The drive can take up to an hour but it is well worth the time when the flowers are in full bloom.

For those who aren’t interested in driving out of town, there are plenty options near by. Avila Beach is a popular and easy bike ride for locals. On the way, stop by Avila Valley Barn – this picturesque barn is open seasonally and located on Avila Beach Drive. Stop by and purchase fresh produce, baked goods and ice cream, or use their picnic benches to relax and eat lunch. Check out what Avila Valley Barn has to offer at www.avilavalleybarn.com.

If hiking is more your style, drive north toward Big Sur to Sykes Hot Springs. This 10-mile hike leads to a 100-degree natural hot spring tub. Pack your sleeping bags and camp under the stars after soaking in the hot spring.

So, to get a break from being crammed up in a lecture hall with 200 students and no air conditioning, get out and have fun this spring. After all, these are supposed to be the best years of your life.

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