I had never even noticed the Templeton exits, some thirty miles from Shell Beach. Had I not become a blogger, I might have driven to and from my conference without ever veering off Highway 101 in Templeton. To miss this charming, old Western town, unofficial population of about 5000 in 2000, would have been a shame, indeed. When Chris Alba of Enchanted Oak suggested we meet for lunch there at McPhee's, it seemed like a perfect spot. I'm always up for seeing a new locale and dining out at a new restaurant, especially one that came with such a great recommendation from Chris.
When I took that Templeton exit, it was almost like entering California's past. The town was founded in 1886 as the final stop for railroad passengers from the north. It is in a rural setting with a Mediterranean climate and its products - grapes, wines and olive oil are much like you would find in a Tuscan setting.
Central California coast vineyards, near Templeton
Rolling hills, farmland