There are so many things to do and places to explore while visiting the central coast. Below are just a few things that are unique to our area and will make your trip memorable! Visit Highway 1 road Trip for a complete visitors guide of everything the central coast has to offer. Dining to day trips, it has it all!

Hearst Castle


A museum like no other!

Hearst Castle was once the home of newspaper publisher WR Hearst. It is now a house museum and is open to the public. It is located in San Simeon. Well worth the very scenic drive up Highway 1.

Monarch Butterfly Grove


Each year thousands of Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach. The butterflies cluster in the limbs of Eucalyptus trees at Pismo State Beach. The Monarch Butterfly Grove is located half a mile south of the Pismo Beach pier just off Hwy 1. The grove is open from late October through the month of February from 10 am to 4 pm with docents providing daily talks at 11 am and 2 pm.

Wine Tasting


From the tasting rooms of Avila and Pismo Beach, to the wine trails of Edna Valley and Paso Robles, the central coast does not disappoint! Visit wineries and tasting rooms nestled in quaint, seaside towns dotted along scenic Highway 1. From Burgundian varieties grown on vineyards minutes from the Pacific Ocean to robust Bordeaux and Rhône varieties grown in Paso Robles, the wines of the Pacific Coast Wine Trail reflect each winemaker’s unique style of winemaking.

Morro Bay


Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County, Morro Bay offers year round activities in an unspoiled slice of California. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for all ages to enjoy.



The central coast offers a year-round Mediterranean climate - perfect for golf! On any given day, your options include playing in the cool ocean breezes in Los Osos, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, or in Atascadero or Paso Robles under the warm sun of the Central Coast Wine Country.



If you’re looking to explore the waters along the Central Coast, kayaks are a great vehicle to do so! Get up close and personal with our flippered-friends while kayaking or paddling along the Central Coast. The mild weather, scenic views, and lively sea life on the Central Coast make for an ideal kayak vacation. Kayaking in Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Los Osos, and Avila Beach is perfect for both beginners and seasoned paddlers. The majority of the year, you can anticipate clear, glassy waters and incredible views. However, conditions can vary and you can expect more wind in the spring, some fog in the summer, and an occasional rain in the winter.

Bubblegum Alley


One of the strangest, yet most popular landmark attractions in San Luis Obispo is Bubblegum Alley. This anomaly is set in the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo, known for its scenic babbling creek, tree-lined streets, boutiques, unique cafes and family-friendly attractions like Thursday night Farmers’ Market and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

Yet there it stands, a hidden gem tucked away in a small alley right off Higuera Street, between Broad and Garden Street. This narrow, 70-foot-long alleyway invites visitors to partake in an unusual rite of passage: creating chewed bubblegum graffiti.

Avila Beach


Avila Beach just off Highway 1 on California’s central coast is a road that takes you through a lush oak valley lined with transformative spas featuring natural, mineral hot springs, world-class massage, yoga instruction, and sense therapies. Journey just a little further and the welcoming paradise of Avila Beach appears. With its own uniquely sunny and warm microclimate, Avila Beach is a breath of fresh salt air, with amenity-laden hotels, charming oceanfront restaurants, magnificent local wines, and shopping and activities for all to enjoy. Start planning your next vacation, and plan on being enchanted, in unforgettable Avila Beach.

Avila Valley Barn


Among locals, a smile forms on the face when Avila Valley Barn is mentioned. It is a favorite spot to stop off and get ice cream on the way to or from Avila Beach, to buy the freshest fruit and vegetables grown locally, pick up a bakery treat or gift item, or just to take the kids to visit the farm pets or go for a hay ride and pick fresh produce for the first time. Avila Valley Barn has a inviting atmosphere which hails back to simpler times. During the summer, they roast their own home-grown corn on the cob with creamy, melted butter–a treat not to be missed. And, on weekends, you can enjoy a free hay ride to pick seasonal fruit and produce.

Oceano Dunes


This off road area is among the most popular and unique of California State Parks. The 5 1/2 miles of beach open for vehicle use and the sand dunes available for off highway motor vehicle recreation are attractions for visitors from throughout the United States.

Oceano Dunes is the only California State Park where vehicles may be driven on the beach. Four wheel drive / all wheel drive vehicles are recommended for driving on the beach and to the camping and off-highway vehicle use areas in the park.

Beach wheelchairs are available for loan at the Pier and Grand Avenue entrances to the beach.

Surfing, swimming, surf fishing, horseback riding and bird watching are popular activities.

Pismo Beach


Whether you’re driving from the north or south on U.S. Highway 101, there’s an unforgettable moment as you reach Pismo Beach. The coastal hills open up to reveal shimmering turquoise waters and long stretches of the San Luis Obispo County coastline, with glimpses of this vintage beach town hugging the shore. Work your way toward the sands, through streets of beach cottages, surf shops, and clam chowder joints.

Don’t miss the historic 1,200-foot-long Pismo Beach Pier. Built in 1928, the pier is the closest thing to a town square for Pismo Beach. Take a walk out over the waves to watch the surfers, or maybe try your hand at fishing (no license required) for red snapper, ling cod, or even the occasional thresher shark. From the pier, stroll along the oceanfront boardwalk, or just hike along the hard-packed sands; the broad, flat expanses make this one of the most walkable beaches in all of California.

Lake Nacimiento


Lovely 18-mile-long Lake Nacimiento is in Paso Robles' backyard. Its pleasant Mediterranean-style climate, gorgeous scenery, opportunities for outdoor activities, and proximity to nearby area attractions make it a popular family holiday destination. You can swim, fish, play water sports, explore nature trails, and go sightseeing.