Things to do on the Central Coast

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MORRO BAY

Morro Bay holds a long-standing history as a thriving seaport with beautiful ocean views and a tranquil yet productive estuary. From the multitudes of bird species to the dozens of timid harbor seals, Morro Bay has been the home for a wide variety of marine life. The Embarcadero in Morro Bay has a variety of activities including visits to oyster farms, boat tours, restaurants and shopping. Contact the Chamber of Commerce online at www.morrobay.org for additional information.

PASO WINE COUNTRY

The nutrient rich soils of Paso Robles and the surrounding areas within San Luis Obispo County are becoming recognized as some of the most prestigious vineyards in California. As such, Paso Robles is quickly becoming a top destination for wine connoisseurs worldwide. It is known for their Bordeaux-style wines, but with over 170 wineries and nearly every existing varietals are accounted for, this wine country has something for all wine lovers. www.pasowineries.com

PIEDRAS BLANCAS LIGHTHOUSE

The name “Piedras Blancas” means white rocks in Spanish. The Piedras Blancas Light Station is located about 15 miles north of Cambria on a rugged, windswept point. The Lighthouse was first illuminated in 1875 as an important aid to navigation. There is a rich human history and natural history that come together at Point Piedras Blancas. Tours include the historic lighthouse, support buildings, and a ½ mile interpretive walking trail. Tour information is available at www.piedrasblancas.gov.

 

HARMONY HEADLANDS HIKING TRAIL

Harmony Headlands State Park is located 2.6 miles south of Harmony, along the west side of Highway One. This area has a Mediterranean climate consisting of warm dry summers and cool wet winters. Its proximity to the ocean also results in thick coastal fogs which help to moderate the temperatures. The flat coastal terraces, valleys and steep coastal bluffs are predominately home to grasslands and coastal scrub containing plants such as a San Luis Obispo morning glory, California buttercup, yarrow and lupine. In the spring, flowering grasses can be seen in profusion. No pets please!

THE ELEPHANT SEALS OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS

The elephant seal is the largest of all pinnipeds. Adult bulls can exceed two tons in weight and ten feet in length. Like many marine mammals, it was hunted to near extinction in the 19th century. Until recently, the huge seals lived in isolated areas far away from humans. In the early 1990s they started colonizing the unspoiled beaches and coves just south of Point Piedras Blancas, a few miles north of the famous Hearst Castle at San Simeon. Tourists may pull off Highway 1 into the parking area, take a short walk, and observe the elephant seals. For more information, visit www.elephantseal.org

ESTERO BLUFFS STATE PARK HIKING TRAIL

Estero Bluffs State Park is located north of Cayucos and west of Highway One. The park is approximately 355 acres consisting of grassland-dominated coastal terrace that slopes from Highway One to the Pacific Ocean. The park's rich diversity of habitat types includes marine, inter-tidal, estuarine, riverine, coastal salt marsh, freshwater marsh, coastal and riparian scrub and grassland. This area provides a natural habitat for a number of endangered species including the snowy plover. No pets please! http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22263

 

HARMONY, CA

Formerly a community of dairy farms, Harmony currently boasts Harmony Glassworks, Harmony Cellars, and a pottery studio. 
A creamery operated in this location from 1869 until mid- 1955. This quaint and enchanting town off of Highway 1 north of Cayucos currently has 18 residents and 1 state park. 

MONTANA DE ORO STATE PARK

This park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills. Naturalists and backpackers enjoy walking the park’s trails. There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails as well as various campgrounds and day parking. The park’s name, “Mountain of Gold,” comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring. 

HEARST CASTLE

High above the Pacific on a site he called "The Enchanted Hill," Mr. William Randolph Hearst created his magnificent Mediterranean-style retreat that features guesthouses, gardens, pools and terraces. Once accessible only to celebrities and famous guests, this grand estate is yours to explore. Visit one of the world’s greatest historic house museums, located on California’s scenic coastal Highway 1 approximately 30 minutes north of Cayucos.  www.hearstcastle.org