The fast lane is overrated. Find your pace in SLO CAL.
Located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, SLO CAL offers up a colorful tapestry of earth, sea, art and agricultural abundance. Here, pleasure dictates pace. Small joys elevate daily rituals. Everyday adventures abound.
Early California history and contemporary art blend here—just as Old World winemaking combine with an array of modern farm-to-table flavors. Walk, don't run. Find peace among winding hiking trails, tide pools, oak forests and wildflowers. Bike, hike or zipline through wine country. Shop vibrant farmers’ markets buzzing with life.
Celebrate sunny days that melt effortlessly into star-studded nights. Whatever you do, make sure to slow down and smell the sagebrush. It’s time to find your natural rhythm; find your breath. Ready to release the rush? Find your own pace in SLO CAL.
Ragged PointAbove and Beyond
With million dollar views to spare, this landmark offers a feast for the eyes on the iconic Highway 1.
You'll want to pull over here. As you're cruising the PCH, it’s hard to ignore the natural beauty of this heavenly patch of Highway 1. Secluded beaches, churning surf and whale sightings make for a fantastic photo op.Read More About
San SimeonThe Home of Hearst Castle
An unforgettable cruise up the Pacific Coast Highway reveals opulent treasures and a real life castle.
Discover luxury and intrigue at Hearst Castle. The gilded swimming pool, ancient statues and Roman sarcophagi are nestled along manicured grounds, fruit trees and exotic flowers. The shining crown jewel of San Simeon, inside William Randolph Hearst’s estate guests can peruse a collection of fine and decorative arts.Read More About
Take the scenic route. There may be no coastal California drive as famous as the stretch of Highway 1 that winds up the coast through San Simeon. From this high vantage point, jagged cliffs give way to crashing waves below.
Make a stop at Piedras Blancas, now part of the California Coastal National Monument. The 1875 Light Station is flanked by the "white rocks" it was named after. The boisterous elephant seals gather at the six-mile-long Piedras Blancas rookery from December through March, making wildlife viewing very popular along this stretch of coastline.
CambriaHead for the Pines
Eclectic art galleries, wine tasting rooms and fine dining masterpieces create an enchanting seaside trifecta amidst Monterey Pines.
Take in the breathtaking coastal views and the majesty of the Monterey Pine forests of Cambria, a hauntingly beautiful coastal village. Summer brings art fairs and outdoor events to the charming downtown. In fall, hundreds of unique scarecrows dapple windows, storefronts and stoops.Read More About
The art scene flourishes in Cambria, long touted as an artist’s alcove for creatives working in all mediums, including glass and ceramics. Antique hunting, boutique shopping and wine tasting come together with the galleries for a stimulating afternoon of inspiring exploration.
Get active on miles of hiking and biking paths, traversing the green-and-blue landscape. Hiding in the hills between Cambria and Cayucos is a charming town torn straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Once a dairy and artist community, Harmony (population 18) now offers glass blowing demonstrations and self-guided tours of the restored buildings, including a tiny working chapel.
CayucosHit the Pause Button
Casual and dog-friendly, this beachy alcove offers up a family day trip that is coastal cool.
Cast a line or peer into the buckets to see what local fishermen are catching on Cayucos' newly-restored historic pier. Stroll the quiet, old school downtown where famous Brown Butter Cookies, unique antiques and a vintage tavern offer a slice of bygone California charm.Read More About
Hit the “pause” button on life with a relaxing afternoon at the dog-friendly beach and a stop by the playground for the kids. Casual, family dining options are abundant, too, without long lines and no reservations required.
Morro BayThe Bay, Your Way
From the bustling embarcadero to famed Morro Rock, this fishing town works hard and plays hard.
With a working harbor and local oyster farms just a stone’s throw from a bustling embarcadero, or boardwalk, Morro Bay is a throwback seaside community with a maritime heritage you can see and taste.Read More About
Grab a seat at the table with incredible oceanfront views and delectable seafood. Catch glimpses of sea otters, seals, dolphins and whales while digging into the fresh catch of the day. Salt water taffy, fresh fish by the pound, and flavorful local oysters are all local favorites here.
Get an up-close view of the unique bay and estuary environment by kayak or paddle board. Rent a surrey and pedal your way through the embarcadero or charter a boat to cruise the calm waters of the bay. Between Morro Bay and Avila Beach lies Montaña de Oro State Park, ground zero for tide pools, beachside horseback riding, and epic views that, in spring, include a golden wildflower display unlike any other on the Central Coast.
Avila BeachYour Catch of the Day
With a working pier, dining and wine tasting, this white sandy beach pleases every palate.
Don't miss Harford Pier, a hub of activity for local fishermen and one of the few piers you can still drive on. Watch as a rainbow of local fish are hauled in from the sea, bound for local dinner plates. Little ones on board? Kids will love getting up-close-and-personal with starfish and stingrays at the Central Coast Aquarium.
From casual, family-friendly meals to more upscale dining paired with local wine flights, Avila Beach has your culinary bases covered. Wine lovers will especially want to sample local fare at a cluster of walkable tasting rooms. End the evening perfectly with a sunset stroll on the sand or go for a night cap at a bevy of seaside bars.
Natural mineral spring waters bubble up from the ground in Avila Beach, which is good news for those looking to relax and rejuvenate tired muscles and frazzled minds. Sink into a tub for two and let your imagination wander while taking in the quiet calm of tree-dotted hills.
Pismo Beach & Shell BeachClassic CA Beach Town Fun
Award-winning clam chowder, sweet surf spots and monarch butterflies make these getaways extra golden.
Pismo Beach is as authentic Golden State as it gets. Taste the best clam chowder under the sun, hit the waves with a rented surfboard or take a beach cruiser for a spin along an energetic pier.Read More About
Pismo Beach & Shell Beach
Rent or bring a kayak to explore the incredible Dinosaur Caves. Get an up-close view of ancient underwater caverns and keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of dolphins, seals and seabirds. Above sea level, visit Dinosaur Caves Park, an 11-acre ocean-front bluffed landscape - perfect for photographers, dog lovers and anglers.
Get inspired beneath a living canopy of Monarch butterflies! From November through February, watch as thousands of Monarchs make their great winged migration to the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. Walk the trail with your eyes up and and focus your binoculars on the black-and-orange "leaves" above.
Savor the moments among the calm, secluded waters of Shell Beach, where kayak rentals allow visitors to take in some of the most scenic coastal views in the county. Back on shore, fiery sunsets fuel romantic walks on a nightly basis.
Grover BeachFrom Rails to Waves
Lay down tracks and ignite an unforgettable bonfire: this beach is different.
Tucked between Pismo Beach and Oceano is the down-to-earth coastal town of Grover Beach. Here, you can take in live music and festivals throughout the year. After a day of fun in the sun, gather the gang around a crackling bonfire for a seaside sunset, s'mores and stories.Read More About
Get from the train to the beach in mere minutes. Upon arrival, stop in to the Monarch Grove Winery Tasting Room, Grover Beach’s first-ever winery specializing in boutique wines crafted from local grapes.
OceanoLose Yourself in the Dunes
Horseback riding, bird-watching and a one-of-a-kind show make this serene dunescape worth discovering.
Back in the 1930s, Bohemian “Dunites” flocked to Oceano’s mesmerizing white sands in an effort to escape the daily grind. Today, visitors from around the world continue the tradition—this time, for horseback riding, ATV excursions and bird watching.Read More About
With all this sand, the dunes and connected beaches offer travelers endless adventures in an other-worldly setting. Roar over the mounds on a dune buggy. Board the sandy slopes as though you're shredding powder. Drive your car right out to the water on one of California’s rare drive-on beaches.
Just south of Oceano you’ll find the gateway to the Central Coast, the town of Nipomo. Hit the links at one of Nipomo’s impressive golf courses or harken back to the Ranchero era at the historic Dana Adobe, built in 1839 from the area’s unique clay soil.
Arroyo GrandeA Versatile Village
A vintage downtown and lakeside activities give this agricultural hamlet endless possibilities.
Whimsy is alive and well with centuries-old foot bridges and roaming flocks of chickens. The cozy village of Arroyo Grande has a quirky, freewheeling attitude. With one foot in the past and another firmly rooted in modern life, you'll find everything from antique shops to high-end salons along the main drag.Read More About
Sip and savor the local foodie scene with craft cocktails, microbreweries, fine dining and award-winning wines from nearby Arroyo Grande Valley. Relish the flavor of spring at the annual Strawberry Festival in May, filled with cook-offs, street performers and juicy tastings.
Explore outdoors with native wildlife and beautiful views at Lake Lopez, just a quick drive from downtown. Get your fill of motor boating, mountain biking and ziplining in the area—perfect for a day trip or longer camping excursion. The sky’s the limit when it comes to getting some fresh air in Arroyo Grande: hike, kayak or tour local farms growing everything from green beans to wine grapes.
Edna ValleyWine Country on the Coast
Located less than ten miles from the Pacific, Edna Valley is the place for award-winning pinot noir, buttery chardonnay and down-home hospitality.
Thanks to a close proximity to the coast, pinot noir and chardonnay thrive in the cooler climate of Edna Valley, home to more than a dozen boutique wineries. Stop in to meet the owners and winemakers before spreading out your picnic amid the lush vines.
The Old Edna Townsite offers up a glimpse of what Edna Valley looked like back in the day. Tour through the old town structures, many of which have been restored to receive today's guests.
Grab a fresh-picked snack from the farm stands that dot the rural roads of Edna Valley. Farmers sell seasonal fruits and veggies throughout the year. You'll see verdant farmland nestled between rows of vines in this unique wine region, making for a gorgeous countryside cruise.
San Luis ObispoCouldn't be Happier
Known simply as “SLO” by the locals, this famously friendly college town is ground zero for arts, culture, food and entertainment.
San Luis Obispo’s crown jewel is its energetic and walkable downtown, heightened by diverse shops, restaurants and galleries. At the heart of it all sits Mission San Luis Obispo, with bells that ring out on the hour. Bubblegum Alley, caked with more than 40 years of bubblegum, is a testament to SLO’s good-natured vibe.Read More About
San Luis Obispo
The music scene is alive and well in SLO, where venues like SLO Brew and the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center attract national acts, while downtown bars regularly host regional bands. SLO Little Theatre puts on an impressive array of shows each season, offering an intimate stage with big talent. Do as the locals do and attend the Art After Dark festivities, when art galleries and businesses open their doors with exhibitions, wine and nibbles on the first Friday of each month.
You'll sense SLO's laid-back, natural feel with tree lined streets, rolling green hillsides and a robust river that cuts through downtown. Venture just a few miles from downtown and you'll be privy to breathtaking hikes like Cerro San Luis and Irish Hills. More than a dozen open space trails offering outdoor adventures for mountain bikers, hikers and dog-lovers alike.
Santa MargaritaRugged Adventure
With wildlife, lake sports and adrenaline-inducing ziplines, experience natural wonders from new heights.
At first glance, Santa Margarita appears to be sublimely sleepy, offering up a delightful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Located at the crest of the Cuesta Grade at the Southernmost tip of the Paso Robles wine region, the area's oak-studded wilderness is home to hawks, deer, mountain lions and bears. Look past the quiet exterior, however, to find thrills to revive your wild spirit!Read More About
While a perfect respite for frazzled travelers, Santa Margarita also offers up exciting, heart-palpitating experiences perfect for thrill-seekers and daredevils alike. Soar thousands of feet through the air on one of Margarita Adventures’ high-flying ziplines. Choose from multiple lines that cut through oak foliage and over vineyards at lighting-fast speeds, affording a unique aerial view of the breathtaking region.
With one main thoroughfare featuring a smattering of high-caliber wine tasting and dining options, this quiet community nestled against the train tracks offers the duality of fine dining and rustic outdoor excursions, including hiking trails and kayaking Santa Margarita Lake.
AtascaderoA Family Affair
There’s no limit to playtime at this all-ages hub for foodie fun and outdoor recreation.
There’s much to do under the towering majesty of Atascadero’s double domed 1918 rotunda building, including docent-led tours that shine light on “the colony’s” rich roots. New downtown restaurants and a booming craft cocktail, beer and cider scene will delight the parents, while kids will enjoy frollicking through Sunken Gardens with a frisbee and Fido.Read More About
Kids of all ages can get in touch with their wild side at Charles Paddock Zoo, home of a striped Malayan Tiger, Four Toed Hedgehog, Slender Tailed Meerkat and more monkeys than you can count. This five-acre zoo is more than a destination, it’s the only zoo of its kind on the Central Coast and a point of community pride.
At scenic Atascadero Lake Park, you're just steps from barbecue pits, volleyball courts, paddle boats and a wide open playground with room to roam. Check the schedule for events held at the park, including the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival in June.
TempletonSmall Town, Big Heart
Community spirit and a classic Main Street experience give this little town a whole lot of character.
With its quaint storefronts and antique silos, downtown Templeton will remind you of eras gone by with modern hospitality. Dine on farm-fresh fare, grab some down-home barbeque, or stop at a smattering of friendly wine tasting rooms. A fresh idea: shop the communitywide farmers’ market held each Saturday to experience the “howdy neighbor” vibe in action.Read More About
Get in the spirit: Don't miss this tight-knit community’s annual events, including a festive Fourth of July celebration and Founder’s Day parade, which pays homage to the town’s original residents with free pie for all. In the summer, stop by Templeton Community Park for a bevy of food and wine fests, as well as local live music concerts under the picturesque gazebo.
Paso RoblesWine Country Meets Cowboy Country
With more than 200 wineries, a happening fine dining scene, and a quaint walkable downtown, this friendly destination’s got impeccable taste.
Whether you prefer red, white, sparkling or rosé, Paso Robles is rife with wine tasting possibilities that will tickle your taste buds. Choose from hundreds of wine grape varietals and vintages in award-winning Paso Robles Wine Country before heading into this quaint, friendly California town.Read More About
Downtown Paso offers up joyful events, festivals and concerts in Downtown City Park throughout the year. More than a dozen walkable tasting rooms offering wine, cheeses and olive oil, while art galleries and boutiques stay open on first Saturday nights for Art After Dark.
Foodies rejoice with an impressive selection of farm-to-table restaurants that transform seasonal produce into something to write home about. Across the region, craft breweries, distilleries and hard cider purveyors add an exciting new pairing to your plate.
Experience the family-friendly thrills, food and animals of the California Mid-State Fair each summer. Take in live music under the oaks at Vina Robles Amphitheater each spring through fall and embark on agritourism adventures year-round. For the water worshiper, look no further than Lake Nacimiento for boating, swimming and fishing fun.