Start off your vacation with a trip to munch on fresh fruit and pies and pet some friendly animals. Avila Valley Barn is perfect for a morning of fun complete with tractor rides around the farm. During spring months, the kids will love to pick their own berries straight from the vine. From August-October pick juicy apples and in October, wander around the pumpkin patch finding that perfect jack-o-lantern. Stroll through the shop to find local products of all kinds and don’t leave without enjoying fresh apple cider, roasted corn on the cob and a slice of homemade pie.
Travel just minutes down the road and you'll find Avila Beach. Rent an electric bike at Pedego and cruise the Bob Jones Trail. Spend the afternoon basking in the sun and playing in the waves. Be sure to stop by the Central Coast Aquarium for interactive exhibits, touch pools and swell sharks. Or, hop into some kayaks and explore the bay and Point San Luis Lighthouse. Grab lunch at one of the beachside restaurants and maybe pop into a tasting room to savor a different fruit of SLO CAL's labor.
Head to the famous Madonna Inn for a morning trail ride through the beautiful hills of San Luis Obispo. Grab the reins and get ready for stunning views of Cerro San Luis, Bishop Peak and the surrounding San Luis Obispo area. Be sure to wear closed toed shoes, long pants and bring layers.
Don't travel too far for lunch! Feel like you are stepping into a fairytale as you enter the Madonna Inn Copper Cafe. Experience an ambiance like no other with hand-painted walls, elegantly carved wood pieces, copper tables and so much more. Try the world famous pink champagne cake, or one of the many other flavors nothing shy of fabulous. Before you go, be sure to check out the men’s bathroom for a unique surprise.
Head to downtown San Luis Obispo and leave mark! Grab a piece of bubblegum and add to the famous Bubblegum Alley, located in the 700 block of Higuera Street. While the origins of this phenomena are unknown, today nobody questions taking part in this wonderfully icky tradition.
Continuing throughout the downtown area, you will find everything you never knew you were looking for. Find everything from large retailers such as H&M, Sephora and Lululemon to small boutique shops carrying local products perfect to take home. Peruse art galleries, kitchen stores, bookstores and more before stopping to see a bit of California history at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Toddlers and youngsters will love to spend some time at the San Luis Obispo Children's Museum where curiosity meets fun-filled exploration. Refuel at lively coffee shops, bars and restaurants before moving onto your next stop. Check out all of the dining in San Luis Obispo.
Nothing says family fun better than a day at the zoo! The Charles Paddock Zoo is the only zoo on the Central Coast and is committed to the care and conservation of both local and exotic species. Be sure to check out calendar for fun events like the Ice Crean Zoofari, Cookie Adventure, Earth Day Celebration, Zoo Boo and Holiday Magic. The zoo is located at Atascadero Lake Park, in Atascadero.
Also in Atascadero Lake Park is a playground, barbeque areas, horseshoe pits, a sand volleyball court, and paddle boats and kayaks to rent. Enjoy the rest of your day having outdoor fun with the family and playing on the lake! On a nice day a picnic here is highly recommended.
Explore the 127 acres of terraced gardens, fountains, and pools, and choose from a variety of tours to explore the marvelous 165-roomed Hearst Castle. Started in 1919, Hearst Castle has truly unique architecture, history, and beauty, making it a one of a kind museum.
Just 5 miles north of Hearst Castle is one of the best places to view elephant seals in all of California, Elephant Seal Vista Point. Here you will see elephant seals flopping around on the sand, snoozing in the sun, males battling for prime beach real estate and even females giving birth. While elephant seals can be seen here year around, the best times to view them are November through February.
Fun Family Events in SLO CAL:
Late Spring - Summer: Catch a SLO Blues Baseball Game
April - Morro Bay Kite Festival
May - Arroyo Grande Strawberry Festival
June - Pismo Beach Classic Car Show
July - Fourth of July & California Mid-State Fair
November - December: Holiday events abound in SLO CAL. From a lighted boat parade in Morro Bay, Scrooge at Vine Street Victorian Showcase in Paso Robles and thousands of twinkling lights at the Cambria Christmas Market.