Play in San Luis Obispo County
Great Outdoor Adventure Activities throughout San Luis Obispo County
San Luis Obispo County Family Trip Idea
San Luis Obispo County is your destination to experience Pure Play in California. It is the place where people come to immerse themselves in the great outdoors - state parks and beaches, a national monument, fresh water lakes, bays and estuaries, and the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Completing the outdoor experience are the many activities and adventures available in this coastal wonderland.
Visitors will find an array of attractions and activities from environmentally sensitive public lands that have been preserved for future generations to enjoy to incredible wildlife viewing opportunities, especially in winter.
San Luis Obispo County Dunes
On the first day, drive to the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area located just off Highway 1 in Grover Beach. It is the only state park in California where cars may drive and camp on the beach. Located within the 15,000-acre Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes complex, Oceano Dunes is considered to be the most extensive coastal dunes remaining in California. Riding the dunes in an ATV, Hummer or other type of off-road vehicle is a popular activity at Oceano Dunes SVRA, and rentals and tours are available. www.oceanodunes.org or www.parks.ca.gov
Another very popular activity is horseback riding on the beach, but you can also try clamming or riding your bicycle on the sandy shoreline.
Ziplining in San Luis Obispo County
Margarita Adventures offers a uniquely thrilling perspective on a true California landmark-the historic Santa Margarita Ranch in the Paso Robles wine country. Here, you will embark on four distinct ziplines spanning more than 3,000 total feet, starting with an epic 1,300-foot valley crossing and finishing with forested vineyard views. Along the way, you will learn about the ranch's remarkable natural features and role as part of California's famed Mission Trail. Your tour concludes in the historic hamlet of Santa Margarita, where you will sample wines from the ranch.
Margarita Adventures is a family-friendly experience for nearly all ages. The tours delve into history, nature, and sustainable ranching and winegrowing practices, providing an exciting educational backdrop to the breathtaking zipline canopy rides. Margarita Adventures ultimately offers a memorable bonding experience for the entire family. www.margarita-adventures.com
Hiking in San Luis Obispo County
Discovering on Foot
San Luis Obispo County's largest state park, the 8,000-acre Montaña de Oro State Park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, tidepools, seven miles of coastline, streams, canyons, and hills, including 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. Naturalists and backpackers enjoy the solitude and freedom found along the park's trails. There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails. Spooner's Cove, located across from the campground, is the park's most popular beach. The park's name, "Mountain of Gold," comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring. Wildlife in the park includes black tailed deer and the black oystercatcher. Primitive and equestrian camping is available. www.parks.ca.gov
Another hiking alternative is Bishop's Peak, one of San Luis Obispo's most scenic mountains and the tallest of the series of volcanic peaks known as the "Nine Sisters." Or, if you're seeking solitude explore the many hiking trails found at Carrizo Plain National Monument.
Biking in San Luis Obispo County
Touring on Two Wheels
Whether you are into mountain biking or cruising on your touring bike, there is a trail for you in San Luis Obispo County. The bike-only Bob Jones City to the Sea Trail is a popular paved trail in Avila Beach, and there are miles of country backroads to explore. If you prefer mountain biking, Montaña de Oro State Park features some of the best single track riding in California with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
Another popular day time pursuit is exploring the scenic Paso Robles or San Luis Obispo's Edna Valley/Arroyo Grande wine country by bicycle. To help plan a San Luis Obispo County bicycling adventure, 14 different bike maps can be downloaded from www.sanluisobispocounty.com.
San Luis Obispo County Beaches
Fun on the Water
San Luis Obispo County's 80 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline provide access to exceptional surfing, windsurfing, boogie boarding and deep sea fishing opportunities. Morro Bay is the ideal spot for both first timers and seasoned paddlers, and a canoe or kayak is the perfect vantage point to view wildlife in the estuary and nearby Morro Rock. Rent a kayak and see how many different birds and seals you can count!
Inland lakes such as Lake Nacimiento, Santa Margarita Lake and Lopez Lake offer fresh water fun, such as boating, waterskiing, windsurfing and fishing.
Golfing in San Luis Obispo County
Tee it Up
Accessibility, affordable green fees, courses to fit all skill levels and spectacular scenery combine to make San Luis Obispo County the year-round golf destination. Fourteen San Luis Obispo County golf courses offer visitors a range of choices including Blacklake Resort, a course that is often referred to as "every man's Pebble Beach;" River Oaks, a one-of-a-kind 6-hole course with three pods per hole for all levels; Dairy Creek, a course featuring a links-style layout reminiscent of St. Andrews; Cypress Ridge, a Peter Jacobsen Signature course that is also certified as a Signature Sanctuary by Audubon International; and Hunter Ranch, a golf course ideally situated among lush, ancient oak groves on rolling hills. The San Luis Obispo County Golf Trail program allows golfers to go online to book tee times, view a map of 14 area golf courses and a list of amenities. www.slocountygolftrail.com