There’s something for every age and stage here.
Whether you’re young or young at heart, the words “spring break” evoke a kind of wanderlust that’s impossible to deny. After the hibernation of winter, most of us want to get on the road, bound for a warm and welcoming destination. But where?
Here in SLO CAL, you’ll find activities for every kind of spring breaker. Looking to explore with the family? Find plenty of fun for the whole gang to enjoy, from belly laughs and arcade games to petting zoos and paddling. What about college students? SLO CAL boasts lots of shreddy surf spots, Instagram-worthy vistas, and craft breweries to keep you busy. For the group of friends looking for a stress-free getaway, we have self-care options galore, whether that means spas, yoga, fresh dining, or pottery classes and rooftop bars. And empty nesters? We’ve got you covered, too. Go birding along the Pacific Flyway, golf any number of championship courses, and taste award-winning wines right where they’re made.
See? SLO CAL has a spring break for everyone. Choose your preferred style, and start planning with our suggestions.
For FamiliesBack to Top of List
A family trip to remember.
Frolic in some of the family-friendliest spots on the West Coast — just remember to pack your sense of adventure
First things first: get out on the water! Take the family to the Morro Bay National Estuary and rent kayaks by the hour from the Kayak Shack. See the oyster farms, seabirds, and maybe even spot an otter or two. Afterward, grab lunch at High Street Deli in Los Osos-Baywood, where the sandwiches are stellar, and the back bay offers a good spot for kids to frolic. Drive to the Piedras Blancas Northern Elephant Seal Rookery in San Simeon and witness the circle of life as elephant seals fight, mate, deliver babies and nurse their young before your very eyes.
Farmers markets occur year-round here, in every community, every day of the week, and often include live entertainment in addition to just-picked produce and prepared food. Atascadero’s Sunken Gardens provide one of the most picturesque town greens in California, perfect for tossing the frisbee or flying a kite — plus this spot is begging for a family picnic. And when mom and dad get thirsty, walk around the corner to Wild Fields Brewing where parents can enjoy a pint while kids play arcade games.
Adventure & Fun
At Lighthouse Suites in Pismo Beach, parents and kids alike can enjoy the safe, gated game deck, which offers a pirate ship play structure, mini-golf, badminton, life-size chess and checkers, hopscotch, ping pong, and board games. Another sort of play is available at the Vista Lago Adventure Park at Lake Lopez, outside Arroyo Grande. Here, visitors of all ages can complete ropes courses at varying levels of difficulty and height, plus three zip lines totaling 1,800 feet in length. Strollers, scooters, and bikes cruise along the Bob Jones Bike Trail, a three-mile paved path that passes Woodstone Market and ends at Avila Beach. Afterward, head to the Avila Valley Barn for fresh produce, sweet treats, hayrides, and a petting zoo of adorable farm animals. And for live theater, hit the Great American Melodrama in Oceano, a spot that will entertain and dazzle the entire family (yes: even the moodiest of teens will crack a smile.)
For College StudentsBack to Top of List
The college student’s best spring break. Ever.
Pics or it didn’t happen? Not a problem. SLO CAL’s beaches, clean-plate eateries, and nightlife are all totally worthy of the ‘Gram.
With 80 miles of coastline, SLO CAL is a surfer’s paradise. Choose from easy waves in Avila Beach to advanced-shredders-only waves at Hazards surf spot in Montana de Oro State Park in Los Osos. Get your adrenaline pumping again with Margarita Adventures in Santa Margarita. For each two-hour zipline tour, they offer six ziplines that soar up to 1,800 feet above ground, passing over vineyards along the way. Looking for a different kind of thrill? Mountain bikers recognize SLO CAL as a top destination for bombing downhill: Ontario Ridge in Avila Beach, West Cuesta Ridge in San Luis Obispo, and Montana de Oro State Park are all favorite spots. (For those more interested in cruising, check out BoltAbout in Avila Beach for electric bike rentals.)
Go out wine tasting at trendy wineries like Booker in Paso Robles or Baileyana in Edna Valley. Is beer more your thing? With nearly 40 craft breweries, the SLO CAL Brewery Trail will have you sipping on crisp lagers to weighty stouts, and all styles in between.
When the sun goes down, downtown SLO lights up with restaurants, bars, theaters and music venues. For concerts, head to the historic Fremont Theater or ideal acoustics at SLO Brew The Rock in San Luis Obispo, the outdoor Vina Robles Amphitheater in Paso Robles, or the intimate club feel of The Siren in Morro Bay.
With our year-round abundance of produce, it’s easy to eat clean here in SLO CAL. Try superfood smoothies, salads, juices and bowls at VirtJuice in Arroyo Grande. In San Luis Obispo, Seeds offers detox and immunity juice packs, plus specialty toasts, panini, salads and bowls. Ziggy’s in SLO and Paso Robles is beloved for its delicious vegan burgers, tacos, desserts and more. And for an entirely gluten-free menu, Hidden Kitchen in Cambria and Cayucos serves inventive sweet and savory blue corn waffles.
When night falls, don’t miss the sunset at Pismo State Beach. At the Grand Avenue entrance, bring firewood, blankets, guitars and hand drums for an old-fashioned beach bonfire. Here and elsewhere, selfie opportunities abound: wildflowers on the Carrizo Plain in spring; the mural inside Scout Coffee on Foothill Boulevard in SLO; the Architecture Graveyard on the Cal Poly University campus; and the “Million Dollar View” of Big Sur in Ragged Point.
For FriendsBack to Top of List
A stress-free self-care getaway for friends.
Sometimes you just gotta get outta Dodge. In SLO CAL, we have all the makings of a relaxing, be-here-now trip for you and your crew.
Shopping the local downtowns never disappoints. Hit the Village of Arroyo Grande, downtown San Luis Obispo, City Park in Paso Robles and Main Street in Cambria. Public markets like the Paso Marketwalk and San Luis Obispo Public Market also offer terrific shopping and culinary delights.
Health & Wellness
For a bit of quiet pampering, try treatments from the spas at Dolphin Bay in Shell Beach, Hotel Cerro in San Luis Obispo, and the Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles. Take a yoga class at Harmony House Yoga in Pismo Beach, Omni Studio in Morro Bay, The Center in SLO, or Dharma Yoga Loft in Paso Robles — even better, follow it with a soak in Avila Beach’s historic hot springs at Sycamore Mineral Springs.
Beaches perfect for sunbathing include Cayucos State Beach, Eldwayen Ocean Park in Shell Beach, and Spooner’s Cove in Los Osos. If bonding over learning a new skill interests you, take a pottery class at Anam Cre in San Luis Obispo, surf lessons through Van Curaza Surf School in Avila Beach, or cooking classes at Refugio Kitchen in Paso Robles.
As for drinks, you have many choices. Come together for wine tasting at a gathering-friendly winery like Biddle Ranch in the Edna Valley or Epoch Estate on Paso Robles’s West Side. SLO CAL has become home to several rooftop bars in recent years, including Tetto Bar at The Piccolo in Paso Robles, High Bar at Hotel SLO, and The Rooftop at Inn at the Pier in Pismo Beach. And during after-hours, you can always find late-night bars like Sidecar Cocktail Company, The Nightcap, and Highwater in SLO, or the 1122 Speakeasy in Paso Robles.
For Empty-NestersBack to Top of List
A self-indulgent trip (finally!) after the kids have flown the coop.
Time to do it *your* way. Take in the splendor of SLO CAL however you please (preferably footloose-and fancy-free).
Get Out & About
On a trip planned just for you, start outdoors. In spring, travel to the hillsides east of Santa Margarita to view the famously vibrant wildflowers of Carizzo Plain National Monument. Birders, bring your binoculars: the Morro Coast Audubon Society manages the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in Los Osos-Baywood Park, where birders have seen hundreds of bird species. Or if you’d rather be on the ocean, Avila Beach Whale Watching or Morro Bay Whale Watching will take you out to see whales and their young feeding or migrating through the area. (Or take a tour on the Chablis, the boat restaurant that cruises Morro Bay, serving brunch and dinner.) Golfers will delight in several top-flight courses, including Hunter Ranch in Paso Robles, Monarch Dunes in Arroyo Grande, and the Avila Beach Golf Resort.
History & Culture
History buffs can easily explore a wealth of SLO CAL’s well-preserved historical sites. These include historic homes like W.R. Hearst’s La Cuesta Encantada in San Simeon, also known as Hearst Castle, the Dallidet Adobe in San Luis Obispo and the E.G. Lewis Home in Atascadero. Other destinations include the Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Simeon, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and Mission San Miguel Arcangel, and the Hoosegow Jail in Arroyo Grande. Looking to purchase a bit of the past? SLO CAL boasts myriad antique stores; find them all on our convenient Antique Trail.
Food & Entertainment
Get to know SLO CAL’s real flavor with a food tour of San Luis Obispo with Taste of SLO. Afterward, try SLO CAL’s most established and stately wineries like Stolo Family Vineyard in Cambria; Niner Wine Estates and Daou Vineyards in Paso Robles, and Villa San Juliette in San Miguel; and Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande. Multi-course menus with wine and beer pairings bring entertainment and education to the dining experience at restaurants like Somm’s Kitchen and Six Test Kitchen in Paso Robles; and Pair With at Dead Oak Brewery in Atascadero. And for a wonderful bit of culture to cap off a flavor-filled day, visit the Libretto Jazz Club in downtown Paso Robles for live music.
SLO CAL can meet your needs for a fun, relaxing, stimulating and stress-free spring break. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your getaway now: whatever your stage in life, however you like to travel, SLO CAL has just the trip for you.