For an adrenaline-packed adventure, take an off-road ride on the otherworldly sand dunes of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. The last remaining coastal sand dunes are open to off-highway vehicles in California and provide an outdoor playground of about 1,500 acres (6 sq km) to off-roading enthusiasts. Its just a quick turn off PCH into a thrilling ride.
The ever-shifting sand means no two visits to the dunes are ever the same. Prevailing winds from the ocean push sand into wave-like crests that run north to south, creating gentle slopes on the west side of the crests and steeper slopes on the east side. Off-road vehicles crest the dunes and zip straight down or sideways and, at times, seemingly defy gravity. It’s a thrill-seeker’s paradise.
For a thrill ride, turn rent an ATV, real dune buggy or other off-road vehicles to help you explore the sand. Prefer to let someone else do the driving? Book a tour with an experienced driver at the wheel. No matter how you ride the dunes, you’ll be partaking in a rare California delight, complete with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.