San Luis Obispo Beaches

The city of San Luis Obispo is arguably the best option for where to stay when planning a vacation on California’s central coast. It is the hub of San Luis Obispo County and offers proximity to a number of great beaches, wineries, golf courses, and more. There are around 44,000 people that reside in San Luis Obispo California, and some 20,000 students flood in every year to attend classes at California Polytechnic State University, which is adjacent to the city. As is true in most college towns, San Luis Obispo boasts hip shops, cool cafes and restaurants, and its fair share of bars. Commonly referred to as simply San Luis, San Luis Obispo is for all intents and purposes located equidistant from San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the smaller cities of Monterey and Santa Barbara.

The San Luis Obispo beaches, which begin just twelve miles to the west, are not actually part of the city. Instead, they pertain to other cities and beach communities in the county, but since they are so close, they certainly figure among the overall attractions in San Luis Obispo. Among them are Avila Beach, which has undergone a transformation and is now better than ever, and Pismo Beach, which offers a number of recreational opportunities. Other San Luis Obispo beaches include those found at Morro Bay, the Cayucos State Park, and Grover Beach. These beaches enjoy a pleasant climate, but aren’t exactly the best for swimming, as the water is cooler than what you will find at the southern California beaches. There are plenty of other things to do at the San Luis Obispo beaches besides swimming, and among them are surfing, hiking, horseback-riding, sea kayaking, and birding. Morro Bay Beach is an excellent place to do some birding, especially in the winter months, as some 70 species of migratory birds nest there during the winter season. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months at most of the area beaches, and when the weather heats up, some swimmers don’t mind the cooler water temps. Just remember that the surf can be pretty rambunctious at the San Luis Obispo beaches, so you’ll want to exercise care.

Fishing is another thing that you can do at some of the beaches near San Luis Obispo California, and both Pismo Beach and Cayucos have piers where you can cast your line directly into the ocean below. Windsurfing, scuba diving, and sailing are other outdoor sports to enjoy when visiting San Luis Obispo, and when you’re tuckered out after a long day of fun in the sun, you can always hit an area spa to rejuvenate both body and soul. While hiking on the many trails along the central coast is a pleasure, the two hills that back San Luis are also ideal for hiking. These hills are Bishop Peak and Cerro San Luis, and in addition to hiking, they are also prime destinations for mountain biking and wildlife viewing. Should you need equipment for enjoying sporting activities while visiting San Luis Obispo California, there are places where you can rent what you need. At Shell Beach, for example, you can rent a kayak and join locals in the water. Sightseeing from a kayak is a great way to take in the breathtaking landscape.

Because of the wide variety of attractions in San Luis Obispo and the surrounding area, many visitors to the region base themselves here. There are more accommodation options in town than anywhere else in the vicinity, and the city is quite charming, which is a bonus. A number of yearly festivals are held in San Luis Obispo, and should you visit during one of them, you will want reserve a hotel room, campsite, or vacation rental in advance when possible. Among the top annual events here are the July Mozart Festival, the Cinco de Mayo festivities, and the Tour of California, which is a bicycle race that takes place in February. The Tour of California is not exclusive to San Luis, but the city is found along the route between the starting point in the Bay Area and the finishing point in Los Angeles.

Various tours figure among the attractions in San Luis Obispo, and for those who want to cycle on their own, the area biking tours are ideal. Other popular tours include eco tours and driving tours. The former often involve learning about local agricultural techniques, while the latter usually include a visit to the wineries in Paso Robles and Santa Ynez. Hearst Castle, which is found to the north in San Simeon, is also a popular destination for driving tours, and this central California estate is not to be missed if you have the time and funds to arrange a trip on the side.

San Luis Obispo California is an excellent family vacation destination, and among the attractions in San Luis Obispo that families will not want to pass on is the Children’s Museum, which was recently remodeled. The Children’s Museum offers both outdoor and indoor activities that cover a range of subjects and topics, and since many of the exhibits here are interactive, kids can enjoy a real hands-on approach to learning.

Compare Travel Sites and Save!

Lake Casitas

Lake Casitas

Lake Casitas is the name of a large reservoir that can be found near the coas...

Yosemite National Park Icon-360-sm


Yosemite is one of the most visited attractions in California. Pe...

California Forum

More Forum Posts »