Pismo Beach Pier
Those who like to stay active and enjoy the outdoors will want to take advantage of the many San Luis Obispo State Parks. The park system is divided into two regions, North Coast and South Coast, with each region containing six parks in total. The parks in each region offer something different. Those who like to experience the great outdoors firsthand are able to camp among the famous California Redwoods. Those who like to get wet will want to grab a surfboard and hit one of the many San Luis Obispo beaches. Thrill-seekers will want to rent an ATV and tear up the miles of sand dunes that run along the Central California Coast.
A few of the activities offered at the San Luis Obispo State Parks include:
- Bird Watching
A visit to one of the state parks in San Luis Obispo is the perfect way to experience the unique climate and geography of the Central California Coast. The parks cater to those who like to casually experience the outdoors and to those who are all in and consider themselves thrill-seekers. Whether it's bird watching or tearing down a sand dune in an ATV, the San Luis Obispo State Parks have got you covered. Admission to many of the parks is free, and some of them are located near other top San Luis Obispo attractions, such as Downtown Pismo Beach. Fun fact: The iconic Hearst Castle is actually a California State Park and is located in the North Coast region!
Beaches Near SLO
The San Luis Obispo beaches are among some of the best in California with everything from fast surf breaks to expansive family-friendly beaches that vary according to which part of the area you're in. If you want to experience white sand and surf, then Pismo Beach is for you and for those who want to see the rugged California Coast at its finest, take a drive up north to Big Sur.
Surfing and sunbathing can be done on many of the San Luis Obispo beaches. There are local surf shops where you can schedule a lesson or rent a surfboard. Many of the San Luis Obispo beachfront hotels offer beach gear to their guests, including chairs, towels and umbrellas.
Those looking to catch a little more than sun will want to grab a rod and try their hand at fishing off of one of the many piers. It seems like nearly every SLO beach has a pier, and almost all piers are fisher-friendly and don't require a license. Even if you aren't big on fishing, these piers are the perfect place to watch the surfers or to take an evening stroll.
If thrills are your thing, then you'll want to hit the San Luis Obispo sand dunes. The Oceano Dunes and Pismo Beach are two places in SLO where you can rent an ATV and experience the thrills of a high-powered beach cruise. There's nothing quite like tearing down a sand dune only to see the Pacific Ocean on the other side.
Many of the San Luis Obispo beaches are located next to quaint beach towns, which makes them perfect for a day getaway. You can visit the beach during the day and then hit the cafes and shops of towns such as Pismo Beach and Avila Beach once night rolls around.
With all the San Luis Obispo attractions to check out, it's safe to say you'll have a tough time finding free time on your next trip to the Central California coast. San Luis Obispo is the perfect marriage of country and coast, with the Pacific Ocean and the San Luis Obispo wine country never more than a few miles away. With incredible hiking and biking trails, miles of rolling hills covered in vineyards and stunning state parks, the attractions in San Luis Obispo focus on the natural beauty of this incredible area.
Editor's Choice Attractions
A natural wetland preserve filled with dozens of endangered species!
The Morro Bay Estuary is a great place for those who love wildlife in all its forms. The wetlands are home to tons of birds, many of which are endangered species.
Arroyo Grande wine country embodies SLO spirit!
Arroyo Grande's Wine Country invites visitors and locals alike to experience the rich palette of wines made possible through San Luis Obispo's exceptionally temperate climate.
Taste some of the finest wine in the world in San Luis Obispo!
Beautiful scenery, history and friendly people are just a few of the things that make the San Luis Obispo Wine Country a must-visit on your next trip to California's central coast.
Soak up the history of beautiful Hearst Castle!
Hearst Castle is one of the most popular destinations in San Luis Obispo, California. Famous for its historical tours, Hearst Castle also boasts beautiful grounds, gardens and pools.
Experience the ruggedness and beauty of the Central California coast!
Big Sur is one of the most sparsely populated and beautiful areas in all of California. Its hidden beaches, breathtaking hiking trails and unbeatable views make it a prime place to visit.