Exploring San Luis Obispo County and Driving Tours that will show you around
When it all comes down to it, San Luis Obispo County’s landscape is as diverse as it is breathtaking. From its green hills, majestic ancient oaks and row upon row of vines stretching into the distance to the ragged cliffs, sun baked beaches and hidden coves, you could spends years and still find new things to discover. That’s some great appeal and that’s why we love the SLO life.
Located in the heart of it all, San Luis Obispo is the perfect jumping off point and here are some tastes to whet your pallet as you decide where you want to go today.
The home of Hearst Castle, ginormous elephant seals, ragged cliffs jutting out into the ocean and the lighthouse namesake of the 1959 movie “The Monster of Piedras Blancas”. There is no-better ending point for a SLO coastal tour.
The village of Cambria is chock-a-block with artist studios, antiques, locally made crafts and a growing number of winery tasting rooms. Round that off with a house made completely of rubbish and it’s a good day trip destination.
With a population of 18, Harmony can’t even register as a Hamlet. Harmony is home to a pottery shop, a glass works studio and, being located in SLO County, a winery which when the tasting room is full exceeds the population of the town.
If ever there was a place to wax up the long board, strap it to the top of a woodie wagon and cruise over for a weekend at the beach, Cayucos would be it. This small beach town looks as if it was plucked from the 1950’s and strategically placed on a stretch of the Central Coast’s finest real estate.
Morro Bay comes complete with a fisherman’s wharf and in turn one of the best fresh fish markets in the county, deep sea fishing tours, kayak rentals, antique shops, bayside dinning and one very large namesake rock alerting everyone that they have arrived in one of California’s most iconic locations.
Los Osos / Montana De Oro
Looking for outdoors? Los Osos is home to the Elfin Forest, a 90-acre natural area for hiking, and is the gateway to Montana De Oro State Park which offers camping, hiking, mountain biking, surfing, beaches, beautiful vistas as well as equestrian trails and campsites.
The small town of Avila Beach is tucked out of the way and is often referred to as the ‘local’s beach’. This is in no way a reflection of what it has to offer. With miles of beach, boutique shopping, gourmet restaurants and a beautifully restored lighthouse the only thing Avila lacks is the crowd.
Pismo Beach/Shell Beach
These two beach cities are the quintessential classic California beach towns. Full of kitschy local shops, a range of eateries, some of the most popular surf spots in the county as well as one huge Fourth of July party, it’s amazing what fun you can have on this stretch of coastline.
Be sure to make the village of Arroyo Grande one of your destination stops. This charming downtown is filled with boutique shops, local restaurants, parks and chickens which mosey around the streets.
The finest and most extensive coastal sand dunes in California provide an impressive playground for off-highway enthusiasts as well as surfers, campers, surf anglers and campers. Oceano is also home to one of the most entertaining old school melodramas in California.
This rural community on the southernmost edge of San Luis Obispo County offers all the fun of rural life with horseback riding through beautiful eucalyptus groves, hiking through peaceful dunes and one of the most popular barbeque joints in the area. On top of that it is home to lush world class golf courses.
Anchored by the late 1700’s San Miguel Arcangel mission on its southern border, the rural town of San Miguel is not as sleepy as it may appear. Among the many cattle ranches in the surrounding area numerous wineries have started populating the rolling hillsides.
This is wine country. With more than 180 wineries ranging from the big global players to the boutique cellars pouring in tasting rooms or one of the signature wine festivals, this is what you came here for. That is unless you came for the California MidState Fair, world class bicycle rally, massive equestrian events or the plethora of other events.
One of the biggest farmers markets in the county belongs to the rustic town of Templeton. And why not, this rich agricultural land is loaded with grain, almond, cherry and apple farms not to mention ranches, prestigious horse shows and, being located in North County, local wines.
Visit over 100 animals in San Luis Obispo County’s only zoo and take a paddle boat out on Atascadero Lake all in one stop. Play a round of disk golf on your way to the links or head over for some wine tasting as well as some of the county’s best south of the border cuisine all in the heart of Atascadero.
Stoplights? There isn’t even a stop sign slowing your cruise through this town. Santa Margarita may look like a one horse town but between the beer and wine tasting, the lake just up the road and the ziplining these cowboys have a lot to offer.
The heart of San Luis Obispo wine country sits here in quaint Edna Valley. Surrounded by coastal hills and blanketed with miles of vineyards with tasting rooms hidden down dirt roads this is where your wine country tour begins, just five miles from downtown SLO.
|Driving Tours of San Luis Obispo County|
San Luis Obispo, located in the heart of the county, is a perfect starting point for exploring the north, south, inland and along the shore.
Whether you enjoy group tours or exploring on your own, San Luis Obispo County has more to see than you could ever imagine.
To find out more about what the surrounding area has to offer, pick one of the driving tours below.
Each tour takes just a few minutes to research, but allow three to six hours for each if you travel them by car. Of course that all depends upon how fast you drive and how many times you stop. Don't rush! These great escapes will still be here on your next visit to the Central Coast.
This tour features Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Oceano Dunes and Oso Flaco Lake.
This tour features Santa Margarita, Atascadero, Templeton and Paso Robles Wine Country.
This tour features Morro Bay, Cambria and Hearst Castle.
All are Chamber members providing goods and services.
|Here are some ideas to help with your planning...|
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