Pismo Beach

Mini vacation: 8 things to do on the Central Coast

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If you’re coming from out of town to run City to the Sea, there’s a good chance you’re planning on turning the trip into a mini vacation. Luckily, the Central Coast is the perfect place – packed with awesome stuff to do before and after the race. Read on for a list of ideas for exploring Pismo Beach and surrounding areas of the Central Coast.

But before we get into the list, here’s a beautiful highlight video from our sponsor VisitorTV.

Without further adieu, a few things to do:

1. Spend the day at the beach
Pismo Beach and Avila Beach are both great options. Both are close to the race course, and both are surrounded by excellent shopping and dining. If you plan to be on the water, Avila is best for sea kayaking while Pismo is known for its surfing. Equipment rentals can be found in town near each of these beaches.

2. Go golfing
There are multiple award-winning golf courses within a half-hour drive of the race course, including Cypress Ridge in Arroyo Grande, Monarch Dunes and Blacklake in Nipomo, and Avila Beach Golf Resort in Avila.

3. Explore the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes
The dunes are a beautiful and often overlooked piece of the Central Coast. Head south to see these amazing creations and the wildlife that inhabits them. If you are there when the visitor center is open (Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm), you’ll also learn about the interesting history of the dunes, including the movies that were shot there in the 1920s.

4. Go wine tasting
The Central Coast is renowned for its wines. With so many micro-climates from Arroyo Grande to Paso Robles, you’ll be sure to find a varietal that suits your fancy.

5. Visit Hearst Castle
Hearst Castle is a must-see attraction for everyone who passes through the Central Coast. Head north on Highway 1 for a beautiful drive along the coastline. Hearst Castle is stunningly beautiful and filled with remarkable history.

6. Go shopping
From the outlets in Pismo to the shops in downtown San Luis Obispo, the Central Coast is a shopper’s paradise. You’ll find everything from high-end furniture to quirky vintage clothing to (of course) gear for the beach.

7. See a show
There are three major live-show venues in the area. The Great American Melodrama in Oceano, just south of Pismo, is always a fun time. The Clark Center in Arroyo Grande has a rotating calendar of high quality shows. And the Performing Arts Center on the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo hosts top talent from around the world.

8. Sleep by the ocean
Finally, make the absolute most of your race weekend by falling asleep to the Pacific Ocean crashing against the bluffs of Shell Beach. The Shore Cliff Lodge is perched on a scenic bluff less than a mile from the City to the Sea finish line and offers the perfect home base for a weekend of adventure, or just a couple of days relaxing in the sun.

Bonus: a live beach cam, courtesy of Martin Resorts.

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