San Luis Obispo county is known as a vacation destination all by itself. When you join us on race weekend, you’ll want to plan a couple extra days into your vacation to make the most of your time on the Central Coast. Whether you’re looking to see the sights or just relax by the beach, here are a few ideas for taking your City to the Sea experience beyond the finish line.
1. Shop Pismo Beach and SLO
From multi-colored toe socks to locally made art, downtown San Luis Obispo and downtown Pismo Beach both offer a memorable shopping experience in a beautiful setting for anyone looking to spend an hour to a full day cruising around town.
2. Have a bonfire at the beach
Spend an evening roasting s’mores while listening to the waves crash on the beach. Near the Avila Pier, Avila Beach offers dedicated fire pits for parties small or large. On a weekend evening you’ll want to arrive early to grab one of the pits, as there are only a few of them and open fires are not allowed on the beach.
3. Explore Cal Poly and Cuesta
Cal Poly and Cuesta College, one of the top 4-year universities and junior colleges on the West Coast respectively, are worth exploring. At Cal Poly, we recommend checking out the University Union, Robert E. Kennedy Library, and College of Engineering.
4. Visit Hearst Castle
Just an hour up Highway 1 is one of the most impressive displays of architecture, art, history, and wealth. Built by media mogul William Randolph Hearst, Hearst Castle is now a California State Park. Various tours are available, and advance reservations are recommended.
5. Drink coffee
For coffee connoisseurs, San Luis Obispo is a haven. Small cafes grace nearly every block in downtown and beyond. An entire weekend could be made of tasting coffee, tea and treats throughout town. Some cafes also have live music on the weekends.
6. Go surfing
Bring your boards! Excellent surfing can be found at Pismo Beach, Montana de Oro State Park near Los Osos, and in Morro Bay. Generally Pismo is known for a laid back atmosphere and lighter surf, while Morro Bay can have overhead waves and more technical currents. Be aware that no matter where you go, the water will be pretty cold. If you want to learn to surf or need to rent boards, check out the surf shops and guide services in downtown Pismo Beach. A simple Google search of “pismo surf lessons” will get you started.
7. Walk the farmer’s market
San Luis Obispo’s farmer’s market happens each Thursday night on the streets of downtown. The event carries an upbeat vibe that gives it an exciting feel each and every week. There’s live music and performing arts, incredible barbecue, and of course fresh produce in a diversity that can only be found on the Central Coast.