A Central California Coast Vacation is a great chance to relax and drink in some of the most stunning scenery on the planet. Extending from Monterey Bay in the north to Santa Barbara in the south, the Central Coast offers a wide variety of experiences.
You'll find an abundance of romantic getaways for couples, and plenty of fun things to do for families. There are major attractions like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, and Hearst Castle.
Ride an ATV among the amazing Pismo Dunes, go horseback riding on coastal trails, stroll along broad sandy beaches or explore the tidepools in hidden coves.
Wine country tours are popular diversions on the central coast. You'll also find many art galleries and unique shops. Enjoy live theatre, music, festivals, and plenty of dining options. Accommodations for your central coast vacation include simple budget motels, cozy bed and breakfasts, and luxury resorts and spas.
Big Sur is, without a doubt, the most scenic spot on the California coast. For generations, this rugged coastline has been a magnet for artists, poets and writers. It will, no doubt, bring out the poetry in your soul as well. It has that effect on people. Stop at one of the many scenic turnouts along Highway 1 and you'll understand.
Wildlife is a big attraction in this corner of California. Whale watching tours are popular, and you're very likely to see many dolphins, seals and sea otters as well. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, with its abundant sea life, is a prime spot for divers.
Bird watching is a popular pastime. Morro Bay even holds a bird festival every January. And if you head to Pismo Beach or Pacific Grove during the winter months, you'll enjoy the spectacle of thousands of Monarch butterflies overwintering in the pine and eucalyptus groves.
Beach activities include swimming, surfing, kayaking, fishing, sailing, hiking, bicycling, tidepooling, ATV riding, parasailing...
Or (my personal favorite) just being.
Check out the links below for more ideas for your central California coast vacation. Listings are ordered from north to south.