Local Treats, Best Beaches, & Activities

Paul

Local Treats, Best Beaches, & Activities

Beach
Here is a listing of some of our favorite beach spots in the area. Just a heads up to check the daily weather report for wind and temperature. Here are a few things to keep in mind to have an amazing day at the beach: 1 - Wind Miles Per Hour - If the wind is above 14 mph, you're probably going to be cold. 2 - Micro-climate - the wind speed, cloud coverage, and even temperature vary from beach-to-beach. Some beaches are warmer than others. Pismo Beach and Oceano are generally windier. 3 - Marine layer - Sometimes our beaches have a marine layer that generally burns off by noon.
One of the off the beaten path locations that aren't as crowed is the cove on the edge of Pismo Beach. You can park for free with access to clean public restroom. The public parking places are on the south end of the parking lot of Inn at the Cove. Please note that walking down to the cove is a little more strenuous than other beach locations.
2651 Price St
2651 Price Street
One of the off the beaten path locations that aren't as crowed is the cove on the edge of Pismo Beach. You can park for free with access to clean public restroom. The public parking places are on the south end of the parking lot of Inn at the Cove. Please note that walking down to the cove is a little more strenuous than other beach locations.
We love this beach for the convenience factor. You can drive right onto the beach and not have to battle for parking or drag your stuff a half mile. Please note that if you don't have a 4x4 vehicle and drive off the well-worn tracks, you risk getting stuck. Cost is only $5 for the day. There is a public restroom that's not always the cleanest. Please note that this beach is generally very windy, so we'd recommend looking up the weather report day of as weather changes daily. Also, there is free public parking by Fin's Bar & Grill and the golf course. BONUS: There is a beautiful little boardwalk that allows you to walk behind the dunes. The walk isn't difficult at all and is worth it for the views.
Oceano Dunes Natural Preserve
105 W Grand Ave
We love this beach for the convenience factor. You can drive right onto the beach and not have to battle for parking or drag your stuff a half mile. Please note that if you don't have a 4x4 vehicle and drive off the well-worn tracks, you risk getting stuck. Cost is only $5 for the day. There is a public restroom that's not always the cleanest. Please note that this beach is generally very windy, so we'd recommend looking up the weather report day of as weather changes daily. Also, there is free public parking by Fin's Bar & Grill and the golf course. BONUS: There is a beautiful little boardwalk that allows you to walk behind the dunes. The walk isn't difficult at all and is worth it for the views.
This is beach is less windy than any of the other beaches and the view is great. It's also more of a local spot, so it's not that crowded. Free off-street parking is upstairs. The stairs are a little bit of a hike if you have a lot of stuff or if your knees give you problems. Also, no public restroom.
South Palisades Park
This is beach is less windy than any of the other beaches and the view is great. It's also more of a local spot, so it's not that crowded. Free off-street parking is upstairs. The stairs are a little bit of a hike if you have a lot of stuff or if your knees give you problems. Also, no public restroom.
This is a quaint little beach with shops, food, icecream, and a boardwalk.
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Avila Beach
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This is a quaint little beach with shops, food, icecream, and a boardwalk.
Montaña de Oro State Park is about 40 mins away, but the views are stunning. There are several hiking trails, but they are really easy, short, and the payoff is worth it. There are public restrooms (not always the cleanest). There's even WIFI on-site.
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Montaña de Oro State Park
3550 Pecho Valley Road
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Montaña de Oro State Park is about 40 mins away, but the views are stunning. There are several hiking trails, but they are really easy, short, and the payoff is worth it. There are public restrooms (not always the cleanest). There's even WIFI on-site.
This is a great little view where Paul sometimes brings his coaching clients. There are nearby trails as well. But you can drive right up to this view. There's also a trail down to the beach. Please note: the beach is clothing optional. Most of the time everyone is still clothed, but we just wanted to make sure you don't have surprises. : )
Pirates Cove Lookout
Cave Landing Road
This is a great little view where Paul sometimes brings his coaching clients. There are nearby trails as well. But you can drive right up to this view. There's also a trail down to the beach. Please note: the beach is clothing optional. Most of the time everyone is still clothed, but we just wanted to make sure you don't have surprises. : )
If you're looking for a warm spot at the beach. Just go down the stairs and nestle into the cove that typically blocks the winds and gives you intense sun.
Shell Beach Coastal Conservancy Preserve
660 Ocean Boulevard
If you're looking for a warm spot at the beach. Just go down the stairs and nestle into the cove that typically blocks the winds and gives you intense sun.
Our Favorite Eats, Treats, and COFFEE!
Here's a list of our favorite places to eat and treat ourselves. COFFEE is a big part of our life, so we've added our recommended places here too!
If you hit Avila Beach, we recommend Kraken Coffee. Front row seat to the beach. Website: https://www.poorbutsexy.biz/krakencoffeeco
Kraken Coffee Company
310 Front St
If you hit Avila Beach, we recommend Kraken Coffee. Front row seat to the beach. Website: https://www.poorbutsexy.biz/krakencoffeeco
Seafood is amazing. Breakfast is awesome as well! Paul's recommendation for breakfast is the chicken fried steak. Dress code is whatever you want to wear. Custom House Menu: https://qrcgcustomers.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/account10112395/9735242_18.pdf?0.7097754278996986
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Custom House
404 Front Street
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Seafood is amazing. Breakfast is awesome as well! Paul's recommendation for breakfast is the chicken fried steak. Dress code is whatever you want to wear. Custom House Menu: https://qrcgcustomers.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/account10112395/9735242_18.pdf?0.7097754278996986
San Luis Obispo has always had the best coffee, and we were thrilled when Tribe Coffee opened just about a mile from our house. Paul's fave is a flat white. Jessica's fave is the iced oat mile latte. Our kids love their turnovers. Cute and super convenient location
Tribe Coffeehouse
1355 E Grand Ave
San Luis Obispo has always had the best coffee, and we were thrilled when Tribe Coffee opened just about a mile from our house. Paul's fave is a flat white. Jessica's fave is the iced oat mile latte. Our kids love their turnovers. Cute and super convenient location
One of the best burgers in Arroyo Grande is at the Village Grill. http://www.oldvillagegrill.net/Menu.html
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Old Village Grill
101 E Branch St
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One of the best burgers in Arroyo Grande is at the Village Grill. http://www.oldvillagegrill.net/Menu.html
Very much a local favorite greasy spoon with a messy burger. It can be argued that this place is better or tied with Village Grill. BIRTHDAY? You get a free burger! Choose the Oceano location menu: https://www.sylvestersburgers.com/menu-1
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Sylvester's Burgers
1875 Front St
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Very much a local favorite greasy spoon with a messy burger. It can be argued that this place is better or tied with Village Grill. BIRTHDAY? You get a free burger! Choose the Oceano location menu: https://www.sylvestersburgers.com/menu-1
This is probably the most recommended restaurant in the area. Little on the pricier side. Check the menu first online. http://www.emberwoodfire.com/menu
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Ember Restaurant
1200 East Grand Avenue
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This is probably the most recommended restaurant in the area. Little on the pricier side. Check the menu first online. http://www.emberwoodfire.com/menu
There are actually two locations for Scout Coffee. The Foothills location is less quaint but has more seating and a lot of parking. Parking in San Luis Obispo is a little more challenging. And this location requires a little walk.
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Scout Coffee Co.
1130 Garden Street
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There are actually two locations for Scout Coffee. The Foothills location is less quaint but has more seating and a lot of parking. Parking in San Luis Obispo is a little more challenging. And this location requires a little walk.
This location is in San Luis Obispo and will probably require a little walk unless you are fortunate enough to get a close parking place. Big coffee place frequented by studious Cal Poly students and some white bearded guy who sits in the corner writing. (We promise, he's ALWAYS there).
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Kreuzberg California
685 Higuera St
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This location is in San Luis Obispo and will probably require a little walk unless you are fortunate enough to get a close parking place. Big coffee place frequented by studious Cal Poly students and some white bearded guy who sits in the corner writing. (We promise, he's ALWAYS there).
Red Bee is located close by the beach in Grover. Really good coffee and an amazing staff. Their carrot cake muffins are AMAZE!
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Red Bee Coffee
278 W Grand Ave
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Red Bee is located close by the beach in Grover. Really good coffee and an amazing staff. Their carrot cake muffins are AMAZE!
This is the restaurant with the best view in the area! It's also Paul's favorite local restaurant. https://ventanagrill.com/ Perfect for a special occasion, birthday, romantic night out, or even business meeting. Lunch is very reasonably priced, so it's totally worth it to grab a bite and enjoy the view.
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Ventana Grill
2575 Price Street
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This is the restaurant with the best view in the area! It's also Paul's favorite local restaurant. https://ventanagrill.com/ Perfect for a special occasion, birthday, romantic night out, or even business meeting. Lunch is very reasonably priced, so it's totally worth it to grab a bite and enjoy the view.
The cool, weird thing about living here (and we say it's both cool and weird because we lived in San Diego for many years) is that this area is beach meets farm. This cool little place has all kinds of farm animals you can feed and lots of homemade treats like jams, pies, etc. Try the Olallieberry pie!
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Avila Valley Barn
560 Avila Beach Drive
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The cool, weird thing about living here (and we say it's both cool and weird because we lived in San Diego for many years) is that this area is beach meets farm. This cool little place has all kinds of farm animals you can feed and lots of homemade treats like jams, pies, etc. Try the Olallieberry pie!
This is the best boba in the area. We've never tried their food : )
FAY's FUSION
220 Hinds Ave
This is the best boba in the area. We've never tried their food : )
The Central Coast is the Tri-Tip capitol of the world (so we've heard). This is our personal favorite for the best Tri-tip sandwich on the coast. Also, this meat company has been here for like 500 years or something. Okay, not 500, but at least 100+.
Arroyo Grande Meat Co
118 E Branch St
The Central Coast is the Tri-Tip capitol of the world (so we've heard). This is our personal favorite for the best Tri-tip sandwich on the coast. Also, this meat company has been here for like 500 years or something. Okay, not 500, but at least 100+.
The food is great with some awesome cocktails. Our fave cocktail is the Strawberry Basil Lemon Drop. https://www.masonbarag.com/
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Mason Bar and Kitchen
307 E Branch St
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The food is great with some awesome cocktails. Our fave cocktail is the Strawberry Basil Lemon Drop. https://www.masonbarag.com/
There are several Doc's locations. This is the closest to where you're staying. There is a REAL Doc Burnstein who started this chain in San Luis Obispo. Great ice cream!
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Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab
114 Branch Street
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There are several Doc's locations. This is the closest to where you're staying. There is a REAL Doc Burnstein who started this chain in San Luis Obispo. Great ice cream!
We're originally from the South, so we know biscuits and gravy. And you've got to be good at biscuits if you put it in the name! Big portions for the price. http://beachinbiscuitspismobeach.com/menu.html
Beachin' Biscuits
783 Price Street
We're originally from the South, so we know biscuits and gravy. And you've got to be good at biscuits if you put it in the name! Big portions for the price. http://beachinbiscuitspismobeach.com/menu.html
Everything on the menu is delicious and fresh. Owner is super nice, and, if you tell him it's your first time there on a recommendation, he will likely hook you up with free baklava. By the way, it's probably the best baklava we've ever had. Paul would recommend the lamb shawarma.
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Jaffa Cafe
206 East Branch Street
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Everything on the menu is delicious and fresh. Owner is super nice, and, if you tell him it's your first time there on a recommendation, he will likely hook you up with free baklava. By the way, it's probably the best baklava we've ever had. Paul would recommend the lamb shawarma.
Nice little place for a glass of wine with a great view.
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PierFront Wine & Brew
480 Front St
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Nice little place for a glass of wine with a great view.
Nice little bar with a view - off the boardwalk in Avila Beach.
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Mr. Rick's
404 Front Street
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Nice little bar with a view - off the boardwalk in Avila Beach.
.5 Miles away - Paul actually walks back and forth! Great place for craft beer. Paul loves the peanut butter stout. They also do pizza. https://www.manrockbrewing.com/food-menu.html
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ManRock Brewing Company
1750 El Camino Real
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.5 Miles away - Paul actually walks back and forth! Great place for craft beer. Paul loves the peanut butter stout. They also do pizza. https://www.manrockbrewing.com/food-menu.html
Jessica's favorite Thai place in the area.
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Sister Kitchen
245 West Grand Avenue
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Jessica's favorite Thai place in the area.
There are actually 3 locations of Palo Mesa so be super careful when you call to order because Google listings typically will mess you up (Yes, we've learned the hard way). This is our favorite pizza in Arroyo Grande.
Palo Mesa Pizza II
906 Rancho Pkwy
There are actually 3 locations of Palo Mesa so be super careful when you call to order because Google listings typically will mess you up (Yes, we've learned the hard way). This is our favorite pizza in Arroyo Grande.
Banner opened in 2020 and are really nailing it on coffee. Paul's favorite is a quad latte.
Banner Coffee Company
995 East Grand Avenue
Banner opened in 2020 and are really nailing it on coffee. Paul's favorite is a quad latte.
Really close by and a local fave. Portions are big, and 1 meal usually serves two. Great for breakfast!
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Lil'bits Cafe
151 North 7th Street
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Really close by and a local fave. Portions are big, and 1 meal usually serves two. Great for breakfast!
Well, everything we've shared is local, but we just got a Dutch Bros. and they are CRUSHING IT. Paul and Jadyn love the 9-1-1. Something like 6 espresso shots : ) Lines can be long at times. Download their app and get a free drink.
Dutch Bros Coffee
1259 East Grand Avenue
Well, everything we've shared is local, but we just got a Dutch Bros. and they are CRUSHING IT. Paul and Jadyn love the 9-1-1. Something like 6 espresso shots : ) Lines can be long at times. Download their app and get a free drink.
Do you have a food sensitivity? Sally Loo's has amazing food with plenty of gluten free options - all made from scratch! They also serve local Cacti Coffee.
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Sally Loo's Wholesome Cafe
1804 Osos Street
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Do you have a food sensitivity? Sally Loo's has amazing food with plenty of gluten free options - all made from scratch! They also serve local Cacti Coffee.
Just fully remodeled and re-opened! Great coffee and the best local baked goods.
Mule Bakery
117 East Branch Street
Just fully remodeled and re-opened! Great coffee and the best local baked goods.
Activities & Attractions
ATV riding
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Oceano Dunes SVRA
928 Pacific Blvd
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ATV riding
This place isn't for everyone, but it's very eclectic and fun. It's also pretty historic. Make sure you check out the restrooms. There's a surprise in there.
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마돈나 인
100 Madonna Road
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This place isn't for everyone, but it's very eclectic and fun. It's also pretty historic. Make sure you check out the restrooms. There's a surprise in there.
This area is known for great hiking trails. Some trails are easier than others and there are plenty of websites with hiking info. This isn't the easiest hike, but it's one that is probably the most well known. Below are two different trail entrances: To get to the Highland Drive Trailhead: From Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo, take exit 203 B to Highway 1 North. Drive north for one mile toward Morro Bay and turn left onto Highland Drive. Continue another mile to the cul-de-sac at road’s end. Roadside parking is available. Alternatively, you can start from the lower trailhead on Patricia Drive, which is also used for Felsman Loop Trail. Trailhead address: 1 Highland Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 Trailhead coordinates: 35.30115, -120.68916 (35° 18′ 04.1″N 120° 41′ 20.97″W) To get to the Patricia Drive Trailhead: From Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo, take exit 203 B to Highway 1 North. Drive north for one mile toward Morro Bay and turn left onto Highland Drive. Drive half a mile and turn right onto Patricia Drive. Go another half mile, where you will spot the trailhead on the left. Roadside parking is available. Trailhead address: Patricia Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 Trailhead coordinates: 35.30433, -120.685438 (35° 18′ 15.59″N 120° 41′ 07.57″W)
Bishop Peak Trail
This area is known for great hiking trails. Some trails are easier than others and there are plenty of websites with hiking info. This isn't the easiest hike, but it's one that is probably the most well known. Below are two different trail entrances: To get to the Highland Drive Trailhead: From Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo, take exit 203 B to Highway 1 North. Drive north for one mile toward Morro Bay and turn left onto Highland Drive. Continue another mile to the cul-de-sac at road’s end. Roadside parking is available. Alternatively, you can start from the lower trailhead on Patricia Drive, which is also used for Felsman Loop Trail. Trailhead address: 1 Highland Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 Trailhead coordinates: 35.30115, -120.68916 (35° 18′ 04.1″N 120° 41′ 20.97″W) To get to the Patricia Drive Trailhead: From Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo, take exit 203 B to Highway 1 North. Drive north for one mile toward Morro Bay and turn left onto Highland Drive. Drive half a mile and turn right onto Patricia Drive. Go another half mile, where you will spot the trailhead on the left. Roadside parking is available. Trailhead address: Patricia Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 Trailhead coordinates: 35.30433, -120.685438 (35° 18′ 15.59″N 120° 41′ 07.57″W)
104 degree mineral pool and a swimming pool. Great experience!
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Avila Hot Springs
250 Avila Beach Drive
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104 degree mineral pool and a swimming pool. Great experience!
Lots to do at Lake Lopez: - Trails - Zipline - Boating - Kayak Rentals Limited cell service once you get there. More info at: https://slocountyparks.com/camp/lopez-lake/
Lopez Lake
Lots to do at Lake Lopez: - Trails - Zipline - Boating - Kayak Rentals Limited cell service once you get there. More info at: https://slocountyparks.com/camp/lopez-lake/
Yes, we have waterfalls - Big Falls and Little Falls. We highly recommend calling Lake Lopez to double-check access to these locations. https://slocountyparks.com/camp/lopez-lake/
Big Falls Trailhead
3994 Upper Lopez Canyon Rd
Yes, we have waterfalls - Big Falls and Little Falls. We highly recommend calling Lake Lopez to double-check access to these locations. https://slocountyparks.com/camp/lopez-lake/
Top Wineries & Local Beer
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Biddle Ranch Vineyard
2050 Biddle Ranch Rd
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Chamisal Vineyards
7525 Orcutt Road
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Tolosa
4910 Edna Road
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Talley Vineyards
3031 Lopez Drive
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Fig Mountain is just down the street - .7 miles away. Pretty much walking distance, though walking back is uphill. We're not big on the food - besides the NACHOS which are huge and tasty. The beer menu is great and changes daily. Paul is a fan of anything dark or nitro.
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Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.
1462 E Grand Ave
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Fig Mountain is just down the street - .7 miles away. Pretty much walking distance, though walking back is uphill. We're not big on the food - besides the NACHOS which are huge and tasty. The beer menu is great and changes daily. Paul is a fan of anything dark or nitro.
.5 Miles - Paul actually walks back and forth! Great place for craft beer. Paul loves the peanut butter stout. They also do pizza. https://www.manrockbrewing.com/food-menu.html
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ManRock Brewing Company
1750 El Camino Real
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.5 Miles - Paul actually walks back and forth! Great place for craft beer. Paul loves the peanut butter stout. They also do pizza. https://www.manrockbrewing.com/food-menu.html