Cayucos Visitor Guide

Historic Beach Town
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Cayucos Visitor Guide

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Cayucos Visitors Guide

Explore Cayucos, this iconic seaside town where the old west meets the Pacific Ocean. Head to the shore to watch surfers, kayak, explore tide pools, fish off the 950-foot historic pier, or view sea life just off shore. Stretch your legs by promenading down the small-town streets discovering historic buildings with local antique stores, sea-side restaurants and mom and pop shops that have been around for decades.

Must-See Spots in Cayucos
Cayucos Pier – Catch halibut or watch surfers on this historic 950-foot pier, recently restored. Tide Pools – Explore marine life, play, surf and relax on this warm iconic beach. Be a Stewardship Traveler and learn about the diversity of life within the kelp forest while walking the Estero Bluffs Trail. Historic Cass House – Enjoy local cuisine at the home of Captain Cass, built in the 1870’s. History Museum & Visitor Center – Discover the history of this peaceful undeveloped cattle community.


The moderate climate in Cayucos means even summer days are rarely hot, and winter days are rarely very cold. Average temps during July through October range from the 50s to the 70s, with the warmest month being October when temps can climb into the 80s. For December through March, the range is 40s to 50s, December being the coldest month. Humidity ranges from 45% to 65% depending on the time of year. Cayucos gets about 18 inches of rain each year on average; and it’s fairly evenly distributed, with the wettest month being February.

Packing List

With its year-round moderate climate, Alaskan parkas would be overkill, but do bring a warm jacket and dress in layers to peel away as the day warms up. Sandals and sturdy hiking shoes are must-have footwear. If you’ve got a surfboard and a wetsuit, pack them – you’ll use them. Ditto your own personal fishing pole, though the shops in Cayucos can outfit you for any ocean sport you can think of. In addition to the standard swimsuit, hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses always needed for the beach, don’t forget binoculars for watching whales, sea otters, and birds.

Looking for the perfect small California beach town? Your search is over. Voted “the coolest small town in America” in 2009, Cayucos is truly an authentic California beach town. Cayucos by the Sea is a surprising gem of a town that appears like magic out of the misty fog, just north of Morro Bay along Highway One. With its long stretch of white sandy beach, sun more often than fog, a free public fishing pier, an historic saloon, and quaint old-fashioned main street, Cayucos is as close to perfection as you can get. Television personality Huell Howser selected Cayucos for an episode of his show, California’s Gold, and filmed most of it strolling up the center of Ocean Avenue, marveling at its un-crowded yet ultra-desirable qualities.

Prehistorically inhabited by the Chumash Native American people, Cayucos was officially “settled” in 1867 by Captain James Cass. The Captain, whose impeccably restored home still bears his name, recognized the excellent shipping location and built the pier, a store, and a warehouse that came to be known as Cayucos Landing. Part of an original Mexican land grant, the name Cayucos means kayak or canoe which were used to hunt sea otters along the coast. Now protected from human predators, those fun-loving sea otters are a main attraction here.

Unscathed by the big developers, the population of Cayucos is about 3,000. Despite its small size, Cayucos has an eating establishment to meet everyone’s palate, from a chowder house to five-star dining. You’ll also find fabulous antique stores, surf shops with hand-crafted boards, and locally owned gift stores.

For children, there are three play areas, with one on the beach designed just for them including, picnic tables, barbecues, and a paid lifeguard during the summer. There’s even a fresh water swimming pool near Hardie Park and two lighted tennis courts, located a short walk away from the pier. Grownups looking for a bit of “spice” will find that “in spades” if you’ll forgive the pun, at The Old Cayucos Tavern, an historic bar with card-playing rooms, pool tables, dancing, and some of the best live music around.

Come and discover Cayucos: a beachcomber’s paradise, a foodie’s nirvana, and a vacationer’s dream come true.

Getaway to ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments!

As you plan your rural road trip, add an hour or two of fun volunteer time to your day, or schedule a travel adventure to a natural, cultural or historic site. Whether you are an active doer, learner or donor there are plenty of dynamic opportunities to choose from:
Active Doers: Get involved, create unique memories, and engage with locals through beach cleanups that protect wildlife, and trail restoration to preserve natural habitats.
Active Learners: Expand your knowledge about ecosystems, natural preserves, wildlife and the local heritage through citizen science programs, docent led hikes and historic tours.
Active Donors: Make a difference on vacation through charitable donation opportunities that protect wildlife, habitats, and cultural heritage sites.

Check out these Stewardship Travel Activities in Cayucos:

Cayucos Land Conservancy Bluffs & Nature Walks
Estero Bluffs State Park
Cayucos Estero Bluffs Clean-up
Cayucos Beach Free Stewardship Cleanup Kit & Tote Bag Gift
Cayucos Wildlife Kayaking Tours
Cayucos Wildlife Kayaking & Clean-Up Tours