Roam the Best of Highway 1 in 2017

Highway 1 Discovery Route Travel Blog

Head Out in Your Roamin’ Chariot

Experience the best of Highway 1 in 2017

Highway1HikingAccording to the Huffington Post/Post 50 Travel Blog, Adventure Travel and Eco-Tourism are two big trends for boomers in 2015, which can be found in abundance along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route located mid¬way between San Francisco and Los Angeles in San Luis Obispo County. Whether taking an exhilarating hiking or biking expedition in one of the many magnificent State Parks along the coast, or kayaking and paddle boarding along miles of coastal waterways, or cycling through acres of vineyards and mountain trails, you’re sure to find the perfect outdoor adventure or stewardship travel experience among the 10 artisan towns and villages spanning over 101 miles of prime Pacific coastline.

The Next Step in Eco-Tourism: Wildlife Viewing and Stewardship Travel
Vacationers can enjoy a more meaningful trip any time of the year by participating in the country’s first Stewardship Travel program, full of fun, authentic, and inspiring activities with area historians, scientists, and specialists. Have fun in the great outdoors and get the best wildlife viewing experiences with new wildlife viewing tips. Make new friends during an interpretive walk in The Elfin Forest in Los Osos or become a “citizen scientist” at a nature center. In all, there are more than 70 unique activities and/or contribution opportunities in more than ten locations along the California Central Coast designed to add deeper meaning on any vacation.

Outdoor Adventure
Visitors who travel along CAs Highway 1 Discovery Route to commune with nature are treated to everything from majestic views of rugged Pacific coastline in Ragged Point, and kayaking in San Simeon, relaxing or cleaning-up the beautiful beaches in the classic beach town of Cayucos, to enjoying the renowned, verdant vineyards in historic Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley. Then there’s Nipomo, with gigantically famous dunes, where horses and golf carts are welcomed equally. As well as several charming artisan towns like Cambria and Avila Beach & Valley. Don’t forget to visit the rustic seaside villages of Oceano and Los Osos/Baywood Park, which are woven in between seaside state beaches and marinas where outdoor adventure abounds. Experience amazing outdoor activities and explore the many State Parks along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route in each of these regions below:

Arroyo Grande Valley:
Lopez Lake – Located just ten miles east of Arroyo Grande, Lopez Lake Recreation Area is one of the top choices for camping and leisure trips.
Historic Huasna Townsite Drive – Roam the prime farmland with stunning views.
Swinging Bridge —  Built in 1875, the 171 foot long bridge is the only one of its kind in California.
SLO Wine Country Wineries – Just 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean, SLO Wine Country wineries produce some of the most award-winning wines in the world.
Lodging Options

Avila Beach:
Port San Luis Harbor and Lighthouse– Take a classic trolley to this historic lighthouse built in 1868.
Pecho Coast Trail  Enjoy a docent lead hike from Pecho Coast Trail to the Point San Luis Lighthouse.
Avila Valley Barn  This local’s favorite farm stand offers hay rides, petting zoo and plenty of fresh local foods and gifts.
Central Coast Aquarium Explore marine life with hands-on education and stewardship.
Bob Jones Trail– The Bob Jones Trail is the “City to the Sea” bike trail.

Lodging Options


Main Street Stroll the vibrant, artsy town for unique gifts, specialty goods, wine, craft beer and culinary choices.
Pacific Coast Wine Trail-Savor award winning wines from 11 coastal wineries.
Moonstone Beach -Moonstone Beach is one of the Central Coast’s most scenic, romantic spots.
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve – Once the exclusive purview of the Chumash and Salinan Native American tribes, this Stewardship activity features walking in their shoes along the breathtaking stretch of seaside bluff is now permanently protected from development and offers opportunities for contributions to help restore natural habitat.
Historic Walking Tour-Take a self-guided walking tour through 26 historic structures
Covell’s CA Clydesdales – Marvel up close the herd of 100 magnificent Clydesdale horses.
Lodging Options


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.
Estero Bluffs Trail – Be Stewardship Traveler and learning about the diversity of life within the kelp forest while walking along the Estero Bluffs.
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.
Lodging Options

Edna Valley:

Old Edna Townsite – Just 10 miles from the beach, the historic townsite hosts 5 landmarks, wine tasting, vacation rentals and events.
SLO Wine Country Wineries – Just 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean, SLO Wine Country wineries produce some of the most award-winning wines in the world.

Los Osos & Baywood Park:

Montana de Oro State Park – Connect with nature when you explore this park with or without a docent, and by dropping in for a history lesson and donating to the historic visitor center. The park features rugged cliffs, the spectacular Spooners’ Cove, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including 1,347-foot Valencia Peak.
El Morro Elfin Forest – The Elfin Forest supports more than 200 species of plants, as well as 110 kinds of birds, 22 species of mammals and 13 species of reptiles and amphibians. Enjoy docent led walks to deepen learning and fun.
Back Bay Marina – The Baywood Park Pier and Marina offers serene kayak and paddleboarding, concerts and steps away from delicious cuisine and craft beer tasting.

Lodging Options


Oso Flaco Natural Area – Let your senses come alive at one of the most scenic natural areas along California’s coast, Oso Flaco Lake, located just southwest of Nipomo. Join a docent led hike or explore on your own.
Guadalupe – Nipomo Dune Center – Be a Stewardship Traveler by learning about one of the most ecologically significant and largest intact coastal dune ecosystems on earth, and by joining a docent led hike and/or donating to help maintain the restoration programs throughout The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex, comprised of 18 miles of coastline.
Monarch Butterfly Grove – From late October to February, thousands of black and gold Monarch Butterflies cluster in the limbs of the Nipomo Eucayptus groves at Trilogy Monarch Dunes.
Rancho Nipomo Dana Adobe – This 13 room adobe residence built by Captain William Dana in 1840 has recently been restored to much of its original splendor. Open to the public on weekends.
Lodging Options


Guadalupe – Nipomo Dune Center – Welcome to Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA); this sand dune complex is geologically unique and also provides an impressive playground for off-highway enthusiasts.

Monarch Butterfly Grove – From late October to February, thousands of black and gold Monarch butterflies cluster in the limbs of a Eucalyptus grove at Pismo State Beach, providing us with a breathtaking glimpse of nature in all her vibrant glory. Host on hand to share more on the natural history of the Butterflies
Oceano Train Depot and Museum – Once the most important building in Southern San Luis Obispo County, the Depot is in near-original condition to visit and experience the artifacts of the early 1900’s.
Lodging Options

San Simeon

Hearst Castle – La Cuesta Encantada, or The Enchanted Hill offers six tours.
Piedras Blancas Light Station
Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery -This special Stewardship Activity will lead visitors to a new understanding of the Northern Elephant Seal that migrates thousands of miles twice each year, from the open oceans to a land-based rookery, where it breeds, births, molts, and rests between trips.
Coastal Discovery Center – Learn and experience Stewardship Travel at The Coastal Discovery Center, which offers interactive exhibits and education programs for all ages, highlighting the cultural and natural history of Old San Simeon, California State Parks, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Become a citizen scientist and help collect water samples for research offered on most Saturdays.
Hearst Ranch Zebras –

Lodging Options

.Ragged Point

Ragged Point Cliffside Trail The trail to Ragged Point Beach at the base of the cliffs is only a half mile, but steep with about a 400 foot change in elevation.

Salmon Creek Falls