Small surfer town with white sandy beaches, waves, western saloon and antiques
CAYUCOS — You don’t have to fly to Hawaii to experience long stretches of white sandy beaches, killer waves, and charming locals.
You don’t have to travel to Las Vegas to play poker or Texas to drink at an authentic western saloon with big swinging doors and cowboys. And, you don’t have to visit the old towns of Europe or New England to discover a plethora of antiques, the intimacy of small-town charm and great restaurants. You just need to visit the classic beach town of Cayucos along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Cayucos is an iconic seaside town located on coastal Highway 1, where the old west meets the Pacific Ocean. The Cayucos Tavern was built in 1906 and is a historic saloon that still offers poker, billiards, live music, authentic cowboys and great drinks to wet your whistle. Cayucos offers a quaint oldfashioned main street called Ocean Avenue filled with restaurants featuring local seafood, wine and craft brews, antique shops filled with memories of the past, and mom and pop shops that have been around for decades. The beach and pier are just a block from Ocean Avenue where surfers and kayakers abound, tide pools are abundant, and fishing off the 950-foot historic pier offers epic views of sea life including whales, dolphins, and otters
Surf, kayaking, paddleboards & more
Sheltered from the prevailing northerly winds, Cayucos is usually warmer than other nearby beaches, providing many days of rideable waves for the novice and veteran surfer alike. Cayucos is also an active playground for all levels of kayakers and paddle boarders to gear up, view incredible shoreline scenery and encounter all types of interesting sea life while paddling around the pier or into the secluded coves nearby. Good Clean Fun and Cayucos Surf Company offer surf lessons, kayak tours, and beach equipment rentals and a collection of comfortable casual quality clothing and footwear.
Dine in Historic Downtown
Cayucos was officially settled in 1867 by Captain James Cass and now you can enjoy a menu featuring selectively sourced ingredients from the bounty of the Central Coast at The Grill at the Cass House located on Ocean Avenue. Captain Cass’ house was the town’s show place and social center back in the day and the Visitor Center has many items from Captain Cass along with thousands of images and a permanent collection of artifacts of Cayucos’ rich history.
Schooners Restaurant boasts the best ocean views of any restaurant in Cayucos while embracing a nautical theme reminiscent of the early history of the Central Coast sailors and fishermen. The Sea Shanty has been a local favorite for over 35 years featuring fresh seafood, spectacular homemade desserts, salads, and entrees. Featured in The New York Times, the Brown Butter Cookie Company is nationally known for its signature sea salt cookie: a melt-inyour-mouth shortbread morsel with just a touch of sea salt. Yearning for amazing smoked fish and meats? Don’t miss Ruddells Smokehouse, which also serves the best fish taco around. Duckies Chowder House is also a local favorite and features some of the best clam chowder you’ve ever tasted. Relish authentic Italian cuisine and an extensive wine list at Cafe Della Via.
Wildlife Viewing, hikes & stewardship travel
As you plan your trip to Cayucos along the California Highway 1 Discovery Route, add an hour or two of fun volunteer time to your day, or schedule a travel adventure to a natural, cultural or historic site. Cayucos Stewardship Activities: Cayucos Land Conservancy Bluffs & Nature Walks, Estero Bluffs State Park, Cayucos Estero Bluffs Clean-Up, Cayucos Nature Holiday Bluffs Walk, Cayucos “The Little Town That Could” Estero Bluffs Walk & Talk, Cayucos Beach Free Stewardship Cleanup Kit & Tote Bag Gift, Cayucos Wildlife Kayaking Tours and Cayucos Wildlife Kayaking & Clean-Up Tours. Upcoming events include:
Cayucos Sea Glass Festival: March 9-11, 2018: Whether a sea glass fan or someone looking to learn about this worldwide hobby, the 8th Annual Cayucos Sea Glass festival has something for everyone. Enjoy a weekend of local artisan goods, fun in the sun, live music, and of course an extensive marketplace of the finest sea glass art. Vendors are juried and the artwork is first-class. July 4 Independence Day Festivities:
July 4, 2018: Cayucos is the place to be on the Fourth of July with a day full of activities that ends with fireworks off the pier. The day starts early with the highly attended hometown parade so make sure you come early to find parking and your observation spot. Sand sculptures are a big part of the mid-day fun at the beach created by children, novices, and professionals - anyone can enter the fun. And the fireworks display being shot off the pier? Find that special spot for you and your family anywhere along the miles of sandy beaches and enjoy the show.
Rock to Pier Fun Run: July 15, 2018: This 6-mile run/walk takes place on the hard-packed sand from Morro Rock to the Cayucos Pier. We welcome people of all ages and fitness levels to participate. The awards ceremony is held at Morro Rock after the event. There will be busses running every 15 minutes to shuttle participants back from the Pier.
Lodging: Cayucos offers several lodging options from oceanfront hotels to multiroom vacation rentals to suit every budget. Whether you are traveling with your family, gathering for a multigenerational reunion, or looking for an upscale boutique accommodation for just you two, there are a plethora of choices all within blocks of the beach.
T OPPHOTO: A Woody parked at the beach. BOTTOM PHOTO: The Cayucos Pier.