5 Can’t-Miss Stops on the California Highway 1 Discovery Route of San Luis Obispo County

From Ragged Point to Oceano, the more than 101 mile stretch along California’s scenic coastline, known as the California Highway 1 Discovery Route, offers something for everyone. We know our Pismo Beach guests love to explore, so here we round up some of our favorite can’t-miss stops on the Discovery Route. All of these are within a short drive from the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel, making us the perfect headquarters for your SLO County adventures.

1. Oceano Dunes

Among the most popular and unique of California State Parks, the Oceano Dunes definitely earns its place among can’t-miss stops. It’s the only State Park where vehicles may be driven on the beach. Featuring 5 1/2 miles of beach, Oceano Dunes attracts visitors from throughout the nation. Learn more here.

2. Port San Luis Historic Lighthouse

One of the hidden gems of the central coast, the Port San Luis Light Station and Lighthouse is truly a sight to be seen. In operation as the beacon of San Luis Bay for 127 years, the station light is active and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and maintained by the Lighthouse Keepers, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. You can reach the historic site from Avila Beach by trolley or by kayaking to Whalers Beach. Learn more here.

3. Swinging Bridge

A fun and notable spot in the Village of Arroyo Grande, the swinging bridge is the only one of its kind in California. The bridge was originally constructed in early 1875 by the Short family, whose land was divided by the Arroyo Grande Creek. The bridge is suspended 40 feet above the creek and spans a length of 171 feet. Take the short drive from Pismo Beach to Arroyo Grande for this unique adventure! Learn more here.

4. Avila Valley Barn

Just a couple of exits North of the SeaCrest is Avila Beach Drive and the Avila Valley Barn. This fun and unique farm experience is fun for the whole family! Farm animals, bakery, fresh fruits and veggies, U-pick opportunities, tractor rides, and SLO-Maid ice cream are among the reasons so many visitors love the Barn. Learn more here.

5. Lopez Lake Recreational Area

Located just 10 miles east of Arroyo Grande, Lopez Lake Recreation Area features 22 miles of shoreline and something fun for everyone! Fishing, boating, picnicking, hiking and equestrian trails, mountain biking, ziplining, birdwatching, and much more. Mustang Waterpark is also located in the heart of Lopez Lake and offers “wet and wild” fun for the entire family.

Road Alert: Highway 1 is open in all of San Luis Obispo County but if you’re heading to the Central Coast from north of Ragged Point be mindful of the stretch of Highway 1, located 21 miles north of Cambria. Caltrans is busy with a major construction project to make traveling along the stunning Pacific Coast Highway a safer journey.

How many of these fun destinations have you visited? Make your next trip to the Central Coast even more memorable with these must-see ideas. And be sure to make the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel in Pismo Beach your Highway 1 Discovery headquarters.

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