Monarch Butterflies: A Fond Pismo Beach Farewell Until Next Season

Monarch butterfly

In February we say goodbye to the delicate monarch butterflies that grace the Pismo State Beach each winter. The Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove is one of the most spectacular viewing areas in California. The eucalyptus forest, off Highway 1 on the south side of Pismo, provides shelter for the migrating monarchs who cannot tolerate cold winter temperatures. This particular grove hosts one of the largest colonies in the nation with an approximate count on December 31, 2015 of 28,000 monarchs.

Visitors to the grove witness what is called clustering as the monarchs group tightly together. The sight is miraculous as the eucalyptus leaves are covered in a layer of silent orange wings. There are many theories as to why monarchs cluster. Some say they are simply attracted to particular conditions within a given location. Others believe the monarchs benefit from being a part of a group, including protection from predators and shared body heat.

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The Perfect Wedding Venue for the Beach Bride

SeaCrest WeddingsYou love the sand, the sun, the surf, the Central Coast. And when you’re in love, there is no better place to exchange vows than amid the monumental beauty of Pismo Beach.

When you want the beach setting, but don’t necessarily want the sand all over your Jimmy Choos and the pant cuffs of your guests, the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel provides the ideal venue for that coveted sunset wedding with sand and surf as backdrop without the undesirable side effects.

The lush and expansive lawn of the SeaCrest makes for an unforgettable outdoor wedding location, the private bluff overlooks the crashing Pacific Ocean for a dramatic wedding and reception site. Opting for the RoofTop Terrace as the setting for becoming legally wed takes oceanfront weddings to four-story panoramic heights. All of these sites overlook the Pismo Beach coastline, giving you the touch of Mother Nature that you want in your wedding day without being at her mercy.

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You Don’t Have to Get Your Hands Dirty at These Central Coast Gardens

gardensYou may not have a green thumb, but that doesn’t mean you’re immune to the beauty of flora and fauna. All flower-lovers and flower-admirers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in color and nature at these popular Central Coast gardens.

San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

For the ultimate in garden wonders, the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden is a sanctuary for those who crave some peace and a sensory explosion for those who are seeking a colorful day with a heavenly aroma. A non-profit organization, the SLO Botanical Garden is located across from Cuesta College and free and open to the public. Garden tours, monthly talks, and summer camps are just some of the perks at this destination. You can also find a children’s garden that combines plant education and interactive fun. The San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden is an ecotourism experience for the entire family.

The Hearst Castle

“Things to do in San Luis Obispo” is often followed by “visit Hearst Castle.” The one-time home of William Randolph Hearst, this expansive hilltop mansion is not only where you will find an immense art collection and a stunning degree of architecture, but it is also home to 127 acres of terraced gardens, fountains, and pools. Every guided tour of Hearst Castle concludes with an opportunity to roam and explore the expansive garden grounds that surround The Enchanted Hill, filled with native plants, lush foliage, and rare flowers, many of which have been flourishing there for generations.

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Make a Day of It in San Luis Obispo (and Beyond)

morro bay

When you find yourself in Pismo Beach, sitting on the sand and soaking up the natural beauty that surrounds you is a viable and popular visitor option. But when you’re ready to make a day of exploring beyond the sand and surf, it’s time to visit San Luis Obispo, and its neighbors, to enjoy the unique diversions they have to offer.

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Put on the Brakes for a Leisurely San Luis Obispo Driving Tour

motorcyclist in pismo beach
You could easily park yourself on a patch of Pismo Beach for the duration of your trip to the Central Coast and be content. While a fair share of leisure and relaxation time is encouraged, there is so much to be seen in this part of the country that we highly recommend venturing throughout San Luis Obispo and beyond. Driving tours are one of the best ways to take the scenic route, whether you’re flying solo or with a group.

Self-Guided Driving Tours

If you’re the kind of soul who would rather create his or her own itinerary and leave room to stray off the designated path, then a self-guided driving tour is ideal for you. For each of the following tours, give yourself three to six hours to hit most of the attractions, and keep in mind that you’ll likely get sidetracked by something awesome and want to spend more time in one or two places.

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The Central Coast Is the Mecca of Golf Resorts

Golf Courses of Pismo BeachReady to tee off during your stay on the Central Coast? You’ve come to the right place. Pismo Beach and its neighbors are home to some of the most lauded golf courses in the nation, from the laid-back Blacklake Golf Course to the intricate Cypress Ridge Golf Club, from the highly praised Monarch Dunes to the casual and intimate Pismo Beach Golf Course. Boasting gorgeous scenery, enviable views, and an opportunity to get one-on-one with the hush of nature as you set up your shots, the popular Central Coast golf resorts are ideal for veteran golfers and recent converts alike.

A Comfortable Game of Golf

San Luis Obispo County’s Heilman Park complex is home to Chalk Mountain Golf Course, one of the oldest courses in the Central Coast area. A particular draw for the low-pressure golfers, the setting of Chalk Mountain includes ancient oak groves, a meandering creek, and rolling green hills – all of which come into play on several of the holes. Charm and character are part of the atmosphere of this popular course, located in the foothills of Atascadero.

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Dog Says to Human: Let’s Go to SLO!

dog friendly hotel

There aren’t always opportunities to travel with your dog, but Pismo Beach welcomes four-legged friends with open arms. You can head to the gorgeous Central Coast without worrying about leaving your dog behind at a kennel. Arrive with dog and family in tow, knowing that you will all have an amazing trip together.

Dogs Love the Sand and Surf Too

Pismo State Beach is one of only a handful of state beaches in California that allows owners to take their dog on the beach. The only rule: Keep your pet on a leash. This is an easy requirement to fulfill when you are allowed the convenience of having your pet by your side as you walk the trails along the sand, lounge in the sun, or play in the surf. It’s always nice to have quiet company who is always eager to match your own pace, especially when you’re away from home. Find other dog-friendly beaches in and around San Luis Obispo.

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The SeaCrest’s Martin Cisneros Wins Manager of the Year Award

martin cisneros
The California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA) has named the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel’s Martin Cisneros as the Stars of the Industry Award Winner in the category of Outstanding Manager of the Year.

Hotel managers wear many hats, overseeing an abundance of responsibilities, delegating tasks, and directing employees on a daily basis. Seacrest OceanFront Hotel general manager, Jedidiah Bickel says, “Martin’s leadership as a mentor is one of the traits I admire most about him. If you are willing to learn he will be right there to help guide you along your path of growth.” But one of Martin’s most critical roles is to ensure that all guests of the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel in Pismo Beach are comfortable, happy, and satisfied with all aspects of their stay.

California’s Central Coast is a popular destination for wine lovers, tourists, business people, nature enthusiasts, surfing aficionados, foodies, families, and more. While Pismo Beach and its neighbors are responsible for bringing visitors to the area, it’s hotels like the SeaCrest – and managers like Martin – that encourage travelers to stay longer and come back for more.

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Pismo Beach Kids: Where Imagination Meets Living Wonders

Dinosaur Caves ParkNeed family-friendly activities during your visit to Pismo Beach? California’s Central Coast is one of the finest places for kids’ creative minds to roam free. The beach and the mesmerizing ocean alone will occupy your children for days, but there are so many other diversions throughout San Luis Obispo County that will keep your family busy making memories off the sand too.

The Charles Paddock Zoo

Kids and zoos simply go together. The opportunity to get up close and personal with wild animals is the kind of experience children devour. The Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero is dedicated to the conservation of exotic and local species, serving as home to rare Indo-Chinese tigers, meerkats, spider monkeys, red pandas, and more.

Children’s Museum

Downtown San Luis Obispo is home to the colorful and enticing San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum. This three-story building, with outside playscape, has plenty of square footage for kids ages 1 to 10 to explore and – most of all – touch! Storybook reading, costumes, dinosaur bone digging, a movie set, an earthquake shaft – your children will want to live in this colorful imagination land.

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Find the Perfect Gift: Central Coast Shopping for the Whole Family

Pismo Beach shopping
Pismo Beach and its neighbors are home to some of the most original and unique shops as well as the trendiest brands. Whether you’re shopping for others or shopping for yourself. Here are just some of the areas you’ll want to stroll through during your visit to California’s Central Coast.

Downtown San Luis Obispo

Higuera Street may not often be mentioned in the same breath as Fifth Avenue when people are discussing shopping meccas, however, this walkable stretch of pavement in San Luis Obispo is considered one of the best main streets in the United States (at least according to Fodor’s Travel). Hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces can be found in the local boutiques that are peppered among large and familiar brands so you have a variety of price points from which to choose. Monterey and Marsh Streets offer distinctive shops as well within this seven-block radius of shopping fun.

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