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

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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

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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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Your Theatre Awaits: Movie-Going on the Central Coast

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No matter what movie theatre you go to on the Central Coast, you’re guaranteed an escape from the day. Some theatres, however, offer quite a unique movie-going experience in and around San Luis Obispo. So if you find yourself craving some popcorn and a larger-than-life screen, be sure to visit these movie houses on your trip to Pismo Beach.

Sunset Drive-In

Drive-ins are hard to come by in this modern age, which makes attending one a delicious novelty. The Sunset Drive-In in San Luis Obispo shows movies every night of the week (for an awesome price – your furry friend and kids under 4 are free), giving new meaning to outings with the family, first dates, or a memorable vacation in Pismo Beach. Grab your blankets or beach chairs for out-of-vehicle viewing, or make it a true drive-in experience and watch the movie from your truck bed or front seat. It’s a movie experience you’ll never forget. (255 Elks Lane, San Luis Obispo)

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10 Reasons to Spend the Holiday Season in Pismo Beach

holiday seasonIt doesn’t matter what kind of holiday you celebrate or don’t celebrate in December. Pismo Beach is home to a delightful array of entertainment and activities to keep you and yours busy while visiting the Central Coast. Here are just 10 of our favorite things to do during the holiday season in Pismo Beach:

1. Get your shop on.

There’s never a wrong time to do some serious shopping in Pismo Beach. If you dare, attend Midnight Madness at the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets, the event that kicks off Black Friday weekend, and get a nice taste of high-profile brands and reasonably priced favorites – there’s something for everyone (including yourself!).

2. Light up.

The annual Holiday Harmony in downtown Pismo Beach and on Pismo Pier is scheduled for December 4, 2015, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. This festive family event includes fresh snow (in California!), bounce houses, crafts, music, and cookie decorating. And, of course, Santa will make an appearance to receive wish lists and take pictures.

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First-Rate Food Trucks: A One-of-a-Kind Scene in Pismo Beach

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Food is no longer just sustenance. It’s an experience. But you don’t have to visit a brick-and-mortar five-star restaurant run by a celebrity chef to get delicious, memorable foodstuffs. The food truck movement has exploded in Pismo Beach, and if you haven’t snagged at least one meal from these restaurants on wheels, you – and your taste buds – are missing out.

Hot dogs, soft pretzels, and quesadillas might be what comes to mind at the mention of a food truck, but the mobile food vendors on the Central Coast are operating on a whole new level (and at a relatively affordable price). You’ll find traditional food truck fare, but it’ll be elevated, with additions like pear, fig, elegant cheeses, and sophisticated dressings.

Food Trucks for Hire

If you’re a guest at a wedding in the San Luis Obispo area, visiting a winery, or attending a special event or party in Pismo Beach, there’s a good chance you’ll run into Chef Anna Andriese and her popular big blue food truck, the Haute Skillet Truck. For some seriously innovative cuisine, the Haute Skillet is at the top of the list. Andriese caters “anywhere you want us to be” and is known for her “truck ciabatta” bread made daily from raw ingredients. Toasts, skewers, tapas, flat breads with proteins, greens, cheeses, savory sides, and delectable desserts are on Haute Skillet’s extensive menu.

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