San Luis Obispo County

Along San Luis Obispo County’s scenic 96-mile coastline you will find windswept sand dunes, volcanic peaks, rocky tidepools, wide sandy beaches, and rugged cliffs. In the south, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes complex, the second largest coastal dune system in the state, covers 18 square miles and includes Oceano Dunes, where you can surf fish, hike, camp, or watch birdwatch at Oso Flaco Lake. Traveling north, the little town of Avila Beach is a good place to picnic or learn more about local sea animals at the marine institute, while the trails at Point Buchon and Montaña de Oro State Park offer a workout for adventurous souls in search of spectacular coastal scenery.

Stop at Morro Bay State Park to view volcanic Morro Rock and learn more about the estuarine wildlife refuge surrounding it, then explore the coastal terraces in the Cambria region at Fiscalini Ranch Reserve, visit opulent Hearst Castle, or watch elephant seals cavort on the beaches of Piedras Blancas. The 13 miles of this coastline that were once part of Hearst Ranch and are now protected within San Simeon State Park are much the same as they were 150 years ago.

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