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Shell Beach

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Trip List by socaltravelmom_fun

Outdoors on the CA Central Coast

May 24, 2013  LA parent of 2 teens -recent trips during Nov. '12 & May '13
0.0 of 5 stars based on 0 votes

Central Coast trip with bird-watching & animal sighting stops

  • 1. Brophy Bros. Clam Bar & Restaurant, Santa Barbara Harbor

    This is an excellent stop (going No.from Southern CA) for lunch, dinner, or appetizer before continuing to the Central Coast. This classi restaurant at 119 Harbor Way, SB has the best fried calamari ($8.25) fried scallops ($10) or clams, oysters, seafood including fresh fish & chips, that you can enjoy while sitting on the balcony or inside the restaurant looking out to the wharf and harbor while you eat. Good service, and fish is reliably cooked/fried to near perfection. I could swear they had a great blue cheese dressing a few years ago on their salads but my server said that the house dressing was ranch now and they didn't offer bleu cheese (alas their only draw-back). Good alchoholic drinks too.

  • 2. Shell Beach
    Shell Beach, California

    Mostly residential area (small motels/hotels available) where there are some nice rock formations, bluffs and parks to walk along the coast, see bird rookerys, kayak into "Dinasaur Cave" or bikeride along the bluffs and stop at local restaurants or pizza place to have a coffee, snack or meal. there's some interesting tidepools to investigate at low tides, early morning they have kayak tours that go out for about 2 1/2-3 hours and leave from the bluff.

  • 3. DePalo & Sons
    DePalo & Sons, Shell Beach, California

    This great bakery goods, wine, spirits, and deli store is a perfect stopover for picnic items (including fruit, veggies, nuts) & beverages or just to stockpile central coast wines and specialty wines that are hard to come by or only distributed regionally to restaurants & merchants. They have good sandwiches, cookies, and coffee bar. They also carry cigars.

  • 4. Splash Cafe
    Splash Cafe, Pismo Beach, California

    Top notch buttery-smooth Clam Chowder -the best on the coast-is served hot with bread or entrees, or available frozen to take home. I availed myself of both! Delicious calamari as well. The line is long on weekends and parking can be a little tricky but this cute town is fun to walk around in anyway. Don't miss this place for Chowder!

  • 5. Morro Bay State Park
    Morro Bay State Park, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County

    Great state park with campsites, trails or day use picnicking areas. Good views of the sand spit, birdwatching or hiking.

  • 6. Morro Bay National Estuary
    Morro Bay National Estuary, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County

  • 7. Morro Bay State Park- Natural History Museam

    Nice little museum overlooking the estuary, sand split and park. Has a nice little gift shop with tide booklets ($.50) and maps, trail books, wildlife books and sightseeing books as well as stuffed animals, puppets, games, camera, etc. They recommended some easy hikes in the area and were very helpful.

  • 8. La Parisienne
    La Parisienne, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County

    Wonderful sandwiches (french dip w/au jus) soups, salads, and bakery goods including varied selection of crescents, danish, and cookies. Not alot of side salad options but I loved that they carry cold Calypso flavored lemonades.

  • 9. Morro Rock
    Morro Rock, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County

    Park free and walk down a ways toward to docks area-you will see otters in the estuary/bay. There are lots of grey squirrels and some nearly white miniature squirrels that ran around the rocks. The strand is nice to take a stroll and there is a small park with a basketball court. There are restrooms and dirt parking lot. It's free and a beautiful area to enjoy herons, seagulls, and ocean creatures. Or rent a kayak and kayak around near the rock.

  • 10. Harmony
    Harmony, California

    This tiny town just past Cayucos has a newly added (2012?) state park with parking area called the "Harmony Headlands" a two mile to the coast trail (4 miles round-trip) with coastal brush and wildflowers. Great fairly flat hike with some benches for resting and birdwatching. Nice private views of the coast wih viewings of otters and dolphin pods. Incredible peaceful walk/hike.

  • 11. Cambria
    Cambria, San Luis Obispo County

    Enjoyable town to view coastal areas, hike, walk through shops, horseback riding or driving around to see the sights. Lots of small cafes, restaurants and burger stands/grills as well as some romantic upscale restaurants with seafood specialties.

  • 12. Hearst Castle
    Hearst Castle, San Simeon, San Luis Obispo County

    The of the proverbial historical "celebrity spots" this scenic and architecturally rich mansion and guest houses has several tours of varying lengths. Interesting aspects for historians, native california/Ranching, persons interested in luxury house tours & gardens.

  • 13. Sunset Drive-In Theatre
    Sunset Drive-In Theatre, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County

    Great way to see two current/recent releases for about $7, less than a normal walk-in theater. Picture quality good and sound through car radio station. Small snack bar, coca-cola/soda machine and decent restrooms. Easy access to freeway.

  • 14. Firestone Grill
    Firestone Grill, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County

    Casual restaurant with wonderful BBQ beef sandwiches and terrific rack of BBQ ribs for $19.95. Frys, onion rings, drinks, salads, etc. available and there are inside tables as well as an outside courtyard with fixed tables & movable chairs plus a fireplace in colder weather. You'll really enjoy this great tasting BBQ spot. Free parking on street (no meters after 6:00 pm)

  • 15. Sycamore Mineral Springs
    Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County

    Hotel & Spa (separate hot tubs available for $17.50 per person per hour) See my review (May, 2013) the hot tubs are private and decent but pricey at $35 fo two (bring your own towels and drinks or pay $2 per towel rental). Nice to relax under tall trees.