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The Central Coast Travel Guide

  • Photo: Thomas Barrat / Shutterstock

Plan Your Central Coast Vacation

Balmy weather, glorious beaches, crystal clear air, and serene landscapes have lured people to the Central Coast since prehistoric times. Today it’s also known for its farm-fresh bounty, from grapes vintners craft into world-class wines to strawberries and other produce chefs incorporate into distinctive cuisine. The scenic variety along the Pacific coast is equally impressive—you'll see

everything from dramatic cliffs and grass-tufted bluffs to wildlife estuaries and miles of dunes. It's an ideal place to relax, slow down, and appreciate the abundant natural beauty.

Offshore, a pristine national park and a vast marine sanctuary protect the wild, wonderful underwater resources of this incredible corner of the planet. But not all of the Central Coast's top attractions are natural: Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo are filled with sparkling examples of Spanish-Mediterranean architecture, bustling shopping districts, and first-rate restaurants showcasing regional foods and wines.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Incredible nature The wild and wonderful Central Coast is home to Channel Islands National Park, two national marine sanctuaries, state parks and beaches, and the rugged Los Padres National Forest.
  2. Edible bounty Land and sea provide enough fresh regional foods to satisfy the most sophisticated foodies—grapes, strawberries, seafood, olive oil, and much more. Get your fill at countless farmers' markets, wineries, and restaurants.
  3. Outdoor activities Kick back and revel in the California lifestyle. Surf, golf, kayak, hike, play tennis—or just hang out and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.
  4. Small-town charm, big-city culture With all the amazing cultural opportunities—museums, theater, music, and festivals—you might start thinking you're in L.A. or San Francisco.
  5. Wine tasting Central Coast wines earn high critical praise. Sample them in urban tasting rooms, dusty crossroads towns, and at high- and low-tech rural wineries.

When To Go

When to Go

The Central Coast climate is mild year-round. If you like to swim in warmer (if still nippy) ocean waters, July and August are the best months...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

Travel Tips

The Central Coast Travel Tips

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