Category Archives: cayucos

Back Roads all the Way – By Shannon E.

Sunset

I TAKE TO THE OPEN ROAD, HEALTHY,
FREE, THE WORLD BEFORE ME.”
– WALT WHITMAN
Your guide to the back roads connecting Beautiful Cayucos to Montana De Oro State Park (Website). The hurry less, live more, way to travel when visiting this gorgeous coastal retreat.
The sunrise is bouncing across black hill mountain in shades of pinks and orange, today is a good day. If you are lucky enough to wake up with the waves in your ear and sand in your shoes, you may very well be on the central coast of California. To the East; 15 million year old sleeping volcanic mountains covered in dark greens and golden yellows, rest peacefully. To the West the Pacific Ocean; dressed in shades of blue and kissed by the sun. If you are only here for a short time, take that time to saunter about the beach towns that us locals love the most.
Your drive starts off in Cayucos(Cayucos Map), heading South on Ocean Ave toward 12th street. Ocean will eventually turn into the on ramp to the winding Pacific Coast Highway 1 (also referred to as Cabrillo Highway) this highway will take you along to Morro Bay. Exit on 279A (the Main St. exit) and turn right onto Main. Main Street in Morro Bay is a metropolis all on its own. Somewhat separate from the famous Embarcadero, Main Street offers a wealth of locally owned shops, antiques dealers, restaurants and a Saturday Morning (2-5 pm) Farmers Market where you can purchase in season fruits and vegetables, fresh homemade salsa, tamales, pressed juices and hot soups. Farmers only sell what they grow, most of which is grown locally right here on the central coast. Off of Main, a right onto Beach St. will lead you down to the Embarcadero, a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike. The Embarcadero is home to a wonderful array of restaurants, gift shops and galleries filled with the works of local artists and crafters. It goes without mention that Morro Bay’s “The Rock” is not only an integral part of the city’s geographical history but a prominent gathering spot for surfers and beach goers.
Now for the really good stuff! Beach, Harbor, Pacific or Marina streets will all get you back up to Main. A right hand turn onto Main from any one of these streets will take you along to the next gorgeous leg of our journey. Main St. will take you by State Park Road, it will be a left up a steep hill and straight through Morro Bay Golf Course (Website). State Park road (also referred to as Park View Dr.) can be somewhat tricky to navigate as the road itself is not well marked and is also extremely tight. It does offer some really beautiful views of the marshes and foothills along the coast but nothing too extraordinary that you won’t see by following Main St. all the way through. Keeping on Main and to your right you will come to Fairbank Point, a small beach like turnout that has only a few parking spots and an incredible View. The sunset in this particular spot is glorious, probably because the area is so small that the sun set wraps everything up in warm golds and pinks. In October and November it looks like the sky is a puddle of sherbert ice cream that has dribbled all over everything, it’s really stunning.
Past Fairbank point will be the Museum of Natural History(website) on your right. The Museum overlooks Morro Bay which is both a State and National Estuary. Entry fees to the museum are $3 for adults and free to children 16 and under. The Museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Morro Bay Campground is a little further down and on your left. The campground is a mixed forest originally planted by Civilian Conservation Corps crews during the 1930’s and shades 135 campsites. There are also picnic facilities including tables and BBQ pits for folks who wish to visit the park for just a day.
Follow Main st. around the bend with the swampy marshes to your right, eventually you will end up at a crossroads. The road you are met with is South Bay Boulevard, you’ll want to turn right. South Bay Boulevard is one of only two ways into and out of a pair of the small towns; Los Osos and it’s suburb Baywood. South Bay, as the locals call it, will run you into Los Osos Valley Road or LOVR for short.
Taking a right at LOVR will set you on a course for some really exquisite scenery. Los Osos Valley Road will lead you through the town of Los Osos and will turn into Pecho Valley Road. Trust the road and follow it boldly, 3 or so miles out from sleepy Los Osos and hidden in the eucalyptus filled dunes is Montana De Oro, or “Mountain of Gold”. Proving time and again to be the most tranquil and fascinating landscape between here and there, Montana De Oro has become the quintessential ‘go to’ for those trying to escape the hustle.
The beach is covered in shell and jade, this striking park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including the 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. Montana De Oro also has Caves! If the tide is low enough you can climb in, on and around the natural cave formations and play in the rocky tide pools. I am warning you now; the moss is real and the potential to slip and bonk your noggin is a serious one so walk with care.
I’ve spent some of the best days of my life on these backroads, learning every twist and turn, nook and cranny. Windows down, music up, soaking in all the beauty that is my hometown. These roads lead to adventure and have the potential to create undeniable memories for you and your family. I hope you love and cherish them as much as we locals do!

Local Routes of Fun

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We all know that the beauty of the central coast extends from the serene scenes of the coastal waters to the rolling hills of the surrounding wine country. On any given day, especially during the summer, one can encounter hundreds upon hundreds of people travelling the paths of our beautiful area. Multiple advertising dollars are spent annually to attract people to a specific destination, winery, monument, etc. As seasoned locals we would like to suggest a few day long activities that would maximize time and open up to pristine sights, some not advertised on any map:
• Adelaida AVA Wine Day
Wine Tasting Options : Dubost Winery, Law Estate Wines, Le Cuvier Winery, Michael Gil
Activities: ask for a vineyard/production tour at Le Cuvier Winery, walk between the vines at Dubost Winery
Lunch: Pack a picnic, try the food parings at Le Cuvier Winery
Dinner:
• North Coast Play Day
Wine Tasting Options: Hearst Family Wines, Moonstone Winery, Black Hand Cellars, Twin Coyotes, Cutruzzola Vineyards, Stolo Family Vineyards
Activities: Hearst Castle, Elephant Seals, Moonstone Beach Boardwalk, Fiscalini Ranch Preserve
Lunch: Robin’s, Moonstone Bar and Grill, Linn’s Restaurant
Dinner: Sea Chest, Saw’s Ear
• Stay and play in Cayucos
Wine Tasting: Cayucos Cellars, Full Moon Wine Bar
Play: walk the bluffs north of town, walk the beach to Morro Rock (at low tide), hike hang glider hill,
Lunch: Schooners, Cass House Grill, Duckies, Sea Shanty
Dinner: Café della Via
• Templeton Field Trip Day
Wine Tasting: Clavo Cellars, Tin City Wineries (Aaron Wines, Desperada, Levo Wines, ONX Wines); Beer: Barrel House
Play: Saturday morning farmers market, stroll along the streets of the town
Lunch: Kitchenette, Nature’s Touch Nursery and Harvest
Dinner: McPhee’s
As veteran wine tasters, we recommend a maximum of three wineries per trip, lots of water and of course eating before, during and after.
Do not forget, always designate a sober driver and taste responsibly.

Highway 1 Discovery Route… On the Beach Style

Coastal View Big Sur

Our journey on the most amazing drive in California starts in the heart of Big Sur, along coastal Hwy 1. This trip focuses on short stops and does not include the amazing camping spots available along the way. So fasten your seat belts because this will be the trip of a lifetime.
Nepenthe is an amazing stop for delicious nibbles, great local Santa Lucia Highlands pinot noirs and the most refreshing cocktails. The Phoenix gallery on the ground level is sure to delight the eye and the senses with art, books and exquisite lotions, among silk garbs and garden gifts. There is also second level café for those looking for a quick bite. The top level opens to amphitheater style seating and the entrance to Nepenthe Restaurant. If available, request a table on the ocean side patio for the most breathtaking views of the Pacific. Nepenthe’s webcam is set up on their website at www.nepenthebigsur.com , so do not hesitate to check the weather and the crowd levels. This stop is a very popular destination during summer and the weekends, so we suggest you time it wisely, otherwise parking can be a bit of challenge.
With a full belly and a heart ready for adventure, set sail south through the newly constructed tunnel. Many guests have suggested a stop at the New Camadoli Hermitage Monastery for a bit of zen and some great gift items, including cards, coffee, fudge and granola.
Next on the itinerary would be a quick stop at Sand Dollar Beach. A myriad of steps and turns will settle the earlier lunch and open onto a gorgeous beach. Make sure to wear appropriate foot wear for an easy hike. The climb back up can be easily listed as a calorie burning activity.
The next stop on our Highway 1 Discovery Route would be the amazing Salmon Creek Falls. A very easy walk-hike from the highway opens up to beautiful boulder created pools and majestic falls. Other hikes also present themselves at this site, however, they require some experience and appropriate attire.
One of the last attractions on our personal list would be Ragged Point Inn and Restaurant. The lawn area in the back uncovers breathtaking views of the coast. Do not forget to check out the local artwork and local reclaimed wood sculpture.
As the hours of sunshine dwindle and you sail on the highway towards Cayucos, add to the list the elephant seals. A boardwalk allows visitors to admire the mammals in their natural habitat, enjoying the beach. Thirty-five minutes of driving left and you have arrived to On the Beach, bed and breakfast. Slip into our comfy robes, grab a glass of wine and let the sound of the ocean lull you away.

Cayucos Pier Project

cayucos pier project

Cayucos Pier Project

Throughout the years visitors from near and far have found Cayucos while traveling Highway 1. A short stretch of this world renowned highway offers majestic views of a wooden pier, built originally in 1872 by Captain James Cass, and the town adjoining it. For Cayucos the pier is correlated to the identity of this town and its mystique. It is impossible for us to imagine the town without it, as the two go hand in hand. On an even more personal note, the structure is also the identity for On the Beach Bed and Breakfast, as we often indicate that we are located at the foot of the pier.

Time and weather are known to affect even some of the most solid elements, such as rocks. The two conditions, in addition to a lack of adequate maintenance over the last 50 to 100 years, have brought the pier to a state of deterioration deemed unsafe for foot traffic. In the last several month the pier has been closed to the halfway mark to prevent any possible injuries. However, as a state owned landmark, under the jurisdiction of the county, this historical pier is set to have the much needed reinforcement and replacement of pilings.
Rick Rengel, one of our two owners at On the Beach, is also a well-known architect in San Luis Obispo county. Rick has recently overseen the restoration project at Port San Luis, and kindly volunteered his knowledge and expertise to this project.

The community has also proved its commitment to the cause. There is a local committee in direct contact with the county that oversees all donations and causes meant to raise awareness and contributions for the pier project. The outdoor/beach concert was one of the many successful events organized by the members and supported by the community. There is talk of an annual event stemming from this fundraiser.
Please visit savecayucospier.org for more information, historical photos, and details on how to get involved.

When Mermaids Cry Sea Glass is Born

cayucos sea glass festival

It may sound sad, but in all actuality, what is know as mermaid tears translates into a beneficial by-product of human consumption, washed away on local beaches worldwide. In popular nomenclature this translates into sea glass: broken pieces of glass and pottery, washed away to sea and tossed around in the sand. Weather you are looking at a common brown colored piece or an extremely rare red derived from a Victorian lamp, sea glass “hunting” can be a great beach activity for all ages.

Cayucos has become a destination for the sea glass “hunter,” and to a large degree thanks to the Cayucos Sea Glass Festival. The second Friday and Saturday in March, enthusiasts, vendors and novices alike gather for two days of fun, discovery, music and food. The Veterans Hall, located at the foot of the pier in Cayucos, is filled to the brim with art, photography, jewelry and many other sea glass accouterments. If that is not enough for you, there is also food, drink and music just behind the Hall. Of course one must not forget the beautiful mermaids gracefully promenading around.

What makes this event even more special for us at On the Beach, Bed and Breakfast is our location. We consider ourselves fortunate to be within twenty paces of the venue. Last year (2013), we were lucky enough to have Mister Richard LaMotte, author of “Pure Sea Glass: Discovering Nature’s Vanishing Gems,” and his lovely wife grace us with their presence at our establishment. Mr. LaMotte was a guest speaker at the event and a wealth of knowledge. We are definitely not sad about the autographed copy we have in the lobby. That goes to say, you never know who the neighbor in the room next to you could be. Imagine sharing a glass of wine during the social hour with a “sea glass royal,” or the waves of fun you could have walking back and forth from the festival to your room. Did we mention you can hear the band from the rooftop deck?

If our words have not been convincing enough ,all there is left to do is book a room and come see for yourself. Join the fun and see what mermaid tears are all about.
Until the next time, we wish you health, happiness and loads of sea glass filled beach fun.