Family-Fun Activities in San Luis Obispo Area:
Dinosaur Caves Park: This is a truly memorable park situated on one of Pismo’s ocean-front bluffs. If you are staying at
The Cliffs Resort, this park is within walking distance, but the picturesque Cliffside walkway that wraps around the resort does not
run continuously to this park. So, if you do walk, part of the walk will be on Shell Beach Road, adjacent to Highway 101, but this is a great opportunity to view some of the local shops and restaurants of Pismo and Shell Beach.
Downtown San Luis Obispo:
SLO, the village: Although some of the big chain names have wedged their way into the shady streets of San Luis Obispo, I would still consider this one of the most charming California towns that still retains its small town feel . It is the stomping grounds to the students of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and many people (young and old) travel on bikes here. Both Oprah and USA Today consider San Luis Obispo one of the happiest towns in California. Within the town, shopping is a primary activity for most visitors. Within the last decade, new developments and chain stores and restaurants have been introduced here, whereas I remember visiting as a student in the 1980’s, and virtually all of the businesses in the town were unique mom and pop shops. So if you or your kids love Apple, Barnes and Noble, Starbuck’s, yes, you can now find them within the tree-lined streets of downtown SLO.
Bubblegum Alley:This interesting 15-foot alley, set between two businesses in downtown San Luis Obispo on Higuera Street, might seem like a germ horror for a mom, but if you tell the kiddos not to touch the gum and just look at the pretty colors, they will think that it—and you—are pretty cool! Many of the downtown shops sell gumballs so that kids can chew and then add to the collection on the wall.
Cambria is a unique and artsy seaside village that was quite festive during the month of December, during our stay, lit up with holiday lights which are just one of the features of their “Holidays in the Pines” celebration. There are truly no Starbucks nor other big name stores in this delightful town—just unique boutiques, interesting stores, and art galleries. The west village is modeled in Tudor style Old English village style. This is a very pet-friendly village and my kids loved seeing the resident cat with its own little area with a blanket set out for it on Main Street.
Hearst Castle/San Simeon:
See my review of the amazing historical
Heading south on the 101 towards Santa Barbara, you will find the little Danish town of Solvang. As a Santa Barbara college student, I had my share of visits to Solvang. Settled by Danish pioneers between 1850 and 1930, it is now a tourist destination with Danish styled architecture, namely windmills.