| Popular recreational activities include hiking, walking, horseback riding, fishing, tide pooling, surfing, scuba diving, mountain biking, ATV’ing, swimming, nature observation, sunning, picnicking, hang-gliding, kite flying, kayaking and educational studies. |
Vista Point at Leffingwell Landing
Picnic tables sit on the bluff located along Moonstone Beach Drive in Cambria.
Each beach has its own unique characteristics ranging from the rocky shorelines of Limekiln State Park, to the warm sandy beaches at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, to the semi-precious rocks along Leffingwell Landing in Cambria.
Wandering further down Highway One you can hike in Harmony Headlands State Park and Estero Bluffs State Park and see native grasses and plants or stop by the beach in Cayucos to wind surf or bird watch at the Morro Bay Estuary and catch a glimpse of a Great Blue Heron.
As you reach the southern portion of the coastline in San Luis Obispo State Parks you can ride your horse along the shore or picnic by Spooner’s Ranch House in Montaña de Oro, hike through an ancient grove of oaks at Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve, fish off the pier at Pismo State Beach and then stroll along the dunes.
North Beach Campground Beach Foot Trail is at Pismo State Beach.
Pismo Butterfly Grove
The western Monarchs’ summer range extends from the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean and north as far as southern Canada. In October, as colder weather approaches, the butterflies instinctively know they must fly south to escape the freezing temperatures. Some have to fly over 1,000 miles. The journey is hazardous and many never make it. By November, most are sheltering in trees stretching from the San Francisco Bay Area south to San Diego. Pismo State Beach hosts one of the largest over wintering congregations of Monarch butterflies, varying in numbers from 20,000 to 200,000. The winter monarchs live about six to eight months. On sunny winter days they will fly away from the sheltering trees, searching for nourishment in flower nectar and water to drink. In late February, as the weather turns warm, the great migration north begins.
There are two golf course located in the Central Coast State Parks.
Morro Bay Golf Course has often been referred to “the poor man’s Pebble Beach.” Enjoy the ocean air and Black Hills as you play 18-holes of golf at very affordable prices. Discounts are available for weekdays along with annual passes. They also offer a Pro Shop, driving range, rentals, banquet facility, and restaurant. This golf course is maintained and operated by San Luis Obispo County Parks.
Pismo State Beach Golf Course is a popular 9-hole course located next to the ocean off of Grand Avenue in Pismo Beach. The weather at Pismo Beach is usually moderate all year long. This golf course is maintained and operated by San Luis Obispo County Parks.
Picnic Areas and restrooms are at several day use areas such as William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, Washburn, Leffingwell Landing and at Santa Rosa Creek in Hearst San Simeon State Park. There are also picnic facilities at Limekiln State Park and in Montaña de Oro State Park.
Food and Beverages
There are also several restaurants within or close proximity to the parks such as the Inn at Morro Bay, Bayside Café and The Black Hill’s Grill in Morro Bay. Finn’s Restaurant in Pismo State Park is famous for their fish and chips and Hearst Castle Snack Bar in San Simeon offers a quick bite between tours.
Moonstone Beach Boardwalk
The Moonstone Beach Boardwalk provides a beautiful walk along the coast just south of Leffingwell Landing to observe many species of plants and wildlife with interpretive signage and magnificent vistas. It provides a unique opportunity for photographers and hikers to enjoy native vegetation, whales, sea otters, birds and other species.
The Elephant Seal Boardwalk located a few miles north of Hearst Castle, can be accessed by the designated vista points along Highway One. This is a unique opportunity to see the Northern elephant seal population. From December to March they can be seen resting, having pups, battling and mating on the beach north of San Simeon Bay. Docents are on hand to answer questions regarding the elephant seal population and interpretive signage also the trail provides information on the elephant seals and the fascinating features just off shore.
Wildlife viewing for whales, birds, and animals provides great learning opportunities for everyone. Rangers and docents offer a wide variety of educational lectures, movies and guided hikes throughout state parks. Check out the Junior Ranger information, Adventures with Nature schedule, and lectures at the Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay for specific times and dates. The Coastal Discovery Center located at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach also provides educational opportunities.
Estero Bay Estuary
Morro Rock Ecological Reserve is home to a couple of nesting areas for peregrine falcons. Morro Bay is host to the Bird Festival in January as many birds migrate to the Estero Bay Estuary.
Day Use Fees Effective as of July 1, 2004