Wow, are the colors popping here in San Luis Obispo County this spring!
Indeed, after a wet winter on the Central Coast (and after years of drought), the land is alive with velvety green grass, abundant wildflowers and warm sunshine.
On that note, we were inspired to share some of our favorite “spring sights” and activities to help you get the most out of the season while you’re in town for one of our tours. These picks cover it all: mountains, plains, lakes and ocean:
1. East Cuesta Ridge Trail
There is no better vantage on SLO’s fields of green this spring than the East Cuesta Ridge hiking trail. The hike begins right off Highway 101 at the top of the Cuesta Grade, and travels up though several vegetation zones into the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. To the west, you can see the expansive hills of San Luis Obispo and, beyond those, the magnificent blue of the Pacific Ocean. You can make this a short hike to get the blood pumping and to catch the views, or a long 10-miler if you are feeling spry.
2. Guided Hike to Point San Luis Lighthouse
Here’s one of the best-kept secrets in SLO County. On this guided Pecho Coast Trail hike, you will ascend from the shores of beautiful Avila Beach and over the bluffs overlooking Port San Luis. This moderate one-hour hike concludes at the historic Point San Luis Lighthouse with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, and for a $5 donation you can enjoy a docent-led tour of the lighthouse. This guided hike is offered Wednesdays and Saturdays, and space is limited. Click here for more information.
3. Morro Rock Scenic Walking Trail
You can’t beat this easy Morro Bay walking trail for a breath of fresh air. You can park on Embarcadero Street near the old power plant (you can’t miss the three smokestacks!). From there, you can follow the trail along the waterfront toward the majestic backdrop of towering Morro Rock, an ancient volcanic plug that rises from the ocean. The trail concludes at the front of the rock, and you can meander over to the jetty to enjoy the sight of crashing waves. After walking back, consider grabbing a glass of wine and a bite at nearby STAX Wine Bar, a popular local hangout.
4. Carrizo Plain “Superbloom”
The Carrizo Plain National Monument is a popular destination for wildflower enthusiasts, and the recent rains are promising what is known as a “superbloom” this spring. In the words of Nature.org, “Carrizo’s rolling grasslands thrill wildflower enthusiasts with a breathtaking assortment of blooms.” Carrizo Plain is accessible via Highway 58 out of Santa Margarita (allow for a 1.5 hour drive). It’s a bit of a commitment to get out there, but the payoff promises to be amazing this spring.
5. Wing Envy Paragliding
A Margarita Adventures zipline tour isn’t the only game in town when it comes to soaring through the sky like an eagle. At Wing Envy Paragliding in Cayucos , you can take lessons and learn the art of paragliding; or you can take an instructional tandem flight under the safe control of a USHPA tandem instructor—a great way to experience the thrill of paragliding even if you decide not to continue with solo lessons. Either way, you will be amazed by the birds-eye views you’ll enjoy of SLO County.
6. Kayaking at Santa Margarita Lake
Our very own Margarita Adventures Kayak Tour makes the list! Our kayak tours at beautiful Santa Margarita Lake are designed as a vigorous yet relaxing excursion for all ages. Along the way, tour guides provide guests with insights into the environment of Santa Margarita Lake. Known for its majestic rock formations and peaceful waters, Santa Margarita Lake offers a secluded setting and abundant opportunities for viewing native wildlife—including eagles, hawks, herons, pelicans, deer and more. The Santa Margarita Lake Natural Area spans several thousand acres of designated open space. Click here for more information and booking.
7. Margarita Adventures Guided Nature & Wildlife Tour
Want to get in touch with nature? Look no further than our Guided Wildlife Hummer Tour & Nature Walk. This tour begins with a ride on a vintage Humvee to multiple natural habitats on Santa Margarita Ranch. There, you explore the land on foot with an easy-paced hike while observing a rich tapestry of local wildlife and native flora. The wet winter has brought forth an array of sights this spring. Recent tour sightings include Western Skinks, colorful wildflowers such as Redmaids and Shooting Stars, and a bald eagle nest. Click here for more information and booking.
There you have it, some of the best things to do in San Luis Obispo County this spring!