Home #WHERETONEXT Canada Five Distinctive South Coast Adventures along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route...

Five Distinctive South Coast Adventures along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route in the Central Coast

Highway 1 Discovery Route

The South Coast of the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route is teaming with distinctive adventures unique to Avila Beach & ValleyOceano and Nipomo all located in beautiful San Luis Obispo County (SLO CAL). It’s difficult to know where to start! Here’s a list of five amazing experiences you won’t want to miss this fall:

  • Hay Rides, U-Pick Pumpkins, Fresh Pressed Apple Cider and So Much More

Avila Valley Barn; 560 Avila Beach Drive, Avila Beach, CA 93405; (805)595-2816
If you’re looking for an authentic farm experience with hay rides and pumpkin patches, pony rides and farm animal feeding, look no further than the Avila Valley Barn. A rustic barn exterior, surrounded by acres of orchards, blooming flowers and trellises of vines, on the road that leads to the beach, the Avila Valley Barn is the epitome of all farm stands and farmers’ markets. Find u-pick fruits, berries and vegetables, an open-air market of locally-grown and organic Farmers’ Market produce, mouth-watering bakery items, and unique country gifts and décor. Get a taste of seasonal treats like sweet roasted corn-on-the-cob, fresh-pressed apple cider and pumpkin ice cream or get into the holiday spirit by shopping for festive fall and winter decorations. Whether you take a hay ride to the pumpkin patch for Halloween, pet the goats at the petting zoo, or pick your own apples, a trip to the Avila Valley Barn may just become your fall family tradition.

  • Rediscover the Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille

Guadalupe – Nipomo Dunes Center; 1065 Guadalupe St., Guadalupe, CA 93434; (805) 343-2455
The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex is comprised of 18 miles of coastline and is one of the most ecologically significant and largest intact coastal dune ecosystems on earth. In 1923, pioneer filmmaker Cecil. B. DeMille built the largest set in movie history in the dunes near Guadalupe, CA, for his silent epic, The Ten Commandments. After filming was complete, DeMille ordered that the entire set be dismantled and secretly buried in the dunes. And there it lay, forgotten, for the next 60 years and it still sits there, buried in the sand, known as the “Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille.” Find a unique and fascinating exhibit featuring a variety of artifacts from the both the set and the people who worked on the production at the Dunes Center, including a short film on the recovery effort of the set.

  • Discover the Wild Blue Yonder in a WWII Bi-Plane

Bi Plane Rides; 561 Air Park Drive, Oceano, CA 93445; (805) 474-6491
Oceano’s Banner Airways provides more than just an airplane ride, visitors are invited to experience an adventure of a lifetime. You’ll fly in the exact aircraft that were used to train American Pilots during WWII. Allow your fantasy to come true and feel the roar of a 450 horsepower Pratt & Whitney radial engine as you prepare for take-off into the wild blue yonder. The company supplies leather jacket, helmet, goggles, life jacket and tons of fun.  Fly north to Pismo Beach then make the amazing 180 degree turn and head south to the spectacular Oceano Dunes to watch four-wheelin’ ATV action from above. Next continue on to view the remains of the set from the 1956 Oscar-winning movie, “The Ten Commandments.” Keep your eyes open for whales, dolphins, and a variety of sea life – a fun, scenic flight for all ages!

  • Marvel at Migrating Monarchs at Two Locations!

Monarch Butterflies; 1610 Kingston Drive, Nipomo, CA 93444

Butterfly Preserve: Highway 1, North Beach Campground, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

There are two places to marvel at migrating butterflies off the Highway 1 Discovery Route. Both are home to thousands of black and gold Monarch butterflies migrating from late October to February. Visitors can see them clustered in the limbs of a Eucalyptus grove at Trilogy Monarch Dunes in Nipomo, and in the trees at a special butterfly preserve located between Pismo Beach and Oceano. Both locations provide a breathtaking glimpse of nature in all her vibrant glory. Many of these fragile butterflies fly more than 1,000 miles, braving harsh weather conditions before coming to roost in this protected Grove for the winter, which has supported as many as 60,000 overwintering monarchs. Accumulations of monarchs in California are made up of many winter sites along a narrow one to four-mile wide coastal strip from northern Mendocino County to as far south as Baja California, Mexico. Their distribution and abundance resembles a bell-shaped curve with the greatest concentration of winter sites located within central California, from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara, where conditions are most suitable for winter masses. The grove is open year-round with an interpretive trail that details their annual migratory journey.

  • Hike One of California’s Most Scenic Natural Areas, The Guadalupe Dunes

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area; 3098 Oso Flaco Lake Road, Nipomo CA 9342; (805) 343-2455

Just north of Guadalupe, California lays one of the most scenic natural areas all along California’s coast.  Oso Flaco Lake is the southernmost part of the Oceano Dunes State Park, where a significant portion of the nearly 22,000 acres of Dunes is under public management and open for recreation. Found in the midst of an enormous dunes complex, it is surprising to find a beautiful wooded area surrounding a lake that offers an incredible boardwalk bridge that takes visitors out over Oso Flaco Lake and through mountains of dunes. At the end of the boardwalk is a platform with views of the entire San Luis Bay from Point San Luis in the north, to Mussel Rock in the south. Learn more about the Oso Flaco history and wildlife by visiting the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center at 1065 Guadalupe Street in Guadalupe.


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