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8 Best Things to do in Cayucos, CA [2023]

Looking for the best things to do in Cayucos, California? Check out the best activities in the area to enjoy your time to the fullest! 

Cayucos is a really small town in California’s Central Coast, one of many hidden gems along the Pacific coastline that offers picturesque views, great food (and wine, we’re in SLO County after all!), and fantastic beaches.

Situated between Cambria and Morro Bay, this resort town boasts an irresistible charm and it’s a magnet for surfers, while also featuring family-friendly attractions. Tide-pooling and picnicking by the beach are but a few of the things that can be done in Cayucos. These also include whale-watching if you visit at the right time of year!

An image of a misty beach, with a volcanic plug in the background and two people by the shore. Inserted in a post about the best things to do in Cayucos

When I lived in Paso Robles, Cayucos used to be one of my favorite places to visit on the California Central Coast. The landscapes are stunning, yet it’s less known and less touristy than neighboring Morro Bay.

Check out the best things to do in Cayucos and start planning your weekend getaway! 

How To Get to Cayucos

Cayucos is in San Luis Obispo County, about 19 miles (30 km) from SLO town and between Los Angeles and San Francisco, making it the perfect spot on a California road trip.  

You can reach Cayucos coming from either city by the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1), and if you’re not driving you can take the Amtrak train or Greyhound bus to San Luis Obispo and from there a local bus (line 12 or 15) to Cayucos.  

Best Things To Do in Cayucos

Check Out the Cayucos Street Art

All over Cayucos (which is pretty small, we already covered that) there are beautiful murals that depict the history of the town. It’s a great idea to discover little pieces of Cayucos’ story by tracking down these street art gems! You’ll also find some murals around environmental topics.

Find the first mural at Cayucos Elementary School, so you can start the mural hunt there!

Get Souvenirs at the Antique Stores in Downtown Cayucos

An image of an antiques shop, and a golf cart parked in front of it. In the background there are hills and palm trees. The image shows one of the best things to do in Cayucos: shopping for antiques

The perfect souvenirs from Cayucos are not bought in a gift store but in antique stores. There are quite a few on Ocean Ave. and if you’re into vintage stuff you can easily spend a whole afternoon digging up old books, jewelry, toys, and knick-knacks, or even furniture items!

Start by checking out Remember When (it’s three floors of ancient treasures!) and then walk a few meters toward its sister store, Remember When Too. Still don’t have enough souvenirs in your bag? Head to Cayucos Antique Street Faire and Antiques to complete the tour. 

Enjoy the Cayucos Beach

Cayucos beach is splendid, and the perfect setting for tons of activities. If you’re into sports, head to the surf shop before you hit the beach and get yourself a suit and a board (or a surfing lesson!) to catch some amazing waves in the Pacific.

Otherwise, you can go fishing, stroll along the magnificent Cayucos pier, go whale watching or take a long walk along the shore. None of these appeal to you? It’s the beach! I’m sure you can come up with your favorite beach plan in no time. So get that swimsuit and hat in the bag, and get rid of your shoes to get into vacation mood.  

Go Wine Tasting 

If there’s something San Luis Obispo County is famous for are its wineries. So wherever you are in SLO, going wine tasting is a must, and one of the most popular Cayucos attractions!

Paso Robles is the official wine country, boasting magnificent vineyards and wine types for absolutely all tastes, so visit a few of its wineries if you have the chance! Some of the best wineries include Eberle Winery, Epoch Estate Wines, and L’Aventure Winery

You can also enjoy a great wine tasting experience close to town at Cayucos Cellars, a small family-owned winery, at Harmony Cellars or Moonstone Cellars

➤ If you don’t have a car (or plan on getting a little wined) go on the Hop-On Hop-Off Wine Tasting Tour. The tour operates with small groups, and lets you plan your own itinerary out of 70 wineries in Paso Robles.

This ensures a more personalized experience and gives you a say on how long or how little you want to stay in each destination. You’ll be taken to all your chosen wineries and back to your hotel after enjoying the wine, plus snacks, and lunch. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Go Hiking in Cayucos

Hiking is one of the most fun things to do in Cayucos, California if you’re an outdoorsy person. 

Harmony Headlands State Park, with its over 700 acres of land, offers the perfect setting for hiking with incredible views of the ocean. It’s located between Cayucos and the small town of Harmony, and it’s open from 6 AM to sunset. 

Otherwise, you can head to Estero Bluffs State Park, which is a bit closer to Cayucos and also offers incredible sights of the cliffs and fantastic hiking trails. 

If you also enjoy fishing, you can enjoy both activities at Whale Rock Reservoir, which features an earthen dam. 

Get Cookie-Stuffed at Brown Butter Cookie Company

Brown Butter Cookie Company has a few stores along the Pacific Coast, and if you come across one (at SLO Town, Paso Robles, or hey! Cayucos) you cannot avoid visiting the shop.

And get cookies; the classic ones, or the flavored ones like Cocoa, Cinnamon, Bourbon, Mint, or Coconut Lime cookies. They make the perfect gift for those waiting at home, or even better the ultimate snack to keep you going through the day. 

The cookies are made with brown butter, giving them a texture and taste unlike any other, and are freshly baked. You’ll find the cookie store at Ocean Avenue in Downtown Cayucos.

Take a Day Trip from Cayucos

San Luis Obispo County is home to many gorgeous towns that are worth your visit. If you’re staying for a few days in Cayucos, one of the best things to do is go on a day trip to one of these incredible places. 

▶️ San Luis Obispo: San Luis Obispo is a pretty town with tons to offer, from a famous weekly farmers market to many breweries that make delicious craft beer, wine-tasting rooms, and some quirky attractions that include Bubblegum Alley and Madonna Inn. 

▶️ Cambria: Cambria is the perfect hiking destination from Cayucos, but it also features a great downtown with shops, restaurants and cute cafes, art galleries, and astounding nature parks with views of the sea, like Lampton Cliffs Park. 

▶️ Morro Bay: Morro Bay is famous for Morro Rock, a volcanic plug that sits in the middle of the beach. Be sure to check it out and take a selfie with it! You can practice tons of beach sports and stroll around town; it features many restaurants and cafés with delicious treats and there’s also a movie theater, perfect for ending your day watching the newest release. 

▶️ Pismo Beach: Pismo Beach is a coastal town south of Cayucos that features incredible beaches (and a pier larger than Cayucos’), several hiking trails, amazing seafood, and a cute little downtown area. You can also find the famous Oceano Dunes and rent a buggy or ATV to go dune bashing; definitely one of the best things to do near Cayucos!

Eat at These Restaurants in Cayucos 

Cayucos offers quite a few restaurants to choose from.

👉 I’ve written a full post about the best restaurants in Cayucos, but check out some of the eateries you should visit while in town.

▶️ Lunada Garden Bistro serves lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch, in a gorgeous outdoor garden. The bistro is located in a historic Way Station and boasts a large menu of seafood dishes.

▶️ Schooners offers outdoor seating and views of the pier. This popular restaurant has a fantastic menu for lunch and dinner, and appetizers to get your mouth watering before you try them. It’s also one of the best places to enjoy the sunset with a drink!

▶️ The Hidden Kitchen is a great place to enjoy a healthy and hearty breakfast. Besides delicious gluten-free waffles and avo toasts, they also serve savory tacos for lunch and boast a patio with outdoor seating that’s pet-friendly.  

Things To Do in Cayucos FAQ

Is Cayucos worth a visit?

Cayucos is a charming town in the Californian coast, and very much worth a visit!

What is Cayucos CA known for?

Cayucos is known for its great beaches and surfing opportunities, its spectacular pier, and fresh seafood.

Where are the Cayucos tide pools?

The tide pools are located north of Cayucos, between the town and Harmony Headlands State Park.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.

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