California Central Coast

They call the central coast of California “the original road trip”.  We call it the nature coast.  From Morro Bay to Monterey, this part of California offers spectacular rugged coast interspersed with beautiful beaches and mountains.  We found state parks and National Forest camping for our RV from San Simeon to Big Sur.

We started our exploration of the area in San Luis Obispo, a medium sized city with a big college population.  Downtown is interesting with an original Spanish Mission, a river walk area, and farmers markets almost every day of the week.  The big market is Thursday evening with a turnout of 5000 to 7000 people.  A bit large for us.

Pismo Beach has RV camping in county parks right next to the beach and its the only place we’ve seen vehicles allowed on the beach.  The beach has beautiful dunes and a grove of eucalyptus trees that host thousands of Monarch butterflies on the annual migration.  There are 5 small towns in this area with beautiful homes along bluffs above the ocean.  Morro Bay is a beautiful little beach town.  The Rock is an icon of the area.

Morro Rock

Morro Rock

A major attraction is Hearst Castle.  It may be the most awesome home in America.  Started in 1926, it was never finished as Hearst was always renovating.  Its more than an over-the-top monument to wealth.  There are over 25000 works of art decorating the “ranch”.  The State Park staff does a great job interpreting the site in a low key “as much as you like” style.  Hearst had a zoo on the property and some of the zebras escaped and can now be seen running wild.

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

Neptune Pool

Neptune Pool

Wild Zebras

Wild Zebras

elephantsealbeach

Elephant Seal Beach

Elephant Seal pup

Elephant Seal pup

The nature of the area is the main attraction though.  Elephant seals are thriving on at least 4 beaches and fascinating to watch.  They had been hunted to near extinction for their blubber but now have healthy populations.  We saw many pups who had been born this year.  Newborns are 35 to 60 pounds but grow to 350 pounds in about a month.  Then mom leaves and they have to learn to swim and hunt.  Fascinating.  Gray whales migrate north near the beach easily viewed from the cliffs.  Orcas congregate just offshore.  Sea otters have to be the most playful animals on earth.  All these creatures are viewed from wild rugged craggy bluffs.

Elephant Seal male

Elephant Seal male

Big Sur offers spectacular views of the meeting of land and sea.   It is still very wild country between the urban Bay Area and Greater LA.

Big Sur Coast

Big Sur Coast

Iconic Bixby Bridge

Iconic Bixby Bridge

Sea Otter

Sea Otter

Moonstone Beach

Moonstone Beach

Advertisements
This entry was posted in California, RV and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to California Central Coast

  1. rvroadie says:

    I’ve just started following your blog as we will be heading west next year. Great job and photos! I hope you will check out our blog at http://www.fulltimegypsies.wordpress.com

    Like

  2. You have just transported me there. Beautiful pictures with all the right detail.Nature looks abundantly thriving.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s