Local Area Attractions
Reservations are strongly recommended for tours of Hearst Castle . Construction began on Hearst Castle in 1919 and continued for 28 years. Hearst Castle is referred to as the "Crown Jewel of San Luis Obispo". Hearst Castle has spectacular views overlooking the ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountains.
The Ticket Office opens at 8:00 am. Tour times vary, but generally the daytime tours begin at 9:00 am
750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon, CA 93452
Fishing and Boating at Santa Margarita Lake
Beyond the developed area of the park, Santa Margarita Lake Natural Area represents several thousand acres of designated open space. This section of the park is managed for its natural resource values, passive recreational use, and environmental education opportunities. The area is accessible to hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. Motor vehicles are not permitted in the Natural Area. Santa Margarita Lake Regional Park is a nature lover's retreat. With thousands of acres of unspoiled open space, the park is home to countless species of plants and wildlife making it the perfect location for nature study, boating, and fishing.
FISHING / BOATING
Santa Margarita Lake is noted for its excellent fishing and peaceful boating. Cast your line into Santa Margarita Lake and you'll find hungry redear, striped bass, trout, catfish, crappie and bluegill. Fish from shore, use one of the launch ramps, or try your luck from a boat or canoe.
Reservations (805) 788-2397
Pool Rental (805) 781-5930
Marina Store: (805) 438-1522
Sunset Drive-In Movie Theatre
Like a blast from the 1950s, this roadside drive-in is the real thing. Located in a big empty field just off the highway, it's easy to get to and the whole experience is a hoot. The films are typically family fare, with a double feature consisting of two popular current films for a price that's as retro as the theater itself. The sound system is a modern one that allows the film's sound to come through the car stereo. This means you don't have to have your window open to accommodate speakers, a nice touch given that temperatures can drop after dark if the fog comes in. They sell typical movie fare like popcorn, candy and drinks, and a limited menu of snacks such as nachos and hot dogs
Be prepared for cold night air. Bring lots of blankets, jackets and scarves in case it gets chilly. The fog can come in or the wind can come up in this location close to the coast.
Just the Facts
Hours: Open weekdays and weekends all year. Call for film schedule; typically there are two films, one at 7 or 7:30, the other at 9 or 9:30 p.m.
Fees: Under $10
Address: 255 Elks Ln, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401Phone:(805) 544-4475
Pismo Beach and Pismo Dunes
This off road area is among the most popular and unique of California State Parks. The 5 1/2 miles of beach open for vehicle use and the sand dunes available for off highway motor vehicle recreation are attractions for visitors from throughout the United States
Oceano Dunes is the only California State Park where vehicles may be driven on the beach. Passenger cars can easily drive on the northern portion of the beach.
Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended for driving to the camping and off highway vehicle use areas in the park.
Beach wheelchairs are available for loan at the Pier and Grand Avenue entrances to the beach.
Surfing, swimming, surf fishing, horseback riding and bird watching are popular activities.
The recreation area is located in Oceano, three miles south of Pismo Beach off Highway 1.
One mile south of the Pier Avenue beach ramp is Post 2, a post on the beach which marks the beginning of the off-highway vehicle riding and camping area.
OHV's must be transported to this point before unloading. Any areas on the beach or in the dunes that are fenced or signed are closed to vehicular use because they either contain sensitive plant and animal life or are private property.
PARK OFFICE TELEPHONE:
Whale Watching Tours
Whale watching in California is a popular activity and on the Central Coast whale watching vacation tours are not to be missed. Twice a year the California Gray Whale migrates from its feeding grounds in the Bering Straits to the breeding grounds off Baja California and back again. Morro Bay is a great place to view the whales along their journey. When you stay at the Embarcadero Inn you'll be within walking distance of a popular and experienced local whale watching vacation tour operator. Experienced local guides will make your whale watching vacation tour a memorable one.
The Morro Bay National Estuary and Harbor make up the crown jewels of the Central Coast. While many wetlands in California suffer, the Morro Bay ecosystem thrives. Home to dozens of endangered species, it is also a spawning ground, nursery for marine fisheries, a commercial fishing harbor and a center for recreation and education. Guests of the Embarcadero Inn will enjoy harbor views and being in close proximity to the estuary. And just down the street, guests can join a guided boat tour of the estuary.
Local Area Activities
Our local area is known for its many award winning wineries and natural hot springs. Stay at our campground and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature while relaxing under the stars near the warmth of a campfire. Take in the beautiful scenery of the nearby lake and several beaches as well as the beautiful rolling hills. There truly is something for everybody!
Fishing and Boating at Santa Margarita Lake
We are located a quarter mile from the award-winning bass fishing Santa Margarita Lake. The lake is a "no-contact lake" meaning that they welcome fishing and boating, but swimming in the lake itself is not permitted. The lake provides boat rentals of kayaks, fishing boats and pontoon boats. The lake has a small marina and store. You are able to walk or bike into the lake for FREE! There is a $10 fee per vehicle. Picnic areas and BBQ grills paired with freshly-caught fish make for some tasty eating! We recommend getting your fishing license at Big 5, Wal-Mart or on-line at www.dfg.ca.gov prior to your trip to the lake. There are two FREE FISHING DAYS in 2013 when you don't need a license: July 6 and Sept. 7.Have you ever felt the excitement of watching your bobber suddenly jiggle, then dive out of sight? Or feeling the tap-tap-tap of a bass as it tastes the worm on the end of your line? Or having a fish practically tear the rod out of your hands as it grabs your lure? What's that? You say you never learned to fish?If you are new to the sport of fishing, and not sure if you will enjoy it, a great opportunity awaits you. the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) offers two Free Fishing Days each year. On these days, you can fish without a sport fishing license. Free Fishing Days provide a great, low-cost way to give fishing a try. FREE FISHING DAYS IN 2013: July 6 and September 7.
Golf at Public Courses
There are nearly a dozen golf courses in San Luis Obispo County. If you are dying to perfect your golf swing and just have to get your feet on the green, try one of these select few courses. Avila Beach Resort - Avila Beach, BlackLake Golf Resort - Nipomo, Cypress Ridge - Arroyo Grande Morro Bay Golf Course - Morro Bay, Chalk Mountain Golf Course - Atascadero, Dairy Creek Golf Course - San Luis Obispo, Sea Pines Golf Resort - Los Osos, Hunter Ranch Golf Course - Paso Robles, Eagle Creek Golf Course - Atascadero, Laguna Lake Golf Course - San Luis Obispo, Links Course - Paso Robles.
Antiquing in Santa Margarita and Beyond
Do you love to go antiquing? Santa Margarita Antique Barn offers one of the best antique depots in the area. It is filled with furniture, jewelry, clothing, and artifacts from days gone by. You will love every moment of it. Head north on El Camino Real a few miles from Santa Margarita and browse at the Wagon Wheel. You'll find lots of other antique shops in Paso Robles, just 30 minutes north on 101.
Unique boutiques and shops in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. Factory outlet in Pismo Beach. Great souvenirs and fun items in Morro Bay, Cayucos and Cambria just 30 minutes away.
Sand Dunes - Grover Beach
Enjoy horseback riding on the beach as well as driving your own vehicle on the sand. You can also rent ATV's to ride the dunes. Experience one of California's most beautiful beaches...up close and personal!
Local Area EventsListing Calendar
Farmer's Market (San Luis Obispo)
The San Luis Obispo farmer's market is a weekly event that takes place every Thursday in down town San Luis Obispo. It is a local favorite as well as a visitor's paradise. Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as right of the grill burgers and tri-tip. Make an evening in the heart of the city and experience what San Luis Obispo is all about!