california’s central coast - overview

It’s hard to imagine how beautiful California must have been when filmmakers arrived in the first decades of the twentieth century. With near-perfect weather, fabulous light, and shimmering mountains sloping to sparkling sea, California was truly an earthly paradise.

And while much of this natural splendor has disappeared, the state’s Central Coast remains largely unspoiled. Forty minutes from San Francisco, you’ll discover a world of pumpkin patches and tide pools, produce stands and country stores in Half Moon Bay. A few miles down the coast, you can climb a 19th-century lighthouse and explore the world’s largest mainland colony of elephant seals.

The Monterey Peninsula, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Big Sur are recognized the world over for their breathtaking scenery, enviable lifestyle, and lively arts scene. And did somebody say "golf?" Pebble Beach is just one of the legendary courses here.

Further south, Hearst Castle is America’s most impressive palace. While the charming Paso Robles wine district was virtually undiscovered before made popular by the movie "Sideways". San Luis Obispo is a delightful town radiating from its Mission, which was built in 1772. And you can visit the vineyards and wineries of the Arroyo Grande, and Santa Ynez Valleys before driving to Santa Barbara, the gem of the American Rivera.

California’s Central Coast Highlights
Santa Barbara

California’s Central Coast Travel Tips
Monterey Bay

Lodging, Tourism, Vacations
San Simeon

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