Thanksgiving is all about togetherness and what better way to spend quality time with your loved ones than getting away from it all for a serendipitous escape to Avila Beach?
Avila Beach offers a plethora of Vacation Rentals ranging from one bedroom to six bedrooms. No matter the size of your gathering, you will be able to find accommodations that fit your group’s needs. Many of the vacation rentals offer swoon-worthy kitchens complete with appliances that will enable you to prepare an elaborate Turkey-day feast!
Hit the Bob Jones trail before you enter into a deep food coma and stretch your legs with a stroll or even take on the family-friendly trail on two wheels. Grab a football and head to the beach for a friendly game of two-hand touch, or beach volleyball. We even boast a public basketball court here with ocean views or a welcoming playground for the little ones. You can also up that sense of adventure and hit the open waters for a whale watching tour, fishing, kayaking, or a stand-up paddleboard tour! In a setting like Avila Beach, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with gratitude.
Worried that a beach Thanksgiving will take you away from the Black Friday deals? Think again! Check out some of our beloved local boutiques for treasure to remind you of your wonderful beach escape or hop on the oceanfront highway and visit our neighbors in Pismo for an impressive array of outlet stores. Or, you can skip the crowds and connect to your vacation rental or hotel room’s fast Wifi network and never leave the couch!
Give an Avila Thanksgiving a shot, we think this might just be your family’s new favorite tradition!
Ranked as a top destination on TripAdvisor, Avila Beach is a perfect location for your Highway 1 road trip. With a world-class beach for the family and an adjacent, dog-friendly beach, Avila is a quaint, uncrowded attraction on the Highway 1 Discovery Route. Check out all the activities Avila Beach has to offer.
Bob Jones Trail Rated a 5-star attraction on TripAdvisor, this 5-mile round trip paved path winds through the Avila Beach Golf Resort to the pristine coastal town of Avila Beach.
Point San Luis Lighthouse Rated a 5-star attraction on TripAdvisor, the Point San Luis Lighthouse is a fully restored national landmark with tours open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays. A must-do activity.
Avila Valley Barn Rated a 4.5-star attraction on TripAdvisor, the Avila Valley Barn is a favorite among travelers. Come pick fruit, feed the farm animals or relax with a picnic made up of local produce and snacks you can purchase on-site.
Avila Beach Paddlesports For the adventure seeker, and rated 5-stars on TripAdvisor, Avila Beach Paddlesports offers kayak and stand-up paddle boards in the calm waters of Avila Beach. See wildlife and get your exercise.
Lodging in Avila Beach With several properties rated on TripAdvisor at 4.5 stars or higher, this quaint, uncrowded California beach town is perfect for all ages. With family activities, restaurants, wine tasting, and nightlife, this town has something for everyone. Don’t delay. Come visit. Plan your trip to Avila Beach, now.
Get up close and personal with the best the coast has to offer, from conservation and walks to wildlife and talks. The Coastal Discovery Celebration brings Avila Beach and many other destinations along the Highway 1 Discovery Route vibrantly to life. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with nature and culture during this seven-week collection of events. See below for some featured activities happening right here in Avila Beach and start planning your trip now!
Whale Trail Along the Whale Trail you’ll be looking over the waters of one of our nation’s most spectacular marine protected areas, offering some of the best wildlife viewing in the world – including 34 species of marine mammals! Search for the heart-shaped blows of gray whales, tall dorsal fins of orcas, or feeding humpback and blue whales. Look for seals and sea lions on offshore rocks and sea otters wrapped up in kelp. You can see amazing marine life at the Whale Trail’s shore-based sites at any time of year.
Central Coast Aquarium The Central Coast Aquarium welcomes all visitors, friends and family, to indulge in the splendor of the Central Coast’s beauty and wonder within the waters brought to land. Between hands-on experiences like the Exhibit Hall’s tough tanks or close encounters with swell sharks, to engaging academic programs where kiddos learn to walk on sea legs aboard a fishing boat, they aspire to inspire the explorers within every heart who enters their doors.
Kayak Back in Time Paddle back in time to the 125 year old and fully restored Point San Luis Lighthouse. Bring your adventurous spirit and interest in California mariner history. The leisurely three-hour round trip guided tour includes: paddling instruction (if needed), tasty snacks, a short-guided paddle in the protected waters of San Luis Obispo Bay, a walk up from the beach to the lighthouse bluff with beautiful vistas, and a complete docent led educational tour of the lighthouse and its grounds.
Stewardship Clean-Up Kit and Appreciation Tote Bag Did you know that marine debris harms wildlife through both enlargement and ingestion? Plastics take hundreds of years to breakdown and may continue to trap and kill animals year after year unless it is picked up and disposed of. When you spend a valuable hour or two collecting marine debris and litter with friends, family, or on your own, you help protect wildlife and make a difference with your visit. High school aged family members may receive volunteer credit while on vacation; check with individual schools for eligibility.
Be a trailblazer! This beloved path is known as the “City to the Sea Trail” for good reason: it’s the westernmost section of a larger trail connecting San Luis Obispo to the beach.
Terrain is three miles (roundtrip) of well-marked, flat pavement, suitable for walking, jogging, or cycling and all ages. Ample parking is available at the trailhead on Ontario Road.
Enjoy cruising beneath a cathedral of sycamore branches and beside the meandering San Luis Obispo Creek. For a fun afternoon, take the path all the way to the charming community of Avila Beach for lunch or beach fun, then head back and grab a drink at Woodstone Marketplace along the trail.
Go wine tasting at the beach.
Want to taste coastal winemaking at its finest? Avila Beach is home to several tasting rooms that welcome visitors, most of which are conveniently located in downtown Avila Beach, making for safe, walkable wine tasting. The others can be found mere minutes away in the leafy and secluded Avila Valley, easily accessible by ride-sharing or taxi.
Tasting rooms include a wide array of varieties, from brut-style sparkling wine to deep, dark Syrah and several points in between. Most offer tastings for a very reasonable fee, and many waive it with the purchase of wine.
Visit this historic lightstation, on the National Register of Historic Places and still in operation under the auspices of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The lighthouse is tucked away past the town of Avila Beach, reachable by a docent-led trolley, by kayak, or by hiking in with Pecho Coast Trail Guides. Hikes take about an hour to reach the light station, and offer views of the ocean perfect for whale watching during migration.
The two-storey keeper’s building harkens back to Victorian Gothic design atop windswept bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Tours are available Wednesdays and Saturdays at noon, 1pm, and 2pm, year-round.
Are you sea-worthy? This thoughtfully-designed aquarium is home to dozens of species, from the giant Pacific octopus and sharks to tidepool creatures like sea stars and rock crabs.
For young visitors, the aquarium offers touch tanks and interactive exhibits designed to foster a lifelong love for the ocean and coastal conservation.
The aquarium hosts a range of educational experiences, including Sharks After Dark, a monthly adults-only evening event in which local experts discuss marine topics like oceanography…deliciously paired with appetizers and wine.
On regular days throughout the year, the Central Coast Aquarium invites trained divers to help with a dive cleanup. Landlubbers are also welcome to help with beach cleanup days.
Become a Shoreline Explorer! On the last Thursday or Saturday of the month, the aquarium invites young learners to hear a brief talk on the species of the month, then sets them out with their parents with a Beachcomber’s Guide with everything needed to navigate an adventure to discover the wonderful world under the waves, including Tide Pool Tips, Directions, Photos, Links to Check Tides, and Animal Information.
Home to some of the best tasting apples on the Central Coast, the See Canyon apple season opens September 1 through early December. Grown in a perfect micro-climate that enhances their crisp, juicy, fragrant, fresh apple essence, the Avila Valley’s apple farms are each unique and special in their own way. Come explore the Avila Apple Trail to learn all the apple varieties grown. Visit the orchards to taste fresh apple cider, hard ciders, still and sparkling apple wines. Enjoy homemade baked apple pies and pastries, and variety of apple products pie along the bucolic See Canyon Apple Trail. Apple season is a special time of the year on the Central Coast. Tasting locally grown apples picked right off the tree, will give you a completely new appreciation of this beautiful fruit.
Apple Farms in the Avila Valley and See Canyon Area:
Avila Valley Barn 560 Avila Beach Drive Avila Beach, CA 93405 Phone: (805) 595-2810 www.avilavalleybarn.com Season: Open Year Round Hours: 9:00am-6:00pm
Creekside Apple Farm 1691 See Canyon Road San Luis Obispo, CA (805) 595-9515 Season: September- Late November Hours: Open Daily Weekdays 10:00am-5:00pm; Weekends Open 9:00am-6:00pm
See Canyon Fruit Ranch 2345 See Canyon Road San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (805) 595-2376 www.seecanyonwedding.com Season: September-Late November Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm
Gopher Glen Apple Farm 2899 See Canyon Road San Luis Obispo, CA, 93405 (805) 595-2646 email@example.com www.gopherglen.com Season: July-Late November Hours: Open Daily Weekdays 9:00am-5:00pm; Sundays 10:00am-5:00pm
For Hard Cider, Apple Wine & Sparkling Wine: If you enjoy hard cider, apple wine or apple sparkling wine tasting, then visit the following places located in the Avila Valley/See Canyon, Ca Area.
Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards Apple Wine & Hard Cider 1947 See Canyon Road San Luis Obispo, CA, 93405 Tasting Room (805) 595-9700 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.kelseywine.com Season: Year Round Hours: Open Everyday 10:30am to 5:30pm
Enjoy the experiences of harvest right here in Avila Beach!
Harvest season is one of the most beautiful and popular times of year to visit Avila Beach. With so much to do and see, we invite you to pick your perfect wine tasting adventure! Come and explore some of the finest wines on the California Central Coast, all within walking or biking distance in charming downtown Avila Beach and Avila Valley, or attend one of our many wine themed events.
Harvest on the Coast It’s a Harvest Party at the Beach on November 3rd! Join our winemakers and local chefs at our Grand Tasting and Wine Auction. Our beachside grand tasting features over 50 wineries and restaurants serving hand-crafted wines and cuisine, paired with live music. Book your stay in Avila Beach and gain exclusive access to the Avila Beach Experience Lounge to enjoy VIP tastings and food pairings!
Avila Apple Festival The Avila Apple Festival will be on Saturday, September 22, from 5-9pm, under the stars in the beautiful Avila Beach Community Center Garden. This amazing evening will feature live music, wine tasting from the Avila Wine Trail, an exceptional 5-course apple-inspired menu, and local beer and cider. There will also be a live and silent auction with all proceeds benefitting the Avila Beach Community Center. Tickets are limited, so get yours today by calling (805) 627-1997.
Catch of the Central Coast Be our guest at 2018 CATCH of the Central Coast, South of the Border, on Saturday, September 8th. Nestled on the 10th fairway of the Avila Beach Golf Resort, the event will feature a gourmet, multi-course wine dinner inspired by the bounty and flavors of the Mexican coast. The dinner features locally sourced, sustainable seafood or non-seafood options, complete with local wine. Enjoy pre-dinner wine tasting and a signature cocktail designed specifically for CATCH.
Best Places to Stay Whether you stay in beautiful See Canyon, in the rolling hills of Avila Valley, or one of several beach front properties, Avila Beach lodging options offer something for every budget and lifestyle. Travelers can choose from quaint boutique hotels steps from the beach, over 50 vacation rentals, or a world-class resort and spa located in an oak grove. Discover how you can Pick Your Perfect Paradise filled with ahh moments when you visit Avila Beach.
September marks the 5th annual celebration of Avila Beach’s apple-growing heritage with the Avila Apple Festival. Avila’s See Canyon has a long history of apple growing. Originally planted by James Brown in the late 1800’s, the See Canyon is currently home to more than 75 varieties of apples, including both common and heirloom varieties.
The Avila Apple Festival Gala Dinner, organized by the Avila Beach Civic Association, celebrates this long farming heritage with a multi-course dinner highlighting local apples.
On Saturday, September 22nd, under the stars in the beautiful Avila Beach Community Center Garden, this event will come to life. This amazing evening will feature live music, wine tasting from the Avila Wine Trail, an exceptional 5 course apple inspired menu and local beer and cider. This is a 21+ event. There will also be live and silent auctions with proceeds benefiting the Avila Beach Community Center.
Tickets are limited, so get yours today at (805)627-1997.
Find Charming Ambience, Miles of White Sandy Beaches, Charming Oceanfront Restaurants, A World-Class Spa, Natural Mineral Hot Springs, Magnificent Local Wines and Outdoor Adventure
What’s your idea of paradise filled with ahh moments? Is it a spa retreat in the flora and fauna of Bali, a warm, sunny beach getaway in a place unburdened by coastal fog like Key West, or a relaxing retreat on white sandy beaches like off the coast of New England? Whatever paradise means to you, it’s easy to find your ahh moment in Avila Beach & Valley all without the cost of airfare.
Located along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route on California’s central coast, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the road to Avila Beach takes visitors through a lush oak valley lined with transformative spas featuring natural, mineral hot springs, world-class massage and facials, and yoga instruction. Journey just a little further and the welcoming paradise of the town of Avila Beach appears with quaint shopping, wine tasting, restaurants and beautiful beaches. Avila Beach is a breath of fresh salty air for all to enjoy. Want to see for yourself? Check out this video to see all the fun adventures that await you in this charming seaside town.
Best Place to Stay Whether you stay in beautiful See Canyon, in the rolling hills of Avila Valley, or one of several beach front properties, Avila Beach lodging options offer something for every budget and lifestyle. Travelers can choose from quaint boutique hotels steps from the beach, over 50 vacation rentals, or a world-class resort and spa located in an oak grove. Discover how you can Pick Your Perfect Paradise filled with ahh moments when you visit Avila Beach.
Best Place to Eat Avila Beach is known for its fresh fish market located on the end of the Harford Pier and the seafood restaurants located there don’t disappoint either! Find quaint cafes serving up acai bowls and locally roasted coffee, a local market great for sandwiches to take to the beach, or restaurants for families or farm to table cuisine and local wine. Avila Beach truly has something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
Best Place to Play According to Sunset Magazine, “tiny, out-of-the-way Avila Beach—with its sunny microclimate, beachfront promenade, and down-to-earth vibe—might be the ultimate sampler platter of all things classically Californian.” Here’s a list of popular activities you won’t want to miss:
Point San Luis Lighthouse Take a classic trolley to this historic lighthouse built in 1868. The Point San Luis Lighthouse is one of the best-kept secrets on the Central Coast, a hidden gem outside of Avila Beach, and a fun day adventure for the whole family. If you are looking for something new and unique to do on the Central Coast, consider a tour of the Point San Luis Lighthouse. A must do for tourists and locals alike!
Wine Tasting by The Beach You’ve got salt in your hair, sand between your toes and two, maybe three, surf boards in the back seat. Your perfect wine pairing involves a bonfire and the occasional errant Frisbee. Avila Valley is one of the few places where you can taste great wines while enjoying the sunset off the Pacific.
Avila Beach Farmers’ Market Located on the Avila Promenade this Market runs every Friday from 4pm – 8pm, April through September. Avila Farmers’ Market features booths overflowing with fresh local produce, hand-crafted artisan foods, crafts, restaurants selling delicious local fare, live entertainment, and fun for everyone!
Avila Valley Barn While the rest of the world celebrates the harvest in autumn, the rich bounty of the earth lasts all year long at the Avila Valley Barn. Ripe peaches, juicy berries, crisp apples, and a cornucopia of locally grown vegetables are displayed in baskets and crates inside an open-air barn. This unique farm and produce stand offers hay rides, a petting zoo, and the pleasure of picking your own produce during U-pick season. Two distinctive gift shops showcase unusual kitchen wares, jams, jellies, cheeses, candies, and toys, plus homemade baked goods.
Harford Pier The Harford Pier was developed in 1873 by John Harford to handle shipping commerce prior to train service arriving in San Luis Obispo. Smugglers also used the pier for transporting liquor under the cover of darkness. The Harford Pier is now home to recreational and commercial fishing, as well as two restaurants and a seafood market. Perhaps the most notable feature of the Harford Pier, which was previously used by horse-drawn carriages, is that it’s still open to vehicles.
The Bob Jones Trail The Bob Jones Trail is the “City to the Sea” bike trail that runs from Avila Beach to San Luis Obispo. Used as a hiking, jogging and biking route, the paved trail winds through the forested valley alongside San Luis Obispo Creek and behind the Avila Valley Barn. Find views of beautiful oak trees, bridges spanning the wide creek, the Avila Beach Golf Course, the town of Avila Beach and Port San Luis.
Central Coast Aquarium The Central Coast Aquarium is a friendly public visitor center that is ideally situated on the beautiful Central Coast just steps away from the beach and boardwalk. Students and visitors get a fun, hands-on experience that allows them to explore the ocean. The small, family-friendly aquarium has a mission of educating and inspiring visitors of all ages about local sea life and marine science.
Avila Beach Golf Resort The Avila Beach Golf Resort is the most well-known of the Central Coast Golf Courses. Located three miles off Highway 101 between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach, nestled in the surrounding hills and on the bay, the resort includes a par 71, 6,500-yard championship course. The front nine is situated within oak-lined valleys and the back nine transverses a tidal estuary. Golfers of all abilities will enjoy the challenge of this scenic course.
Stewardship Travel in Avila Beach Stewardship Travel is about adding a bit of “doing good and feeling good” to your vacation. As you plan your Avila Beach trip, consider adding an hour or two of fun volunteer time to your day, or schedule a travel adventure to a natural, cultural or historic site. Contribute to a historic lighthouse, make new friends at a beach cleanup or become a “citizen scientist” at the Central Coast Aquarium. Your stewardship benefits the Central Coast and adds deeper purpose to your vacation. Get the exclusive Avila Beach Free Stewardship Clean-up Kit & Tote Gift Bag, watch the sharks feed at the Central Coast Aquarium and visit the aquarium’s Jelly Tank, take the Pecho Coast Trail Docent Hikes to Point San Luis Lighthouse with PG&E, and much more.
Must-see Rural Road Trip Map: Avila Beach & Valley There are must-see spots along the way where visitors can become immersed in Avila Beach, as well as the nine other quaint towns that make up the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route. Exploring the hidden gems and local favorites along the route has become so popular by visitors that 10 rural road trip loops are featured on the website, making it easy to navigate by car. Download the Avila Beach rural road trip map here.
While there is an endless amount of fun to be had year-round in Avila Beach, summer thrives here. With so many incredible festivals and events taking place over the next few months, you’ll be sure to want to pack your bag, hit the road, and head out to your favorite summer destination!
We invite you to immerse yourself in all things Avila Beach and Pick Your Perfect Paradise!
Avila Beach Farmers’ Market This iconic Avila Beach event takes place along the beachfront promenade every Friday from 4-8pm through September 29th. Highlights include: live music, fresh produce, local food booths, family fun, and beautiful ocean views! Take advantage of the free trolley rides to the market.
Central Coast Oyster Festival, July 8th The 6th annual Central Coast Oyster & Music Festival has been voted by Fox News as #4 of the Top 10 Oyster Festivals in the nation and is the largest Oyster Festival on the West Coast. Local foodies and newcomers alike will truly experience the perks of the Central Coast, with over 30 local food & drink vendors, retail vendors, an all-day Music Festival, and amazing art installations.
Avila Beach Yoga & Art Festival, July 9th Grab your yoga mat and join us for a day filled with classes, music, art, food and fun. The festival will encompass many unique Yoga classes and will end with performances by FRENSHIP, ROZES and GoldBoot! This one day event will include opportunities for all levels and all ages. Whether you are brand new to Yoga and wanting to test the waters, or an experienced Yogi, the diverse class schedule will have something for you.
Discover Our Wine Region You’ve got salt in your hair, sand between your toes and two, maybe three, boards in the back seat. Your perfect wine pairing involves a bonfire, a little surf guitar, and the occasional errant Frisbee. Avila Valley is one of the few places where you can taste great wines grown and made within an earshot of the Pacific, all while you sit back and enjoy the sunset off the water.
Central Coast Aquarium This small, family-friendly aquarium is ideally situated just steps away from the beach and boardwalk. Visitors get a fun, hands-on experience that allows them to explore the world of the ocean, beneath the surface. Their mission is to educate and inspire visitors of all ages about local sea life and marine science by giving them an exciting hands-on experience.
In my last post of our incredible family road trip to California we had left Monterey and were heading down the coast of California towards Avila Beach, one of the longest stretches of our trip at 150 miles and just over 2 and a half hours. However we decided that rather than see this long drive as a hassle or a means to an end, we would use it to our advantage and take in some of the beautiful sights on route.
Our whole trip was full of pinch me moments, but there are a few that really stick out as defining memories to me and standing up there looking at the view is one of them. I think it is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. This is a trip that I had been wanting to do since I was little, before we had children we just never got round to it as we couldn’t afford it for one reason or another, but when I dreamed of doing it I would never have imagined I would have three little children by my side (or just out of shot in the car as we were worried about how high up it was- we got the girls out one of time to take a photo with them!) We spent half an hour or so there taking in the view before it was time to head to Avila Beach.
Our first impressions of Avila Beach as we arrived and had a quick drive around was that it was as lot smaller than the other places we had visited on the trip so far. It is literally just off Highway 1, so perfect for a stopover or a longer stay. And we left feeling like we wished we could have stayed there longer. We arrived late afternoon and checked into our hotel, the Avila Lighthouse Suites which turned out to be one of our favourite hotels of our trip. We had a great suite overlooking the ocean, and there was a pool and plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained. We were all pretty shattered by this point, so headed out to find some dinner- we found the Custom House restaurant, which judging by how busy it was, was a favourite of many, and enjoyed a delicious meal of flatbreads, pasta and burgers. There was literally one row of shops and restaurants in Avila, which you could walk to from our hotel, and it made a welcome change from having to get in the car to go anywhere. Then it was back to our room for a well needed night’s sleep.
TUESDAY 4th APRIL 2017
We awoke the next morning to the sun streaming in through the shutters in our room. After heading to breakfast, which was basic but good (plus you could make your own waffles with pre made batter which you put in a waffle machine- the girls thought this was the best thing ever), we decided to take advantage of having a beautiful beach right on our doorstep by heading out to enjoy the first golden light of the day.
We then decided to have a paddle in the water by the pier, which turned into pretty much go into the sea up to your waist fully clothed. I sat back on the sand and watched the girls shrieking and laughing with joy. Again it was such a special moment and one of my favourites of the trip (It wasn’t so funny when they started getting grumpy because they hated their sandy wet clothes afterwards though).
A lot of people have asked us how the children coped with going such a long way and doing such long drives in between each destination. I must admit it was something that I had been quite worried about before we travelled, but bar the odd tired meltdown, on the whole they were absolutely brilliant. Out of any trip we have ever been on, they thrived on the quality time with us and were on the whole so well behaved and brilliantly. We actually found the long car journey’s helped us all get a bit of down time, have a nap etc. Likewise for that reason rather than rush on to our next destination, we decided to spend the morning relaxing in the pool at Avila Beach, something which we hadn’t done the entire time we were there. We all thrived on having a slow chilled out start to the day.