The Best of Highway 1: Must-See Spots in Avila Beach & Valley

The Best of Highway 1: Must-See Spots in Avila Beach & Valley

Featuring A Warm Inviting Ambience, Miles of White Sandy Beaches, Amenity-Laden Lodging Options, Charming Oceanfront Restaurants, A World Class Spa, Magnificent Local Wines, Shopping and Outdoor Activities, Plus Enter To Win A Must See Getaway To This Ahh Inspiring California Beach Town

Don’t miss these ahh inspiring, must-see spots in Avila Beach where you can pick your perfect paradise along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route. The quaint town’s breathtaking white sandy beaches, ideal Mediterranean climate and warm ambiance set it apart from all others. Locals call Avila Beach the land of ahhs because of all the ahh inspiring things to see and do. Located just off Highway 1 on California’s central coast, the road to Avila Beach takes visitors through a lush oak valley lined with transformative spas featuring natural, mineral hot springs, world-class massage, yoga instruction, and sense therapies. Journey just a little further and the welcoming paradise of Avila Beach appears. Avila Beach is a breath of fresh salt air, with amenity-laden lodging options, charming oceanfront restaurants, magnificent local wines, and shopping and activities for all to enjoy.

“Choose from a number of fine oceanfront resorts or stay in the perfect family friendly vacation rental,” explains Cheryl Cuming, Chief Administrative Officer, CA Highway 1 Discovery Route. “Wherever you choose to lay your head, you’ll find several local wine tasting rooms in town and in the Avila Valley. The natural mineral spas are open all year round. In the fall, tour the apple orchards for the best of the season’s harvest. Check out the oceanfront 18-hole golf course and the Bob Jones Trail, which connects walkers and bicyclists along three miles of San Luis Creek, from the top of Avila Valley to a vibrant beachfront downtown.”

Immerse yourself in Avila Beach & Valley by entering to win the Must-See Getaway Contest. It’s easy! Just fill out this form and you could be selected to win two nights lodging at one of the town’s quaint hotels, a kayak or paddlboarding excursion, and dinner for two!

AB_8 Avila Beach Pelican

Stewardship Travel in Avila Beach
Stewardship Travel is your getaway to ‘Ah-Ha’ moments on vacation through activities and charitable donation opportunities that protect wildlife, habitat, and cultural heritage sites. As you plan your rural road trip, add an hour or two of fun volunteer time to your day, or schedule a travel adventure to a natural, cultural or historic site. Whether you are an active doer, learner or donor there are plenty of dynamic opportunities to choose from. 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 , don’t miss Annual Avila Apple Festival and much more. Your stewardship benefits the Central Coast and adds deeper purpose to your vacation.

What’s your idea of paradise? Is it a spa retreat that will leave you feeling better? Are you searching for a beach getaway in a warm, sunny place unburdened by coastal fog? Perhaps you yearn to explore the Central Coast’s finest vintners on a wine tasting adventure? Or is it discovering the source of farm-to-table in an amazing agritourism experience? Whatever paradise means to you, it’s easy to take your pick in Avila Beach. 

Avila Valley – Tasting by the Beach
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 earshot of the Pacific, all while you sit back and enjoy the sunset off the water. Featured Wineries: Croma Vera Wines, Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards, Silver Horse Winery, Sinor-La Vallee Wine and Peloton Cellars.

AB_17 Avila Beach Wine Tasting

Sip in SLO
Get the SLO Wine Country new tasting pass program called “Sip in SLO,” launching in February, available through March then again November through December, 2017.  The pass allows visitors to taste at four wineries of your choice along the SLO Wine Trail, which includes wineries in Avila Valley, for just $40. For groups of 5 or more, please call 805-541-5868 or email to schedule tastings and purchase group passes.

EAGV_16 Edna & Arroyo Grande Valleys Wine Tasting

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 here that allows them to explore the world of the ocean, beneath the surface. Our small, family-friendly aquarium has a mission of educating and inspiring visitors of all ages about local sea life and marine science by giving them an exciting hands-on experience.

AB_14 Avila Beach Central Coast Aquarium

Point San Luis Harbor & Lighthouse
Take a classic trolley or docent-led hike 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 Port San Luis Lighthouse.. A must do for tourists and locals alike!

AB_19 Avila Beach Port San Luis Lighthouse

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, area restaurants selling delicious local fare, live entertainment, and fun for everyone!

Avila Beach Farmers Market

Avila Valley Barn
While the rest of the world celebrates the harvest in autumn, the rich bounty of the earth lasts all year round 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 stand offers hay rides, a petting zoo, and the pleasure of picking your own during U-pick season. There is nothing more pleasurable than picking plump, juicy, sweet berries right from the vines or plucking that perfect apple or peach straight from the tree in the warmth of summer. In the fall, you can discover your own ideal pumpkin nestled away in one of their many pumpkin patches.

AB_4 Avila Beach Avila Valley Barn

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 cars, is that it’s still open to vehicles.

The Bob Jones Trail
Known as the city to the sea trail, The Bob Jones Trail is a well-paved county-maintained bike and walking trail. The Bob Jones Trail wanders next to San Luis Obispo Creek, right behind the Avila Valley Barn fields. You can enjoy walking by the fields and depending on the time of year, you might just catch the sounds of frogs and flowing water. Hard to believe it’s so close to the beach!

Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort

Avila Beach lodging offers vacations for every budget and every traveler with an array of accommodations from Hotels to Vacation Rentals. Whether it’s a romantic weekend, anniversary, golf or spa vacation, Avila Beach lodging properties provide a serene visit to the Central Coast. Discover why Avila Beach is also the best place on the Central Coast to experience a spa retreat that combines natural, mineral hot springs, world-class massage, yoga instruction, and sense therapies. Refresh, renew and restore one’s mind, body and spirit with a spa treatment, putting you in the right frame of mind to enjoy your beach getaway.

Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort

Avila Beach Dining offers family style dining to an exotic food experience satisfying a wide range of food expectations. Dine on fresh, delicious seafood, grab a drink at the bar and enjoy the awesome views from the Harford Pier in Avila Beach from Mersey’s Restaurant. Located off San Luis Bay Drive in Avila Beach, the Woodstone Marketplace is an eclectic combination of deli, country market, coffee & espresso bar, and wine shop. Nestled right in the center of the downtown promenade, Avila Grocery & Deli is an iconic part of Avila Beach. Established in 1920, Avila Grocery is one of the oldest establishments in town. The Gardens of Avila Restaurant at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, voted “most romantic” and a favorite spot for locals as well as travelers, is situated in a beautiful garden setting.

AB_16 Avila Beach Oceanfront Dining

Must-See Rural Road Trip Map: Avila Beach & Valley
There are must-see spots along the way and become immersed in Avila Beach, as well as the 9 other quaint towns that make up the California’s Highway 1 Discovery Route. Discovering 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.