One of the cutest little California beach towns anywhere along the coast, Cayucos was founded in the late 1800s and its main street still retains a nineteenth century look. Having escaped the incursion of tacky sea shell shops and souvenir sellers, modern Cayucos emerges as a laid back place to spend a weekend, with plenty of upscale restaurants and several new or newly renovated lodgings.
You can plan your Cayucos, California day trip or weekend getaway in a jiffy using the resources below.
Why Should You Go? Will You Like Cayucos?
- Get a Preview: Our Morro Bay Pictures include a peek at the Cayucos area.
- Cayucos, California is popular for quiet escapes and ocean-oriented play. It's close to Morry Bay and Hearst Castle, but is also a popular place for antique shopping, and it has some of the most modern lodging and best dining along the coast.
- See how other California for Visitors readers rate Cayucos, California
Best Time to Go to CayucosLike much of the California coast, Cayucos is likely to be overcast all day long in June and July. After the end of summer, the skies clear up. Hotel rates go down and stay low through spring,
Don't MissThe biggest attraction of Cayucos is its simplicity. Don't miss an opportunity to linger over a cup of coffee or relax on the beach.
5 More Great Things to Do in Cayucos, California
Antique Shopping: Cayucos is the best place on this section of coast for antique shops, with a half dozen shops along Ocean Avenue.
Tour the Murals: (1 hour) You'll find art work depicting a wide range of subjects all over town.
Go to the Beach: It's right in the middle of town, with a nice pier in the middle where you can fish or watch other people trying to catch something. On summer Friday evenings, there's a fireside story-telling session near the pier. The Cayucos Pier is also the northernmost place where tiny grunion fish swarm ashore to spawn during the nighttime high tide right after full or dark moon phases in summer.
Visit Hearst Castle: (4 hours or more) A half-hour drive north of Morro Bay, Hearst Castle is the area's most popular attraction.
- Elephant Seals: The elephant seal rookery, right on Highway One about 4.5 miles north of Hearst Castle is most interesting during breeding season, from December through February when almost 4,000 pups are born in just a few weeks.
Annual Events You Should Know AboutThe annual Peddler's Faire takes place over Labor Day1 weekend and an antique car show happens every November. On January 1, hundreds of people meet at the pier for the Carline Soule' Memorial Polar Bear Dip, a sometimes-frigid first swim of the year.
Best BitesHoppe's Bistro is one of the best restaurants on the coast, with a pretty garden and an outstanding, innovative menu, which includes rare, locally farmed red abalone. Paired with a wine from nearby Paso Robles, it makes a fine meal. They also serve Sunday brunch.
The Cass House Inn serves afternoon tea.
Where to StayCheck our recommended hotels and area campgrounds. Most of the lodging is found along Ocean Avenue. Cayucos Shoreline Inn the only hotel on this part of the coast that's right on the beach. However, there's a wall at the back that blocks views from the first-floor rooms, so ask for one on the second floor. On the Beach Bed and Breakfast doesn't quite live up to its name, but it's close, just across the street from the sand.
Not listed in the recommended hotels because it's too new to have a track record yet is Cass House Inn. If the rooms and hospitality match up to the quality of the restoration work, it's a good bet.
For help getting the best possible deal, read about how to find a good place to stay, cheap or go straight to Tripadvisor's reviews and price comparisons on hotels in Cayucos.
Getting To Cayucos, CaliforniaCayucos is halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco just 4 miles north of Morro Bay, 292 miles from Sacramento, 125 miles from Monterey and 424 miles from Las Vegas. It's located on California Highway 1, 31 miles south of Hearst Castle. If you're driving north on US 101, exit onto Highway 1 north of San Luis Obispo. Going south on US 101, exit at Highway 41 near Atascadero and take it to Highway 1, then go north.
If you take Amtrak to San Luis Obispo, you can catch the Ride-On Service that will take you right to Cayucos.
What Do You Think?
How do you rate Cayucos as a tourist destination?
- Yuck! Just say no to this tourist trap
- OK. Some people like it, but I didn't.
- Good Go if you have time, but it's not a big deal if you miss it.
- Awesome! Don't miss it.
1 Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September.