Central Coast (California)
The Central Coast of California is a region that remains calm and tranquil. Between the Bay Area's high-tech hassles, and the megalopolis of Southern California, the Central Coast provides nice beaches, beautiful Spanish missions, and a more peaceful way of life.
- Big Sur - A small town where the tourists "get away from it all" perched on a cliff over the ocean.
- Carmel - Early Mission city, trendy and kitschy stores, and a nice beach.
- Monterey - Northern California's eldest city now known for seafood and its outstanding Aquarium
- Morro Bay
- Paso Robles
- Pismo Beach
- San Luis Obispo
- Santa Barbara
- Pinnacles National Monument - Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, east of central California's Salinas Valley, are the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano. Massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled canyons and talus passages define millions of years of erosion, faulting and tectonic plate movement.
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area - Portraying Africa, the Amazon, and the old west? That's talent! Combining the scenic and the imagination play a big role in the movies and at this national park! Close to Hollywood, with beaches, grasslands, canyons, and oak woodlands, this coastal mountain range has star quality! Explore a rare, diverse landscape inspiring preservation and creativity
The Central Coast's main artery is US Highway 101. The two-lane Highway 1 is the slower, more scenic option as it winds slowly (sometimes very slowly if there is any traffic at all) down the entire Central Coast coastline.
Visitors can tour the National Steinbeck Center, a fun, creative museum that explores the life and works of author John Steinbeck in Salinas.Just a few steps from the National Steinbeck Center sits John Steinbeck’s boyhood home, The Steinbeck House. Another visitor attraction is Wild Things, located on the Vision Quest Ranch. Wild Things is home to a number of animal "movie stars" and over 100 other wild and exotic animals.The Harvey Baker House, thought to be the oldest standing structure within the Salinas City limits, is close by and also available for tours.Monterey County is a world-renowned wine region, with more than 40,000 acres planted in premium wine grapes. Samples of Monterey County wines are also available at A Taste of Monterey in Oldtown Salinas. As a major retail center, Salinas brings shoppers from all over the Central Coast to its chain stores and boutiques. The Salinas Auto Mall, Northridge, Westridge, Harden Ranch Plaza, Santa Rita Plaza and Sherwood shopping centers cater to shoppers with a variety of needs. Oldtown Salinas draws antique lovers and a specialty gift clientele. The nearby Monterey Peninsula is home to a number of Central Coast highlights including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, 17-Mile Drive, Cannery Row and downtown Pacific Grove. A new addition to Salinas is the Twin Creeks golf course, offering players world class golf and pristine scenery. Twin Creeks is a 9-hole course, consisting of four par four holes and five par threes. It offers a 31-par challenge with a 30-station night lighted driving range, practice green, and practice sand bunker. Salinas Fairways is another golfing option in the city limits, and both courses give the golfer a chance to experience the joy and challenge of Central Coast golf at very affordable prices.
Further south along HWY 101, be sure to visit San Simeon State park. Home to the Hearst Castle, this state park is full of activities. Several tours are offered and each provides a distinct view of the beautiful grounds.
This page was last edited at 05:47, on 9 January 2009 by Colin Jensen. Based on work by rednikki, Ben, M. Hogue, Ryan Holliday, Evan Prodromou and Michele Ann Jenkins, Wikitravel user(s) Texugo, Squidly2, Huttite and Dhum Dhum and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.