California is the kind of place where visitors can choose from hundreds of attractions and activities to enjoy. Some of these attractions live in the minds of tourists before they even arrive, such as Disneyland, Hollywood, the Golden Gate Bridge, and many others. While these spots are certainly worth visiting, there are quite a few other hidden gems to discover, and many can be found in San Luis Obispo, the jewel of the Central California Coast. Staying in San Luis Obispo means never running out of things to do and places to see. While you’re here, book a cozy room at a San Luis Obispo boutique hotel and make sure to visit the places listed below, as they’re widely considered to be hidden gems.
When visiting SLO, there’s a good chance you’ll be told about Pirate’s Cove, a popular sightseeing spot where you can get a good view of the Pacific Ocean. Something else you should know about Pirate’s Cove is that a nudist beach is located below this vantage point, which rules it out as a family-friendly spot. Local residents know that a better view of the ocean can be found at the end of the Bluff Trail in Montaña de Oro State Park, and there are no nude beaches to worry about. The best time to hike this trail, which is fairly accessible, is in the middle of spring.
Everyone knows about Hearst Castle in San Simeon, but there’s another castle on a ridge worth visiting. Similar to William Randolph Hearst, Arthur Harold Beal was an eccentric man who wanted to build a castle, but he chose to use recycled and discarded materials, including some leftovers from the Hearst Castle project, to build his own home, Nitt Witt Ridge, in the San Luis Obispo County town of Cambria. Interestingly, Beal was a garbage collector in Cambria in the 1940s and ’50s, and this explains how he came across all the beer cans, hubcaps, stovepipes, wood planks, and other materials to complete his unusual project.
If you’re into rail travel, you’re in luck: SLO is one of the stops on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfrider line, which happens to be one of the most scenic in the world, and it hugs the Central Coast all the way down to San Diego. The route between SLO and San Juan Capistrano is simply breathtaking.
Admission is free at this gorgeous garden conveniently located near Highway 1 on the way to Big Sur. Within just two acres of pristine California land, you can find plant and tree species native to various Mediterranean climates. Make sure to ask the keepers for tips on how you can grow your own edible herb garden at home.
You’re certain to find plenty of fun things to see and do in San Luis Obispo. Bring the whole family and explore these hidden gems while staying with us at Sands Inn & Suites. When they’re looking for a comfortable local hotel, San Luis Obispo visitors make us their top choice because we offer all the amenities our guests need for a relaxing getaway, including an outdoor heated pool and spa, an on-site gym, free WiFi, and flat-screen TVs with digital cable. Call us at (800) 441-4657 today to reserve your room or suite.