Located near State Highway 1, exit Cayucos Drive to arrive in a downtown that looks like it has escaped the hands of time. Its Main Street can be busy on weekends when tourists breeze through, but during the week days you can wander across the street relaxed, with the ocean to your back.
Cayuco means fishing canoe in Spanish, and refers to Aleut Indians who hunted sea otter along the California coast in their bidarkas or kayaks. Founded around 1875 after the California Gold Rush brought activity to this part of the coast, a 940-foot-long wharf was ordered to be built by Captain James Cass, creating a regular stop for the Pacific Steamship Company vessels. A railroad system would later replace the shipping industry's prominence along the coast, and major ports developed around urban areas such as San Francisco and Los Angeles.
One of the landmarks to this tourist destination is the Cayucos Pier, known for its great fishing. It is not the original pier built in the same location. but the pleasure it provides is timeless. Cayucos Pier is 953 feet long pier and is well known for its fishing. Surfperch, white croaker, skate, occasional starry flounder, halibut, sardines and mackerel are part of the local catch here. The pier which is situated near the north end of Estero Bay, with a creek to the north, is open all the time. Free parking near the pier includes public restrooms and showers
Things to do:
Stroll Cayucos State Beach and Cayucos Pier
Take a surfing lesson, rent a surfboard & wetsuit, and go surfing.
Fish off the pier for free or buy a license to enjoy the last spot in the north where you may find grunion during the grunion run annually in the spring and summer.
Fly a kite in this ideal spot where the wind provides steady air currents to make kites soar.
Windsurf or kitesurf in ocean currents providing more exciting challenges for those who want to get wet.
Shop in the antique stores and galleries, worth an hour or two of browsing.
Take a drive north 24 miles to San Simeon to visit Hearst Castle. The drive takes around 30 minutes and provides an interesting tour of the grounds and life of William Randolph Hearst, newspaper and publishing magnate. Operated by California State Parks, there is a fee. hearstcastle.org
Getting there: Highway 1 exits Ocean Boulevard or Cayucos Drive to downtown and the pier.
Where to stay: There are several hotels in Cayucos offering ocean view accommodations. Nothing has arrived in the luxury range, but the creature comforts and ocean waves will lull you to sleep at night.
About Morro Rock: The range of rocks or mounds stretches between Morro Bay and the City of San Luis Obispo and includes Morro Rock, Black Hill, Cerro Cabrillo, Hollister Peak, Cerro Romauldo, Chumash Peak, Cerro San Luis Obispo, and Islay Hill which is within the City of San Luis Obispo. There are two others--stunted Terrace Hill and submerged Davidson's Seamount. Forming a backdrop for the Cities of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay and a divider between the Los Osos Valley and Chorro Valley, these peaks cover approximately 40 square miles. Aptly named the Nine Sisters because they are all in a row and in close proximity, the nine have had their names designated on the Geological Survey maps since 1964.
Morro Rock was named in 1542 by Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who explored the Pacific Coast for Spain. Cabrillo called the rock El Moro because it resembled the head of a Moor, known for the turbans they wore. Cabrillo also named the bay Los Estoros. The elevation of Morro Rock (listed as State Landmark #801) is 581 feet.