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Cayucos Visitor Guide

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Cayucos Visitor Guide

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Looking for the perfect small California beach town? Your search is over. Voted “the coolest small town in America” in 2009, Cayucos is truly an authentic California beach town. Cayucos by the Sea is a surprising gem of a town that appears like magic out of the misty fog, just north of Morro Bay along Highway One. With its long stretch of white sandy beach, sun more often than fog, a free public fishing pier, an historic saloon, and quaint old-fashioned main street, Cayucos is as close to perfection as you can get. Television personality Huell Howser selected Cayucos for an episode of his show, California’s Gold, and filmed most of it strolling up the center of Ocean Avenue, marveling at its un-crowded yet ultra-desirable qualities.

Prehistorically inhabited by the Chumash Native American people, Cayucos was officially “settled” in 1867 by Captain James Cass. The Captain, whose impeccably restored home still bears his name, recognized the excellent shipping location and built the pier, a store, and a warehouse that came to be known as Cayucos Landing. Part of an original Mexican land grant, the name Cayucos means kayak or canoe which were used to hunt sea otters along the coast. Now protected from human predators, those fun-loving sea otters are a main attraction here.

Unscathed by the big developers, the population of Cayucos is about 3,000. Despite its small size, Cayucos has an eating establishment to meet everyone’s palate, from a chowder house to five-star dining. You’ll also find fabulous antique stores, surf shops with hand-crafted boards, and locally owned gift stores.

For children, there are three play areas, with one on the beach designed just for them including, picnic tables, barbecues, and a paid lifeguard during the summer. There’s even a fresh water swimming pool near Hardie Park and two lighted tennis courts, located a short walk away from the pier. Grownups looking for a bit of “spice” will find that “in spades” if you’ll forgive the pun, at The Old Cayucos Tavern, an historic bar with card-playing rooms, pool tables, dancing, and some of the best live music around.

Come and discover Cayucos: a beachcomber’s paradise, a foodie’s nirvana, and a vacationer’s dream come true.

Cayucos Activity Videos

Stewardship Travel: Getaway to ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments!

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:
Active Doers: Get involved, create unique memories, and engage with locals through beach cleanups that protect wildlife, and trail restoration to preserve natural habitats.
Active Learners: Expand your knowledge about eco systems, natural preserves, wildlife and the local heritage through citizen science programs, docent led hikes and historic tours.
Active Donors: Make a difference on vacation through charitable donation opportunities that protect wildlife, habitats, and cultural heritage sites.


The moderate climate in Cayucos means even summer days are rarely hot, and winter days are rarely very cold. Average temps during July through October range from the 50s to the 70s, with the warmest month being October when temps can climb into the 80s. For December through March, the range is 40s to 50s, December being the coldest month. Humidity ranges from 45% to 65% depending on the time of year. Cayucos gets about 18 inches of rain each year on average; and it’s fairly evenly distributed, with the wettest month being February.

Packing List

With its year-round moderate climate, Alaskan parkas would be overkill, but do bring a warm jacket and dress in layers to peel away as the day warms up. Sandals and sturdy hiking shoes are must-have footwear. If you’ve got a surfboard and a wetsuit, pack them – you’ll use them. Ditto your own personal fishing pole, though the shops in Cayucos can outfit you for any ocean sport you can think of. In addition to the standard swimsuit, hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses always needed for the beach, don’t forget binoculars for watching whales, sea otters, and birds.

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