Sunday, January 9, 2011

Let’s Get Physical: Seeing The Central Coast From The Outside

The Central Coast means being outside. There’s far too much to do, see and explore to spend time inside all the pretty buildings. Get your game on and sweat a little bit. You don’t have to over exert yourself, but the sun, sea, mountains and islands call to you to get involved. Here are some great ideas.

At East Beach the sand is low and flat

Hiking: Santa Barbara provides the best hiking experience, in part because the views from the mountains extend throughout the city, across the ocean and out to the islands. Whether you’re hiking near the coastal bluffs or up nearly 4,000 feet to the mountain ridges, you have expansive and breathtaking views.
Kayaking: The best kayaking hands down is at the Channel Islands, off Ventura. The islands are incredibly diverse and the volcanic formations, sea caves and small coves and beaches are perfect to make you feel like an explorer yourself. Or stay inside the harbors in Ventura and Santa Barbara and watch the boats, the seals and the birds.
Sea Caves At Santa Cruz Island
Surfing: Ventura’s got it all, world class spots like the Rincon, easily accessible low breaks like C Street. Plus you can get out of the water and walk three blocks for breakfast or lunch, then get back in the water. Ease of use and you have views to the islands.
Catching a wave at Pismo Beach
Boating: Santa Barbara provides the best backdrop for getting into a sailboat, powerboat, jet ski or sunset cruise. You can hug the harbor or go full tilt all the way to the Channel Islands. And best of all, you have the city itself set against the mountains as a backdrop with its beautiful coastline. Finish you trip by simply returning to the harbor and walk to a great meal close by. Morro Bay is also fantastic for boating and getting up close with Morro Rock, whales and other sealife.
Morro Rock
Scuba Diving: If you dive, you must get to the Channel Islands. There’s no real point to beach dive. Anacapa and Santa Cruz are the closest islands and offer the best visibility and variety of things to see including sharks, seals, dolphins, lobsters and stunning kelp forests. These are day trips or you can pull an overnight.

Protected Bays Like This One At Anacapa Island Make Great Dive Spots
Biking: You can’t beat San Luis Obispo for biking. The best spot is all of Montana de Oro, yes, all 8,000 acres of it. You can bike on roads like Pecho Valley or get off road with a maze of single and double track fire roads, all of which intertwine through the last best piece of pristine land anywhere. There are great elevation gains, low flat scrub areas and coves, cliffs and trails to the water.

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