Coastal Cloud 9

San Luis Obispo

Jan 4, 2006
Outside Magazine
Southern California

Surf… Dude: In the SoCal zone    Photo: Corbis

The Sea by Kayak: Launch from Shell Beach and follow the kelp beds south on a three-hour paddle through Dinosaur Caves, a network of arches, caves, and rock gardens, and onward, possibly with a dolphin escort. 805-773-3500,
The New Tour: You don't need to be on Team Discovery to ride the Tour of California bike race. Central Coast Outdoors runs a two-day tour along 80 miles of the scenic Monterey–Santa Barbara stretch. 805-528-1080,
Develop a Blue Crush: The 1959 film Gidget is about a girl who falls for a boardriding guru named Moondoggie. The eponymous Moondoggies Beach Club might not get you the wahine, but it can get you into the waves with a private lesson at Pismo's beginner-friendly beach break. 805-773-1995
Go Deep: See the coast from a different angle, casting for king salmon on the 55-foot Patriot. On this eight-hour trip out of Avila Beach, you'll troll for the elusive 50-pounders and escape the crowds. April–July; 800-714-3474,
Bomb the Coastline: The 9.5-mile Islay Creek–Barranca loop, in Montaña de Oro State Park, west of SLO, is a mountain biker's dream of jagged peaks and technical downhill, all overlooking sandy beaches. 805-528-1080,
Get a Lift: If the winds make it too blustery to surf, try kiteboarding. Pismo's Soulutions Surf Shop gives hourlong private lessons for times better spent airborne than waterlogged. 805-773-5991

The newly refurbished campsites at Morro Bay State Park sport coastal views, repaved paths, and Wi-Fi access, so you can justify a long weekend "working remotely." 805-772-2560,
Thirty miles north in the state's fastest-growing wine region, Paso Robles' Villa Toscana has eight luxe suites overlooking award-winning vineyards. Doubles from $375; 805-238-5600,
Stop off at the Inn at Morro Bay for crab cakes, seafood salad, and abalone in the shell. 805-772-5651,