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Things To Do on the Central Coast

Central Coast Activities Overview

Central Coast

Fun things to do on the Central Coast of California include boating, skydiving, horseback riding and other fun activities. Explore Morro Bay below the surface in a submarine, Soar over Santa Barbara in a quiet glider plane, climb the backcountry hills of Santa Barbara to a remote winery or take a helicopter tour over Monterey Bay. Whether it be a lesson at a surf school or exploring a secluded sea cave, the California Central Coast has plenty of fun things to do.

Things To Do in Santa Cruz

Capitola Boat & Bait is located off Highway 1 off 41st or Bay Avenues. Situated on the Capitola Wharf, Capitola Boat & Bait rents motorized skiffs, kayaks, hydrobikes, fishing gear, crab nets, boogie boards and more. Head out into Monterey Bay for your own catch of fresh fish or spend the day playing in the waves. Their store on the wharf also sells souvenirs, hats, clothing, drinks and snacks.

Capitola Boat & Bait
1400 Wharf Road
Capitola, CA 95010
(831) 462-2208

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Skydive Hollister is located off San Felipe Road north of Hollister. Situated at the Hollister Airport, Skydive Hollister offers several tandem skydiving options from as high as up to 18,000 feet. The higher the altitude - the longer the free fall. Enjoy astounding views of Monterey Bay and California's Central Coast.

Skydive Hollister
Hollister Airport
60 Airport Drive
Hollister, CA, 95023
(650) 969-8100

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Specialized Helicopters is located off Highway 1 at Airport Boulevard. Situated at the Watsonville Municipal Airport, Specialized Helicopters offers helicopter tours of the Monterey Bay region from Santa Cruz to Big Sur. Choose a scenic tour over the golf courses of Pebble Beach, past the Santa Cruz Boardwalk or around the Point Sur Lighthouse. They even offer a wine tasting by helicopter option to several local wineries. Other services include airplane tours, flight training and aerial filming.

Specialized Helicopters
150 Aviation Way
Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 763-2244

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Elkhorn Slough Safari is located off Highway 1 at the mouth of the Elkhorn Slough, between Santa Cruz and Monterey. Climb aboard a 27-foot pontoon boat to explore the Elkhorn Slough, one of California's largest and wildlife rich wetland. Get an up-close view of sea otters, harbor seals, waterfowl and more. This is an excellent opportunity for wildlife photography. Two hour tours with a wildlife expert are available as well as many options for specialty cruises.

Elkhorn Slough Safari
8022 Moss Landing Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039
(831) 633-5555

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Things To Do in Monterey

Bay Bikes Rentals is located at Cannery Row in Monterey. They rent bikes by the hour for exploring the region at a leisurely or cruising the Monterey Bay Coastal Bike Path. Several bike choices are available including road, mountain, tandem, kid's BMX, trailers for toddlers and even 4 to 6 passenger surrey bikes. Reservations available. Join a group for one of their tour options.

Bay Bikes Rentals
585 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 655-2453

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Things To Do in San Luis Obispo

Sub Sea Tours is located along the Embarcadero in Morro Bay Harbor. View seals, sea lions and otters from the top deck as you traverse to the other end of the harbor and a large kelp forest. Go below deck to view local fish species thriving in the kelp. Several 45-minute tours are offered daily.

Sub Sea Tours
699 Embarcadero #9
Morro Bay, California 93442
(805) 772-9463

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Red Anchor Charters is located off Highway 1 in Morro Bay. Red Anchor Charters offers captained cruises of Morro Bay aboard the 32-foot Minerva sailboat. Choose to cruise the calm waters of the bay or hoist the sails and take to the open sea. Combine a dinner package or overnight package to complete the experience. Maximum of 6 passengers.

Red Anchor Charters
501 Embarcadero
Slip #1
Morro Bay, CA 93430
(805) 235-5488

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


2-person surrey bike

Wheel Fun Rentals has several locations throughout the Central Coast. They rent unique bicycles including 2 to 6-person Surrey bikes, beach cruisers, road bikes, kids bikes and more. Look for them along bike paths in touristy locations. Central Coast locations include Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Ventura Harbor and Oxnard.

Wheel Fun Rentals
630 Cypress Street
Pismo Beach, CA. 93449
(805) 773-0197

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


The Bob Jones Bike Trail is located south of San Luis Obisbo at Avila Beach. Bring your own bike or rent one in Avila Beach. Follow the paved trail along beautiful Avila Creek through golf courses and oak dotted hillsides for nearly 3-miles into San Luis Obispo. Bring your bathing suit and stop for a dip at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort.

Bob Jones Bike Trail
Avila Beach, California 93424

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Central Coast Charters is located at the end of Avila Beach Drive on the Harford Pier. Central Coast Charters provides sailing tours of San Luis Bay in a 44-foot sailing vessel. Several 2½-hour trips are available daily from morning to evening. Head out for a beautiful sunset, to spot migrating whales or just enjoy the day in beautiful San Luis Bay. Private charters and sailing lessons are also available. Private charters include snacks, water, soft drinks, beer and wine.

Central Coast Charters
3900 Avila Beach Drive
Avila Beach, CA 93424
(805) 540-4667

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Seaweed Express is located at the end of Avila Beach Drive on the Harford Pier. Avila Beach Boat Charters offers 1-hour tours of the San Luis Bay coastline in a pontoon Zodiac inflatable boat. Head to Fossil Cave, Pirate's Cove and the Point San Luis Lighthouse.

Seaweed Express
3900 Avila Beach Drive
Avila Beach, CA 93424
(805) 703-0397

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Avila Beach Surf School is located at the Avila Beach Pier. Avila Beach Surf School offers surfing lessons, rentals and summer surf camps. Learn to ride the Pacific swells like a pro. Rentals include surfboards, stand-up paddleboards and wetsuits.

Avila Beach Surf School
101 First Street
Avila Beach, CA 93424
(805) 602-1349

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Things To Do in Solvang

Located in the Danish town of Solvang, Adventures Out West offers 1 to 2 hour tours of 'Little Denmark'. Cruise around the Village of Solvang past Danish bakeries, boutique shops, art galleries, a windmill and more. Head out to local wineries, parks and a Spanish Mission.

Segway Solvang
453 Atterdag
Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 688-8899

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Wheel Fun Rentals has several locations throughout the Central Coast. They rent unique bicycles including 2 to 6-person Surrey bikes, beach cruisers, road bikes, kids bikes and more. Look for them along bike paths in touristy locations. Central Coast locations include Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Ventura Harbor and Oxnard. The Solvang location is situated next to Solvang Park.

Wheel Fun Rentals
475 First Street
Solvang, CA 93463

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Santa Barbara Soaring is located at the Santa Inez Airport east of Solvang. They offer glider plane rides over the pristine Santa Inez Valley. Soar silently through the sky for up to 30 minutes while taking in views of Lake Cachuma, multiple wineries and the Pacific Ocean. Gliders are motorless planes that are towed by another plane using a cable. Once altitude is achieved, the tow cable is released setting the glider free in the wind.

Santa Barbara Soaring
900 Airport Road
Santa Inez, CA 93460
(805) 688-0091

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Things To Do in Santa Barbara

Jeep Tours are available in Santa Barbara with Cloud Climbers Jeep Tours. Climb aboard one of their Jeeps for an adventure through the back-country trails of Santa Barbara. Choose from mountain, wine country or sunset tours. Driver is included! Twist along an old stage coach road, traverse wine country trails for wine tasting, climb a mountain peak for an unforgettable sunset, or discover little-known trailheads revealing ancient Chumash Indian petroglyphs.

Cloud Climbers Jeep Tours
202 W. Cabrillo Boulevard
Santa Barbara, California 93101
(805) 646-3200

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Segway Tours are offered by Segway of Santa Barbara. They are located off Highway 1 near Stearn's Wharf in Santa Barbara. Join tours for 2 to 3 hours that explore many interesting and picturesque sites in Santa Barbara. All tours begin at Stearn's Wharf and head to destinations like the historic 4 Seasons Biltmore & Coral Casino, Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara Zoo, the courthouse, Spanish Mission and more.

Segway of Santa Barbara
16 Helena Avenue, Suite A
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 963-7672

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Green Flash is a luxury catamaran yacht located in Santa Barbara Harbor. A husband & wife team are Captain and Chef on the vessel. They offer luxury cruises from 2½-hours to multi-day trips along the Santa Barbara coast or Channel Islands. Amenities include full beds, full baths, a full kitchen, dining room, air conditioning, lounge areas, sun decks and more. Gourmet appetizers and meals are provided compliments of the on-board chef. Activities available from the Green Flash yacht include kayaking, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), wakeboarding, fishing and more.

Green Flash
Santa Barbara Harbor
Santa Barbara, California 93103
(805) 884-9283

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Santa Barbara Adventure Company is located off Highway 1 from the Milpitas Street exit. Santa Barbara Adventure Company offers a multitude of activities and tours including kayaking, surf lessons, bike tours, rock climbing, horseback riding, paragliding, rope climbing, hiking, wine tours and more. They also offer kayak rentals at East Beach during the summer.

Santa Barbara Adventure Company
720 Bond Avenue
Santa Barbara, California 93103
(805) 884-9283

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Sailing Charters are available with Sunset Kidd. They are located off Highway 1 from the Milpitas Street exit. Situated in front of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum in the harbor, Sunset Kidd offers sailing charters and whale watching excursions aboard a 41 foot sailing yacht. Two-hour cruises include morning, afternoon, sunset and full moon adventures. For the more adventurous they offer private charters and overnight trips to the Channel Islands. Whale watching excursions sail with California Gray Whales, Killer Whales, Fins, Humpbacks, Minkes, Pilots, & Blue Whales.

Sunset Kidd
125 Harbor Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 962-8222

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Santa Barbara Sailing Center is located off Highway 1 from the Castillo or Bath Street exits. Situated at the end of the Santa Barbara harbor, Santa Barbara Sailing Center offers boat rentals, sailing instruction, kayak instruction, charters and public cruises. Boat rentals include everything from kayaks to power boats. Public cruises include dinner cruises, sunset cruises, kayak excursions, whale watching and more.

Santa Barbara Sailing Center
133 Harbor Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(800) 350-9090

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Captain Jack's Tours & Events

Captain Jack's Tours & Events offers more fun choices of tours and events everyday. Captain Jack's Tours & Events will provide that special something to every event whether your group consists of 2 people or 200. With so many fun things to do in Santa Barbara, Captain Jack's Tours & Events has something for everyone. Tours include wine tasting, whale watching, kayaking, horseback riding, paragliding and more.

Captain Jack's Tours & Events
933 Castillo Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 564-1819

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Condor Express Cruises is located off Highway 1 from the Castillo or Bath Street exits. Situated at the end of the Santa Barbara harbor, Condor Express offers several boating excursions including whale watching, birding, party cruises, dinner cruises, kayaking and more.

Condor Express
301 W. Cabrillo Boulevard
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 882-0088

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Santa Barbara Bikes-To-Go is located off Highway 101 near East Beach. Santa Barbara Bikes-To-Go rents bikes for everybody from recreational to avid cyclists. Bike choices include beach cruisers, hybrid bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes and electric bikes. Road bikes and mountain bikes include high-end models with carbon fiber frames and enduro setups. Pick up from their store or have delivered anywhere in the Santa Barbara region.

Santa Barbara Bikes-To-Go
1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
(805) 628-2444

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


I Bike Santa Barbara offers bicycle wine tours of the Los Olivos region of Santa Barbara. Choose from a 9, 12 or 15 trek through wine country with stops at vineyards, flower fields, Solvang and winery estates. These are all-inclusive tours including bike, helmet, guide, wine tasting, olive oil tasting, picnic lunch and water bottle. Pick-up and drop-off service in air conditioned comfort from local Santa Barbara hotels.

I Bike Santa Barbara
(805) 705-7998

Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


More than two dozen of Santa Barbara's finest wineries have tasting rooms in downtown Santa Barbara. Download the Urban Wine Trail map and take a self-guided wine tasting tour which includes several tasting rooms on Stearns Wharf and State Street. Hop on one of the many local pedi-cabs and enjoy your tour without having to drive.

Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail

Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Wheel Fun Rentals has several locations throughout the Central Coast. They rent unique bicycles including 2 to 6-person Surrey bikes, beach cruisers, road bikes, kids bikes and more. Look for them along bike paths in touristy locations. Central Coast locations include Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Ventura Harbor and Oxnard. Santa Barbara locations include Stearns Wharf, Fess Parker Doubletree and Hyatt hotels.

Wheel Fun Rentals
Cabrillo Blvd
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Skydive Santa Barbara is located off Highway 1 north of Santa Barbara in Lompoc. Situated at the Lompoc Airport, Skydive Santa Barbara offers several tandem skydiving options from 10,500 feet up to 18,000 feet. The higher the altitude - the longer the free fall. Enjoy astounding views of the Channel Islands and California's Central Coast.

Skydive Santa Barbara
1801 North H Street
Suite G
Lompoc, CA 93436
(877) 652-5867

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


The Ojai Valley Bike Path parallels Highway 33 from Ventura to Ojai. The Ojai Valley Bike Path features 15 miles of paved trail with a 1,000-feet elevation gain from Ventura to Ojai. The trail passes through cities, towns, farmland and foothills.

Ojai Valley Bike Path
Highway 33
Ojai, CA 93023

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


All Regions

Horseback riding stables can be found from Monterey to Santa Barbara. Whether riding through a giant redwood forest, the coastal bluffs of a working ranch or the sands of Pismo Beach, theirs a horseback riding option to entice any adventurous traveler. MORE DETAILS


Lakes for boating, fishing, water-skiing and more can be found all along the Central Coast from Paso Robles to Ventura. Many of these lakes offer camping with some even having boat-in only camps. MORE DETAILS


World-renowned golf courses can be found on the Central Coast of California. From the Pebble Beach Resort of Carmel to a #1 ranked course in the mountains outside of Santa Barbara, enjoy astounding ocean views and cool summer temperatures at one of many challenging Central Cost golf courses. MORE DETAILS


Whale watching is a quickly growing activity as whale populations have significantly increased in recent years. Whale watching expeditions are offered from every harbor on the Central Coast from Santa Cruz to Oxnard. Catch a close-up glimpse of these majestic giants as they migrate between Alaska and Baja Mexico. MORE DETAILS


Kayaker photo courtesy of the National Park Service

Kayak rentals, kayak tours and kayak lessons are offered all along the Central Coast from Santa Cruz to the Channel Islands. In addition to kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has become a popular activity. We also provide info for stand-up paddleboard rentals, paddleboard tours and paddleboard lessons. Explore sea caves, harbors and secluded coastline. MORE DETAILS


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