Sunny skies and long, laid-back days await you on the Central Coast during the leisurely summer months. From the expected, like trips to the beach or wine tasting, to the unexpected, like thrilling outdoor activities, the Central Coast has the variety and beauty to keep you entertained all summer. Explore more, and discover more, as you stay at one of our Central Coast resorts, and celebrate the summer spirit of the coast.
1. Summer Concerts
Nearly every Central Coast community puts music and festivals at the fore-front, offering weekly, usually free, summer concert series that bring locals and travelers together with music, food, and community. In Paso Robles, go to Concerts in the Park, Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 pm. This free series is kid friendly, fun, and only a few steps away from the Paso Robles Inn. Additionally, another local favorite summer concert series is the popular San Luis Obispo Concerts in the Plaza. On Fridays from 5:00-8:00 pm, experience the SLO life adjacent to Mission Plaza and the creek with free music and great vibes.
2. Beach Days
A trip to the Central Coast is incomplete without a trip to one of our beautiful beaches. Stay steps away from the warmest beach on the Central Coast when you stay at Avila Lighthouse Suites, and enjoy access to a quaint boardwalk with shops, restaurants, markets, and bars. The Pismo Beach community is also ideal and offers a larger beach-town feel, with greater variety of restaurants and beaches. If Avila is a retreat from the real world, Pismo puts you right into the typical “Classic California” small-town beach community. Stay at Pismo LIghthouse Suites, Inn at the Cove, or Best Western PLUS Shore Cliff Lodge. If tanning isn’t your thing, there are also a number of scenic beaches where you can sit atop rocky cliffs and enjoy the panoramic views. Visit Margo Dodd Park, Cambria, or Montana de Oro for unforgettable, and dramatic, ocean views.
3. Lake Nacimiento
A classic way to have fun in the summer, visiting lakes is also a staple of the life here on the Central Coast. While a year ago the water level at this lake was dismal, it’s now much recovered thanks to the rains of El Nino. Try out whatever water sports you might desire, like tubing, water skiing, or wake-boarding. Find out more about visiting this lake here. It’s about a thirty minute drive from Paso Robles, making it perfect for a day trip while visiting the Paso Robles Inn.
4. Farmer’s Market
There’s no better time to visit Farmer’s Markets than in the summer, thanks to the the long daylight hours, warm evenings, and delicious seasonal produce. San Luis Obispo’s farmer’s market provides more than just food, but also entertainment and informational booths, every Thursday from 5 – 8 pm. In Pismo Beach, enjoy sea-mist and corn on the cob on the Pismo Pier every Wednesday from 3 – 7pm. The exciting, happy, and laid-back feelings of summer will bring you freely into the true community of the Central Coast.
5. Sunset Drive-In Theater
Imagine yourself back in the 50’s, spending your evening visiting the drive-in theater and sauntering to the concession stand in between features. That old-fashioned dream can become a reality on the Central Coast by visiting the vintage Sunset Drive-In, where the ambiance is charming and the prices seem out of this decade. While every season on the Central Coast is generally mild enough to visit the drive-in comfortably, summer is perfect due to the warm weather. Ideally, use a truck or large SUV and set up the back comfortably to watch a double feature of fun summer films.
Summer is the perfect time to dust off the bike in your garage and go on a scenic ride. We’ve talked many times about the beautiful trails in San Luis Obispo county, but you don’t have to only hit the mountains. Try riding through downtown SLO for a leisurely afternoon, intermixed with shopping or biking. You can also ride along the coast in Pismo Beach for a fairly easy bike ride that is paired with a phenomenal view. Take your pick, and have a great time biking through the Central Coast this summer!
7. SLO Blues Baseball Games
One favorite for classic summer fun is visiting a basebal game, but San Luis Obispo doesn’t have any major MLB teams. However, we do have a collegiate summer team, which really encapsulates the spirit of the close-knit Central Coast and offers family fun for all ages all summer long. It’s called the Blues, and it’s a team made up of collegiate athletes that compete against similar teams throughout California. Their busy schedule offers home games at Sinsheimer Park every week throughout the entire summer, making it possible for Central Coast residents and tourists to go to a ball game throughout these warm months.
8. Horseback Riding Tours
Horseback riding is popular in a ranch type area like San Luis Obispo, but you can ride horses up in the hills or down on the sand. Check out Pacific Dunes Ranch for the chance to horseback ride on the beach in Pismo. You don’t have to be an expert, since they cater for beginners and experts alike! Or trot through the hills of Paso Robles, feeling like a true cowboy, with Outback Trail Rides.
9. Wine Tasting
Imagine taking refuge from the hot summer sun under umbrellas at a sprawling winery, sipping on Chardonnay or Cabernet while looking out at the seemingly endless vineyards. This image is real all throughout the Central Coast, from Paso Robles to Edna Valley. Whether you’re a wine aficionado or you don’t know a red from a rose, you’ll find delicious wine, beautiful views, friendly service on the Central Coast, and you’ll probably end up learning a lot about the winemaking process. Regardless, summer is the perfect time to spend a languid afternoon tasting and picnicking; just be sure to bring water along too!
10. Concerts at Vina Robles Amphitheater
Summer is the time to see world-class musicians live, right here in Paso Robles. The Vina Robles Amphitheater, on-property of the Vina Robles Winery, has an excellent summer season that brings famous and talented musicians to a beautiful outdoor amphitheater. Paso Robles is known for its hot summer days, but once nightfall comes around, the air is cool and pleasant; the perfect conditions for an outdoor summer concert. Have a couple glasses of Vina Robles wine and enjoy the show. This summer, the lineup includes Jackson Browne, Maxwell, Chicago, and the Steve Miller Band.