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South of Big Sur and Hearst Castle, the Cambria coast is a good place to spot sea birds, sea otters and, in season, migrating California Gray Whales. Whaling trips depart the fishing village of Morro Bay, with its quaint boutique inns; while a short distance north, the former whaling and lumbering village of Cambria is known for its art galleries and for Hearst Castle, at San Simeon. Travelers in the know rest their heads at The Inn at Morro Bay - a perfect vantage for enjoying stupendous sunsets. Offshore, Morro Rock stands sentinel over a sanctuary for the peregrine falcon. Southward, Pismo Beach, with its 1,370-foot-long pier, is known ...

South of Big Sur and Hearst Castle, the Cambria coast is a good place to spot sea birds, sea otters and, in season, migrating California Gray Whales. Whaling trips depart the fishing village of Morro Bay, with its quaint boutique inns; while a short distance north, the former whaling and lumbering village of Cambria is known for its art galleries and for Hearst Castle, at San Simeon. Travelers in the know rest their heads at The Inn at Morro Bay - a perfect vantage for enjoying stupendous sunsets. Offshore, Morro Rock stands sentinel over a sanctuary for the peregrine falcon. Southward, Pismo Beach, with its 1,370-foot-long pier, is known for its 20 miles of undulating sand dunes within Pismo State Beach Dune Preserve, a portion of which is a recreation area for all-terrain vehicles. Swept by consistent winds, Pismo Beach is also a Nirvana to kiteboarders and windsurfers, while every late-October through February, monarch butterflies descend on Monarch Grove, where they cluster in eucalyptus trees. Inland lies San Luis Obispo, whose quaint, quiet streets are lined with Victorian homes. Here, San Luis Obispo Mission, founded in 1772 by Father Junipero Serra, provides a touch of early California history.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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