1 SouthA Little Background
This quiet little beach town located 6 miles north of Morro Bay, and 12 miles south of Cambria, has a very wide main street and a string of cute, old-time, inexpensive motels. It boasts both mild weather and a sandy beach with gentle surf where activities include swimming, surfing, and other water sports, as well as good tide pooling. Lifeguards are on duty in summer. Referred to as “the coolest small town in America,” the town definitely lived up to that title when I visited in early December--the temperature was so cold and the wind was so strong that I skipped my morning walk on the beach. But this seasonal adversity only made me want to return, but next time in summer.
|beach and pier in Cayucos, California|
|town Christmas tree in Cayucos, California|
Built in 1872 and originally only 380 feet long, Cayucos Pier remained in shallow water and was not long enough for boats to anchor. In 1876 it was lengthened to 982 feet, allowing ships to dock on the sides. When the state took control later, 40 feet of pier was removed. And damaged by a rough winter storm in 2013, the pier was finally closed. But local residents rallied and raised $3.5 million to reconstruct it. A little shorter than before, the town pier now measures 953 feet long. A fishing license is not required to fish from the pier, which is lit for night fishing, and equipment rentals are available. Picnic tables, play equipment, restrooms, and outside showers are provided near the entrance.
|dolphin statue at pier entrance in Cayucos, California|
|pier entrance in Cayucos, California|
The town’s main street--Ocean Avenue---is lined with well-maintained historical buildings that now hold a variety of boutiques, antiques shops, and restaurants. One noteworthy shop you don’t want to miss is the Brown Butter Cookie Company at #98. Situated in a building nicknamed “Big Red,” this is the flagship shop where these locally-famous cookies are made by hand in the on-site bakery. Each is rolled out by hand. Their traditional cookies--Chocolate Chunk, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter, Lemon Sugar, Snickerdoodle, Ginger Molasses, and Everything Cookie--and Honey cookies are available at this location only. Visitors are greeted by the aroma of freshly baked cookies and given samples fresh from the oven. They know that once you taste one of the sweet-and-salty cookies, you’ll want more. Another type of cookie is available in limited edition batches. I tried the Spice version made October through December. The small round cookies are like soft shortbread, and the flavors are true: espresso, cocoa, spice, and the original--which is my hands-down favorite of the lot. Retail shops are also located in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo.
|exterior of Brown Sugar Cookie Company in Cayucos, California|
|interior of Brown Sugar Cookie Company in Cayucos, California|
|bakery area of Brown Sugar Cookie Company in Cayucos, California|
|bag of cookies from Brown Sugar Cookie Company in Cayucos, California|
Cayucos Murals are found here and there. Many artists have contributed their time and talent to enhancing walls throughout the town. A tour map with a description of each mural and artist leads to the nine murals, starting at the elementary school. Or you can visit each mural site virtually. I even managed to find one that isn’t on the list.
|Old Cayucos Tavern mural in Cayucos, California|
More things to do in Cayucos.