Cayucos – Day Trip
If you are looking for a short day trip to enjoy after the excitement of your wedding, this is the spot for you. A little bit retro, a little bit quaint, a little bit sleepy, this charming town north of San Luis Obispo is a must-see if you are checking out the California Central Coast. Only 3 ½ square miles in total area, it boasts a pier from which fireworks are set off every Fourth of July. Wander into one of the many surf shops and antiques shops and take home a memento of your trip. Each spring the town hosts an annual sea glass festival, and on New Years’ Day the Polar Bear dip sends brave souls running into the Pacific Ocean, and running just as quickly back to dry land – and an awaiting towel.
One of my favorite spots in Cayucos is Brown Butter Cookie Company. Started in 2008 by two sisters who love to bake, one step into this shop and you are hooked. The smell of browned butter and baked cookies is as tempting as the plate of samples they offer. Watch the cookie rollers hand roll each Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie. If that is not tempting enough, try their cocoa mint, expresso, almond, or gluten-free lemon poppy seed, just to name a few. And, if you are hungry for more when you return home, just go to their website and order away.
If you are feeling hungry, and want more than cookies, you can get some tasty chowder at Schooners Wharf Restaurant. Another spot for chowder is at Duckies Chowder House by the pier. Or maybe you’d like to sample their tuna melt calamari strips. If smoked fish tacos are more to your liking (some folks say they are the best on the planet), head over to Ruddell’s Smokehouse. For a garden setting, try Hoppe’s Bistro and Wine Shop. Open for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, The Sea Shanty Restaurant has some very yummy homemade desserts.
Surrounded by ranchland with grazing cattle, and rolling hills peppered with oak trees, Cayucos got its name from the Chumash Indians who inhabited the area. The name means kayak, and refers to the small canoes that the Aleuts used to hunt sea otters in the 1800s. The area was settled in 1867 by Captain Cass who built a pier in the area he thought would be perfect for a shipping port. Soon, sailing ships and steamers were frequenting the area, carrying dairy products from the area to larger cities along the California coast. The old Cayucos Tavern became the hangout for seafarers and gambler alike. Now, the town is the hangout for people who want to step away from the hassle and bustle of city life and enjoy the cool ocean breezes and walk the streets of this beach town. Hope you enjoy your visit. And, don’t forget to sample some cookies. Or maybe even a whole pie from Pieman Pies. My favorite is their peanut butter cream, or maybe the lemon meringue. Now I’m hungry!