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10 Things to Do Near San Luis Obispo During Spring Break

Staying in San Luis Obispo for spring break with nothing to do?  Have no fear, there are a wide variety of activities you may have never thought of within a short drive of San Luis Obispo!

1. Listen to the elephant seals at the Elephant Seal Rookery

Each day, from 8 a.m. to sunset, you can view the elephant seals for free at the Piedras Blancas seal rookery, just north of Hearst Castle in San Simeon.  The rookery is the year-round home of approximately 7,500 elephant seals of all ages, who occasionally leave but always make their way back home.   It is quite a spectacle to see males battling for mates and females guarding their young.  Be ready to hear just how loud the elephant seals can roar and their permanent silly smile!

2. Volunteer at the Cal Poly Cat Program

About 50 cats of various breeds call the Cal Poly Cat Program home, even one that looks like Grumpy Cat!  The program began as a senior project in 1992 as a way to relocate the nearly 400 abandoned and feral cats roaming campus.  Many volunteers from both the university and the local community support the on-campus shelter.  Most of the cats are up for adoption and are looking for forever homes.  Email cpcpscheduler@gmail.com for to find out how you can volunteer your time at the shelter or even just play with the cats!

3. Shoot a bow and arrow at SLO Sportsmen’s Association

Ever wanted to feel like Katniss or Hawkeye?  Well now you can, as the San Luis Obispo Archery Range is open for beginners and professionals alike to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow.  The cost is just $7 per shooter, which gives you access to the archery range and the use of a compound bow and arrows.  The range is open to the public Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., as well as Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. until dusk.

4.  Visit the animals at the Charles Paddock Zoo

The Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero may be small, but it is home to hundreds of species from around the world!  From a Malayan tiger to Slender-tailed meerkats, there are exceptional animals of all kinds waiting to be visited at the zoo.  It costs $7 for adults and is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

5. Watch a play at the Great American Melodrama &Vaudeville

The Great American Melodrama has been an Oceano tradition since it was established in 1975.  A small troupe performs musical comedies and a vaudeville review, with several productions each season.  The show typically lasts 3 hours, with a musical comedy followed by a vaudeville review.  There is also an in-house restaurant, if you would like to grab a bite before the show or during intermissions. The Mark of Morro, a play with “swashbuckling swordplay and silly song parodies,” will have performances during spring break, with student tickets ranging from $16-$22.

6. Camp at Montana De Oro State Park

This “Mountain of Gold” got its name from the golden wildflowers that bloom in the spring.  The state park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, and canyons, making it the perfect location for a varied camping experience.  Campsite rental begins at $25 a night (with a maximum of 8 people), and you can always rent camping equipment from Poly Escapes at the Cal Poly Rec Center if you don’t not have any of your own.

7. Run a 5K

What better way to have fun and get into shape during spring break than running a 5K?  The San Luis Obispo 2014 Health & Fitness Expo 5K is on March 22nd, the Wine Country Half Marathon and 5K in Paso Robles is on March 23rd, and the Santa Maria Rock the 80’s 5K is on March 29th!  With so many races to choose from, you have no excuse not to get running over spring break.

8. Walk in the Elfin Forest

The El Moro Elfin Forest in Los Osos is a 90-acre natural area that supports more than 200 species of plants, 110 kinds of birds, 22 species of mammals, and 13 species of amphibians and reptiles.  Enjoy a nice relaxing walk and the wonderful views of Morro Estuary and Morro Rock.

 9. Miniature golf at Boomers

When it comes to fun, Boomers has it all.  Not only does Boomers feature a miniature golf course, it also has go karts, bumper boats, a rock wall, batting cages, and a giant arcade!  All attractions are open Monday-Thursday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. To 11 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

10. Hike at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes

The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes are the second largest remaining coastal dunes in California.  They span 18 miles of the central California coastline and are home to many species of endangered plants and animals.  Scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean: A World’s End were filmed at these very dunes, with the exact shooting location being about an hour’s hike round-trip!

Photo source: http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/san-luis-obispo/around-the-co…

Lindsey Day is a third-year biological sciences major and volunteer with the Cal Poly Cat Program. She has a passion for science and law. Lindsey dreams of one day helping to eradicate an infectious disease as well as becoming a forensic scientist. She also loves photography, exploring nature, cooking, and going to comic book conventions.
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