We get to go to school and live in an amazing place. San Luis Obispo lies smack dab in the center of California’s Central Coast, which spans from roughly Monterey to Ventura. It is a gem of beauty, historical significance, and a wide variety of things to do all year round. Whether you’re a surfer, a hiker, a beach lover, or someone who prefers to be indoors there is always a way to have fun on the Central Coast. Although it can feel like school sometimes interferes with this endless adventuring, it’s important to take time to recharge and replenish ourselves in-between the exams. Here are 23+ great ways to escape the stress of midterms on the central coast.
Exploring a new place releases dopamine which makes you feel good. Be a tourist for a day in all of these places which are less than a two and a half hour drive away!
- Santa Barbara
- Big Sur
- Monterey Bay aquarium
- Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
- Pinnacles National Park
Are you a stress eater? Then these Central Coast restaurants are the perfect place for you to clear your head and refocus through gorging yourself shamelessly on tasty cuisine.
- Nepenthe in Big Sur
- Luna Red happy hour
- Ventana Grill
- Firestone Grill
Treat yo’self to some TLC. These spa’s are the perfect place to relax and forget about thermodynamics while you’re enjoying the thermaldyanmic heat of a hot spring or massage.
- Sycamore Springs
- Avila Springs
- Esalen hot springs
- Santa Barbara salt caves
Go for a “walk” by the beach
The fresh air and movement of taking a walk can clear your head if you’re feeling stressed out. Here on the Central Coast, we are lucky to have a variety of beautiful trails and beaches to choose from… The Central Coast is home to some of the most beautiful walks in the state right in our own backyard.
- Walk on the boardwalk of Cambria
- Visit the elephant seals and walk on the beach of San Simeon
- Walk along the beach to Morro rock on the Morro Strand Trail
- Vertical walk up a local hike like the Avila Ridge trail in Avila or Valencia Peak in Montana de Oro (bonus points if it’s at sunrise)
Hit the water
Something about the sound of the sea is soothing. Listen to the ocean waves by taking on the open water in these activities.
- Kayaking Morro Bay
- Surf Pismo, Morro, Shell beach. Don’t know how? Take a lesson!
- SUPpin’ in Morro Bay, Avila, or anywhere with calm enough waters
- Wake boarding on Lake Nacimiento
Try a new activity
Returning to the dopamine phenomenon, there are so many other new and amazing and fun things to do on the Central Coast, like horseback riding at Madonna, going ATV’ing in the Pismo Dunes, roasting ‘mallows over the fire at the Avila pits and Grover Beach, wine tasting at endless wineries in Edna Valley and Paso Robles (if you’re legal ;)) or biking along the Bob Jones trail/ Highway 1 on the coast of Cambria.