Imagine that you're a tired old mom with two kids who really need an adventure. You find a place where you can sit down in silky soft sand and watch your kids play safely from a distance. With binos, you and a close friend (also a mom) spy on otters cavorting in the surf of crashing waves. A gentle breeze blows monarch butterflies by as you sit in the warm sun, talking for hours.
It's not an impossible dream. It's real and can happen for you too in Montaña de Oro State Park in San Luis Obispo County on California's Central Coast. We came with lots of food, water, and a picnic blanket, expecting to move to all of the various places to explore this jewel of a park. We ended up spending 6 hours in this one spot.
The kids played in a large hole and turned it into a home. Then after lunch, they moved their game to a hard sandy cliff, where people had scraped out letters and holes with their hands. They spent hours there, playing house and tending a garden.
While we were there, we saw other people picnicking and then a ton of local college students came and explored. They even got into the cold ocean down below. There is a decent sized parking lot with a port-o-potty for the Hazard Peak Trail. Don't forget sunscreen, water, and snacks!
Are you looking for adventures nearby? Check out this list!
If you want to explore outside at night with a UV flashlight (so so amazing!), I recommend these flashlights from Amazon: UV Flashlight 4-pack. They are inexpensive, the right type of UV for minerals and insects, powerful enough, just need one AA battery, and they seem to last forever!
This website is a side-hustle for paying for future family adventures; if you want to check out our stones and crystals, please do!