SLOcal Adventures for Families

Recommended adventures for your family in and near San Luis Obispo county. (This page will keep growing!)

Please check to make sure the place you are interested in is open and bring everything needed to keep you and your family safe and healthy. Remember your hiking and nature etiquette.

SLO County Activities

Near the City of San Luis Obispo

SLO Botanical Garden - (Joy and Rocko)

Thursday night downtown farmer's market 

Gopher Glen apple tasting

See Canyon apple tasting

Avila Valley Barn

SLO Children's Museum



Coastal SLO

Pismo Beach Monarch Grove

Dune Preserve (our favorite place on earth)

Bob Jones Trail to Avila - bike or walk

Oso Flaco Lake boardwalk to the beach

Exploration Discovery Center in Grover Beach

Central Coast Aquarium in Avila

Morro Bay Museum of Natural History

Morro Rock for sea otter viewing (Joy and Rocko)

Elephant seals in San Simeon

Farmer's markets


  • San Simeon beach
  • Morro Strand beach
  • Montana de Oro sandspit
  • Morro Bay dog beach
  • Moonstone Beach (Joy & Rocko)
  • Piedras Blancas
  • Hearst State Beach
  • Cayucos beach
  • Oceano Dunes
  • Shell Beach
  • Avila Beach
  • Olde Port Beach
  • Pismo State Beach
  • Fisherman's Beach
  • Pirate's Cove
  • Spooner's Cove (Joy and Rocko)



North County

Santa Margarita Lake
Las Pilitas Native Plants

South County

Rutiz Family Farm (now Halcyon Farms) (Rocko and Joy)
Nipomo Native Garden (Rocko and Joy)
Kathleen's Canyon Overlook Park  (Joy and Rocko)
Willowbrook Blueberry picking
Lopez Lake Recreation Area
Painted Rock Self Guided Tour

Santa Barbara County Activities

Knapp's Castle Ruins hike

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park (Joy and Rocko)

Jalama Beach (Joy and Rocko)

Cachuma Lake (Joy and Rocko)

El Capitán State Beach (Joy and Rocko)


Monterey County Activities

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Jade Cove (adventure)


Ventura County Activities

Mt. Pinos snow! (Joy and Rocko)


For love of tide pooling:

Tide pooling is a fun and educational activity that involves exploring the intertidal zone of rocky shores to observe the fascinating creatures that inhabit them. This popular pastime has a rich history and is enjoyed by people of all ages.

Tide pooling has been a popular activity for centuries. Many indigenous cultures used tide pools as a source of food and medicine. For example, the Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest used tide pools to gather clams, crabs, and other shellfish. Additionally, ancient Greeks and Romans believed that sea anemones had healing properties and used them to treat various ailments.

While tide pooling can be a fun and rewarding experience, it is important to keep safety in mind. The rocks can be slippery and the waves can be powerful, so it is important to wear sturdy shoes with good grip and to watch out for incoming waves. It is also important to be respectful of the creatures that live in the tide pools by not disturbing their habitats or removing them from the pools.

There are many interesting creatures to discover in the tide pools, including starfish, anemones, crabs, sea urchins, and various species of fish. California is home to a variety of unique tide pool creatures, such as the California sea hare and the giant green anemone. Visitors should take care not to touch or harm these creatures, as many of them are protected by law.

When visiting tide pools in California, it is important to follow the rules and regulations in place to protect the environment. For example, visitors should not remove any rocks or shells from the tide pools, as this can disrupt the delicate ecosystem. Additionally, visitors should not use any nets, buckets, or other equipment to capture or collect the creatures in the tide pools.

In conclusion, tide pooling is an enjoyable and educational activity that has a rich history and is enjoyed by people of all ages. However, it is important to take safety measures, be respectful of the creatures that live in the tide pools, and follow the rules and regulations in place to protect the environment. With these precautions in mind, anyone can have a fun and memorable tide pooling experience in California.