Skip to main content
Global Home
A Group Of People On A Beach
Your Guide to Avila Beach Martin Resorts Blog
A Row Of Palm Trees
Your Guide to Avila Beach Martin Resorts Blog
A Group Of People On A Beach
Your Guide to Avila Beach Martin Resorts Blog

Top 10 Family Friendly Activities on the Central Coast

The Central Coast is tailor-made for a fun and easy family vacation that takes the pressure off. With its numerous beaches, ample open spaces for hiking and exploring, museums and educational opportunities, you won't be lacking in things to do with your kids that are both fun and appropriate. Now in springtime, with the weather improving, all the most popular Central Coast activities will be available for you! Here are our suggestions for the most enjoyable activities on the Central Coast that are perfect for kids and parents alike.

1. Rent Sea Kayaks

When you rent a kayak and explore the Central Coast by sea, you catch a glimpse of another world that isn’t visible from the sand. It's an educational experience that's also a lot of fun for the kids - you might be lucky enough to see a whale or dolphin in their natural habitat! Don’t miss the chance to see more, explore more, and witness more when you kayak through the Central Coast.  Try Morro Bay for a pleasant and open atmosphere, or visit Pismo Beach to explore caves, cliffs, and witness wildlife. To follow up this awesome experience, you and your kids can learn more about sea life indoors with a trip to the Central Coast Aquarium.

A Small Boat In A Body Of Water

2. Rent Bikes

If renting a kayak allows you to explore the ocean on another level, renting bikes lets you understand the Central Coast lifestyle on land. Check out any of San Luis Obispo's trail suggestions, we guarantee that you’ll find a new appreciation for the landscape of this rugged and beautiful slice of the California Coast. Keep in mind the difficulty of the trails and pick the best one for your family. Biking throughout downtown SLO, along side Pismo Beach, and on the Bob Jones Trail are some of our favorites. 

3. Look at the Wildflowers

We've had a truly wet winter - so much rain! The good news is that with all this rain, the springtime wildflower display is more breathtaking than ever, and there are some amazing spots to see wildflowers in San Luis Obispo County. Kids will love the bright colors and beautiful flowers; it might even be a great time to take some sweet family photos. And it won't last forever, the flowers will die by the hot summertime, so take the time to see the wildflowers now!

A Vase Of Colorful Flowers

4. Go Tide-Pooling

An outdoor activity that is both fun and educational, checking out the local tide pools is an excellent activity for the whole family. Be sure to check the tide calendar so that you can visit your preferred beach at a low-tide hour. Here is a list San Luis Obispo county tide pools you and your family will want to check out during your stay.

5. Bubblegum Alley

If anything is kid-friendly on the Central Coast, it might be the small colorful alley stocked with already-chewed bubble gum. Bubblegum Alley has become a staple of San Luis Obispo and its quirky charm, with tourists and residents alike regularly leaving their gum on the adorned walls. This kitschy, small-town attraction is a fun place for kids; they can make their mark on the wall, or just laugh about the sweet smell of JuicyFruit throughout the entire alley.

A Large Crowd Of People With Bubblegum Alley In The Background

6. Dinosaur Caves Park

Due to its close proximity to several of Martin Resorts’ hotels and its wide open space to play, Dinosaur Caves Park is a must-stop for families with children. Bring a picnic lunch from Hoagies in Pismo Beach and spend an afternoon playing, relaxing, and soaking up the sun at the oceanfront park. It’s situated atop the cliffs of Pismo, with a beautiful view and refreshing sea breeze. Additionally, if you’d like to explore the sand, the park is very close to stairs that provide beach access.

7. Sunset Drive-In

Visiting the drive-in is such a classic activity, exciting in its novelty and simplicity. At Sunset Drive-In in San Luis Obispo, the price can’t be beat. A ticket is $4 for those 5-11 years old and $11 for those 12 and up. The ticket gets you in two different movies, one usually showing around 8:30 and the other at 10:30. The releases are often kid-friendly and fun for all ages. Even if you can’t make it through both films, the drive-in is an excellent way to spend an evening that the kids will delight in.

A Person Sitting In Front Of A Car

8. Avila Valley Barn

With enough activities for the kids and products, fresh produce, and more for you, Avila Valley Barn promises a fun afternoon adventure. Buy a few carrots and your kids can feed goats, pigs, sheep and more at their adorable petting zoo. You can experience anything related to farm life at the Avila Valley Barn, including tasting fresh pie from their country bakery, taking a fun tractor ride, or picking fresh fruit that you can take home for yourself.

9. Visit the Elephant Seals in San Simeon

Pay a visit to the beach in San Simeon, with an elephant-seal-viewing boardwalk, and the whole family is in for a treat. The large creatures spend hours upon end on the beach and are always doing something interesting, from braying loudly and cuddling with each other, to even fighting for dominance over the group! Visit Friends of the Elephant Seal for more information on the best time to visit and wildlife you might see.

A Close Up Of A Seal Lying In The Sand

10. Farmers Market in Downtown San Luis Obispo

The farmers market is more than just a place to buy your fruits and veggies for the week. Downtown SLO's Thursday night farmers market is more like a weekly event, with live music, unique street performances, and of course, plenty of tasty food. Try BBQ, pizza, chocolates, kettle corn, and more from local food artisans' booths.  The farmers market is a fun night out for the whole family! For a daytime market experience, check out other farmer's markets at the SLO county main Website.