Beach towns are some of my favorite places on earth. They are small, quaint, and have an atmosphere unlike any other. I would love to retire to a sleeply little beach town one day. Until then, I’ll just have to visit and write about them.
Christian and I took a day trip to the beach to visit his family. The beach weather was around 30 degrees cooler than the weather at home, so we were in heaven. Our first destination was Cayucos, a small town on California’s central coast of only 2, 600 residents. Our drive along Highway 1 was beautiful and very scenic – there’s a reason many people consider it the most breathtaking drive in California.
When we arrived in Cayucos, our first instinct was to go down to the beach, which we did. I could see all the way down the beach to Morro Bay, another popular beach town. Sadly, the Cayucos pier was under construction and we couldn’t walk out to the end of it. It meant I had to do the best with my photography, but I was up for the challenge.
There was lots of seaweed and birds on the beach, so we decided to walk up to the main street of Cayucos. For a small town, the street was very wide. It allowed a lot of traffic to go through during the summer months. Our trip was at the beginning of September so there was very little traffic or tourists. I loved it.
Word of mouth had told us that there was a delicious cookie place in Cayucos and we just had to check it out. It was on the corner and had cute red siding with white trim and white railings. I’m such a sucker for red and white buildings that look like a barn. It was called Brown Butter Cookie Company and had more customers going through the doors than Grand Central Station.
Before we even walked inside, the sweet aroma of cookies was already making our mouths water. The inside of the shop was just as adorable as the outside. Cookies were sold either individually (and fresh) or pre-packaged in cellophane. There were even workers making the cookies right in front of us! I sampled their peanut butter cookie and had to refrain from purchasing 20 of them. They were scrumptious! I took lots of pictures to thoroughly document the experience and we left.
Our next stop was Cambria, another little town just up the coast. I had heard wonderful things about Cambria but hadn’t been there since I was a little girl and was excited to explore. When we drove into town, I could see that there was a quaint downtown with lots of shops and a farmer’s market. We parked the truck downtown and called Christian’s cousin, who was also in Cambria. After dropped calls, slight miscommunications, and technology issues, we finally figured out that his cousin was on the other side of the hill, in another main street of Cambria. Great.
I always try to make the most of the situation, so we checked out the farmer’s market and some of the shops in the downtown that we were at. The market was small, with only two-dozen vendors, but it had a cozy and friendly feel. Christian bought some strawberry lemonade that was freshly squeezed and it was so delicious and refreshing. It took lots of willpower to not drink it for him. We headed on up the hill, despite the groaning protest from our legs. The temperature kept climbing as we kept walking but I enjoyed the exercise. Soon, we found the rest of the downtown where Christian’s cousin was. The only point of reference we had was to stand by a Chevron gas station and wait.
His cousin, Justine, finally showed up and showed us the wine bottle she and her fiancée had purchased. The bottle’s label was the best! It was probably better than the actual wine was. I don’t recall what the rest of the label said, but my favorite part was the line that read, “we started making wine knowing it would be used for late night drinking, and that the French are annoying.” It’s no secret that I dislike the French, so I was tickled beyond belief to see that on a label.
Justine showed us an eclectic little shop with a garden out back. The shop sold a variety of soaps and lotions and smelled so good. My personal favorite part was the garden. It was based on a fairytale theme and had a variety of signs that pointed to places such as the “Emerald City and “Neverland”. The inner photography nerd in me came out and I had a field day photographing the garden. Christian and I took some very cute pictures and I relished in the moment of exploring a garden at the beach.
Afterwards, we went to eat dinner at a pub on the main street. I wasn’t starving, so I ordered a small salad and watched Serena Williams play in the US Open. My salad was pretty good, but Christian ordered a kale salad that was to die for. I’m not a big fan of kooky kale but this one was really delicious. Once again, I had to keep myself from eating his food (are you noticing a trend here?)
We went to the beach after dinner. By this time, the sun was setting and the wind was whipping us around. There was so much sea foam that the entire ocean began to look like it was a pint of beer with all the foam. It was kind of neat, but really cold! Our temperate California-weathered bodies weren’t prepared for it, so we left a little bit early. I was okay with it, because I still had a 3 hour car drive home.
Was I exhausted by the time I got home? Yes. Was I awake for almost 20 hours straight? Yes. Did I have fun? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes.
If somebody ever recommends a trip to California’s central coast, I would take them up on that offer. It has a lot to do and see, and who can resist a day at the beach and sunny California?