After Hours

Brown Pelican
Symbol of the Central Coast Birding Trail
Copyrighted Photo courtesy of: Don Des Jardin

Chardonnay Vineyard Morro Rock Redwoods in Big Sur Mission San Miguel
Monarch Butterflies

What To Do When Not Birding.

For couples with a non-birding spouse, the Central Coast Birding Trail offers a wide variety of things to do after-hours that go beyond the hobby.  The landscape of coastal California is extraordinarily beautiful with mountains, valleys, forests and lonely beaches.  The Los Padres National Forest covers a substantial part of the region.  Breathtaking Highway 1 winds along the edge of the Pacific Rim between San Luis Obispo and Monterey.  In spring, there can be an abundance of roadside wildflowers along this and other rural byways.  Channel Islands National Park offers numerous recreational opportunities and Santa Cruz Island is the only place to find the endemic Island Scrub- Jay.  Ten of the historic missions along El Camino Real are located on the Central Coast.  Hearst Castle sits upon a mountain top overlooking the Pacific on Highway One.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium is world famous.  While you can observe whales from coastal bluffs in February and March, whale-watching excursions from Ventura, Santa Barbara and Monterey get you up close.  There are three coastal sites where you can see spectacular clusters of wintering Monarch Butterflies.  Among the area's golf courses are some of America's best.  There are over 150 wineries and vineyards in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties that produce some of the world's finest chardonnays and pinot noirs.  The region is also renowned for its restaurants that grill steaks over an oak-pit.  Seafood choices are extraordinary in any of the region's main urban centers. 

Plan to spend at least a week along this trail and you will be rewarded with an experience you will long remember.  With almost 300 species of regularly occurring birds, there is something for everyone on the Central Coast Birding Trail.  

Check out the hotspots in Monterey Co. | San Luis Obispo Co. | Santa Barbara Co. | Ventura Co.


           Hwy 1 Coastline Monterey Aquarium
Pt. Pinos Light Station Pebble Beach Golf Course San Juan Bautista State Park

Monterey County

Monterey County Natural Attractions

Pacific Coast Highway

Los Padres National Forest

Pt. Lobos State Reserve 

Ano Nuevo Island Reserve

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve 

Elkhorn Slough Safari Tours

National Steinbeck Center

Monterey Bay State Historic Park

Carmel Mission

San Juan Bautista Mission and State Historic Park

Cannery Row

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

Monarch Grove Sanctuary

17 Mile Drive

Big Sur

The Calaveras Fault Walking Tour

Monterey Bay Whalewatching  

Sanctuary Whalewatching Cruises

Cheeseman's Ecology Safaris (whalewatching)

Randy's Fishing Trips and Whalewatching


Highway One Coastline Elephant Seal near Piedras Blancas Avila Beach Wineries -- Harmony Cellars 

San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo County Natural Attractions 

Los Padres National Forest 

California Highway One 

Hearst Castle 

Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove 

Morro Bay Museum of Natural History 

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes 

Dunes Center 

Dana Adobe

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa 

Mission San Miguel Arcangel 

Mission San Antonio de Padua 

Mozart Festival 

The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville 


Aquasports Kayaking

Carrizo Plain National Monument: Goodwin Education Center

Coastal Conservancy: Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas

Solvang Lompoc Flower Fields Surf Beach Santa Barbara Harbor La Purisima Mission Hayfields along Hwy 166

Santa Barbara County

Channel Islands National Park 

Los Padres National Forest

Lake Cachuma Guided Nature Cruises

62 wineries and vineyards

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park in Lompoc

Mission Santa Barbara 

Mission Santa Ines

El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park 

Lompoc Murals, depicting area history and traditions

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

The Santa Barbara Natural History Museum [large permanent collection of mounted bird specimens]

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center on Sterns Wharf

Santa Maria Natural History Museum

The Lompoc Museum [large collection of Chumash artifacts]

The Dunes Discovery Center in Guadalupe [Visitorís Center for the Guadalupe Dunes]

Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

The Cabrillo High School Aquarium in Lompoc

Ellwood Mesa Monarch Butterflies

Solvang [quaint Danish community]

The Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez

Aquasports Kayaking


Mission San Buenaventura Mt. Pinos, Los Padres Natl. Forest

Ventura County

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park Visitor's Center

Los Padres National Forest

Olivas Adobe 

Mission San Buenaventura 





Central Coast Birding Trail | Monterey | San Luis Obispo | Santa Barbara | Ventura

Specialty Birds | Pelagics | After Hours | Resources | Events

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Most recently updated: 30 June 2004 .