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Best attractions to visit in Central Coast

1. Hearst Castle - Central Coast

Hearst Castle

Located in the heart of California, Hearst Castle is a well-known California Historical Landmark and is a popular attraction for millions of tourists that have a thrill for going on historical tours. The history of Hearst Castle dates back to the early 20th century when architect Julian Morgan designed the castle between 1919 and 1947 as a tribute to the newspaper icon, William Randolph Hearst. According to accounts, Hearst originally wanted the place to be built as a bungalow, but changed his mind after taking inspiration from the Spanish Revival for castle’s exterior design. The title ‘castle’ is more of a misnomer and in reality is a group of mansions that provides tourists with numerous tours. Hearst Castle, today, offers tourists with a number of popular tours including Grand Rooms Tour, Upstairs Suites Tour, Holiday Twilight Tour, and more. In addition, the castle is a haven for nearly 25,000 artifacts, making it the ideal place to take a trip through time and experience the minute details of history’s most important events, personalities, and works of art. Hearst Castle is open daily from 9.00 am and entry prices are $25 and $12 for adults and children respectively.

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2. Santa Barbara - Central Coast

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is one of our favorite cities to visit to relax. The city is perfect for a laid back vacation that is also filled with fun. Our favorite thing to do is to go on the wine trail. You will end up tasting some really good wines, and the best part is that you will be surrounded by lush greenery. Wine tours in Santa Barbara are very popular, and are the main tourist attraction for most people. Santa Barbara also has some fantastic museums. The collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Maritime Museum is excellent, and if you are interested in museums these places are a must visit. Another great thing here is the Lotusland. Lotusland happens to be one of our favorite botanical gardens anywhere in the world. The best part of the place is how well maintained it is, and how serene it feels. The reason it is so serene is that visitation is only allowed if you have a reservation and that too on guided tours is only twice a day. Santa Barbara also has a very healthy food culture; you will be able to find delicious local food as well as the best food from all around the world.

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3. Condor Express Whale Watching - Central Coast

Condor Express Whale Watching

If you love whales and would like to see them without a television screen in between, then book your seat on the Condon Whale Express whale watching boat in Santa Barbara. Offering the best whale watching expeditions in the world for more than two decades, it caters to a flood of tourists each year and is well equipped to manage them as well. One of the things to do in Condor Express Whale Watching expeditions is to enjoy the up close and personal look at the local marine wildlife besides the gentle giants. This includes a range of plegiac birds and marine mammals so of which call the National Marine Sanctuary their home. Designed specifically to offer the best stability and comfort, the whale watching experience on the Condor Express will remain with you long after you leave. You will always have these things to do on the Condor Express Whale Watching boat each year you visit but only if you arrive during peak migration season. The whales return each year in the hundreds at the same time through the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary. The boat offers a sturdy observation deck for casual visitors and photographers who want the best seat in the house to snap the perfect shot of these gentle giants.

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4. Pismo beach - Central Coast

Pismo beach

For sun, sea and surf in Central Coast, California, Pismo beach is a must visit for any globe trotter. Besides embracing the outdoors, the beach offers a number of activities that will not leave you bored for a minute. There are a number of things to do in Pismo beach. Go kayaking in the early morning, stroll through State Park in the evening and follow it with an equally relaxing fishing trip. Want to conquer the best waves? Then your things to do in Pismo beach list would not be complete without stand up paddle boarding. Whether you are a novice or a pro at surfing, this activity will make that adrenaline pump for a truly memorable experience out on the waves. If you need lessons, there are instructors on the beach who will be more than happy to guide you. There are a number of shops on the beach which offer rentals and lessons for novices. The Sandbar Surf for instance, offers private and group lessons along with equipment rentals and wetsuits for rent. For lessons and tours for paddle boarding, the Pismo Beach Surf Shop is a must visit and the best part is that it is open year round.

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5. Monterey Bay Aquarium - Central Coast

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey bay Aquarium is a must visit in Central Coast, California which gives the young and the old an up close and personal look into marine life. From live feeding to spectacular whale exhibits, the Aquarium is a haven for those who love marine life and all the wonders the ocean has to offer. One of the most memorable things to do in Monterey Bay Aquarium is taking part in the live feeding. Young visitors can get an up close and personal look at how aquarists take care of the black-toothed penguins that are housed there. This includes the challenges the species faces in the wild and particularly how they are faring today. You can also experience how aquarists train and feed sea otters and get a better understanding of these elusive creatures. Your things to do in Monterey Bay Aquarium list will not be complete if you do not include the guided tours. Get an insider’s look at the Aquarium by signing up for the guided tours which come complete with exhibits that will open your eyes to the wonders of marine life. Learn about the secret lives of jellyfish and the groundbreaking efforts the aquarium is making to research them.

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6. Gilroy Garlic Festival - Central Coast

Gilroy Garlic Festival

For good old garlicky and foodie fun, love cooking competitions and unending fun with the entire family, the Gilroy Garlic Festival is a must visit. Take a gander at the Gourmet Alley, a ginormous outdoor kitchen which comes complete with a show courtesy of the famed ‘Pyro chefs.’ You will be positively mesmerized watching them fry up delicious calamari and scampi laced with garlicky goodness in large iron skillets. Is your mouth watering yet? One of the things to do in Gilroy Garlic Festival is to taste the garlicky and scrumptious fare. This includes delicious pepper steak sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, stuffed mushrooms and of course, fried calamari which you will watch cooking live. End the feast with garlic ice cream that cannot be found anywhere else! Besides food things to do in Gilroy Garlic Festival also include taking part in the live entertainment and cooking contests. Test your culinary skills against other heavy weights if you want to and you might just win. Keep the kids happy and occupied by sending them to the Children’s Area where they can enjoy hands on activities and dine on food that is suitable for their sensitive palettes.

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7. Ventura Harbour Village - Central Coast

Ventura Harbour Village

There are things to do in Ventura Harbour Village that cannot be found anywhere else. Get cozy and super comfortable by lounging on one of the patios overlooking the ocean. Enjoy seafood straight from those waters and prepared by talented chefs. Gulp it all down with a glass of fine wine that is grown locally and you will have a hard time leaving. The harbor offers a number of charming boutiques that visitors can spend hours browsing through but if you are looking for adventure then take a few paddle and pedal boats out on the water with family. This is one of the most exciting things to do in Ventura Harbour Village that is a particular favorite with kids besides the ice cream store, carousel and the local arcade. If you are in search of a day trip, then the chartered cruise should be on your list as well. Watch whales and dolphins like you have never seen them before in the wide open and pristine natural setting. Stop by the Visitor’s Center to take a look at the local exhibits and films that you can view at leisure and dine on fresh seafood and enjoy live entertainment afterwards.

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