Hitch up the dune buggy, because you're about the go off roading in Oceano, CA. After a day tracing sandy slopes, spying monarch butterflies, and horseback riding, you'll want a comfy, private place to rest your head. Our Oceano vacation rentals are just the ticket!
This small Central Coast beach town is home to just over 7,200 residents and is neighbors with four other similarly-sized communities - the popular Pismo Beach, the quaint Grover Beach, the rustic Arroyo Grande, and Shell Beach. The closest major metropolitan area is Bakersfield, CA about 130 miles east. Our Oceano vacation homes can be easily accessed via US 101 or State Route 1.
Perhaps the area's biggest draw is its dunes, which are the only remaining off-road coastal variety in California. Of the 3,500 acres, about 2,000 are reserved for boisterous, bouncing buggies. March through September, this area is reduced due to the nesting season of the endangered snowy plover and California least tern. If you happen to visit in the autumn, look for these sea birds' chicks skittering in the surf - it's really cute.
Not so much into "cute" as you are "extreme?" Strap into your scrappy off-road ride and zoom on the dunes at the State Vehicular Recreational Area (SVRA). If you're visiting nearby Pismo Beach for its laidback vibe, mix things up with an Oceano ATV rental or guided tour. Each October, thousands congregate in this area for Huckfest, a truck-jumping event that boasts being the “gnarliest high-flying off-road action you will ever see.” Horseback riding and hiking on foot are also great ways to experience this unique ecosystem.
Early 20th century residents of these dunes included utopia-seekers, free spirits, and artists who believed they could channel the wild energy harnessed in this area. Perhaps you'll catch some of these frequencies as you sense the rev of an engine.
On the southern end of the dunes is the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center that focuses more on the delicate ecosystem than adventure. Follow one of its naturalists on a guided hike, enrich your mind with its educational programs and exhibits, and get inspired by its art gallery. The center also memorializes the largest film set ever built, that of Cecille B. DeMille's 1923 epic The Ten Commandments. Constructed on the area's dunes, it was eventually dismantled and, according to rumor, hidden in the sands. Fast-forward to 1983 when film buffs discovered the myth to be true and revealed the later named "Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille."
If you're not staying at one of our Oceano vacation rentals, there are other nearby communities offering delightful beach lodging and attractions. The closest are Grover Beach, with its charming atmosphere and annual concert series, and historic Arroyo Grande. No trip to this area is complete without a pilgrimage to the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove in winter.
Find a new California point of view in this eclectic area while staying at one of our welcoming Oceano vacation homes.
Photo credit: Allie_Caufield via Flickr