The coolest small town in America

Cayucos is one of California's last historical beach towns. Situated just twenty minutes north of San Luis Obispo and past Morro Bay on scenic Highway One, Cayucos offers a relaxed atmosphere with wonderful unspoiled beaches, a popular beachside boardwalk, many charming hotels and motels and a pier for fishing and enjoying the sunsets.

The Chumash Indians were the original inhabitants of most of the region now claimed by San Luis Obispo. The most famous invention of the Chumash was the plank canoe, called a tomol or cayuco, giving this town its name. Cayucos were small fishing boats similar to those used by the Aleuts during sea otter hunts along the coastline.

Cayucos sand and beach

The town of Cayucos began to evolve during the Spanish Land Grant days and was originally part of the Morro Bay Cayucos Rancho. Captain James Cass built the original wharf, store and warehouse, which provided commerce throughout the coastal communities.

Cass began construction of the pier in 1872. Originally 380 feet, boats still had to anchor out beyond the pier, using surfboats to load and unload cargo, because the shoreline was too shallow. In 1876, the pier was lengthened to 982 feet, allowing ships to dock right alongside.

Although 40 feet of the pier removed when the state took control, the Cayucos pier remains a central landmark of the area. The original warehouse is now a community center and home to the Cayucos Art Society Gallery.

The family and dog friendly town of Cayucos enjoys mild weather year round for visitors and locals (and their pets) to take advantage of the variety of activities and restaurants in the area. From locally caught fish and chips to fine dining, there is something for everyone in the city that Budget Travel dubbed "the coolest small town in America."

Cayucos beach and pier