Catch the Sunset at the Avila Sea Caves

Avila Sea Caves, San Luis Obispo, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Romantic
Scenic

One of the best romantic views to watch the sunset along the Central Coast. 

When I attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I would come out to this place to watch the sunset. It was my favorite spot to sit on a rock and take in the beautiful scenery as the sun went down. You don't really have to hike to get a nice view, you can park the car and walk out to the rock cliffs and watch. Other activities to do in this area -- hiking around and relaxing at the nude beach, Pirate's Cove. The nude beach may not be for everyone though. 

Directions:
If you're headed to Avila Beach, you'll be driving on Avila Beach Dr. from the 101 hwy. Look for a road called Cave Landing Rd. on the left. This road will take you up the hill and lead you to the dirt parking lot.

Parking really isn't a problem. It gets crowded sometimes, especially on weekends, towards the end of the day. There's a dirt parking lot that has a bunch of dramatic and unfriendly dips. If you have a truck or high clearance vehicle, you'll be fine. If you have a compact car, you may bottom out or hear some serious scraping. Once in a while, the city does come around to fill the dips and make the lot even again. You can always park along the side of the road too. Just beware of signs for 'no parking' in certain spots. 

Dog friendly. 
No bathrooms or food at this spot.
The closest would be heading down the hill and back on the main road. Further up is Avila Beach.

Hikes:
Nearby trails that end up here-- Ontario Ridge Trail and Shell Beach Bluff Trail. 

To get to Pirate's Cove Beach, take the trail towards the left side of the parking lot. Follow the dirt path down until you come to a fork, make a left and follow this. You should see the beach in front of you. If you take a right at the fork, you'll be going to a cave. 

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Light jacket
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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A little crowded and lots of broken glass/litter but beautiful views nonetheless. Head to the right of the parking lot for a less crowded spot or climb to the top of the cave for an amazing 360 view.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Lauren Foltz

videographer | rock climber

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