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10 Hidden Gems in Arroyo Grande, CA

Jon Fesmire | March 5, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

You’ve settled down in Arroyo Grande and you’re ready to explore. So, you may wonder, what is there to do around here? 

Well, as it turns out, there are a lot of fun places to visit and activities to enjoy. am

Some of these are for grown-ups, but many are for families with children. Whatever the case, we’re sure that you’ll want to visit many of these sites over and over again. 


Biddle Regional Park

Travel five minutes from downtown and you’ll find Biddle Regional Park, a popular place to have a picnic, throw a birthday party, or play sports on the grass. Plus, Biddle has volleyball courts and horseshoe pits.

People enjoy taking walks here and spending time in and around the gazebo. As of December 2020, the gazebo is getting refurbished but will reopen after construction. Come in the morning or afternoon. The park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.


Clark Center for the Performing Arts

When we’ve all received our COVID vaccinations and it’s safe to see a show again, this is one place you must visit. 

Clark Center for the Performing Arts is a large indoor theater in Arroyo Grande putting on family shows, cultural events, and even live science programs. You can keep up with their current activities and check their public health updates on their website.

The theater itself has six big seating areas, but before you see your show you’ll want to peruse the art displayed in the grand lobby. That on its own is worth the visit. The walls are filled with excellent works by local artists.

The good people at Clark Center for the Performing Arts also visit K-6 schools in the Lucia Mar Unified School District to put on programs for kids.


Dinosaur Caves Park

Seven minutes from Arroyo Grande is another great place to take your kids, Dinosaur Caves Park

First, you’ll find it has a lovely cliff view of the Pacific Ocean. On top of that, it’s just a fantastic place to let your kids play with its huge playground. 

You’ll find various statues that give the park its characters, such as a dinosaur, two dolphins, three seals, and three dinosaur eggs. The eggs are hollow so kids can sit in them and play around them.

Dinosaur Caves Park is also a great place to go hiking or jogging, to play sports, to have a picnic on the lawn, or to walk your dog. You can throw birthday parties on the lawn, rent an amphitheater, or even go fishing here.


Lopez Lake Regional Area

If you’re into camping, you’ll love the fact that Lopez Lake Regional Area is practically in your yard. The lake itself has warm water and 22 miles of shoreline. Oak trees abound. And yes, you can go boating or fishing in the lake.

This is also a lovely site for hiking, horse riding, and even zip-lining. Lots of people can stay here at once with over 350 campsites in the woods and around the lake. The RV sites have full hook-ups. You can also rent a cabin big enough for six people. You’ll find plenty of hiking trails and picnic areas with barbecues, tables, and lots of seating and shade. 

And since the area around the lake is so big, you can rent a motorbike to speed down the trails and see more of it. Drive safely!


Mustang Waterpark

While you’re at Lopez Lake Recreation Area, maybe you’d like to go whipping down some waterslides. 

Yes, you can do that! 

Mustang Waterpark is part of the whole Lopez Lake experience. Admission is reasonable and a great way to spend a few hours or a whole sunny day. Just bring your sunscreen and your bathing suit.

In addition to the many slides, you can reserve a cabana to relax and have some hot dogs, nachos, salads, burgers, sodas, and other feel-good food from the snack bar. 

For children under 10, there’s a kiddie pool. It’s your responsibility to watch them, but they can have a lot of fun there. Children can also attend the Mustang Waterpark Day Camp for five days during the summer.


The Luffa Farm

Just 12 minutes from Arroyo Grande is a unique attraction called The Luffa Farm. Do you enjoy getting your skin feeling extra clean with a luffa? Well, here, you can learn how organic luffas are grown and prepared for bath time.

While they sell products in other stores, they also have a store on-site where you can purchase their luffas and other homemade bath items for yourself or as gifts. 

Plus, you can take a free half-hour tour of the farm.


Pismo Beach

Just six minutes away from Arroyo Grande is beautiful Pismo Beach with its blue waves, warm sand, and cliff views. 

Naturally, Pismo Beach has all the fun activities you’d expect from a beach in California: plenty of room to set up a blanket and build sandcastles walks along the shore or over the rocks, plus surfing and swimming.

In fact, for those who want to get into surfing, Sandbar Surf School and Central Coast Surf School both teach lessons in the area.


Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove

While this park is a beautiful place to visit year-round, the best time is between October and February when the monarch butterflies arrive. 

These migrate through California every year, and Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove is one of the places you can see them. You’ll always remember the beauty of seeing 10,000 of these butterflies covering the Eucalyptus trees in their patterns of orange and red.

The grove is seven minutes from Arroyo Grande and one minute from Pismo Beach. 

During the butterflies’ visit, kids and adults can check out educational booths here and learn more about the monarchs and their migration patterns.


Rutiz Family Farms

Owned and run by Jerry and Maureen Rutiz, the Rutiz Family Farms is a popular stop in Arroyo Grande for those who want fresh, locally grown produce. 

In town, you’ll find farmer’s markets on Wednesday and Saturday, but this food stand is open most days. It’s also right in front of their crops, so you can have a look at what they’re growing.

They sell pesticide-free berries, flowers, herbs, and vegetables, ideal for the health-conscious. Because of seasonal weather, they don’t have every item all the time, so check their site to learn what’s available. 

That’s where you can also verify their hours of operation. Oh yes, they don’t accept credit cards, so be sure to bring cash or your checkbook, but cooking with their produce is worth it.


San Luis Obispo Co. Farmers’ Markets

The San Luis Obispo Co. Farmers Market Association holds four farmer’s markets every week, and two of them are in Arroyo Grande.

The Wednesday market takes place at the crossing of Grand Avenue and Courtland, in the Smart & Final parking lot, hosts 35 vendors selling fruits, flowers, fish, vegetables, and more. Get what you can at the farmer’s market and anything else in the grocery store. The hours for this event are 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The Saturday market is in Olahan Alley downtown and is an afternoon event going from noon to 2:30 p.m. You’ll find the usual produce, as well as entertainment. Plus, this is where local artists and artisans sell their various creations. It’s a nice place to walk around, enjoy some music, purchase some food and maybe some special art piece, and generally enjoy your Saturday. 


Now you know some fun things you can do in and around town besides going to a restaurant and a movie. We hope this provides a lot of fun for you and your family. If you're looking for storage we have a beautiful storage facility at 2175 Willow Road.

Jon Fesmire
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