Unique Places to Stay on California’s Central Coast
There’s no place else like coastal California, and these unique places to stay on California’s Central Coast are every bit as memorable as the region. Whether you’re looking for a dude ranch where you can enjoy trail rides (and golf!) or want a hotel room steeped in local history, you’ll find it here.
The Dude Ranch (with Golf)
With 10,000 acres of idyllic California countryside to discover, it’s a good thing you’ll be exploring by horseback. The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, nestled in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, is a premier guest ranch that blends creature comforts with dramatic scenery. Enjoy guided rides along the resort’s 50 miles of riding trails, play a round (or three) of golf at one of two 18-hole championship golf courses, or unwind by the pool.
The Original Pet-Friendly Boutique Hotel
Celebrated as “probably the most famous dog-friendly hotel in the country” by Sunset Magazine, the Cypress Inn blends movie-star history with dog-friendly surroundings. Co-owned by Doris Day, the Spanish-style inn claims its place as Carmel-by-the-Sea’s original pet-friendly boutique hotel. Amenities include complimentary sherry, fresh fruit, and snacks; luxurious linens; and, of course, pet blankets and pet bowls.
The Beach-Fires-To-Go Resort
Discover the many joys of casual luxury at the Seascape Beach Resort Monterey Bay. This all-suite resort is just a short drive from Santa Cruz but feels like a world apart. Miles of wide, sandy beaches beckon, and there’s no better way to spend an evening than by taking advantage of the resort’s signature “beach-fire-to-go” service, which includes a perfectly tended roaring fire on a private beach and everything you’ll need for a memorable evening, including s’mores fixings, bottled water, and chairs.
The Glamping Headquarters
Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground knows there’s not just one way to glamp. Luxury camping takes many forms at this Buellton gem: rent an Airstream or vintage trailer, opt for a quaint and cozy cabin, or take the full glamping plunge and sleep in a safari tent complete with comfortable beds, electricity, and patio. Swimming pools, hot tub, bocce court, and a splash zone for kids round out the on-site offerings.
The Surprising Historic Landmark Hotel
Find a surprising historic landmark hotel at the Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara. The well-known chain saved the former Hotel Virginia, giving it a much-needed renovation to the 1917 building while preserving the arched openings, ceramic tile, decorative moldings, and wrought iron balconies that defined its original Spanish Colonial Revival style. Unusual for a Holiday Inn Express, the history-rich surroundings surprise and delight guests.
The All-Suite Resort on the Beach
If you’ve come to California’s Central Coast for the beach, book a room at Embassy Suites by Hilton Mandalay Beach Resort in Oxnard. The only all-suite hotel in Southern California to sit directly on the beach, this AAA-Diamond property features two-room suites with magnificent ocean views. Whether you’re in your suite, at the spa or the pool, or enjoying dinner at the resort’s signature Coastal Grill, you won’t be far from the golden sand beach and rolling waves.
The San Luis Obispo Icon
There’s no shortage of whimsy at San Luis Obispo’s Madonna Inn, and that’s precisely why it attracts visitors from around the world. Each unique room transports guests to a different world: Do you prefer a stay in the jungle, a mountain cabin, or perhaps in luxe caveman digs? Surrounded by 1,000 acres of rolling hills, you’ll find resort-style amenities and even horseback riding at this iconic Central Coast resort.
California's Central Coast consists of:VENTURA REGION: Ventura County, Camarillo, Conejo Valley, Heritage Valley, Oxnard, Simi Valley
SANTA BARBARA REGION: Santa Barbara County, Buellton, Carpinteria Valley, Lompoc Valley, Los Olivos, Santa Maria Valley, Solvang, Santa Ynez Valley
SAN LUIS OBISPO REGION: San Luis Obispo County, Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Cambria, Cayucos, Grover Beach, Harmony, Morro Bay, Nipomo, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Simeon
MONTEREY BAY REGION: Monterey County, Santa Cruz County, Carmel, Carmel Valley, Gilroy, Hollister, San Benito, San Juan Bautista
About Central Coast Tourism Council
The Central Coast Tourism Council (CCTC) is a non-profit organization comprised of Destination Management Organizations (DMOs; Convention & Visitor Bureaus, Chambers of Commerce, etc.) throughout the California Central Coast. Comprised of tourism and hospitality professionals, the mission of CCTC is to jointly promote the entire California Central Coast as a destination. The four regions that comprise California’s Central Coast include Monterey Bay, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. The CCTC also serves as the Central Coast’s voice in Sacramento, and as a partner with Visit California’s global marketing and advertising campaigns.