Warm, sunny days, cool nights, mountains and beaches and friendly people are good enough reasons to visit San Luis Obispo County. But don’t forget our flora and fauna! For starters, find the latest in whale watching, orchid shows, elephant seal watching, birding, dunes walks, and other activities, by consulting the comprehensive, regularly updated calendar of nature events in San Luis Obispo County.
Monarch Butterflies

Pismo Beach and the Central Coast play host to millions of migrating Monarch butterflies each winter. Drop by the famous Pismo Monarch Grove to see eucalyptus trees covered with these colorful butterflies.
The grove is located on Highway 1 at the south boundary of the City of Pismo Beach. Parking is available by meandering through the North Beach campground and following signs, also past the campground, on either side of Hwy 1 at the main access point to the Monarch site. The beach is only a short walk away.

The Audubon Society lists San Luis Obispo County as one of its top ten birding sites in the country. Morro Bay Estuary, one of the largest unspoiled coastal marshes in the state, is a major stopping point in bird migration and attracts over 200 species of native and migrating birds—waterfowl, shorebirds, birds of prey, and warblers. Impressive peregrine falcons, once on the verge of extinction, now nest and hunt from the cliffs of Morro Rock. The neighboring estuary attracts the graceful and elegant snowy egret.
Marine Life

Elephant seals can be seen birthing, raising pups, and fighting for territory in California’s largest mainland rookery on the northern edge of Morro Bay, a short walk from Highway 1 in San Simeon. These marine mammals are truly massive. They can weigh more than a small car. Threatened California sea otters also make Morro Bay home. Look beyond the breakers and you may spot a sea otter floating in a bed of kelp. The great gray whale makes its passage up and down the coast twice a year. The children will enjoy tidepooling at Hazards Beach in Montaña de Oro State Park.
Hiking Trails

Montaña de Oro State Park is traversed by nine trails, easygoing as well as demanding ones. San Luis Obispo, Bishops Peak, Reservoir Canyon, Laguna Lake Park are only a few of the attractive and well maintained local trails. The trail up Bishops Peak (1200′ elevation gain, 4.4 miles round trip) traverses several microclimates to arrive at panoramic views of the city. The Sierra Club Trail Guide is available in local bookstores or can be ordered online . This website offers free downloads of the popular Bishop Peak and Felsman Loop trail descriptions.