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Lonely Planet's Top Sights in the USA: California Central Coast

Too often forgotten or dismissed as 'flyover' country between San Francisco and LA, this fairy-tale stretch of California coast is packed with wild beaches, misty redwood forests where hot springs hide, and rolling golden hills of fertile vineyards and farm fields.
Coastal Hwy 1 pulls out all the stops. Flower-power Santa Cruz and the historic port town of Monterey are gateways to the rugged wilderness of the bohemian Big Sur coast. It's an epic journey snaking down to vainglorious Hearst Castle, past lighthouses and edgy cliffs atop which endangered condors soar.
Low-slung between lofty mountains and the shimmering Pacific, chic Santa Barbara's red-tiled roofs, white stucco buildings and Mediterranean vibe give credence to its claim of being the 'American Riviera.' Mother Nature returns the love with hiking, surfing, and camping opportunities, from Channel Islands National Park to arty Ojai.
These are the top sights in California Central Coast, according to Lonely Planet.
88 users · 245 views
 
from lonelyplanet.com · made by Hugo Odijk
avg. score: 7 of 56 (13%)
required scores: 1, 2, 3, 8, 12 

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Hearst Castle
Hearst Castle
2
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium
3
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California
4
Pfeiffer Purple Sand Beach, California
Pfeiffer Purple Sand Beach, California
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5
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
6
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, California
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, California
7
National Steinbeck Center
National Steinbeck Center
8
Point Sur State Historic Park, California
Point Sur State Historic Park, California
9
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
10
The Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz
The Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz
11
Natural Bridges State Beach, California
Natural Bridges State Beach, California
12
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of California, Santa Cruz
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13
Sanctuary Exploration Center
Sanctuary Exploration Center
14
Seacliff State Beach, California
Seacliff State Beach, California
15
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
16
Santa Cruz Beach
Santa Cruz Beach
17
Monterey State Historic Park, California
Monterey State Historic Park, California
18
Pacific House, Monterey
Pacific House, Monterey
19
Monterey Museum of Art
Monterey Museum of Art
20
Royal Presidio Chapel
Royal Presidio Chapel
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21
Dali17
Dali17
22
Partington Cove
Partington Cove
23
Andrew Molera State Park, California
Andrew Molera State Park, California
24
Los Padres National Forest
Los Padres National Forest
25
Bixby Creek Bridge
Bixby Creek Bridge
26
Jade Cove
Jade Cove
27
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California
28
Limekiln State Park, California
Limekiln State Park, California
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29
Garrapata State Park, California
Garrapata State Park, California
30
Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz Island
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MOXI
MOXI
32
Rancho Sisquoc Winery
Rancho Sisquoc Winery
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Santa Barbara Courthouse, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Courthouse, Santa Barbara
34
Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park
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Anacapa, California
Anacapa, California
36
Foxen, California
Foxen, California
37
Presqu'ile, California
Presqu'ile, California
38
Babcock, California
Babcock, California
39
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Old Mission Santa Barbara
40
Santa Barbara Zoo
Santa Barbara Zoo
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