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The Best of CA Highway 1: Top Hidden Gems for Outdoor Adventurers and Nature Lovers in Los Osos and Baywood Park

Delight in three state parks, the glassy shores of the Back Bay, a pristine National Estuary, Elfin Forest, and a sweet preserve perfect for birding, kayaking, hiking and biking with family and friends

Surrounded by the south shore of Morro Bay and filled with forests, preserves and outdoor adventure, nature lovers are drawn to the quaint seaside towns of Los Osos and Baywood Park. Very much off the beaten tourist path, Los Osos sits on the southern tidal estuary of Morro Bay, with a glassy bay, and an Eden of feathered wildlife. With its mild climate and friendly population of about 15,000, Los Osos lives up to its positive reputation offering a great climate perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding, golfing, and endless hiking, biking and tide pooling. Once considered a separate township, the bayside neighborhood of Baywood Park is now part of Los Osos, but still has its own identity as a picturesque park right on what locals refer to as the “back bay” that is surrounded by wooded stands of eucalyptus trees. Just a stone’s throw from Montana de Oro State Park, Morro Bay State Park, and the Morro Bay Bird Sanctuary, Los Osos and Baywood Park is an ideal sanctuary for humans, too, offering an ideal base camp for excursions along the Central Coast. Once you visit, you soon understand why the gentle creator of Gumby and Poky, the much-revered Arthur Clokey, spent his final years here. Check out this video to see all there is to do in these quaint seaside towns and check out these fabulous hidden gems:

Los Osos and Baywood Park Must-See Getaway

Immerse yourself in these hidden gems by entering to win the Must-See Getaway Contest. It’s easy. Just fill out this form and you could be selected to win two night lodging at one of the town’s quaint hotels, craft beer tasting and dining at the Baywood Ale House, and a spectacular kayak tour for two.

Lodging Options

Los Osos/Baywood Park is the perfect place for your Central Coast vacation. Whether you want to stay local and explore miles of secluded coastline, go hiking, paddling, biking, or venture out and about SLO County for world class wine tasting, visiting Hearst Castle, music events, and more… Los Osos /Baywood always offers a peaceful, quiet place to end your day. The Sea Pine Lodge, executive golf course, pro shop, restaurant, and spa are nestled among grand old pine, cypress and eucalyptus trees at the southern tip of Morro Bay, and is bordered by ocean dunes, bay views, picturesque Montaña de Oro State Park and the charming villages of Los Osos and Baywood Park. For inspiration, check out this video of the golf resort. The Baywood Inn is located on 2nd Street in Baywood Park close to Morro Bay State Park, making the ideal lodging choice for those vacationers planning a trip through Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo and this beautiful area of California’s Central Coast Region. Small and private, the Back Bay Inn is located on the water. All 13 rooms command spectacular and inspiring vistas of the Back Bay’s mirror-like waters and the beautiful coastal mountains of Montaña de Oro State Park. There are also twelve amazing vacation rentals to enjoy featuring breathtaking vistas from dog-friendly beachfront cottages, large ocean view homes, and some truly unique settings to make your stay unforgettable.


There are plenty of great restaurants right here. From the award winning Nois Thai Food to great Mexican, Sushi, Burgers, Italian, Pizza, and Deli, you’ve got a lot of choices. Love the idea of dining with butterflies and hummingbirds? Then Celia’s Garden Café is a best bet for a fresh and visually beautiful breakfast or lunch. Mostly hidden from the main drag, this open-only-during-the-day eatery has a calming energy, perhaps because it’s adjacent to a spacious nursery. The Back Bay Café features world-class coffee and tea, food that is unique and delicious, a knowledgeable and friendly staff, free newspapers to read and one of the nicest views on the Central Coast. The Baywood Ale House is perfect for what ales you. Open daily and serving up some delicious fare in addition to a wide selection of beers on tap. A short drive from Los Osos and Baywood, wine enthusiasts enjoy the SLO Wine Country’s award-winning wines of the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley Viticultural Areas. NOTE: Since this is a small town, please plan to eat early, as most of our eateries start winding down around 8:00 – 8:30.


Los Osos has a strong community that loves to get together and celebrate. You’ll find lots of music events, concerts, group nature hikes and ways to get out on the water. The small but mighty Los Osos/Baywood Park Farmers Market offers visitors fresh fruit and vegetables along with live music every Monday, there’s an annual Vintage Trailer Rally in the fall along with a Sea Otter Experience every spring and summer, giving visitors close up views of sea otters through the spotting scopes and binoculars. Check here for a list of the upcoming events.

Must-See Rural Road Trip Map: Los Osos and Baywood Park

There are must-see spots along the way to become immersed in Los Osos and Baywood Park, as well as the 9 other quaint towns that make up the H1DR. Discovering the hidden gems and local favorites along the route has become so popular by visitors that 10 rural road trip loops are featured on the website, making it easy to navigate by car. Download the Los Osos and Baywood Park Road Trip Map Here.

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