Blue skies, sunshine and long days steeped in 75 degree weather. Now that sounds like summertime to us! Here in Arroyo Grande, you’ll find the quintessential backdrop for all your summer activities. As the season of shorts and suntan lotion kicks off, let our small town be your home away from home – a place where you feel truly comfortable to kick your feet up and stay awhile. Pack your bags and gather your summer vacation crew, whether that’s the whole family or your best friends. Oh, and bring a swimsuit – we’ve got nearby beaches, a beautiful blue lake and a very splash-worthy waterpark. 

Lake Life

A day by Lopez Lake is a build-your-own adventure, personalized depending on just what you’re looking for. Plan a jam-packed day of play complete with rentals of all kinds: deluxe patio boats that fit up to eight people, pedal boats, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, waverunners, inner tubes and more. Talk about a great way to tire out your kiddos! Or, take a planless approach and laze around on the patio deck, soaking in the beautiful views and sipping on a chilled mixed drink…or two. 

Zip and Slide

Looking to ignite your thrill-seeking side? We’ve got you covered. Harness your inner bird as you soar through any of the three zipline courses and 40 thrilling ropes course obstacles at Vista Lago Adventure Park. Adventurers of all ages and levels will enjoy the wind through their hair (er, helmet holes…safety first!) on a variety of courses that total 1,800 feet, including two high-speed zip lines over Lopez Lake itself. If you’re really ready to live on the wild side, check out The Ledge, which begins with a walk across local wine barrels leading to a 45-foot jump. Don’t chicken out! The park is open seasonally from May 27 through September 4. 

While you’re at it, slide on over to Mustang Waterpark at the Lopez Lake Recreation Area. (Tip: Purchase a Park Hopper pass for savings!)This family-friendly spot is tucked away in the beautiful oak-studded hills and overlooks the lake, making for the perfect summertime escape. Get dizzy with excitement on either of the two giant 600-foot curving water slides that make a splash landing in a pool down below, monitored by certified lifeguards at all times. Hop in an inner tube – either solo or with a buddy – and barrel down the Stampede. This 38-foot half pipe is not for the faint of heart! Take it easy in the kiddie pool, or rent out a private cabana for a day of laid-back luxury. Order up from the menu of classic summertime fare, from hot dogs to hamburgers to snow cones. And for adults looking for another way to cool off, order beer and wine by the bucket. Mustang Waterpark is open seasonally.

Beach by Noon

A summertime trip to the California Central Coast is incomplete without a visit to any of the beautiful nearby beaches, all just a short drive away from Arroyo Grande. For a playful day, head to Pismo Beach, located less than a five mile drive from Arroyo Grande. Famous for its picturesque pier, lively restaurants and the sprawling Oceano Dunes, this is the perfect spot for a family who is looking for endless adventures. Take ‘em boogie boarding, bike riding, ATVing and more. 

Four miles south of Pismo Beach is the super cool, super relaxed Grover Beach. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the sandy shore, soak up the sun and enjoy relaxing bonfires at sunset. It’s a less crowded spot for those looking to dive into a beach read or soak up the sun in peace. 

Tucked away in a neighborhood on the rugged coastline, Shell Beach is a hidden gem that offers nine separate coved beaches and a more secluded experience. The beach derives its name from the tiny shells that pepper the sandy shoreline, creating a unique coastal ambiance.

Finally, visitors adore Avila Beach for its charming coastal vibes and lively beachfront scene. Avila Beach is lined with restaurants, bars, shops and more, making it a one-stop shop for a day by the ocean. Grab your suits, sunscreen and towels and get ready to experience a quintessential California day by the big, blue Pacific Ocean.

Dine, Dance and Eat Dessert Outside

After being cooped up inside all winter, summer’s the perfect time to spread your wings and experience Arroyo Grande al fresco. Who knows…you might even run into some neighborhood roosters, a signature AG staple! Kick off your day in the sun at one of our welcoming coffee shops like the locally-owned Cafe Andreini, where you can sit outside and enjoy an iced coffee, breakfast burrito, acai bowl, kombucha on tap and more. 

Keep the fun going at the newly renovated Branch St. Deli and Pizzeria, serving up salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps and artisan pizzas. Their ample outdoor seating area is equipped with large umbrellas to keep you comfy all lunchtime long. For some nightlife flare, check out their lineup of local artists performing live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Enjoy a beer or glass of wine as you move and groove to the beat.

Keep the music going at the Arroyo Grande Summer Concert Series, which kicks off every year on July 4 at Historic Heritage Square Park. Celebrate Independence Day with tasty grilled hot dogs, a cold beer and a variety of musical artists. This series continues every Sunday through mid-September. 

New to the scene is Rori’s Artisanal Creamery, located on Branch Street in the heart of the historic Village (AKA the perfect spot for a post-dessert stroll). Grab a cup or a cone filled with one-of-a-kind ice cream flavors like Black Pepper Pistachio, Root Beer Float and Brown Sugar Banana. Try their rotation of seasonal flavors or stick to the classics. Sometimes, you just can’t beat vanilla! Rori’s uses the freshest local ingredients – all sourced from California farmers – and handcrafts ice cream in small batches to ensure the creamiest, tastiest frozen treat every time. 

Divine Wine Times

Can you name anything more refreshing and summery than wine tasting on the sunkissed California Central Coast? (No, seriously…can you? We’ve been trying and haven’t come up with a single thing!) The Arroyo Grande Valley AVA is home to some gems for those looking to sip and savor locally made wines. 

Take Timbre Winery for example. Located in the Village, Timbre is named for the distinct musical sounds that make all voices sound slightly different, even when they’re singing the same song. Same goes for their terroir-driven wines, each of which is unique to the places and times in which they were created. Join them on Sundays for Tunes at Timbre featuring local musicians out on the patio. 

If you’re looking for more wine tasting, find it at Talley Vineyards, a beautiful property with spanning views and rolling hills. Lean into everything that summer has to offer at their Lounge & Listen series on select Sundays throughout the summer with local music, food trucks and a perfect atmosphere. Or take a ride through the vineyards as you sip, stop and enjoy the views. Enjoy their sun-soaked courtyard and basque in the sun. And check out their events calendar for activities all year long – from dinners at the vineyard to live music.

‘Tis the Season for Fresh Produce

Is it just us, or does the first bite of a summer strawberry send you right into a fruit-filled nirvana? Find your berry bliss at one of Arroyo Grande’s two weekly Farmers Markets, where there’s always a colorful assortment of in-season produce like berries, cherries, corn, carrots, peaches, plums, tomatoes and more. Join us on Wednesday mornings from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at 1464 East Grand Avenue or Saturday afternoons from 12 to 2 p.m. in Olohan Alley in the Village.

This summer, we hope you find yourself enjoying life in Arroyo Grande. Explore our welcoming hotel options, and book your next vacation here in the heart of the Central Coast. Can’t wait to see you soon!