Avila Beach's promenade — Photo courtesy of Larry Quinn
Due to Avila Beach's name and its privileged geography, the town’s main beach is the most logical place to start. The water there is warm and great for swimming in the summer, and an attractive place to go for a quiet walk in the winter. If you want to venture further into the water, you can also rent kayaks and paddle boards, charter a fishing boat (or else fish from Avila Pier), or take a boat tour to see the seals, sea lions and nearby caves. Then, to learn more about local marine life, go see the exhibits at Avila Beach’s Sea Life Center.
Not all of Avila Beach's activities are ocean-related though. You can enjoy some tee time surrounded by coastal hills at the 18-hole golf course at Avila Beach Golf Resort, rent and ride bikes on the Bob Jones Bike Trail, and hike to the historic Port San Luis Lighthouse on a free guided hike.
The 3.75-mile, Saturday-only hikes provide sweeping views of the coast. But for a less strenuous ascent, the lighthouse also offers transportation in an old-fashioned trolley combined with a tour of the 1890 lighthouse. After a day of recreation, try unwinding with a massage at one of Avila Beach's spas, or else with a drink at Mr. Rick’s bar.