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Cayucos, CA

Photograph courtesy flickr/mikebaird

On foggy days even the butter-colored mortuary is adorable in Cayucos, an old Central Coast fishing village that has none of the pretense of other beach towns. Close by the spindly pier, On the Beach Bed and Breakfast is a pleaser, with spacious rooms, ocean frontage, and leek-stuffed strata breakfasts. Beginners love the pint-size waves just beyond the inn’s doors. Cayucos Surf Company rents boards, and the Good Clean Fun surf shop has sea kayaks for hire. Sushi doesn’t exist here, but Ruddell’s Smokehouse, no bigger than a garden shed, serves smoked albacore tacos. For a bowl of garlicky steamers, go to Cafe Della Via, an Italian seafood house that’s pure 1950s. The elegant four-course dinner at Cass House begins with clove-scented coppa and ends with truffle-wrapped wagyu. Paso Robles is within an hour’s drive, and you can cap the day with a game of Omaha hold ’em in the Old Cayucos Tavern’s card room. For the ride home, don't forget the bag of salt-laced butter cookies from the Brown Butter Cookie Company.

 

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