Stewardship Travel Offers a Meaningful Vacation Experience
In 2013, PR Newswire announced stewardship travel as ecotourism’s next big step. The brainchild of the San Luis Obispo County Business Improvement District (CBID), the first stewardship travel program was established in 2013 along Highway 1, offering more than 70 activities that appeal to visitors who care about nature and culture – or simply want a more meaningful vacation experience. Whether it means participating in a beach cleanup or visiting a historic lighthouse, stewardship travel offers visitors the opportunity to benefit the Central Coast while adding purpose to their vacations, and possibly learning something along the way. It’s all about “doing good and feeling good.”
Stewardship in Cayucos
There are 10 stewardship travel destinations along Highway 1, and one of these is the town of Cayucos, dubbed one of ten “coolest small towns in America” by Budget Travel in 2009. And for a town of just about 2,500 residents, there’s quite a bit to do. We’ve picked out four exciting stewardship travel opportunities for visitors who want to make a difference along the way:
Guided nature walks. Walk the Estero Bluffs and other ecosystems on the Cayucos coast with experts who can point out the area’s unique resources and answer questions. (If you’re feeling adventurous and want to go self-guided, that’s an option too!)
Beach cleanup. Birds, fish and mammals often mistake plastic for food and are easily harmed by digesting it or getting entangled in it. The Visitor Center will get you started with a free cleanup kit and tote bag to do your part in clearing debris off the Cayucos beach. One or two hours can make a noticeable difference in protecting the Cayucos wildlife.
Historic Cayucos Pier. The pier is a beloved symbol of Cayucos that has been around for nearly 150 years – and currently undergoing restoration efforts, funded in part by visitor contributions. A self-guided tour gives you information on the pier’s history and how it can be saved.
Kayaking tours. Daily from April through November, learn about Cayucos’ natural history and heritage from the seat of a kayak. You can even go the extra mile and collect marine debris on your kayak trip, with prizes for the most unusual trash found!
Cayucos also has the distinction of having the only motel between Monterey and Pismo Beach that’s right on the water, and also offers stewardship activities. Cayucos Shoreline Inn offers direct beach access from anywhere on the grounds – perhaps the ideal starting point for the stewardship traveler because they also encourage travelers to engage in stewardship programs with specials deals and offers. Not only are guests guaranteed a room with a pier and ocean view, but accompanying furry four-legged friends are welcome and even encouraged to be a part of the vacation. For more information of Shoreline Inn stewardship activities and specials visit http://www.coastaldiscoveryroute.com/lodging-specials/.
The world of tourism is ever-changing. To see a list of more cool small town events in one of the coolest small towns in America, or to read more about stewardship travel, visit http://www.visitcayucosca.com/play/.