Central Coast (California)

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For the California wine region, see Central Coast AVA.
Central Coast
Region
Sunset at Salinas River State Beach in Monterey County
Sunset at Salinas River State Beach in Monterey County
Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo County
Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo County
Asilomar beach in Pacific Grove
Asilomar beach in Pacific Grove
Country  United States
State  California
Population 2,249,558 (All 6 counties combined)

The Central Coast is an area of California, United States, roughly spanning the area between the Monterey Bay and Point Mugu.[1] It contains the Northern California counties of Santa Cruz County, San Benito County, and Monterey County, and the Southern California counties of San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County.[2] The Central Coast is northwest of Los Angeles County and south of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.

The Central Coast is the location of the Central Coast American Viticultural Area.

History[edit]

The central coast area was originally inhabited by Chumash and other Native American people since at least 10,000 BC. Many of these settlements were coastal, where the people exploited marine resources and dwelt near freshwater inflows to the Pacific Ocean. For example there were significant settlements near the mouth of Morro Creek and Los Osos Creek.[3]

Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo visited the Central Coast, landing in Santa Barbara County in 1542, having sailed from the south.[4]

Overview[edit]

The region is known primarily for agriculture and tourism. Major crops include Wine Grapes, lettuce, strawberries, and artichokes. The Salinas Valley is one of the most fertile farming regions in the United States. Tourist attractions include Cannery Row in Monterey, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the theatres, galleries and white sand beaches of Carmel-by-the-Sea, the golf courses of Pebble Beach and the Monterey Peninsula, the rugged coastline of Big Sur and Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

Californian coast at Big Sur
Views of the Central California coast

The area is not densely populated. The largest city in the region is Salinas, with approximately 150,000 people. University of California campuses are found in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, on the extreme north and south edges of the region respectively. California State University, Monterey Bay, founded in 1994, uses facilities donated when Fort Ord was converted from military to civilian uses. California Polytechnic State University, in San Luis Obispo, was founded in 1901.

Travel[edit]

Travel is almost entirely by private automobile. Because of its position roughly halfway between the major cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo is home to America's first motel. The major highway is U.S. Route 101, which runs north-south from Los Angeles, through most of the major communities of the central coast, to San Francisco. State Route 1, a smaller but much more scenic route, connects the coastal communities, running through Big Sur, Morro Bay, and San Simeon. Amtrak maintains train service with the Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner routes along the Union Pacific Railroad Coast Line that also transports freight. There are no major airports, although Monterey, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo have regional airports with commuter service. Greyhound buses serve most of the region.

Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) operates bus services throughout Monterey County as far south as Big Sur on the coast and King City in the Salinas Valley. MST also offers connection service to San Jose Diridon Station. Santa Cruz Metro Offers services within Santa Cruz County, including connections to San Jose and San Jose State and connection to MST service in Watsonville, heading south to Salinas.

Gallery of locations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ California Central Coast Tourism. Centralcoast-tourism.com. Retrieved on 2013-10-01.
  2. ^ "Central Coast". California State Parks. California Department of Recreation. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ C.Michael Hogan (2008) Morro Creek, ed. by A. Burnham [1]
  4. ^ Kathleen Thompson Hill and Gerald Hill (2004) Santa Barbara and the Central Coast: California's Riviera, Globe Pequot, pages ISBN 0-7627-2810-8

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°36′N 121°06′W / 35.6°N 121.1°W / 35.6; -121.1