Saturday morning I headed up the coast to Cayucos, perhaps the last bonafide old-school beach town in California. I’d signed up for an embroidery class at Happy Go Smile, a cute new shop down town and across the street from the beach. Cool location, cool shop, cool proprietors.
Also nice: sitting around a table with a friendly group of ladies well equipped with needles, floss and hoops. Bonus points: Cupcakes from Amy Bakes right smack dab in the middle of the table, just there for the taking. Amy was also the teacher of the workshop. Barb, Chief Happy Go Smiler, was also there, making everyone feel welcome (and talented).
I have a soft spot for the Cayucos Pier (and/or all piers, but especially this one). At its base is the Vets Hall which hosts everything from Gem shows to reggae concerts. When I was in high school we had a formal dance here and it was really great. You could dance all you want and then go walk out along the pier in between songs. We were lucky kids.
During the day the pier is filled with a handful of fisherman and a smattering of beach goers.
Cayucos is small. The town proper isn’t even a half-mile wide and only a couple miles long. Once you leave town heading north it’s really just open road and beaches ’til you get to Cambria. Maybe a house here and there, but more sand and surf than homesteads.
Looking east, north side of the pier.
Looking east, south side of the pier.
And this is looking south towards Morro Bay.
In the summer time Cayucos fills with people from the Valley (and by Valley I mean San Joaquin Valley). The people of Taft, Tulare, LeMoore, Bakersfield, Fresno, Hanford — these people need respite from the heat and they seem to choose two destinations: Pismo Beach or Cayucos. Both probably double in size in half-ton trucks alone.
But in winter and spring the place is still a local’s paradise. These kids running around really reminded me of what it’s like to be a Central Coast kid.
The only part I don’t like about Cayucos is the sand-near-the-wall space. Maybe this is the space where people build bonfires? It gets a bit dirty and the kids draw kind of lame graffiti with the left over charcoal (sorry kids; no offense; I’m sure your graffiti abilities will get better.). And okay, truth be told, I really like the splash of color above and the tribute to our feline overlords below.