Los Osos, California is a quaint little town next to Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo. There is a lot to see in this little central coast town and it makes an interesting day trip destination.
Los Osos is part of a vast area that was once inhabited by the Chumash Indians. The area has two distinct areas, Los Osos and Baywood Park.
Baywood Park area streets are lined with inviting business, antique shops, cafes, and stores. At the end of the road, there is a pier overlooking the estuary where people go to bird watch, look at the wildlife or just enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
The estuary is unique to this region and maintained by Morro Bay. Hundreds of species of birds either live here year round or migrate here for the winter from Alaska, Canada, or the northern states. Between the estuary bay and the housing areas is an important buffer area that has recently become a protected reserve.
The Elfin Forest has a boardwalk and trails that are handicapped accessible and it hosts dozens of mammals, endangered, and threatened species.
The name is derived from the pygmy oaks that grow here and are stunted because of the sandy soil that they inhabit. There are docent-led tours or you can walk on your own.
Another nature preserve is Sweet Springs Nature Preserve on the north side of Ramona Avenue. This preserve protects endangered and threatened species that flock to the unique habitat created by eucalyptus and oaks, the ocean, and natural springs and ponds.
Here is where the monarch butterflies can be observed from late October into March every year as they complete their migration down the coast of California.
The Los Osos Oaks State Reserve has a one mile trail that will take you through the gnarled trunks of more pygmy oaks and past tons of poison oak, wild cucumbers, mushrooms, and other native plants, said to be at least 600 years old and once planted by the Chumash Indians.
Last of the preserves but certainly not the least, is the Montano de Oro state park where you will enjoy trails through forests of eucalyptus and oak, across meadows with millions of wildflowers, along sandy beaches, and around rugged cliffs.
You can splash in the bay, investigate caves, watch the tide pools, and even camp with or without your horses.
Los Osos Community Park is a great way to relax after exploring all the nature in the area. There is a large playground for the kids, multiple sports areas with tennis and a skate park just to name two.
The old one room school house from town was recently moved to the park for more exploration. J & J Riding offers horseback riding tours that go down on the beach and are a destination for many people in the area.
If you are there on a Monday afternoon in Baywood Park, don’t miss the Farmer’s Market that comes out to sell the area’s fresh produce. Farmers Market is held at Santa Maria Avenue between 2nd & 3rd Streets.
Baywood Park Pier is located at the intersection of 2nd Street and El Morro Ave. overlooking the shores of the lagoon-like estuary.
The Elfin Forest is located just off South Bay Boulevard north of Santa Ysabel. The boardwalk is wheelchair accessible and starts at the north end of 16th Street
The community of Los Osos, often referred to as Los Osos/Baywood Park, is nestled along the Southern tidal estuary of Morro Bay, on the smog-free coast of Central California.
Los Osos is reached from Highway 101 on Los Osos Valley Road or from Highway 1 on South Bay Boulevard.