Central Coast of California
The Central Coast is an area of
California, United States, roughly spanning the area between the Monterey Bayand Point Conception. It extends through Santa Cruz County, San Benito County, Monterey County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and parts of western Ventura County.
The Central Coast is also the location of the Central Coast American Viticultural Area.
The central coast area was originally inhabited by
Chumashand 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 Creekand Los Osos Creek.
The region is known primarily for
agricultureand tourism. Major crops include lettuce, strawberries, and artichokes. The Salinas Valleyis one of the most fertile farming regions in the United States. Tourist attractions include Cannery Row(in Monterey), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the golfcourses of Pebble Beach and the Monterey Peninsula, the rugged coastline of Big Surand Hearst Castlein San Simeon.
The area is not densely populated. The largest city in the region is Salinas, with approximately 150,000 people.
University of Californiacampuses are found in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, on the extreme north and south edges of the region, respectively. California State University, Monterey Bay(CSUMB), founded in 1994, is located within the central coast area itself, using facilities donated when Fort Ordwas converted from military to civilian uses. In San Luis Obispo, California Polytechnic State University(Cal Poly) was founded in 1901. A third state university, California State University, Channel Islandsopened in Camarillo, Californiain 2002.
Travel is almost entirely by private automobile, although
Monterey-Salinas Transitoperates bus services throughout Monterey Countyas far south as Big Suron the coast and King City in the Salinas Valley. Amtrakmaintains train service with the Coast Starlightand Pacific Surflinerroutes. Because of its position roughly halfway between the major cities of Los Angelesand San Francisco, San Luis Obispois home to America's first motel. There are no major airports, although Monterey, Oxnard, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo have regional airports with commuter service. The only major highway in the area is U.S. Route 101, which runs north-south throughout the entire central coast. This highway runs from Los Angeles, over the Golden Gate Bridgein San Francisco, and connects the Central Coast to the Bay Area in the north. A smaller but much more scenic route ( Big Sur, Morro Bay, San Simeon) State Route 1, connects the coastal communities together.
Santa Cruz County
San Luis Obispo County
Santa Barbara County
*Mission County (proposed)
* [http://www.centralcalcoast.com/VisitorGuide.htm Central California Coast Guide with Photos] : A comprehensive guide to California's Central Coast
* [http://www.crystalinecove.net./ Central Coast Photos and Information]
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