[Editor’s Note: This story was originally written by Molly O’Brien for Adventure Aide’s blog website]
Hammocks are a versatile contraption. They can be a bed to sleep in on a camping trip, a secluded space to chill out and read a book and relax, or just a place to breathe in the fresh air with friends on a sunny day. And there’s definitely no shortage of incredible places to set up a hammock right in the San Luis Obispo area on the Central Coast. From the sturdy posts of local beach piers, to the man-made engineered architecture of student’s senior project structures, here’s a few of my personal favorite places to just hang out and enjoy the outdoors…
1) Pismo Beach Pier
This pier is the perfect place to set up and settle down while embracing the sound of the crashing waves. Read a book and relax or spend time with friends who can set up their own hammocks on the nearby posts to make it a more social(ly distant) gathering.
2) Avila Ridge Hike and Hang
Here’s hang that you’ve gotta earn! Hike up the famously steep Avila Ridge trail on the edge of Pismo Beach up to its ocean view swing. Instead, create a swing of your own by hitching up your hammock between the two trees at the top. Optional life reflection will ensue with this vista of the entire Pismo and Grover beach in the distance.
3) Cuesta Ridge Botanical Area
Panoramic views of inland and ocean lined Central Coast including SLO’s Seven Sisters are seen from the top of Cuesta Ridge’s botanical area… It’s the perfect place to hang a hammock and take in the sights. With the combination of Sargent cypress trees which can grow up to 50 feet tall towering overhead, and blue views all the way to the water on a clear day, it’s a spectacular place to appreciate nature.
4) Montana de Oro Eucalyptus Grove
The eucalyptus grove in Montana de Oro is a magically secluded place of soft lighted tranquility. Hang out here for a while in silence to reconnect with yourself in peace on what feels like a different planet. There are an abundance of trees to be able to hang out here in a group as well and enjoy the space together.
5) Architecture Graveyard (Poly Canyon Design Village)
The Poly Canyon Design Village, commonly known as the Architecture Graveyard, is located on the Cal Poly campus and is a hammock lover’s dream. There are an abundance of structures here to dangle from which were engineered by the fifth year architecture students of Cal Poly.
6) Rodman Hill Swinging
This one’s more of a bonus, hidden gem of a spot for hammocking near MDO. Up on the hill behind Rodman Drive off of Pecho Valley Road, there’s a tree perfectly created for supporting carabiners and hammock enthusiasts with views of Morro Bay and the beach dunes beyond.
Tips of the Trade
Whenever you’re setting up, remember to make sure that the area is safe for hammocks and won’t damage the trees, animals or the nearby ecosystem. Be respectful to wildlife and the creators of the structures you are using to hang from. Also remember to be smart when it comes to safety, check the tightness of your carabiners and cinches before getting into the hammock… don’t hang too high — directly over another person. And most of all, enjoy the moment!
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