Cayucos Sea Glass Festival

Seaside Enchantment on the Central Coast

By Kirsti Scott

As birds begin migrating north after winter is over, another seasonal visitor makes its way to Cayucos, California. We are, of course, referring to mermaids, who take over this town for the monthlong celebration of Mermaids in March. Stroll through town and you’ll find businesses displaying whimsical mermaid art creations in their windows, on porches in front of their shops, and all throughout the town.

The Cayucos Sea Glass Festival is the main event during Mermaids in March.* The festival attracts sea glass enthusiasts, artists, jewelers, and art lovers from all over the country for a weekend celebrating sea glass. 

mermaid ball

The Festival Tent hosts the Mermaid Ball on Friday night, an evening of whimsical, under-the-sea enchantment with live music and dancing, photo-ops with live mermaids, a chowder cook-off, and locally-produced wine and artisan brews.

sea glass necklaces and bracelets

Saturday and Sunday, the festival tents at the base of the historic pier are filled with visitors shopping at the extensive marketplace of the finest sea glass art, jewelry, and collectibles, as well as enjoying regional food and beverages from local wineries and breweries and live music. Whether you’re a sea glass fan or just looking to enjoy a day by the beach, the festival has something for everyone. 

Cayucos beach and coastal range


Cayucos is a laid-back California beach town located half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco along California’s beautiful Central Coast. Walk to the end of historic Cayucos pier to get a view of this quaint town that sits between the Pacific Ocean and rolling hillsides.

sea otters in kelp  

Beachcombers will find tide pools and sea glass on the sandy beach in Cayucos. You can see the famous Morro Rock from Cayucos and visit Morro Bay just to the south to find sea glass and sand dollars, as well as view sea otters and herons just steps from the beach path. Twenty miles north is Hearst Castle, and further up the coast, don’t miss the Piedras Blancas Rookery in San Simeon, where you can see elephant seals up close from the bluffs above the beach.

Old Cayucos Tavern

There’s a restaurant for everyone, from The Grill at historic Cass House to the Sea Shanty, and cookies to die for at the Brown Butter Cookie Company. If you’re around in the evening, don’t miss the Old Cayucos Tavern, an iconic western saloon with billiards, card tables, and live music on weekends.

For more information on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay on a trip to Cayucos, visit

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* The last Cayucos Sea Glass Festival took place in March 2019. There are currently no plans to hold any more festivals. 

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine January/February 2019 issue.

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