From Cayucos we took Highway 1 north, planning our next stop to check out the elephant seals. If we'd had time, we would definitely have stopped at Hearst Castle, but we had to make it to Half Moon Bay (an ambitious drive to say the least--it's just 30 miles south of SF) by dark. The elephant seals are easy to spot--there is signage telling you where they are. Sometimes they aren't around, but they were this time. They are amazing to watch, even if just for 5 minutes.
Next stop was the Big Sur Bakery. We didn't make it in time for lunch, but the cappuccino was fantastic.They also sell local jams and marmalades from Happy Girl, which are so good, and worth bringing home.
Point Lobos State Preserve. I grew up going there, and its emerald water and white sand are breathtaking. Bonus, there's hardly ever anyone there. No, it isn't the kind of beach you swim at--it's freezing--but it's great to bring a picnic to. It's about a 10 minute drive to its parking lot off of Highway 1, and then a 10 minute walk to the beach.