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Central Coast, California

From Academic Kids

The Central Coast is an area of California, extending from Santa Cruz in the north to Santa Barbara in the south, but centering primarily on Monterey County, California.

The region is known primarily for agriculture and tourism. Major crops include lettuce, strawberries, and artichokes. In particular, the Salinas Valley is one of the most fertile farming regions in the United States. Popular tourist attractions include Cannery Row (in Monterey), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the golf courses of Pebble Beach and the Monterey Peninsula, the rugged coastline of Big Sur and Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

Overall, the area is not very densely populated, not surprising considering that the primary industry is agriculture. The largest city in the region is Salinas, with approximately 150,000 people. Due to the low population density of the central coast, educational and cultural resouces are relatively scarce. University of California campuses are found both in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, on the exreme north and south edges of the region, respectively. One of the universities found within the central coast area itself is California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), founded in 1994 using facilities donated when Fort Ord was converted from military to civilian uses. In San Luis Obispo the state university California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) has been in full operation for decades. This campus is the sister campus of the California Polytechnic school of Pomona, California.

Travel through the area is almost entirely by private automobile, since mass transit is limited to a handful of municipal bus lines. There are no major airports. The only major highway in the area is 101, which runs north-south throughout the entire central coast. This highway connects Monterey County to the Bay Area in the north. A smaller but much more scenic route, California State Route 1, connects the many coastal communities together.


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