See the great bunch of lads at the Seal Sanctuary and do the Camel Trail with rented bikes from Wadebridge to Padstow and back would be top of my list if I hadn’t been for ages.
Falmouth has somehow become an alright place to go and get food/beer and the maritime museum is good.
As for staying somewhere not a clue my Dad’s mate owned a hotel outside Newquay and we still stay there now but I wouldn’t recommend it during the summer. If you stay somewhere vaguely central on the north or south coast and you are in a car you’ll get everywhere in the county really easily.
For good bars/food/record shops - Falmouth / Penryn (the neighbouring village where I live)
Places to visit here:
Jam Records (cafe and record shop)
Beerwolf Books (Pub and bookshop)
Verdant Brewery Taproom (Penryn, on an industrial estate, easy to get to - and it’s amazing, does pizza too)
The Front Pub
The Cornish Bank (gig venue/bar)
Gylly Beach (sand beach, good swimming opportunities, also has good cafe/restaurant)
Swanpool Beach (just up the road from Gylly)
Day out attractions:
Seal Sanctuary (Gweek)
Flicka Donkey Sanctuary Penryn (quite small but cute)
The Eden Project
Screech Owl Sanctuary
If you have a car, be sure to visit some of the best beaches in the country:
Pedn Vounder in Treen (be careful climbing down, and be prepared to see a few nudie old people, but on a good day, it doesn’t get any better)
Sennen Beach - near Land’s End (mile long sand beach, good chippy, plenty of quieter bits of the beach if you can be arsed to walk)
Porthcurno Beach (Minnack Theature is nearby and worth a walk up to)
Godrevy Beach - Hayle
I can really recommend Hidden Valley if you are looking for something a little different and like puzzles/escape room type places. There are a few puzzle trails you can do with varying difficulty (so some suitable for kids and some much more challenging for adults).
Lots of good recommendations up ^there. A couple I’d add.
If you like wine, then Camel Valley Vineyard does a good tasting and tour:
There’s a nice tea room just down the hill also. As someone mentions above, cycling the valley is bloody lovely:
Another decent vineyard is Polgoon. Good for tastings and has a nice restaurant spot too with very pleasant outside seating.
Big fan of the Lost Gardens Of Heligan - can spend a whole day exploring:
Beach-wise, got some good surfing in at Perranporth last year. The beach is massive but it can still get very busy:
Also surfed at Portreath which is not as attrative but we pretty much had the place to ourselves which was nice:
If you’re thinking of staying on the North Atlantic coast then can recommend St Agnes - well connected to most areas if you’re driving:
St Ives is worth a visit, but VERY touristy in season. Pro tip is to do the park and ride at St Erth - saves battling into St Ives by car and you get a bloody lovely train journey along the cliff thrown into the bargain:
St Ives has the Tate:
The Barbara Hepworth Museum & Garden:
The Leach Pottery:
St Ives also has numerous good beaches.
Tintagel is worth a look for some King Arthur vibes:
Boscastle for some witchy vibes:
One place to avoid is Land’s End - horrible touristy rubbish and not even actually the most westerly point.
dont go in august coz the roads are jam packed. dont go in august coz you cant park anywhere. dont go in august coz its full of fuckin poshos from the south east. dont go between september and july coz it pissin it down.
I spent the early part of my life in Saltash (town motto: “it’s not on the tourist trail for a reason”). Don’t go there. But if you do find yourself in East Cornwall it’s worth nipping across the bridge to Plymouth to visit the excellent aquarium, mooch around the Barbican, and treat yourself to a proper pasty.