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Pismo Beach Travel Guide - 8 Reasons to Visit Pismo Beach

When you think of California Beaches you most likely picture the popular Southern California beaches from Los Angeles to San Diego. Many people and visitors overlook California’s most beautiful stretch of beaches located along the Central Coast. Pismo Beach is the iconic beach town on the Central Coast of California and a must visit destination.

Green hillside mountains meeting the blue Pacific Ocean waters on the central coast of california beach

The small town is the perfect size with restaurants and shops that are perfect for during or after a beach day. The downtown area goes right to the sand and is connected to one of Pismo Beach’s iconic landmarks, the Pismo Beach Pier. The entire area is very kid friendly from the beautiful parks to the slides that take you down to the sand.

Aerial view above the Pismo beach pier with crashing waves

The Pier is 1,200 feet long and is one of the longest piers in California stretching deep in to the Pacific Ocean. Keep your eyes out for the surfers who ride the waves and break below the pier. Don’t forget to look out deep in to the horizon as you will see many whales breaching as they commonly migrate past Pismo Beach on their way to and from Mexico.

Pismo Beach has a huge stretch of beach which isn’t common on the central coast as the coastline is filled with rocky beaches or steep cliffs. The large sandy area makes it a perfect location for a beach day. The views from Pismo Beach are hard to beat with the beautiful mountains and hills just inland.


Surfing - Pismo Beach is a surfer’s paradise with waves suitable for all levels of experience. You can rent a board or take a lesson from one of the local surf schools. You will find many of the experienced riders closer to the Pier for the beautiful breaking waves.

sand dunes along the central california beach with hillside mountains behind

Oceano Dunes - just a few minutes south from the pier is the iconic Oceano Sand Dunes. This is a unique area as you can drive on the beach and explore the sand dunes. You can also rent ATV vehicles and drive around the dunes!

Wine Tasting - there are some popular valleys nearby with wineries to make for an evening or day event. Head out to Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande, or Avila Valley to visit some of the local wineries or take the Hop-on Hop-off wine tour from San Luis Obispo.

San Luis Obispo - head north and visit the larger town of San Luis Obispo, commonly known as SLO.

Hiking - head out for some coastal hiking with breathtaking views of the Pacific ocean and beautiful California Coastline

Clam Chowder - Be sure to try the famous clam chowder at one of the many local seafood restaurants

Picturesque Beaches - head out and explore some of the neighboring beaches like Avila Beach which is a larger beach town and has a beautiful stretch of restaurants. Head out to Shell Beach and Dinosaur Caves State park for some beautiful views of the coast. Explore and find some amazing rock structures, sea caves, and tide pools during the low tides.

Morro Rock - head North to Morrow Bay and visit the amazing natural structure of Morro Rock. Stay here after sunset for some beautiful dark sky star gazing!


Vespera Resort - this new and beautiful boutique property was recently acquired and now part of the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. This property is the ultimate place to stay in Pismo Beach. Check out the full Hotel Review of Vespera Resort.


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