Put Pismo Beach on Your List of Favorite Places

Pismo Beach Pier

Looking for a place where you can enjoy the beach without fighting traffic and crowds? Pismo Beach could be your answer.

In this quiet section of the central California coast, you'll find secluded coves, miles of sandy beach, hundreds of acres of sand dunes, and all sorts of ways to relax, play and just have fun.

Beaches and parks are listed from north to south.

Click here for information about the amazing Pismo Dunes.

Shell Beach (North Pismo Beach)

Pismo Beach surfing

This northern section of Pismo Beach features numerous small coves tucked beneath steep, rocky bluffs.

Swimming and surfing are popular activities at these coves, but be aware that currents can be dangerous, and there are no lifeguards.

You'll find many places to access these hidden gems. We list a few of the best below.

Silver Shoals

This long sandy beach nestled below the bluffs is popular with surfers, swimmers and sunbathers.

You can access this secluded beach from the Cliffs Hotel, where you'll find public parking, a blufftop path, and stairs leading to the beach. There are no facilities at the beach.

Virtual SLO provides a panoramic view of Shell Beach.

Spyglass Park

This 4.5 acre park features ocean views, a children's playground, and a grassy recreation area. A dirt path leads to a sandy beach and tidepools. The path to the beach can be treacherous, so take care. The beach is a popular surfing spot.

Facilities include picnic tables and benches, barbecues, and parking. Located On Spyglass Drive.

Eldwayen Ocean Park

This bluff-top park features spectacular views. Take the stairways to a sandy beach and rocky shore. This is a lovely spot for exploring tidepools, or watching wildlife like seals and otters.

Facilities include a gazebo, benches, bike racks, picnic tables, barbecue pits, a short concrete walkway, and parking. Located at Vista Del Mar Street.

Virtual SLO provides a panoramic view of Ocean Park.

Dinosaur Caves Park

sea kayaking at Pismo Beach

You won't find any dinosaurs at this 11 acre park, but you will find sea caves. The park has been recently developed, with plans for more improvements in the future. The park features trails, a scenic overlook, and parking. This is a good spot for observing dolphins, whales, sea otters and various species of birds.

Although there's no beach access from the park, you can take a tour of the sea caves with Central Coast Kayaks.

Pismo BeachPismo State Beach

Pismo State Beach

This is a beach made for beach lovers. You'll find quite a variety of activities available, including horseback riding on the beach, kayaking, fishing and clamming, volleyball, swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, diving and snorkeling, camping and hiking.

There are plenty of places in the area offering equipment rentals and guided tours, including ATV rentals for the adjacent Pismo Beach Dunes .

This is one long beach! It extends from the foot of Wilmar Avenue in Pismo Beach to the county line at the Santa Maria River in the south. All told, there's some 2,000 acres of beach and windswept sand dunes. If you love walking along the beach, this is definitely the place for you.

You'll find twelve volleyball courts at the end of Wadsworth Avenue, just north of the Pismo Beach Pier. Or enjoy the wildlife, including the famous Monarch butterfly grove at the Pismo Beach North Campground. Bird watching is also popular, and there are sea lions, migrating whales, and sea otters.

The following facilities are available at Pismo State Beach:

Pismo Beach Pier

The Pismo Beach Pier is a popular fishing spot. The pier is 1,250 feet long and features wheelchair-accessible restrooms, free parking, fish-cleaning stations, benches, bait sales, a concession stand, and fishing equipment rentals. It's lit and night, and there are shops and restaurants nearby.

The pier is wheelchair-accessible, and a free beach wheelchair is available, compliments of the Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce. Contact Beach Cycle Rentals at 150 Hinds Avenue - (805) 773-5518.

You'll find stairs to the beach at the north end of the parking lot. Surfing is allowed south of the pier only. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months.

Virtual SLO provides a panoramic view of Pismo Beach Pier.

North Beach Campground

Monarch butterflies at Pismo Beach

This campground is only 300 yards from the ocean, separated by sand dunes and eucalyptus groves. There are 104 campsites with firepits and tables. Facilities include parking, restrooms, pay showers, and a dump station. Pets on leash are allowed.

The trail to the beach extends along Meadow Creek and passes through the Monarch butterfly preserve. Docents give talks about the Monarchs from November through February.

Oceano Campground

This campground is adjacent to the Oceano Lagoon and a short hike across the dunes to the ocean. There are 82 campsites, with stoves and tables. Facilities include 42 trailer hook-ups, restrooms, and showers.

There's also a nature center, docent led walks, and a native plant garden. A hiking trail takes you around the lagoon, and there's a wheel-chair accessible fishing overhang at the lagoon.

For more information see Pismo State Beach.

Oceano Park and Campground

This campground, operated by San Luis Obispo County Parks, is located adjacent to Oceano Lagoon. There are 22 sites with full hook-ups, pay showers, restrooms, and firepits. Reservations are not accepted.

The nearby Oceano Community Park has playground and picnic facilities. Fishing is available at the lagoon.

For more information see Oceano Park and Campground.

Photos: Courtesy of Pismo Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau.