Central California’s classic beach town
DOES YOUR IDEAL PICTURE of a California beach town come complete with a sandy strand, a wooden pier and surfers out past the break—waiting for the perfect wave? Then you’re carrying a mental postcard of Pismo Beach. It sits on California’s Central Coast, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which encourages territorial Northern and Southern California residents to love and claim it equally.
Start your visit here with a walk on the 1,370-foot-long Pismo Beach Pier, allowing a peek at the ocean and the beach below and an optimal vantage point to look back at land and view the homes, hotels, restaurants and shops in town. This is the perfect beginning perch from which to plan your local itinerary.
Wine Country and Wildlife
Pismo Beach allows visitors to divide their time equally between the waves of the Pacific Ocean and the winemaking regions of Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande and Avila Valley, located only 10 minutes outside of town. And when you’re strolling through downtown Pismo Beach, many restaurants include local wines on their extensive wine lists, to be paired with fresh wine-countryinspired cuisine.
Beaches serve as the front yard of Pismo Beach, with sandy shoes along the Pacific Coast available for nearly any level of adrenaline or relaxation. Romantics enjoy lingering on the beach to watch the Pacific Ocean sunsets. Offshore, you can spy sea otters, migrating whales, seals and tide pool inhabitants throughout the day. Following their annual migration, thousands of monarch butterflies drip from the limbs of eucalyptus and Monterey pine trees from late October through February.
Pismo’s Great Outdoors
With six state beaches, two nature preserves and three state parks within a 30-minute drive of town, Pismo Beach is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. Discover these reserves on foot or by bike, while your best options for water excursions are kayak, surfboard and stand-up paddle board.
Sports enthusiasts can find plenty to do around Pismo, whether their favorite pastime is golf, fishing, surfing, kayaking, kiteboarding or horseback riding. And once all the activity is over, the beach is still there, beautiful as ever.
MORNING COFFEE in Pismo Beach, above; dirt bike rider on the beach, below.