Escape to relaxing Pismo Beach! Enjoy its beaches, oceanfront and cafes.

Fish from the pier, hike over sand dunes or enjoy the watersports on offer; you’ll find that most activities at Pismo Beach center around the sun, sand and waves.

To see the main stretches of the coastline, take advantage of the free Avila Beach Trolley. This seasonal service operates a roundtrip from Pismo Beach Premium Outlets, a shopping center, to Port San Luis, stopping at beaches in between. Hop off the trolley and hit the sand to sunbathe, surf or swim. Kite flying and kite boarding are also popular in this area, because of the prevalent Pacific Ocean breeze.

If you visit between late October and February, be sure to check out the migrating Monarch butterflies. Every year, tens of thousands of them fly to Pismo Beach seeking respite from the colder weather further north. The colony can be found on the branches of eucalyptus and Monterey pines in the Monarch Butterfly Grove, located just half a mile (800 meters) south of Pismo Beach.

South of the township, hikers and thrill seekers have plenty of opportunities for fun at the towering sand dunes of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex. This natural landmark is 18 miles (29 kilometers) long and contains dunes that stand hundreds of feet above sea level.

Go on a hike and discover the flora and fauna, such as the California red-legged frog and the California tiger salamander. Visit the Interpretative Center in Guadalupe, about 16 miles (26 kilometers) from Pismo Beach, for information on the area.

If you prefer things a bit faster, get behind the wheel of a rented quad, dirt-bike or four-wheel drive and speed around the sand drifts of the Oceano State Vehicular Recreation Area, one of the only areas in California where it is legal to drive on the beach. There are ATV rental agencies in the town of Oceano.

Pismo Beach is approximately halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The main street, Price Street, is just a short walk from the Pacific Ocean, and has many restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops.

Known for

Beaches, Sea and Sunsets

Explore map

Where to stay in Pismo Beach

Downtown
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Downtown

While Downtown isn't home to many top sights, Pismo Beach Pier and North Beach Campground are some notable places to visit nearby.

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Top hotels in Pismo Beach

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel
SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel
3.5 out of 5
2241 Price Street, Pismo Beach, CA
£145/night
16 Sep-17 Sep
4.4/5Excellent! (2,181 reviews)

Nestled on the beach, this Motel District hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Pismo Beach Pier and Monarch Butterfly Grove. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,181 reviews)

"Very nice well kept property, clean inside and out. The staff were very professional but still friendly and helpful."…"

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2019

SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel
Image for Oxford Suites Pismo Beach
Oxford Suites Pismo Beach
2.5 out of 5
651 Five Cities Dr, Pismo Beach, CA
£100/night
29 Sep-30 Sep
4.3/5Excellent! (3,516 reviews)

Situated near the airport, this motel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Pismo Lake Ecological Reserve and 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Pismo Beach Pier. Pismo Beach Prime Outlets ...

4.3/5Excellent! (3,516 reviews)

"The property was cool. 1st night was a bit uncomfortable because the weather was chilly, the room was cold, and the heater didn’t work but it was fixed the next day"…"

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2019

Oxford Suites Pismo Beach
Image for Inn at the Cove
Inn at the Cove
2.5 out of 5
2651 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA
£146/night
16 Sep-17 Sep
4.5/5Wonderful! (919 reviews)

Situated in Pismo Beach, this beach hotel is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Margo Dodd Park and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Pismo Beach Pier. Price Anniversary House and Pismo ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (919 reviews)

"The room was super clean and updated, the patio with ocean view was incredible!!"…"

Reviewed on 13 Sep 2019

Inn at the Cove

Popular things to do in Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach Pier
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Pismo Beach Pier

Watch whales from the benches that flank this long pier offering unobstructed vistas of the ocean and the hilly environs.

Morro Rock
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Morro Rock

See the birds and sea lions and enjoy the spellbinding views of the ocean at this area known as the Gibraltar of the Pacific.

Cayucos State Beach
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Cayucos State Beach

Known for its old wooden fishing pier, this lovely beach is the heart of the traditional town.  Come here for a delightful family day out.

Justin Vineyards and Winery
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Justin Vineyards and Winery

You can enjoy a tasting or tour at Justin Vineyards and Winery during your travels to Adelaida. Amble around this relaxing area's picturesque gardens and enjoy its top-notch restaurants.

Morro Strand State Beach
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Morro Strand State Beach

Bring your kids to play on the swing set and marvel at the seals that gather on this scenic expanse of sand.

Bubblegum Alley
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Bubblegum Alley

Colorful pieces of chewed gum, some of which have been turned into art pieces, decorate the walls of this narrow lane.

Top activities in Pismo Beach

Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from San Luis Obispo
Image for Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from San Luis Obispo

Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from San Luis Obispo

£119

The Most Complete Full Day Experience on California’s Central Coast An exciting, fun filled full-day experience making the most of your time in California’s stunning Central Coast.

Mystery Thrill Seekers - San Luis Obispo
Image for Mystery Thrill Seekers - San Luis Obispo

Mystery Thrill Seekers - San Luis Obispo

£13

Fun, Interactive game played on location with your smart phone. Your mission is to work together to solve puzzles, unlock clues and solve who dunnit. As you explore, you’ll learn fun facts & local history. Challenge yourself or others to get high score on the leader board.

“Toast Together” Group Wine Tour of Paso Robles Wine Country
Image for “Toast Together” Group Wine Tour of Paso Robles Wine Country

“Toast Together” Group Wine Tour of Paso Robles Wine Country

£97

Join us on a fun and truly memorable tour of Paso Robles wine country. You’ll be united with a small group of wine interested travelers and future best friends to visit the smaller, charming wineries of Paso Robles.

1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour
Image for 1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour

1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour

£56

This is a social tour, so you can expect to meet other wine enthusiasts and get to know them over the course of the afternoon. Usually, we will not have more than 8 - 10 guests on board.

Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from Paso Robles
Image for Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from Paso Robles

Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from Paso Robles

£117

The Most Complete Full Day Experience on California’s Central Coast An exciting, fun filled full-day experience making the most of your time in California’s stunning Central Coast.

Smartphone-Guided Paso Robles Wine Walk with Tastings
Image for Smartphone-Guided Paso Robles Wine Walk with Tastings

Smartphone-Guided Paso Robles Wine Walk with Tastings

£53

Experience Paso Robles' rich wine culture and friendly community during your all-inclusive self-guided wine adventure. The Paso Robles Wine Walk includes a variety of popular tasting rooms in the heart of Paso Robles' historic downtown neighborhood.