Watch whales from the benches that flank this long pier offering unobstructed vistas of the ocean and the hilly environs.
Pismo Beach Pier is an extended wooden platform that runs from the heart of its eponymous stretch of sand. It offers spectacular views of the undulating terrain that makes up the Pismo Preserve. Breathe in the salty air and feel the spray from the ocean waves as you stand at the end of the pier.
Stroll leisurely along the pier’s wooden planks and enjoy the panoramic views surrounding you. Watch surfers and other water sports enthusiasts in the ocean near the flanks of the quay.
The pier has many benches in prime viewing spots. Wait for a glimpse of whales and dolphins that make occasional appearances year-round. Capture photos of the picturesque green, hilly terrain west of the pier. On the eastern side, a sandy strait stretches beyond the horizon.
Purchase gifts, snacks and refreshments from the souvenir shop on the pier. The store also rents out rods for fishing. Try it yourself or watch the fishermen patiently awaiting their catch. No license is required for fishing from the pier.
Climb down the steps at the beginning of the pier to reach the sandy surface of Pismo Beach. This regional behemoth of a beach covers an area of 60 acres (24 hectares). Sunbathe on a pleasant summer day and lay down a blanket for a picnic. Have lunch at one of the many cafés at the back of the beach.
Stay for sunset and watch from the pier as the sky’s hues darken. This is also an ideal spot to watch Fourth of July fireworks. Bring a jacket and layers to cope with occasional strong winds.
Pismo Beach Pier is in the heart of its namesake area 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Cayucos in Southern California. Drive south from Morro Bay to reach the beach and its pier within about 30 minutes. Park your car in one of the spaces on the adjacent street. Nearby towns include Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.