Pismo Beach, CA

Travel Guide
Pismo Beach Pier showing fishing as well as a small group of people
Pismo Beach evokes old-world California with its rugged coastal scenery and its emphasis on outdoor living.

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.

Where to stay in Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach

Downtown Pismo Beach

4.5/5(396 area reviews)

While visiting Downtown Pismo Beach, you might make a stop by sights like Pismo Beach Pier and Pismo State Beach.

Downtown Pismo Beach
Best avocado toast EVER! 2 people could probably share this 1/2 order, the basil aoli, feta and balsamic glaze are sooo good together with the bacon, acid and egg! Great service, friendly staff, and lots of other yummy menu items, fresh baked goodies and fresh brewed coffees. Make this a must try for breakfast/brunch or lunch!

Shell Beach

4/5(19 area reviews)

Visitors to Shell Beach enjoy its beaches, and if you want to do some exploring, Margo Dodd Park is worth a stop.

Shell Beach
View from above Pismo Beach. #PismoBeach

Pismo Heights

While Pismo Heights isn't home to many top sights, Price Anniversary House and Pismo Beach Pier are some notable places to visit nearby.

Pismo Heights
Overlooking Shell Beach from the ridge. 
Beautiful! A must if your looking for a good day hike. A bit strenuous but possible!

Sunset Palisades

While Sunset Palisades might not have many sights to explore, venturing just a little farther will lead you to top things to see and do like Avila Hot Springs and Pirates Cove.

Sunset Palisades
Rugged beach.

South Palisades

South Palisades might not have many top sights, but The Spa at Dolphin Bay and Avila Hot Springs are two attractions nearby that you can check out.

South Palisades
Nice Flat Water - cool Breeze no people - it works.

Saint Andrews

If you're looking for some top things to see and do in Saint Andrews and surrounding area, you can visit The Spa at Dolphin Bay and Pismo Preserve.

Saint Andrews
Oxford Suites Pismo Beach
Oxford Suites Pismo Beach
2.5 out of 5
651 Five Cities Dr, Pismo Beach, CA
The price is $129 per night from May 19 to May 20
$129
$159 total
includes taxes & fees
May 19 - May 20
Book a stay at this business-friendly motel in Pismo Beach. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in ...
8.8/10 Excellent! (1,544 reviews)
"Beautiful place to stay. Nice and relaxing."

Reviewed on May 13, 2024

Oxford Suites Pismo Beach
Edgewater Inn And Suites
Edgewater Inn And Suites
2 out of 5
280 Wadsworth Ave, Pismo Beach, CA
The price is $149 per night from May 19 to May 20
$149
$171 total
includes taxes & fees
May 19 - May 20
Book a stay at this beach motel in Pismo Beach. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
8.4/10 Very Good! (1,074 reviews)
Another wonderful stay
"Location is ideal and the room, bedding, bathroom, and amenities were all nice and comfortable. Staff at the front desk were all extremely helpful and pleasant. We always stay here when we come to Pismo."

Reviewed on May 15, 2024

Edgewater Inn And Suites
SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel
SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel
3.5 out of 5
2241 Price Street, Pismo Beach, CA
The price is $219 per night from May 19 to May 20
$219
$251 total
includes taxes & fees
May 19 - May 20
Stay at this 3.5-star beach hotel in Pismo Beach. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in our reviews. ...
9/10 Wonderful! (1,306 reviews)
"The view was spectacular. The bed was so comfortable. We have always loved staying here. the customer service is over and above."

Reviewed on May 15, 2024

SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Great location! Easy beach access! Sleeps 12
Great location! Easy beach access! Sleeps 12
Pismo Beach
Stay at this condo in Pismo Beach. Enjoy free WiFi, balconies, and cable/satellite TV service. Popular attractions Pismo Beach Pier and Oceano Dunes State Vehicular ...
9.2/10 Wonderful! (88 reviews)