At Pismo Beach, visitors get the chance to live that dream with its sparkling waters, majestic vistas and an exceptionally hospitable local community. This classic beach town is located half way between the iconic cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Visitors get to enjoy gorgeous beaches, fantastic weather and amazing wineries. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Monarch Butterfly Grove
From late October all throughout February, the Pismo State Beach’s Monarch Butterfly Grove comes alive with the gorgeous orange and black wings of Monarch Butterflies. Every year, thousands of beautiful Monarch Butterflies gather at Pismo Beach and cluster together amongst the Eucalyptus trees at the grove. As these lovely creatures seek shelter from the northern winters, they grace the grove with their vibrant orange and black colors and draw visitors from near and far to take their beauty in. Although there are other locations that Monarch Butterflies migrate to, what makes the Monarch Butterfly Grove is Pismo different is that is boasts one of the largest colonies in the nation. In fact, the grove sees an average of 25,000 butterflies every year.
400 S Dolliver Street, Pismo Beach, California 93449, Phone: 805-773-7170
2.Dinosaur Caves Park
Sitting along the ocean front, the Dinosaur Caves Park is an 11-acre bluff-top park that frequently draws photographers, dog lovers, active people and even fishing enthusiasts from near and far. Aside from its expansive greenery and walking paths, the park features a unique play area beloved by local children thanks to a gentle dinosaur, three eye catching dinosaur eggs, two cute dolphins, a killer whale, and three playful seals. There are also tot swings, tire swings and the USS Imagination nearby. The park is also a popular spot for weddings as it has a great spot for the ceremony and a grassy field for the reception. An amphitheater is also available for rent on the park grounds.
760 Mattie Road, Pismo Beach, California 93449, Phone: 805-773-7039
3.Margo Dodd Park
Nestled in the welcoming neighborhood of Shell Beach, the Margo Dodd Park is a lovely place to spend an afternoon in Pismo Beach. Curiously, the park is actually just a small patch of grass on a bluff. Despite this, the park still features a gorgeous gazebo, two picnic tables and a handful of benches that offer a fantastic view of the ocean. The park is popular amongst bird watchers, photographers and even snorkelers when the tides and low and the waters calm. Those who want to visit the park can access it from the stairs at Pier Avenue and Ocean Boulevard. Bonus points? The rock formations off the coast are absolutely breathtaking.
Ocean Boulevard and Seaview Avenue, Pismo Beach, California 93449
Undeniably the symbol of Pismo Beach, the charming Pismo Pier is visible from many of city’s cliff-side hotels and outstanding resorts and is probably one of the most photographed icons in the area. The pier is easily accessible to the public and is the home of favorite past times of locals like jogging, kite flying and bird watching. As one of the best surfing spots in the entire Central Coast, the most popular activity at Pismo Pier is undeniably surfing. The pier is actually known for having fantastic beach breaks and even welcomes guests at night as the pier is lit up to make sure enthusiasts can catch waves safely even when the sun goes down.
100 Pomeroy Avenue, Pismo Beach, California 93449, Phone: 805-773-4657
5.Central Coast Kayaks
© Catherine CLAVERY/stock.adobe.com
“Life is short, paddle hard!” This is the motto of Central Coast Kayaks, a locally owned full service kayak shop that offers spectacular tours of the Central Coast as well as other top notch experiences. Explore the best of Central Coast on the back of a kayak and paddle hard to discover some of the area’s hidden gems. With Central Coast Kayaks, visitors can also participate in skills camps and classes, head out for guided kayak fishing trips, or even just rent a couple of kayaks or paddleboards to take out on your own. Go on and stop by to have an awesome adventure at Pismo Beach.
1879 Shell Beach Road, Pismo Beach, California 93449, Phone: 805-773-3500
6.Pismo Beach Surf Shop
© Pismo Beach Surf Shop
Hop into an ocean kayak or Malibu kayak and explore the best that Central Coast waters have to offer with the Pismo Beach Surf Shop. Known for making all of their tours exceptionally fun and enjoyably challenging, the Pismo Beach Surf Shop. Book your tour solo or go for a group tour to get to know other adventure loving individuals. Apart from their kayak tours, the Pismo Beach Surf Shop also offers surf lessons and kayak fishing tours. Additionally, they also offer rentals for boogie boards, surf boards, paddle boards, and kayaks. Better yet, go check out for yourself what they’re all about. Friendly staff and kayak experts are there all the time to answer your questions and talk to you more about their kayak routes.
470 Price Street, Pismo Beach, California 93449, Phone: 805-773-2089
7.Pismo State Beach
No visit to Pismo Beach is complete without a visit and day-long exploration of the magnificent 17-mile-long Pismo State Beach along and its lovely dunes. Swimming and sun bathing aren’t the only activities to enjoy here either. This state beach is also one of the most popular spots in California to hang ten and catch waves. Home to the famous Pismo clam, shellfish hunters and fishermen will also enjoy an afternoon here while those in search for more land-based recreational activities can go camping and hiking. Pismo State Beach is also home to the Monarch Butterfly Grove (see above), and great bird watching opportunities with endemic birds like the great blue heron, the Nuttall’s woodpecker, the brown pelican and the ivory gull.
San Luis Obispo County, Pismo Beach, California 93449
8.The Oyster Loft
© The Oyster Loft
There’s more to the Oyster Loft than just a fancy façade. In fact, it’s more than just a restaurant. The Oyster Loft is a holistic experience that showcases excellence through their service, culinary technique and food presentation. Specializing in fine dining, the Oyster Loft primarily serves regional seafood dishes, all of which are obviously prepared with painstaking care and attention. The kitchen brigade is headed by Chef Jared Hurst, who brings a distinct refinement and sublime taste to every plate. Patrons can choose to dine inside and enjoy the chic interiors of the restaurant or dine at tables out on their patio to enjoy amazing views of Pismo Beach.
101 Pomeroy Avenue, Pismo Beach, California 93449, Phone: 805-295-5104
© Cracked Crab
If you’re looking for honest to goodness delicious seafood feasts, the Cracked Crab is where it’s at on Pismo Beach. Located in a homey and welcoming restaurant near the boardwalk, the Cracked Crab is committed to providing not just excellent food to their visitors, but also amazing service, an undeniably fun atmosphere, and a wonderfully clean dining space to dine at. The best thing about the Cracked Crab, however, is definitely their concept. Meals at this seafood shack are all about dumping a bucket full of perfectly cooked shellfish on to your table then arming you with a couple of mallet and crab crackers so you can dig into your favorites ocean caught treats.
751 Price Street, Pismo Beach, California 93449, Phone: 805-773-2722
© Splash Café
There is simply no better place in all of Pismo Beach to enjoy a fantastic bowl of clam chowder than Splash Café. Before you say that we’re just exaggerating, Splash Café has been serving up their signature clam chowder since 1989. It’s so good, in fact, that there’s often a line around the block just to get into the café. Even more amazing is the fact that more chowder has been served at Splash Café in one year than all other Pismo Beach restaurants will ever serve in their lifetime. That’s over 30,000 gallons of clam chowder in one year! If that isn’t mind blowing enough on its own, Splash Café also offers full-service catering, has a full service bakery, and even bakes custom cakes!
197 Pomeroy Avenue, Pismo Beach, California 93449, Phone: 807-773-4653
10 Best Things to Do in Pismo Beach, California
- Monarch Butterfly Grove, Photo: RbbrDckyBK/stock.adobe.com
- Dinosaur Caves Park, Photo: rocketclips/stock.adobe.com
- Margo Dodd Park, Photo: Dima_Rogozhin/stock.adobe.com
- Pismo Pier, Photo: ahfotos/stock.adobe.com
- Central Coast Kayaks, Photo: Catherine CLAVERY/stock.adobe.com
- Pismo Beach Surf Shop, Photo: Pismo Beach Surf Shop
- Pismo State Beach, Photo: weltreisendertj/stock.adobe.com
- The Oyster Loft, Photo: The Oyster Loft
- Cracked Crab, Photo: Cracked Crab
- Splash Cafe, Photo: Splash Café
- Cover Photo: Gabriele Maltinti/stock.adobe.com