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Welcome to a classic California beach town, complete with wide-open beaches, fun family restaurants, and plenty of possibilities for paddling, surfing, and other sorts of water play. If wildlife is your thing, gray whales can be spotted in winter, just as a sizable monarch butterfly population migrates along the Western Monarch Trail. A nearby elephant seal rookery is also accessible year-round. Other things to do in Pismo Beach include wine tasting, visiting the Oceano Dunes, and digging for clams.
Although it may seem like a great summer destination, Pismo Beach tends to be foggy May through July. Instead, plan your trip for fall, between September and November, when the average high is 72°F (22°C). You can also enjoy the beloved Pismo Beach Clam Festival if you visit in October. Winter months are cooler but sunny, and you can find deals on accommodations and fewer crowds.
The nearest airport to Pismo Beach is the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP), although this might be pricier than bigger hubs located further afield. Once you get to Pismo Beach, needing a car depends on where you plan to explore. Several main bus routes can take you throughout town as well as to the beaches and Pismo Beach Premium Outlets. Alternatively, the Avila-Pismo Beach Trolley is a free service that operates seasonally and connects Pismo Beach to neighboring Avila Beach.
In the know travelers love a little secret: Central California produces some great wines, thanks to a temperate climate that’s ideal for growing riesling, cabernet franc, sauvignon blanc, and pinot noir grape varietals. You can explore the local offerings at a few local tasting rooms, including Monarch Grove Winery Tasting Room, Tastes of the Valleys, and Edna Valley Vineyard, located in San Luis Obispo.
It's all in the name—Pismo Beach is beloved for its beaches where you can swim, surf, paddle, fish, and stroll. To try the clams the town is famous for, head to Splash Café. For further explorations, Hearst Castle, Morro Bay, and multiple wine regions are a day trip away....More
Once the self-proclaimed Clam Capital of the World, Pismo Beach celebrates its favorite shellfish with an annual clam festival (although the population is unstable). In addition to excellent seafood, this classic California beach town is home to sandy shorelines, a seasonal monarch butterfly population, and plenty of nearby wineries....More
Yes, there is a reason that Pismo Beach sees roughly two million tourists each year—it's a fun, accessible, and beautiful place. Whether you want to take long walks on the beach, sip your way through local wineries, or use the city as a base for exploring up and down California’s Central Coast, everyone will find something to love....More
Where you travel depends on what you like to do. Known for excellent kayaking, Morro Bay is a fishing village with a slightly more rugged, wild coast. Pismo Beach, on the other hand, feels more like a classic California beach town, with its wide-open beaches and outlet mall....More
If you want to experience pleasant temperatures, the best time to go to Pismo Beach is from September through November. In the winter, you can also witness monarch butterflies overwintering and several whale species passing through on their Baja-bound migration. Many California beaches experience an unfortunate “May Gray” and “June Gloom” phenomena that blankets the shore with fog, so you may want to skip a summer visit....More
Yes, you can swim at Pismo Beach. In addition to swimming along the 6-mile shoreline, beachgoers can surf, kayak, and go paddleboarding. In the past few years, the local waters have scored an “A” grade for water quality....More
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