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North America > United States of America > California > Central Coast (California) > San Luis Obispo County > Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach

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Pismo Beach (population 8,000) is in San Luis Obispo County in the Central Coast region of California. It is part of the Five Cities Metropolitan Area which also includes Shell Beach (within the northern part of the Pismo Beach city limits), and Grover Beach, Oceano and Arroyo Grande, all to the south and south-east of Pismo Beach.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Pismo Beach is off Highway 101 south of San Luis Obispo.

By rail[edit]

Nearest train station is a quarter mile away in Grover Beach.

By plane[edit]

The closest commercial airports are San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria. Also nearby is Santa Barbara Airport. The nearest major international airport is Los Angeles International Airport, about 175 miles southeast of Pismo Beach.

Get around[edit]

By trolley[edit]

A free beach trolley runs between Port San Luis, Avila Beach, Shell Beach and Pismo Beach on Saturdays and Sundays. It departs Pismo Beach on the hour every hour from 10AM to 4PM. During the summer, the trolley runs between Thursday through Sunday from 10AM until 6PM.

See[edit]

  • 1 Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove (Parking area located off of Highway 1 at the extreme southern end of the City of Pismo Beach, just south of North Beach Campground). Each year thousands of beautiful butterflies migrate to stay in Pismo Beach. Between 2010-2014 an average of 25,000 butterflies spent the winter in the grove. Butterflies arrive in the winter months, starting in late October and ending in February. Docents are onsite to answer questions.

Do[edit]

  • Pismo Beach. A fun place to go to the beach for all kinds of tourists. They offer beach bike rentals, surf board rentals, and atv rentals for the Pismo Beach dunes.
  • Pismo Beach Clam Festival. During the 1950s Pismo Beach billed itself as the "clam capital of the world", with clams so abundant that they were harvested with plows on the beach. Over-harvesting led to a massive decline, but the town still celebrates its yearly clam festival every year in mid-October. The weekend festival includes live music, a clam dig, clam bake, parade, chowder cook-off, and other festivities.

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Splash Café, 197 Pomeroy Ave, +1 805 773-4653. Wildly famous clam chowder dive, with more awards to their name than Donald Trump has buildings. Burgers, chicken strips, and other assorted staples accompany the world-famous chowder. Perfect lunch spot. Get there early, or get in line.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  • 2 Quality Inn Monarch Shores, 230 Five Cities Dr (Off of 101 Fwy.), +1 805 773-1841. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Amenities include high quality furnishings, heated swimming pool, complimentary wireless internet access, free deluxe Continental breakfast, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, irons, hair dryers and satellite TV in every room. 100% non-smoking. $89.00.
  • Spyglass Inn, 2705 Spyglass Dr, toll-free: +1-800-824-2612. 93449. Features include heated pool and spa, banquet facilities and a conference room for meetings, the Spyglass Restaurant, a heated ocean view deck, free parking, and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet.

Go next[edit]

  • Grover Beach, Oceano and Arroyo Grande to the south and south-east
  • Avila Beach - Avila Beach is a small coastal community located seven miles northwest of Pismo Beach that offers a number of quaint inns, spas and resorts. Point San Luis, accessible via a scenic docent-led hike or by trolley, is home to a lighthouse that dates back to 1890 and is the only surviving Prairie Victorian on the West Coast. Visitors looking for relaxation can soak in nearby mineral hot springs or lounge on the sandy beach that gives the town its name.
  • San Luis Obispo - 13 miles north of Pismo Beach and almost exactly half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, this small college town and its neighboring communities boast extraordinary resources for hiking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, swimming and surfing, outstanding natural beauty, a carefully preserved and thriving 19th-century downtown centered around a meticulously restored 18th century mission, a small but thriving art gallery scene, and a large and growing collection of top-quality wineries.
Routes through Pismo Beach
SalinasSan Luis Obispo  N US 101.svg S  Grover BeachSanta Barbara
MontereySan Luis Obispo  N California 1.svg S  Grover BeachSanta Barbara



This city travel guide to Pismo Beach is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.