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Take Your Vacation Time

sunsetIt appears there is a price on unused vacation time in the United States. A WSJ.com article reveals that “Americans are throwing away $52.4 billion every year because they won’t take time off from work.” That is not a number to sneer at.

The article goes on to highlight a recent study on vacation time conducted by Oxford Economics, an economic analysis firm. Let’s explore what they found out about our collective reluctance to go on vacation:

  • Results in our own personal burnout and reduced productivity at work
  • Affects a company’s financial results because it has to accumulate employee vacation time as a liability. The study shows that U.S. businesses have $224 billion in liabilities based on employee vacation time, not including sick or personal leave
  • The resulting liability also means many companies must be prepared to “pay out vacations if employees retire or leave”
  • While “most unused vacation days are carried over for future time off or payout when an employee leaves,” use it or lose it policies and expiration dates on accumulated vacation days have resulted in employees forfeiting approximately $52.4 billion in earned benefits each year

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Humpback Whales Get Up Close and Personal on the Central Coast

whale watching
People are buzzing about the waters off the Central Coast of California. Since June 5th, large beautiful humpback whales have been gracing our presence as they feed in Pismo Beach’s neighboring waters in Avila Beach, a short ten-minute drive north of Pismo Beach Pier. Many observers describe these last two weeks as “the best whale watching we have ever had here in Avila.”

The humpbacks selected our beach towns as their first summer hangouts of 2015. This Central California humpback population migrates from Mexico each summer and fall to feed in our cold, productive waters. This specific humpback population is one of three in the North Pacific.

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Beach Evening Primrose

sand dunesIt is that time of year to search for the four bright yellow petals that define the beach evening primrose, a floral native to the coasts of Oregon and California. This perennial flower’s preference to coastal sand dunes makes Pismo Beach a prime location to discover these beautiful displays of nature. You will find they form dense mats along the beach and in the sand dunes that can extend more than one meter across. Fortunately, it is not hard to find these delightful flowers as they continuously bloom from April to August.

Beach Evening Primrose Fun Facts:

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5 Benefits of Riding the Train to Pismo Beach

TrainHave you considered riding the train to beautiful Pismo Beach? The Amtrak system makes traveling easier and more convenient than ever, whether you are visiting from Northern or Southern California. The Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight trains provide stops in San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach, placing you mere minutes from the SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel and your favorite Pismo Beach attractions.

Let’s explore 5 benefits of riding the train next time you visit Pismo Beach:

1. Pacific Surfliner Views and Amenities

If you are traveling from Southern California, as far south as San Diego, you are in for a treat as you travel Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner. Pristine beaches, dramatic cliff-side panoramas of the Pacific Ocean, and sweet smelling strawberry fields are just a few of the spectacular sites you will observe on your journey. The Pacific Surfliner makes stops in both San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach, giving you two convenient options when travelling to Pismo Beach.

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Horsing Around in Pismo Beach

horses

The Pismo State Beach Oceano Dunes is a horse friendly environment encouraging riders to enjoy a day in the sand with their favorite pony. Whether you are a professional equestrian, longtime admirer of horses, or are just becoming interested in these magnificent creatures, there are many ways to enjoy and learn more about horses in Pismo Beach.

Varian Arabians

A short 15 minute drive from Pismo Beach to Arroyo Grande will bring you to gentle rolling hills and a horse farm called Varian Arabians. You may know of the Arabian horse, be a big fan, or know very little, but no matter your experience, we invite you to see what this beautiful farm is all about. It is very close to many tourist attractions here on the Central Coast making it the perfect addition to your next visit.

The impressive facility is not only beautiful, but includes several functional structures and breathtaking memorials worth exploring:

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Tips for Pier Fishing in Pismo Beach

pier fishingThe Pismo Beach Pier – a renowned fishing destination complete with mild weather and views of one of the finest beaches in California. It is perhaps the perfect year round fishing retreat and it would be an understatement to say it provides “just good fishing.” With several cantilevered fishing decks lining 1,370 feet, it is the second most productive Central Coast pier.

The top fish found in Pismo Beach is the barred surfperch, a species of surfperch native to the inshore waters of California and Baja California, Mexico. They give birth to live young, most do not exceed 30 cm, and their diet is primarily sand crabs. While fishing at the Pismo Beach Pier you are also likely to find: calico surfperch, skates, blackperch, rubberlip seaperch, silver surfperch, walleye surfperch, kingfish, starry flounders, sanddabs, sand soles, halibut, jacksmelt, Pacific mackerel and jack mackerel.

If you are enticed to head to the Pismo Beach Pier, here are 10 tips to help enhance your pier fishing experience:

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How to Build the Perfect Sandcastle in Pismo Beach

Sand castle on the beach

Warm spring sunshine invites both locals and tourists to take to the sand in Pismo Beach. Numerous beach activities will surround you, including leisure strolls and pickup games of volleyball. Today, we are going to address a long-time favorite beach activity: sandcastle building! Whether you physically like to build them or simply enjoy observing another beach-goer’s hard work, sandcastles are sure to put a smile on your face.

We invite you to build the perfect sandcastle in Pismo Beach. Here are some tips to get started thanks to MarthaStewart.com:

Gather Your Tools

You can find most of these items around your home. If you are missing one or two, try a discount chain or Dollar Store for inexpensive additions.

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Pismo Beach: Surfing Hotspot

pismo beach surf

Pismo Beach is known for its beautiful waters and surf appeal. The overall feel is endearing, an unmatched vibe as surfers take to the water beneath the warm sun and enjoy surroundings that create a visual masterpiece filled with palm trees, rolling hills, and the dunes.

Besides the beautiful scenery and mild weather, there are numerous other reasons surfers are attracted to Pismo Beach:

  • You can expect a genuinely fun time reflective of old California charm.
  • There is a good surf break at the Pier.
  • Both first-timers and seasoned professionals appreciate Pismo Beach and can find their perfect surf spot.
  • Food and drink are at your fingertips. Step out of the water and experience a variety of local hangouts within walking distance.
  • Shell Beach, a Pismo community located just north of the Pier, provides a slightly different vibe with several surfing spots positioned below well-maintained cliffs. This area is known for its consistent wave shapes.

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The Sand Dollar Walk – A Rare Pismo Beach Vision

sand dollarThe wildlife in Pismo Beach is something to be admired. One great creature often overlooked is the sand dollar. Yes, I said creature. Many people do not realize the sand dollar is an echinoderm related to the sea urchin and sea star. Groups of these beautiful animals can often be found as you walk Pismo Beach’s sandy beach at low tide.

You will notice the 5-point symmetrical white sand dollars seen are actually the rigid skeletons, called tests, and the animals are no longer alive. But if you look very carefully among the groups you may see one adorning a purple hue. This little guy is more than likely still alive. If you watch closely you may be lucky enough to see it move very slowly in what is called “the sand dollar walk.” This “walk” is how they bury themselves in the sand for protection. It is a rare vision simply because most people don’t slow down long enough to observe a live sand dollar in action. But Pismo Beach is just the place to slow down, relax, and observe nature at its finest.

As you take a stroll to admire these delicate creatures, here are some fun facts to keep in mind:

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Capture Your Moments in Pismo Beach

central coast photographyPeople visit Pismo Beach for the scenic views and intriguing coastal atmosphere making it a go-to location for special moments, including weekend getaways, family celebrations, engagements, weddings, and more. These moments are worth remembering for years to come and what better way to recall memories than through exquisite and detailed photography?

Pismo Beach’s community of professional photographers is a group of passionate people ready to capture the uniqueness and sincerity of your next Pismo Beach visit. They welcome family photo shoots with newborns, families celebrating 15 years of Pismo Beach vacations, engagement celebrations, 50th anniversaries, and more.

Here are 10 photographers to consider as you arrange your perfect Pismo Beach photo shoot:

1. Samantha Lovett Photography

Samantha Lovett offers both outdoor and lifestyle photo shoot packages to fit your needs. From playing in the ocean water to capturing beautiful moments at the Pismo Beach Pier, take a peek at what Samantha Lovett Photography can do for your family.

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