Pismo Beach Kids: Where Imagination Meets Living Wonders

Dinosaur Caves ParkNeed family-friendly activities during your visit to Pismo Beach? California’s Central Coast is one of the finest places for kids’ creative minds to roam free. The beach and the mesmerizing ocean alone will occupy your children for days, but there are so many other diversions throughout San Luis Obispo County that will keep your family busy making memories off the sand too.

The Charles Paddock Zoo

Kids and zoos simply go together. The opportunity to get up close and personal with wild animals is the kind of experience children devour. The Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero is dedicated to the conservation of exotic and local species, serving as home to rare Indo-Chinese tigers, meerkats, spider monkeys, red pandas, and more.

Children’s Museum

Downtown San Luis Obispo is home to the colorful and enticing San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum. This three-story building, with outside playscape, has plenty of square footage for kids ages 1 to 10 to explore and – most of all – touch! Storybook reading, costumes, dinosaur bone digging, a movie set, an earthquake shaft – your children will want to live in this colorful imagination land.

Monarch Butterfly Grove

Every year, those clever monarch butterflies make their way to the Central Coast, most notably to the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. Your children – and you – will never forget the sight of the magnificent “butterfly trees,” the landing spots for these thousands of orange and black beauties. Monarch season is November through February – do not miss this exceptional natural event.

Whale Watching Tours

If you have interested older children, or exceptionally patient small kids, a Sub Sea Whale Watching Tour will be an unforgettable family adventure. Take the opportunity to potentially spot the endangered California Gray Whale, which migrates off the Central Coast in December. And keep your eyes open for the rest of the amazing creatures in the Pacific Ocean – sea otters, dolphins, giant elephant seals, sea lions, and more.

Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab

Ice cream? Kids? They go together like PB&J. This old-fashioned ice cream parlor has three locations around San Luis Obispo, and they dish out original hand-crafted ice cream in their whimsically designed interiors. You’ll find classic ice cream flavors, but for the daredevils in your family, the Elvis Special and Motor Oil are signature flavors straight from the lab – you kind of HAVE to try them.

Dinosaur Caves Park

No visit to Pismo Beach with kids is complete without a stop at the Dinosaur Caves Park, where the energetic little ones can let their imagination run wild climbing in the larger-than-life dinosaur eggs. Concrete seals and dolphins are peppered throughout the park for even more scaling opportunities, and a tire swing will keep your kids busy for ages while parents appreciate the spectacular ocean view.

SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel

In between all this gallivanting about Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, and neighboring towns, you and your kids will definitely want some down time. You’ll appreciate the comfort of your room at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel, which offers direct beach access for the witching hour so kids can run off their extra steam. Then settle in for a good night’s sleep so you’re ready to tackle more kid-friendly adventures in Pismo Beach.

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