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What to Do With 48 Hours in Pismo Beach

So, you’ve got two days to spend in Pismo Beach? The oceanside setting and one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world create an endless list of things to do. But if you want to stretch a bit, we’ve put together one of those ’48 Hours in Somewhere in the World’ sort of schedules to give you a flavor of the whole place that is Pismo Beach.

Day 1

8 a.m.: Get a good start on your day with coffee and crepes at Mon Ami, a cozy cafe on Pomeroy in downtown Pismo. This is a place where you’ll mingle with locals as well as other tourists, and the food is amazing.

9 a.m.: After breakfast you’ll be ready for some gentle walking, and you are already in downtown, so the beach makes perfect sense. Walk to the pier and find steps down to the sand nearby, where you’ll join others out to enjoy the quiet of the morning. If you want a little less, just stroll out to the end of the newly refurbished pier, listening to the gulls and the constant surf.

11 a.m.: Take some time to wander around downtown Pismo where the restaurants and shops are concentrated, just to get your bearings. Take mental notes on places you might want to explore in more depth, or for a return visit.

Noon:  If you have room after those crepes, take lunch at the Splash Cafe with its famous clam chowder. After all, Pismo Beach was once the ‘Clam Capital of the World’ and the chowder at Splash is great even if they don’t make it with Pismo clams anymore.

Afternoon: Wine tasting! Make the short drive up Price Canyon Road to the San Luis Obispo wine region and sample delicious wines at several of the wonderful wineries in the area. Start at Claiborne and Churchill, just south of Price Canyon Road on highway 227 to sample some German style wines. Then head south a short distance to Corbett Canyon Road and follow it to Kynsi which features the signature wines of the region, pinot noir and chardonnay.  Make Wolff Vineyards on Orcutt Road your last stop, where you will find a wider range of wines, including Rhone wines like syrah and blends.

Dinner:  Since you finish your wine tour just south of San Luis Obispo, this evening is a convenient time to go into downtown SLO for dinner. If you want a fine dining experience, Koberl at Blue is in keeping with your wine country afternoon, and both the setting and food are superior. A more eclectic option is Novo with its creekside outdoor dining area and a menu featuring many cuisines around the world. Walk around downtown SLO before or after dinner; it’s a really charming place.

Day 2

8 a.m.:  Check out The Central Roast on Price Street today. This is another family run establishment with a nice assortment of breakfast goodies and outdoor seating.

9 a.m.:  Ready for a more vigorous walk? The Johnson Ranch loop will give you a workout in a lovely piece of open space.  Drive in toward SLO on highway 101, and exit toward Higuera Street. You will turn left on Clover Ridge Lane, left on S. Higuera, and then right on Ontario. The loop trailhead is about a tenth of a mile ahead.

Late morning: Head back to the SeaCrest to refresh, hang out on the patio to relax. Take a dip in the pool or melt into the hot tub.

Noon:  Drive south to the little town of Guadalupe for a lunch of Mexican food. You can find a surprising number of Mexican restaurants in this little town, but we like El Tapatio or Nardo’s.

Afternoon: This is the perfect time to visit a movie set. Or at least, a good story about one. The Dunes Center in Guadalupe tells the story of the biggest movie set in history, a Cecil B. DeMille re-creation of ancient Egypt for his epic movie The Ten Commandments. The huge set was built in the sand dunes to capture the popular imagination of Egypt. If you have time, drive out to see the dunes themselves—they are truly amazing.

Evening: Your 48 hours won’t actually end until morning, but you can finish this day in Pismo Beach at one of our fine restaurants. Find some live music at Harry’s Night Club & Beach Bar or Puffers, or just hang out at the Shell Beach Brewhouse not far from the SeaCrest.

And enjoy a good night’s sleep. You’ve earned it.

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