Your Last-Minute Summer Getaway Guide to Pismo Beach
If you’ve been staring longingly at other people’s summer vacation photos while sitting in your frigid air conditioned office for weeks-on-end, there’s still hope for you. Labor Day may have come and gone but summer’s not over yet.
It’s time to hang up that old office sweater and plan yourself a last-minute summer getaway. Not sure where to go? With fewer crowds and sunnier skies, September is one of the best months to visit Pismo Beach.
Since (summer)time is of the essence, we’ve put together this guide of everything you’ll need for an enjoyable Pismo Beach vacation—so you can spend less time Googling and more time relaxing.
1. Where to Stay
With so many Pismo Beach Hotels to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to choose one. If you’re looking to experience Pismo Beach like a local but enjoy kicking your feet up with a poolside ocean view, too, SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel is the perfect spot.
Okay, so we might be a tiny bit biased, but for good reason. The SeaCrest has one of the best ocean views in Pismo Beach and all the amenities to make your last-minute summer vacation one to remember. We welcome you and the whole family—Fido included—with open arms.
2. Where to Eat
Once you’ve arrived and settled into your room, treat yourself to a dinner out on the town. You deserve it! There’s no shortage of outstanding restaurants in Pismo Beach but for a short trip, we recommend indulging in one of these exceptional culinary experiences.
Willow Kitchen & Cocktails: While we’re being biased, why don’t we suggest walking straight across the parking lot from the SeaCrest and landing yourself a spot at Willow Kitchen & Cocktails? With a wide menu selection and excellent, yes, you guessed it, cocktails, Willow is fast becoming a guest favorite.
Ventana Grill: Serving Latin-inspired dishes, fresh seafood, and tasty house cocktails with panoramic views of the Pacific, Ventana Grill has one of best locations in town. Get there early to snag a window table or enjoy a drink on the wrap-around balcony while you wait.
The Oyster Loft: Located right next to the Pier in Pismo Beach, The Oyster Loft is the place to go when you’re looking to treat yourself to ocean views and refined seafood, raw-bar fare, steaks and drinks. Reservations are online here.
Cracked Crab: If you’re up for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, Cracked Crab is for you. As the name implies, their specialty is crab and other in-season shellfish … by dumping it on your table. But don’t worry—they provide all the tools you need to get the job done, plus a bib for your shirt and inviting atmosphere.
Giuseppe’s Cucino Italiano: What started as a Cal Poly senior project has since grown into one of San Luis Obispo finest Italian restaurants. Adored by locals and travelers alike, Giuseppe’s serves farm fresh, authentic Italian dishes in a sophisticated-yet-cozy dining room located in the heart of Pismo Beach.
3. Where to Drink
The central coast has long been known for its excellent wines but, more recently, the craft beer scene has been making a name for itself, too. You’ve probably heard of Firestone Walker. Guess what? Their tasting room is just up the 101 in Paso Robles!
Whether you’re a wine lover or craft beer connoisseur, there’s something here for you. Make a day of it and go wine or beer tasting around town.
Wine tasting in Edna Valley: Located just minutes inland from Pismo Beach, Edna Valley boasts more than 30 local wineries—all of which are within 20 minutes of each other. Roll the windows down and cruise through the scenic backroads, or book a winery tour, for a day of sipping and savoring.
Hop On Beer Tours: For the beer lovers, Hop On Beer Tours offers chauffeured tours to the best brewery tasting rooms on the central coast. You can choose from their Paso Robles tour, San Luis Obispo tour, or create your own custom itinerary. (They do wine tours or mixed beer and wine tours, too.)
4. What to Do
After a day of wine or beer tasting, make some time to soak up all the natural beauty the central coast has to offer. You don’t have to drive (or even walk) far for rolling waves, golden hills, and breathtaking views.
Hit the Dunes: If you’re feeling adventurous, head three miles south of Pismo Beach to the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, where you can drive right onto the beach. Fun fact: this is the only California State park where vehicles are welcome. Four-wheel or all-wheel drive is recommended to stay out of the trenches. You can also rent an ATV and do some real off-roading in the dunes.
Relax on the beach: Not in a thrill-seeking mood? No worries. Head to one of the many scenic beaches nearby for a day of relaxing in the sun.The beach is down the staircase from the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel and if you’re feeling adventurous the Pismo Beach Pier is about a 15-20 minute walk. Shirt and shoes optional. Swimsuit and sunscreen recommended.
Hike the Avila Ridge Trail: There’s more to Pismo Beach than, well, just beaches. Less than a 10-minute drive north, you’ll find the Avila Ridge Trail—a local favorite for hiking. The initial climb is steep but the view is worth it. Once you reach the top, you’ll traverse the coastline with 360 degree ocean views along the entire trail.
Plan two days to soak it all in and step into autumn feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Book your room at SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel and let the countdown to your last-minute summer getaway begin!