The Catch of Pismo Beach: The Central Coast Aquarium


Many visitors to Pismo Beach spend their time on the sand and in the waters trying to spot marine life native to the Central Coast. There’s another way to ensure you get more than a glimpse of all the sea dwellers you wish to see – with a trip to the Central Coast Aquarium.

Pismo Beach’s Interactive Aquarium

Based in Avila Beach, the Central Coast Aquarium – formerly known as the Sea Life Center – is home to a diverse collection of residents. Kids are drawn to clownfish (think Nemo) while adults are often captivated by ochre sea stars. The brightly colored Garibaldi – the California state fish – also hangs out at the aquarium, along with moon jelly invertebrates and friendly bottom-dwellers known as swell sharks.

The Central Coast Aquarium isn’t just for looking, however. There’s a hands-on policy encouraged in certain sections of this attraction, with tide pool touch tanks populated with hermit crabs and red abalone, floating labs, and discovery labs (where kids can dissect a squid!). Visitors to the aquarium can further engage with animals and learn about their habitats and ecosystems by signing up for a feeding tour, docent-led tour, or even a private tour.

Catch a Good Thing in Avila Beach

As you plan your Avila Beach and Central Coast Aquarium visit this September, make room in the itinerary to take part in the aquarium’s annual fundraiser Catch of the Central Coast, which will be held at the Avila Beach Golf Resort on September 14th from 6pm to 9pm. Enjoy an elite fine dining experience featuring gourmet seafood and wine pairings, as well as a silent and live auction. Visit the Central Coast Aquarium website for details and to purchase tickets. Or learn more on the aquarium’s Facebook page.

Family Fun from Here to There

The Central Coast Aquarium isn’t new – the name is fresh, but this popular spot has always had a home in Avila. With a new name comes a new, exciting face, but the same great summer camps, birthday parties, and educational programs are still available. All of these elements is what make the Central Coast Aquarium such a draw for families who are staying at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel in Pismo Beach while visiting the Central Coast. Avila is only about five minutes from the SeaCrest if you’re going by car. Some guests even choose to make their way from Pismo Beach to Avila by walking or cycling on the Bob Jones Trail.

pismo beach hotel reservations

Summer’s Here – Head to Pismo Beach

summer in pismoSchool’s out and no matter what the weather, there’s plenty to do in Pismo Beach. Whether you’re a resident or visitor to the area, plan some super summer excursions around these suggestions.



1. Strike!

If you’re looking for family fun indoors, it’s time to get your bowl on. Pismo Bowl is eight lanes of retro cool that caters to every age. Brand new lanes, irresistible rock and bowl, a coffee shop diner with freshly prepared foods, a premium beer selection, and an arcade and pool tables makes this a hot spot for parties and family get-togethers.

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The Mother of All Car Shows in Pismo Beach

pismo beach classic car show

Dads are notoriously hard to buy for… but they’re not hard to please. Any red-blooded man can appreciate the allure of the Classic at Pismo Beach Car Show. Held annually on Father’s Day weekend in Pismo Beach, the 28th celebration of this event will take place on June 14 – 16, 2013. A day at the car show is a perfect way to say, “Happy Father’s Day!”

Rev Your Engines in Pismo Beach

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50 Memorable Moments in 50 Years!

The SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel wraps up a momentous year of celebrations for its anniversary of 50 years of excellent service and fond memories provided to our guests and the community! Read about how it all started here, and then we invite you enjoy a walk down memory lane with us as we share 50 moments that have impacted the SeaCrest and Pismo Beach over the past 50 years.

1. The German family started coming to the SeaCrest in 1962, when Mitch German was just a young child. Now he travels to Pismo Beach and the SeaCrest with his company, Muscle Guys Logistics, with discounted rates through the SeaCrest Corporate Travel Program.

2. The Pismo Beach Clam Festival, to be held on October 18-20, 2013, will celebrate 67 years and features a live parade, best local chowder contest, surf contest, food, beer & wine garden and pier pub, music and a Friday night wine walk.

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Illuminate the Start of the Holiday Season in Pismo Beach

Chistmas tree lightsLights, camera, Pismo Beach! On November 30, you’ll be waiting for the sun to go down so you can get a glimpse of the Central Coast’s coolest holiday light-fests and activities.

Light Up Pismo Beach

The city of Pismo Beach may represent sun, sand, and surf, but the official lighting of the city after dark is one of the brightest and most anticipated events. City officials and local dignitaries will be present to join locals and guests and throw the switch for Light Up Pismo Beach, which kicks off the official start of this holiday season.

A Harmonious Holiday

What’s a city-lighting ceremony without accompanying activities to keep kids and adults entertained? Holiday Harmony is being held in conjunction with Light Up Pismo Beach and is scheduled to take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Beach Bum Holiday Rental parking lot in downtown Pismo Beach, just off of Dolliver and Pomeroy.

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‘Tis the Season for Holiday Shopping in Pismo Beach

mini shopping cart with holiday balls insideVisiting family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday, or just happen to be in Pismo Beach these last months of the year? There’s nothing like capping off your travels than with some serious holiday shopping.

It’s After Midnight in Pismo Beach

If you’ve napped off your turkey and gotten a second wind, then kick off Black Friday weekend and the official start of holiday shopping with a late-night trip to the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets. Midnight Madness at the outlets has become a tradition that’s accompanied by savvy consumers, delirious revelers, and delighted window-shoppers. Visiting the outlets in the wee hours is an experience in and of itself – so if you’re in Pismo Beach and shopping is on your agenda, this is a must-do.

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Central Coast Cycling: From Coast to Peak and Everything in Between

Bikes on the beachGet off the stationary bike and into the great wide open! Cycling on the Central Coast means there is a vista and terrain for every biker’s age, personality, and ability.

Biking from Beach to Beach

Want to get off the sand but not leave the sound and view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean? Jump on your ride and coast along the roads that parallel Pismo Beach. Or set your sights on the Bob Jones Trail, a popular, beautiful, paved path that shares the love between walkers, runners, strollers, cyclists, and pets as it connects Pismo Beach to Avila Beach. Want a break along the way? Take a pit stop at Woodstone Marketplace, an eclectic combo of deli, market, wine shop, and coffee bar.

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Welcoming the Monarch Butterfly to Pismo Beach

monarch butterflies pismo beachWe like to think of the mass migration of monarch butterflies to Pismo Beach as a natural phenomenon – except this is a tornado of energy and beauty that you want to see. The landing spot for thousands of black and orange butterflies is the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove, and opening day is October 27, 2012.

There’s No Place Like Home

Some might like to think of the clusters of monarch butterflies in the Pismo Beach Grove as a family reunion – but the butterflies that descend on this lucky spot have never been herebefore! The typical lifespan of a monarch is two to six weeks, except for the last generation of the year – the migrating butterflies – which can live for six months.

There is no clear answer as to why the monarchs gather together on the eucalyptus trees at Pismo State Beach – perhaps they’re all attracted to the same conditions of that specific area, or they may derive benefits from hanging together in a massive group, offering each other protection and warmth. Their purpose is called “overwintering” and, scientists speculate, the butterflies innately seek out their winter locations almost as if they have a built-in GPS system.

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Award-Winning SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel Still Making Memories

CLIA 2012 Excellence in Lodging & Hospitality AwardFifty years ago, a small hotel began with the dream of positioning itself as the ideal destination for Pismo Beach visitors. This year, the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel received the California Lodging Industry Association (CLIA) 2012 Award for Excellence in Lodging and Hospitality. Hurrah for us! Hurrah for you!

Keeping It Real at the SeaCrest

The CLIA judges were especially impressed by the effectiveness of our sales and marketing message and the results it has amassed. But we’re proud to say that the advertisements we use and information we supply to our guests is simply us being real. The sparkling sands of Pismo Beach that seem so close? Guests really do have direct beach access right from the hotel. The animals cavorting on the lawn? We joyfully operate a pet-friendly hotel.

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Dig Into the 66th Annual Pismo Beach Clam Festival

pismo beach clam festivalMake like a sea otter and lay claim to your share of the Central Coast’s tasty Pismo clams (and more) at the 66th Annual Pismo Beach Clam Festival being held on and around Pismo Pier from October 19-21, 2012.

Visitors to Pismo Beach – the self-proclaimed Clam Capital of the World – are welcomed into the heart of the town by a giant clam statue. What better way to spend your time in Pismo than by celebrating the mollusk this laid-back town is known for?

Clam Festival Activities

A community tradition since 1946, the Pismo Beach Clam Festival is an October favorite for locals and visitors alike. Kicking off with a jolly parade, the weekend involves all manner of beachy pastimes, including a surf contest, sandcastle contest, live music, a beer garden, food galore, and a boisterous clam dig for kids 11 and under.

And no clam festival would be complete without a clam chowder cook-off. If you just can’t get enough chowder to satisfy your appetite, there’s always Splash Café and their award-winning chowder in a sourdough bread bowl to slurp up – New England clam chowder doesn’t have anything on the Central Coast!

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