10 Things to Love About Pismo Beach


Pismo Beach is the quintessential California beach town, located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and boasting an extraordinary sampling of “something for everyone”. Let Pismo Beach fill your cup and exceed your expectations, whether you’re looking for an utterly relaxing or wildly adventurous vacation.

Get inspired to build your own unique vacation recipe and fall in love with your Pismo Beach.

1. The Scenery

Pismo Beach, obviously along the water, is also nestled at the base of a breathtaking range of craggy cliffs and hills. Especially at sunrise and sunset, the colors and textures surrounding the local coastline and mountains paint a backdrop to lift your spirit and frame those vacation memories beautifully. To really take it in, you can tour the area from a helicopter or take out a boat.

2. The Beaches of Pismo Beach

Miles of peaceful warm sandy beach welcome you to Pismo Beach – a place you can bask and just chill or play hard at beach volleyball or beach running. The steady rolling seas are great for swimming, surfing, wave riding, kayaking, diving and any other ocean play. Tide pools and caves ensure these beaches are not like any other, making yours a standout getaway.

3. The Oceano Dunes

The Oceano Dunes is one of the most unique and fun features of the Pismo Beach region. A large dry sea of sand dune waves makes for a special kind of playground, especially for off-road vehicles.

4. Trails for Hiking, Running, Biking, and Equestrian

Local trails invite you to slow down and return to your own natural rhythm. Hundreds of miles of trails weave into and through various landscapes and vistas to give your body, mind and soul a great respite. And we are excited about the upcoming opening of the Pismo Preserve, an 11-mile trail system opening right here in the hills above Pismo Beach.

5. Wildlife

Pismo Beach is home to more than hotels, restaurants, sand, and sea. Many species of living creatures thrive in the optimal temperatures and pristine conditions here. Monarch Butterflies migrate through every year, creating a unique and fantastic spectacle. Multiple species of whales also migrate, showing off with breaches and spouting next to their sea mates – dolphins, otters, and many varieties of fish and birds. If you simply walk around Pismo Beach admiring the animal kingdom, you could keep yourself enthralled for days.

6. Tons of Recreation

You name it, Pismo Beach has it. Because the weather is pretty much perfect all year round and the scenery is varied, this area draws sports enthusiasts for every single type of recreation. By land or sea, fast or mellow, traditional or fresh, and extreme, you will find the gear and the setting for any recreation you come to play.

7. Adventure

Looking for less chill and more thrill? How about a biplane, zipline or hummer ride? Pismo Beach has you covered. Like we said, something for everyone. 

8. Art

The stunning beauty of nature in and around Pismo Beach acts as inspiration for hundreds of local artists. Find displays of local works in restaurants and businesses all over town. In addition many of the Pismo Beach boutiques display and sell local art. Take home a unique piece for your own collection of art and memories.

9. Shopping

A quaint traditional downtown area calls to visitors looking for the strolling afternoon shopping experience. For the more determined, serious shopper, Pismo Beach also offers premium outlets.

10. Local Dining

Pismo Beach restaurants come in all shapes and sizes. Family friendly and homestyle to gourmet farm-to-table, you can find exactly what your palate and budget need.

Check out the Pismo Beach treasure map to plan your ideal vacation this summer. And book your Pismo Beach getaway today.   

Riding the Waves – Make the Most of the Central Coast with Watersports


There’s a magical point where the westward road to Pismo Beach ends and you find the threshold to a whole other world – the expansive Pacific Ocean. This great sea sets the stage for playful adventures, enticing you to make the most of every moment of your Central Coast vacation. When you’re not kicking it at the SeaCrest, take your board, boat, snorkel, or tank and kick off your recreation straight from the water. Surface top options include surfing, SUP, sea-kayaking, windsurfing, and kite-boarding. Underwater adventures include snorkeling and scuba. Whether your first or fiftieth time, water sports at Pismo Beach will challenge and delight you.


Pismo Beach offers multiple breaks, with surf to stoke you out at any experience level. The best breaks are typically at the morning high tide, though you will find surfers riding all hours of the day. The Pismo Pier is even lit at night for later surfers, because sometimes you just want to sleep in.

The Pismo Beach pier is not as exposed as some other local areas, which makes it less windy. Local surfers report south side surfing is better than the north and the further south you stroll, the more secluded your session will be.

For current conditions and recommendations, check out


This is one sport where the work feels anything but hard. Get in a great upper body workout while you focus on the stunning beauty of the sites near and far, on and in the water. Pismo Beach and surrounding waters are home to adorable sea otters, turtles, and loads of other marine life. You’ll also have a good chance of seeing dolphins and whales. Or paddle over to explore the Dinosaur Caves. Grab a sea kayak and unplug all the way – to the biggest escape of all, big blue.

Kayak Dave gives you a taste in this short video journey.

For guidance or to book a tour, contact Central Coast Kayak or Pismo Beach Surf Shop.


Looking for higher adrenaline water play? Pismo Beach can meet you there too. Lean into your dream adventure as you ride the wind and waves to your limits of fun.

Windsurfing multiplies the chance for speed by using both the force from the wind and the power of the waves. If you’re seeking to fly across the waves, tap into the regular coastal winds, constant waves, and smooth sand bottoms of Pismo Beach.

Use these sites to check up to the minute conditions and tune in to the local chatter about today’s rides.

Kiteboarding (or Kitesurfing)

This relatively new extreme sport will lift your spirits along with your bag of bones. Take the fun and the physics of windsurfing to another stratosphere as a kite rather than a sail powers this sport. Getting the kite into the air is well worth the effort as surfers can catch up to 30 feet of air, even from a smooth surface. For the variety-obsessed, there are even different styles of kiteboarding, including freestyle, freeride, downwinders, speed, course racing, wakestyle, jumping and wave riders.


For those fishes or dolphins amongst us, claim your delight a few feet under water as you explore the coastal wonderlands with mask and snorkel. There’s a large tidepool at the end of Pier Street, from Margo Dodd Park.

Scuba Diving

Last but certainly not least, consider a deeper dive with a full tank and a bold adventurous spirit.

From Pismo Beach and surrounding areas, depths can range anywhere from 5′-30′. Explore kelp beds as well as rocky areas, with crevices hiding fish, crabs, octopus, and more. Common sights include nudibranchs, rockfish, perch, sea hares, rays, and plenty of anemones.

To get a close up sense of the wildlife you can visit under the sea, here is some footage of recent Shell Beach dives from a SLOcal. Always check the local weather and conditions before diving.

Go for it. Make this summer the best (and the wettest) yet with your choice of Pismo Beach water sports. Book your stay at the SeaCrest, your hotel for all things Pismo Beach.

Coastline, Bluffs, and Caves Give Shape to a Scenic Pismo Beach Vacation


When you head off to unplug on your central coast beach vacation you expect to find dazzling nature as a backdrop for rest, relaxation, adventure, and everything in between. Pismo Beach delivers on all counts.

A few features in particular make Pismo Beach a fabulous and unique retreat: the coastline, the bluffs, and the caves.

The Coastline

The central coast of California is one of the most famous and appreciated coastlines around the world. Whether you’re drawn to sink your toes into the warm sand and lapping surf or whether you prefer the breathtaking vistas along an esplanade walk or highway drive, the coastline awaits. Rocky crags contrast brilliant skies and a full spectrum of marine blues reveals the varying depth of the sea. The Pismo Beach coastline is the perfect place to stop and capture the memories you will treasure for a lifetime.

The Bluffs

Standing tall above the seashore, the bluffs of Pismo Beach boast one of the most quintessential vistas within Pismo Beach and undoubtedly for the central coast in general. Walking north along Price Street, you’ll want to pause and take in the inspiring lookout where pelicans perch on the sea cliffs. Bring a jacket, as the air can be cool this close to the water.

The Shell Beach Bluffs Walking Path also provides a coastal cliff vista, 100 feet above Pirate’s Cove. From the trail, Cave Landing is visible, a natural arch cave carved through the cliff. This view also often includes sea otters and sea lions atop the ocean rocks.

The Caves

If you’re looking to add a bit of adventure to your Pismo Beach getaway, take a short detour off the beaten beach path to a not-to-miss attraction called Dinosaur Caves. Situated on the north end of the Pismo Beach shore, these unique and amazing structures invite you into another world.

When you take the stairs leading up one wall you may think for a moment you’ve been transported across the pond to Greece. Some of the caves are jagged while others are smooth and curve in the shape of waves. You can even glimpse the sky through windows in the caves. Public stairs lead down to the beach and caves from Wilmar Avenue. There is also a park on the cliffs above the beach called Dinosaur Caves Playground. Click here for more info, photos and directions to the caves.

Pismo Beach is sitting pretty ready to beautify and enrich your summer escape. Book your Pismo Beach getaway today.

Summer Activities in Pismo Beach: Swim. Surf. Stroll. Cycle. Sleep.


Summer is a great time to loosen up the structure of daily life and bring on the fun. The sun is high for many hours each day, and there is an unspoken understanding this is the season to play. Forget any possibility of boredom this summer and bring yourself and your loved ones out to enjoy the abundant summer activities available at Pismo Beach and all around California’s Central Coast – there truly is something for everyone.

Swim. Blissful Pismo Beach

Long stretches of pristine beaches offer the perfect playground for tossing a Frisbee or football, building sandcastles and of course swimming, boogie boarding, or body surfing. You can lose yourself in the endless rhythm of the waves lapping at the shore and turn in only when your pangs of hunger take over and you start to notice the amazing smells wafting from local restaurants.

Surf. Outstanding Surf

With those summer waves rolling in and out you have daily opportunities to get your surf on. At the Pismo Beach Pier itself and surrounding area beaches you have an array of choices for great surf break spots. Right at the pier you’ll find breaks in a couple of different places. Sweet peaks form on the south side of the pier or you can surf just on the north side of the pier, and once again about 150 yards north of the pier. If you need to hone your skills before you head out or rent equipment, visit Pismo Beach’s own Sandbarsurf.

Stroll. A Breath of Fresh Air

If a long walk along the water’s edge is your happy place, leave those flip flops at the door and head straight for the shore. Along Pismo Beach you can walk in peace for miles, including long stretches of dog friendly beach so your best companions can all come along. There are also nicely maintained cliff walks for those who prefer shoes on a vista view. For additional information on special strolls in Pismo Beach, click here.

Cycle. Two Wheel Touring

For the cyclists in the family, you’ll find both paved and dirt bike trails all over Pismo Beach and surrounding areas – paths and trails with great views and good times waiting for you. To see path/trail routes and notes about the rides including distance and elevation, check out this link used by locals.

Sleep. Surrender to the Sandman

When the day is done and your summer fun leaves you tuckered, full and rosy-cheeked, tuck your weary body in for a deep restorative slumber at the SeaCrest. Our oceanfront location and the comfort of the amenities combine for an experience sure to leave you feeling beyond spoiled. On location there’s even a pool and a grass yard along with a patio lounging area, so everyone can rest in their own way. Whether it’s sleeping in until noon or napping under an umbrella in a lounge chair or floating on a blow up turtle in the pool, rest is the perfect prescription this summer.

Pismo Beach play is here for you all year round. But this summer, go ahead and dive in with both feet for the time of your life. Then Rinse (in the ocean of course) and Repeat. Why not? Summer is short but the memories last forever. Book your room at the SeaCrest and get in your Pismo Beach vacation before summer comes to an end.

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California Mid-State Fair: Make Mid-Summer Memories Last


Get ready for one of the Central Coast’s most anticipated summertime events – the Mid State Fair, touting the theme this year: “The Adventure Continues…”. For 11 days straight enjoy world renowned musical acts, thrilling rides, the excitement of the rodeo, delicious food, and more. Dance your heart out in Paso Robles and return home with epic memories to last a lifetime.

Because of the fair’s central location you can delight in the absolute best of two worlds – the fun of the fair and the restoration of a beach vacation. Play at the fair by day and return oceanside to Pismo Beach to rest and rejuvenate. Comfort your weary feet from walking and dancing by sticking your toes in the warm sand or cool sea before and after you hit the grandstands. The ocean air and Pismo Beach tranquility will make sure your getaway is a mid-summer dream. 

The Best is Back

The fair is a tradition here on the central coast. With the opening act and onward we get to revel for days in pure entertainment and enjoyment, much of which is anticipated all year long and we expect each year. The music, carnival food and rides, the animals and home goods contests. The best of the central coast comes together for a fantastic celebration. This year is no different, starting with a great lineup of musicians. 

Performers this year include Foghat, Reckless Kelly, Tim McGraw, Don Henley, Bruce in the USA, Duran Duran, Blake Sheldon, Noel Torres and many others. The concert series is the center stage of the fair with endless delights surrounding the stage. Who can pass up a once a year indulgence of a deep fried twinkie? 😉

If your favorite event is the beauty pageant, don’t miss the 2016 Miss California Mid-State Fair pageant to be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 6:30p on the Frontier Stage. Admission and parking will be free for this event!

New to the Mid State Fair This Year

To keep the Central Coast community on our toes, the event also continues to grow and evolve.

While the rodeo events are a long standing tradition, this year the fair is throwing a welcome (and radical) twist. This year check out the new Extreme Team Rodeo featuring unique events fans love including Bull Riding and American-style Bull Fighting, along with new events such as Bull Poker, Ring of Fire, Toro Teeter Totter and FMX. The contestants are just as raucous as the bulls and are sure to put on a great show!

This year the fair also includes an art contest with public judging during the fair: The Vineyard Dog Park Special Award. Art entries will be judged by fair attendees and the winner will translate the art piece onto a mural at the Vineyard Dog Park. This kind of community involvement makes the California Mid State Fair a unique and personal experience unlike most entertainment.

Convenient transportation is available by either catching a shuttle from AG or SLO up to the fairgrounds or by driving to Paso Robles and catching a bus into the fair from close by.

Tickets can be purchased online, at local outlets or at the fair grounds, though some of the concerts do sell out. Full day passes are available for unlimited rides and you can even buy a season pass if you’re one of those who just can’t get enough. For questions, check out the Mid State Fair FAQ.

Be safe and have the time of your life this summer in Pismo Beach and the California Central Coast. And of course, if you need a place to stay, the SeaCrest hotel is just a short distance from Paso Robles and the Mid State Fair.

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Tide Pools in Pismo Beach: Discover Delight in the Ecosystems

pismo beach tide pools

Pismo Beach and neighboring Central Coast beaches are the perfect places to make the most of both high and low tides. Coastal swells generate fabulous waves as well as rich tide pools, opening up worlds of adventure to explore above and below the ocean’s surface.

Critter Kaleidoscope

From rocky outcroppings to sweeping sandy bottoms, a bustling underwater wilderness awaits your visit. The rise and fall of the tide carries with it an abundance of creatures and plants. Say hello to sea urchins, sea stars, anemones, snails, crabs and more. Near certain tide pool areas you will also find harbor seals and otters.

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Boat the Central Coast: Pismo Beach Fishing, Cruising, and More

You might believe you’re a landlubber, or perhaps you only feel like one when you’re in the ocean and not sailing upon it, but one trip to Pismo Beach will alter your perception. Charter cruises provide services that are an ideal fit for individuals, couples, families, or groups. Whether you’re on the hunt for a way to unwind or a way to get energized, you can find a satisfactory way to spend your time on the waters of the Central Coast.

Charter a Ride on the Central Coast

Are you game for rod-bending, break-a-sweat sportfishing? Or are you seeking a tamer but nevertheless heart-stopping pastime like whale watching? Virg’s Landing Charters in Morro Bay invites visitors to choose either of these activities, or book a private charter to go after the biggest fish in the coastal waters. Whether you’re boating solo or bringing the family, a charter trip is just the ticket to a memorable experience on the Pacific Ocean.

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For Your Safety: KEEP OFF the Pismo Cliffs

pismo beach bluffs

Of course, we prefer not to be a bearer of bad news or a wet blanket on your beach fun. We always want to celebrate all the great things about the SeaCrest and Pismo Beach vacationing. But today we must cover something critical to a safe and happy summer. This is a matter of YOUR safety. The Cliffs are crumbling. With El Nino rains this year, the erosion is happening faster than ever. The edge of the cliff is unstable! It is absolutely critical you STAY OFF THE CLIFFS.

We have a sign by the vista, but some people seem to think it’s ok to ignore it, step over it and get closer to the edge. For a better view, we ask? Because the view you may end up having is one where you’re looking up at a bank of fluorescent lights in a hospital room – or worse. And we’re not kidding. This year has already seen one death from a cliff fall, a 22 year old man in March, off Pirate’s Cove in Avila. And there have been more. Last year an 18 year old fell to his untimely death. These deaths are preventable. KEEP OFF THE CLIFFS.

There are plenty of beautiful areas we have designated for great viewing and photo ops. Stay safe and use those. Where there are paths appearing worn on the unsafe side of a DO NOT ENTER sign, it’s not safe. Read and follow the posted signage and get the most out of your holiday. If you have questions, please check with the staff before crossing any marked boundaries. Your life depends on your good judgment.

We know by coming to the Central Coast you may be looking for fun and adventure. Great!  —Try an Extreme Hummer Adventure in the dunes or zipline over the valleys and vineyards with Margarita Adventures. There is a time and a place to take risks for a good rush and great memories. Trespassing to the edge of the CLIFFS at Pismo Beach isn’t that place. Stay safe – and please, STAY OFF THE CLIFFS.


Fireworks in Pismo Beach – Start Summer off with a Bang

pismo fourth of july

The 4th of July marks the height of summer fun with food, festivities, and FIREWORKS! Pismo Beach offers holiday inspired live music, military bands, clowns, and of course the super fireworks show right off the pier.

Find the perfect perch to watch the fireworks and celebrate this special summer holiday in Pismo Beach style. Watch while lounging on the beach on either side of the Pismo Beach Pier, sit on the beautiful Promenade where it meets the pier, or you can even bring your chairs and blankets right up onto the pier for VIP seating (for a fee).

Even better, do what many our guests do and enjoy the fireworks show right from the SeaCrest property. We have a special vantage from the central lawn or even a great view from the pool or patio. You can have your own private party, watching from your room’s balcony or, for an over the top experience, join us for a VIP special viewing on the RoofTop Terrace.

Here’s Your Recipe for the Perfect 4th of July at Pismo Beach

Day At The Beach

With more than ten top beaches in a 10 mile stretch, finding a place for your perfect day at the beach is no problem. A little R&R, some serious volleyball, a long peaceful stretch to take a leisurely walk, a great dog friendly beach – whatever makes you happy is just minutes away.

Barbecue Done For You

Hats off if you are up for cooking the traditional BBQ yourself (guests at the SeaCrest can use one of our several gas grills located on the OceanView patio) before heading to the beach for the evening festivities. If you’re looking for someone to serve it up for you, find authentic, local BBQ at Mo’s Smokehouse. For a more formal sit down with superior grilled options, check out Ventana Grill, which also offers a wide ocean view with windows along much of the dining room.

Fireworks Finale

Blast off this summer with a special celebration of our nation’s independence this 4th of July at Pismo Beach! Throughout California the drought has caused cancellations of many local fireworks shows. Pismo Beach is proud to provide a safe, family-friendly, and joyful opportunity to continue this summer tradition. Live music will play until 9pm when the fireworks begin. Come early and stay late.

Independence Day is at its finest in Pismo Beach. If you haven’t made your plans yet we encourage you to light up your motivation and make arrangements today. We’d love to see you here, at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel in Pismo Beach.

Travel with the Family, Dine with the Family – Pismo Beach Restaurants Your Children Will Love

When you’re on vacation with the family, finding the perfect places to dine that satisfy everyone’s tastes can be challenging. You want an environment your children will enjoy while not comprising on great flavor. Plus a good value is always nice when dealing with large family meals throughout an entire vacation.

Pismo Beach proudly provides families with the best kid-friendly restaurants for all occasions. Whether looking for a quick bite inbetween meals or a sit-down experience to celebrate a birthday, browse our list of suggested restaurants both children and parents will love.

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