A Central Coast Baby Boom: Visit the Elephant Seal Rookery

elephant seals central coast

Living on (or visiting) the Central Coast of California has unique benefits, especially during fall and winter when treacherous weather torments much of the country. Here we get to celebrate the Monarch Butterfly migration and other natural wonders. One of these is right in our backyard (or maybe the front yard since it’s in North County). This wonder is the season of baby seal births at the rookery.

Elephant seals return to mate on the same beaches where they were born. As more pups are born at the rookery each year, the colony of seals continues to grow, now at more than 23,000 elephant seals who regularly return to the rookery. The rookery is a 6-mile stretch of protected beach at Año Nuevo State Park, just north of Cambria.

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Proud to be Your ‘Green Hotel’ in Pismo Beach

eco friendly pismo beach hotel

Since opening more than 50 years ago, we at the SeaCrest have consistently taken proactive steps to be a leader in our Pismo Beach community. We’re proud of our community and committed to doing our part to make and keep Pismo Beach great.

Supporting the environment is one of our core values. So today, we’re excited to announce we are taking major strides toward efficient and sustainable operations to minimize the harm and maximize the protection of our precious environmental resources. When you come to the SeaCrest for some well-deserved R&R, we want you to know your values can come with you in full force. Our hotel is proud to be keeping pace with one of the most important initiatives we all share at this precious time – sustainability.

Below is a list of some green initiatives the SeaCrest has implemented in three main categories: Water Wise, Energy Efficient, and Green Waste.

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Where to Watch the Sunset In and Around Pismo Beach


Few activities finish off a perfect day in Pismo Beach like watching the sun set from a picturesque west-facing vista. The days are growing shorter and the evening air is finally cooling down to jacket weather, a combination calling us out to appreciate even a few short minutes of fresh air, connecting to our surrounding beauty. Fall sunsets can be some of the most spectacular and memorable. If you’re looking for the perfect place to take in a magical Pismo Beach sunset, consider checking out one of these great spots:

The SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel

The hotel is (of course) our favorite spot to watch the sunset. From the rooftop to the grass yard, poolside, the various Terraces or all the way down the steps to the shore, the hotel offers an amazing, unobstructed vista for any type of experience you’re wanting to create. The SeaCrest is Pismo Beach’s ideal place for romance and memories all around.

Margo Dodd Park

This beautiful park offers a gazebo as well as a beach stairway. Come for the breathtaking ocean view, stay for the selfies. The park is located at the end of Seaview.

Dinosaur Caves Park 

For a more picnic and play type of park, Dinosaur Caves is an oceanfront park designed for the whole family – with trails, amphitheater, restroom, open grassy areas, play area, scenic ocean overlooks, benches and tables. At the corner of Cliff and Shell Beach Rd.

Spyglass Park

Here’s another great vista with a playground, grassy area, restroom, picnic tables, benches, BBQ areas, and bike parking. This is a great option for a sunset picnic. Spyglass exit, go straight across Shell Beach Rd. onto Spyglass. Follow Spyglass for a beautiful ocean view.

Memory Park/Point Vista

An intimate bluff park with picnic tables, BBQ, benches and a beautiful ocean viewing. Seacliff Dr.

Pier Ave Stairs

For anyone wanting a ‘toe in the water’ experience at the rocks and tidepools of Pismo Beach, head to ‘the stairs’. A beach access stairway takes you down to a large tide pool area. End of Pier St. Note: Check the tides before you plan a sunset picnic on the rocks at this spot.

Oyster Loft

If you’re lucky to land a patio or window table, the full shoreline view from the Oyster Loft is spectacular. Pair it with some great food and wine and you can take the sunset to a whole other level.

Ventana Grill

Another spectacular option if you’re looking to eat and drink while you watch the sunset. This restaurant proclaims an atmosphere “channeling the four elements”. A perfect way to frame your own memorable experience of nature.

Our Pismo Beach paradise is full of magical spots to stop for a sunset. Checkout the Pismo Beach Parks, Courts and Beach Map. Wherever you end up for the magical moment, consider popping into the SeaCrest once the sun goes down to claim a good night’s sleep as part of a full fall getaway in Pismo Beach. Sunrise on the beach is spectacular too!

Local U-Pick & Harvest Opportunities for Fall Flavors


Visiting Pismo Beach and this Central Coast paradise affords some delightful (and delicious) opportunities. As we enter the fall season, rolling quickly into the holidays, consider some outdoor fun flavor with a visit to one of our local farms or ranches.

You can pick your own fruits and vegetables or keep to enjoying the fun from the (more tidy) safety of paved floors and sidewalks, picking up your fresh favorites from the farm stands and markets. Whatever you fancy, check out the amazing cornucopia at our fingertips, thanks to our local farmers.

Pull on your mukluks and roll up your sleeves. These local farms are bursting with great fall harvests and ready to fill your baskets with goodness. Call ahead to confirm hours and availability as ‘fresh’ also means ‘changing daily’.

Avila Barn

Venture from Pismo Beach a couple exits north to Avila Barn where you’ll find lots of fresh local variety including pumpkins and apples galore. Take a hayride out into the field to pick out your favorite pumpkin or stay closer to the market for an easier shopping experience and more time to feed the animals. Yes, at the Avila Barn you can even enjoy furry friends in the petting area. You can also count on the Avila Barn market for yummy local baked goods and an abundance of local farm produce from the surrounding farms.

Gopher Glen Apple Farm

For an authentic apple adventure, visit Gopher Glen Apple Farm, harvesting many varietals of organic apples as well as homemade apple cider (pressed fresh on-site), dried apples, apple butter and more. While this farm isn’t a place to go-a-picking, you will definitely pick up some tasty treats filled with fall flavor.

SLO Creek Farms

If you’re looking for the full-on apple picking experience this fall, SLO Creek Farms is still open and has a number of varieties to “pick” from. Bring the whole family, your camera and get ready to stock up for an apple a day, picked your way. SLO Creek also has other opportunities for you as well, including a local farmstand and even a Community Garden on the farm where you could have your own plot to pick whatever you want. You can rent a press to make your own cider.


For anyone who just can’t get enough harvesting this season, GleanSLO is another local picking opportunity where the bounty gets donated to the local foodbank. The GleanSLO harvesters rescue nature’s ripe bounty from around the county, food otherwise going to rot, and then deliver this fresh produce to neighbors who need it.

Farmers’ Markets

If you can’t get out to the farm but still crave the season’s freshness, visit any of the local farmers’ markets.

Dinosaur Caves-Art in the Park
First Sunday of the month from 10:00am to 4:00pm
May through November
Corner of Shell Beach Road and Cliff Ave.
2701 Price street, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Phone: 805.704.8128

SLO Grange Farmers Market
Every Tuesday from 3:00pm to 6:30pm
2880 Broad St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Spencer’s Fresh Markets, Arroyo Grande
Every Wednesday morning from 8:30am to 11:00am
1464 East Grand Avenue, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
Cross streets: Courtland & Grand Ave

Spencer’s Fresh Markets, Morro Bay
Every Thursday from 2:30pm to 5:00pm
2650 Main St., Spencer’s Market
Morro Bay, CA 93442
This Morro Bay market is nestled just off of Highway 1, north of the Highway 41 junction.

Thursday Night Downtown Farmers Market
Downtown San Luis Obispo
Every Thursday from 6:10pm-9:00pm
On Higuera Street between Nipomo and Santa Rosa
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Cambria Farmers Market
Friday afternoon “Rain or Shine!” 2:30 – 5:00 pm (winter hours)
You will find them in the Veteran’s Hall parking lot at 1000 Main Street in Cambria’s West Village.

Saturday Morning SLO Farmers Market
Every Saturday from 8:00am to 10:30am
Promenade (Cost Plus parking lot) Parking Lot,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

Arroyo Grande Farmers Market
Every Saturday from 12:00pm to 2:30pm
214 East Branch Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Cross Street – Short St (City Hall Parking Lot)

Morro Bay Farmers Market
Every Saturday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm
Main Street in front of the Chamber of Commerce
Morro Bay, CA 93442
(805) 772-4467

Wherever you end up, enjoy this local bounty! This is part of what makes Pismo Beach and the Central Coast a paradise. If you want to follow your adventure with a long walk along the grand Pacific Ocean and enjoy a deep sleep in a comfortable bed away from all the fuss at home, book your very own fall getaway today at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel in Pismo Beach, located on the bluffs with direct access to the sand.

A Nostalgic Retrospective of the SeaCrest’s OceanFront Treasure


It’s throwback time.

In some ways, the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel is a familiar place – perhaps we’re neighbors or your favorite getaway. But when you peel back the curtains, you may find the SeaCrest holds a local presence with a deeper history than you realize.

We want to reminisce with you, share some of our favorite historical snapshots of this coastal getaway, details, and stories setting the SeaCrest apart as a magical place to stay and play – today and for the last 54 years.


Built in 1962, the SeaCrest has always been and continues to be a family-oriented getaway, a place to come and relax together – including children and pets! Besides the central lawn and other areas meant for gathering and being together, the grounds have always included play areas, like a real shuffleboard court for recreation and entertainment.

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Get Ready to Boogie on the Bluff to Benefit United Way of SLO County

boogie on the bluff pismo beach

Put your dancing shoes on (or take your shoes off for a barefoot boogie) and come on down to the SeaCrest for the 2016 Boogie on the Bluff benefit concert, October 23, 2-5pm. This year’s annual event promises to be another noteworthy Pismo Beach style celebration to delight you and positively impact our great community.

As the biggest fundraiser of the year for United Way of San Luis Obispo County, this community gathering is more than just a good time. ALL proceeds from ticket sales, raffle tickets, auction items, and cash donations go directly to support community causes in SLO County through United Way activities. Come out and enjoy yourself, knowing you can make a difference while you dance.

Grammy award winning musician, Louie Ortega, will be cranking out great live entertainment along with his friends, Dean Giles, Rob Espinosa, Frank Paredes, and Randy Pybas. Enjoy the music all day along with delicious food.

Donations come from local businesses, wineries, breweries and restaurants to make every aspect of the event happen. Stages, tents, beach canopies, food, wine, beer, auction items, the gorgeous location, and dozens of hours of volunteer time are all donated to bring Boogie on the Bluff to you. A huge thank you to all of our local sponsors and donors.

Learn more about the event and continue to stay tuned for up to date info as we count down to Boogie on the Bluff:

United Way Event Page & Ticket Sales

Facebook Event Page

YouTube Event Video


Tickets are on sale now. Beach cabanas are already sold out. Get your tickets soon before the event is entirely sold out. Support the United Way and have a great time.

$35 Pre-Sale $40 at the door.

Free event parking will be available at Shell Beach Elementary School, 2100 Shell Beach Rd. Thank you to SLO Safe Ride for providing a complimentary shuttle service.

And, if you want to boogie the night away and stay for the whole weekend, the SeaCrest is not only proud to host this event but we are also extending a special rate for event attendees. Have a great time at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel in Pismo Beach with 20% discount on your room when you attend Boogie on the Bluff and stay October 22-25, 2016. Use booking code: BOB16. (Restrictions apply.)

Thank you to our sponsors: PG&E, County of San Luis Obispo, Left Coast Tees, San Luis Print & Copy, Golden1, SLO Safe Ride, Got You Cover’D, KSBY6, Muir Music, Print Pal, Promotional Concepts, and The Sign Place!

The Best Pismo Beach Trails by Foot, Horseback or Mountain Bike

pismo trail riding

Imagine the warm sun on your face and a fresh ocean breeze at your back as you explore scenic trails right in our very own backyard paradise – Pismo Beach and the surrounding area. Whether adventuring by foot, horseback or mountain bike, there are miles of great trails for everyone.

In fact more than 15 trails of varying difficulty (from easy to strenuous) are calling you to venture out just minutes from Pismo Beach’s central point, the Pismo Beach Pier. Set your itinerary and get ready for scenery to leave you wanting more.  

Hiking/Running Trails

Watch the time fly by as the miles pass under your feet along these top trails, ranked best Pismo Beach hiking trails by the park visitors themselves:

  • Dinosaur Caves Park boasts a vista view cliff walk and is a great place to stretch your legs after a long drive, enjoy the sunset or walk your dog. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you can descend the stairs and explore the actual caves at the sea’s edge below.
  • At Pismo State Beach you may spy a pod of playful dolphins as you stroll along the length of soft sand and gentle lapping tides. This lovely respite is known as one of the best walking beaches along the Central Coast.
  • For a quick and easy walk or run, try the Bob Jones Trail. This 3-mile city to the sea paved pathway inspires walkers and joggers alike to consistently rave about this shaded natural sanctuary.

Horseback Trails

Whether at morning, midday or sunset, there is something uniquely magical about trotting on horseback out in nature. Pismo Beach offers both beach riding and trail riding in locations well known for their stunning beauty. Make time to explore one of these wonderful trails by horseback and enjoy making Pismo Beach memories to last a lifetime.

  • Ride along the spectacular 5 ½ miles of sand dune trails and sandy beach at Oceano Dunes. This park, shared by joggers, dog walkers and off road vehicles is a favorite recreation escape and one of the most popular parks in the whole state.
  • To enjoy more of a vista view of San Luis Obispo, ride along the beautiful Madonna Mountain behind the Madonna Inn.

If you have your own horse and live in the area you may know these trails well. Let this short list be a reminder to you to get out and enjoy the paradise we call home here in Pismo Beach. If you are bringing your own horse into the area there are great boarding opportunities, like Pacific Dunes Ranch, where your horse will enjoy a Pismo Beach vacation just like you. And, if you don’t keep your own horse, the stables in town are delighted to set you up with everything you need for a special adventure. Check out Pacific Dunes Ranch & RV Resort or Madonna Inn Trail Rides for a full, guided trail ride experience.   

Mountain Bike Trails

As Pismo Beach is located where the mountains meet the sea, the mountain bike riding is as epic as the scenery.

Two local favorite trail circuits are

  • the Montana De Oro State Park with various levels of difficulty, elevation and scenery available in one stunning park and
  • the Johnson Park Ranch with connector over to Irish Hills, a network of easy to moderate riding with grassy hills and a beautiful view of San Luis Obispo.

Visit the SLO Bicycle Club for more info about both road and mountain bike riding in the area.   

Complete the day with R&R…

However you like to conquer the trail, let yourself wind down your adventure with a full restoration at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel. Soak your toes in one of our three hot tubs and wake up rested and ready for your next adventure.  Book your getaway today.

Pismo Preserve Update: Phased Opening Announced by Land Conservancy


We know, we know – us too. We all can’t wait to come out to see the new Pismo Preserve.

While we thought the opening would be this fall (late fall 2016) – we are all going to have to wait a little bit longer (now scheduled for late 2018).

“Many exciting milestones have been reached, but the preserve is not yet ready for full and open public use,” Kaila Dettman, the conservancy’s executive director said.

We are promised (and we trust) it will be well worth the wait. When it finally does open, the Pismo Preserve is expected to be one of the Central Coast’s most spectacular and most utilized recreational areas ever.

Why the delay?

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County has reported unanticipated planning code and environmental requirements in the construction process which will ultimately make the 900 acre park safe and ready for the public’s heavy use of the park. These additions include sidewalks, a retaining wall in the preserve’s main parking lot and restrooms off Mattie Road in Pismo Beach. A mile-long handicapped-accessible trail also is planned, which will allow this Pismo Beach treasure to be used by everyone who wants to delight in it.

“While the Land Conservancy would love to open the preserve, we have an obligation to all stakeholders to do this right, and we will not proceed with a project that does not meet all the needs of the community, the needs of the land and the requirements of environmental law,” said Dettman.

In the interim, Pismo Preserve lovers, do not despair. We are being gifted with sneak previews to accompany our healthy anticipation of the official grand opening with full recreational access, currently pushed to late 2018.

“The public will have opportunities to get out on the preserve,” said Jim Patterson of Atascadero, a conservancy board member and former county supervisor. “We just can’t open completely until some additional construction issues get taken care of.”

Since the grand opening is happening later than expected, The Land Conservancy is making plans to open the property for recreational access in phases. The Land Conservancy, in conjunction with agency partners, is coordinating the following:

1. Docent Led Hikes

The conservancy plans to give the public limited, pre-scheduled, docent-led tours of the preserve as well as guided hikes and equestrian and mountain bike rides. This access should be available by the end of this year.

2. Special ‘Preview’ Open Days

Starting as early as spring 2017, the land conservancy is planning to open the Pismo Preserve for occasional ‘open days’ where visitors will be able to register at the entrance, explore the Preserve and sign themselves out.

“We recognize that our community is anxious to explore and experience the property. In an effort to give people opportunities to enjoy the Preserve during the construction phase, we are working with our agency partners to allow structured access while we push forward to construct the park amenities,” Dettman said.

Plenty of other Pismo Beach Trails

While patience will be required until the Preserve officially opens, Pismo Beach offers a myriad of other trails to satiate your craving for beautiful Central Coast recreation. Check out any of the hundreds of miles of local trails to explore on foot, horseback or bike.

And, when you’re ready to rest your weary feet at the end of the trail, book a Pismo Beach getaway at the SeaCrest. Paradise awaits you in Pismo Beach.

Fall Harvest at the Pismo Beach Farmers Market


A California Cornucopia

As summer rolls into fall, evenings begin to cool off and shorten. The beaches get less crowded and students turn their attention back to school. In many ways the shifting of this season may seem like a closing or an ending. In other ways however, the season truly marks a beginning – a fresh turn on the calendar page as well as in the kitchen and at the dining table.

Fall harvest is a time to celebrate the seasonal shift that leads us into a sequence of feasts and fresh fall fare. Local farmers’ markets throughout the county provide convenient and colorful access to fresh picked local-grown favorites like pears and apples (think apple butter and apple cider, yum!), pumpkins galore along with other squash varieties and hearty vegetables. Come taste for yourself the joy of local harvest Wednesdays 3-7pm at the Pismo Pier. You’ll find great harvest selections to purchase and take home to cook, along with prepared food like roasted corn and fresh baked pies that can serve as appetizer and dessert – the market is a true California cornucopia worth celebrating.

A Community of Farmers and Families

Because Pismo Beach is a small town at heart, local flavor is a key component that sparks the magic of this close knit community. The farmers all know each other and make it a joyful point to get to know their customers as well. Go ahead and introduce yourself as you purchase your local bounty. The farmers appreciate learning about you and your family, and you never know when or where you might see them again!

Other fun continues at the local farms right around Pismo Beach. Check out Avila Valley Barn where you can buy the fresh picked fruit and vegetables grown right there on the land as well as pick up a pie or bakery treat. You may also take a hayride, see farm animals or pick your own pumpkin.

The harvest celebration begins with the first harvests of the fall fruits and vegetables and continues all fall season. If you want to enjoy the best of the local winery harvest, come back for the local Harvest Tasting Celebration in November. You can tour the whole Edna Valley wine country during open house tasting events at participating San Luis Obispo wineries or settle yourself at one of the wineries for a memorable day of wine tasting and pairing with fresh local cuisine.

Plan your own fall harvest adventure with a stay at SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel and a bountiful shop at the Pismo Beach Farmers Market.

The Perfect Itinerary for a Last Minute Summer Vacation in Pismo Beach

pismo beach itinerary

Don’t let the fast-flying hazy days of summer pass you by altogether. There’s still time to steal away for a Central Coast getaway.

Whether you’re feeling sun-kissed and forever young this summer and can’t get enough or you’ve been hard at work and trying to get away but just haven’t been able to, summer is still burning hot.

Whenever you’re ready, pack your overnight bag and follow these simple steps to a perfect last-minute summer vacation in Pismo Beach.

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