Find the Perfect Gift: Central Coast Shopping for the Whole Family

Pismo Beach shopping
Pismo Beach and its neighbors are home to some of the most original and unique shops as well as the trendiest brands. Whether you’re shopping for others or shopping for yourself. Here are just some of the areas you’ll want to stroll through during your visit to California’s Central Coast.

Downtown San Luis Obispo

Higuera Street may not often be mentioned in the same breath as Fifth Avenue when people are discussing shopping meccas, however, this walkable stretch of pavement in San Luis Obispo is considered one of the best main streets in the United States (at least according to Fodor’s Travel). Hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces can be found in the local boutiques that are peppered among large and familiar brands so you have a variety of price points from which to choose. Monterey and Marsh Streets offer distinctive shops as well within this seven-block radius of shopping fun.

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Your Theatre Awaits: Movie-Going on the Central Coast

central coast movie

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No matter what movie theatre you go to on the Central Coast, you’re guaranteed an escape from the day. Some theatres, however, offer quite a unique movie-going experience in and around San Luis Obispo. So if you find yourself craving some popcorn and a larger-than-life screen, be sure to visit these movie houses on your trip to Pismo Beach.

Sunset Drive-In

Drive-ins are hard to come by in this modern age, which makes attending one a delicious novelty. The Sunset Drive-In in San Luis Obispo shows movies every night of the week (for an awesome price – your furry friend and kids under 4 are free), giving new meaning to outings with the family, first dates, or a memorable vacation in Pismo Beach. Grab your blankets or beach chairs for out-of-vehicle viewing, or make it a true drive-in experience and watch the movie from your truck bed or front seat. It’s a movie experience you’ll never forget. (255 Elks Lane, San Luis Obispo)

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10 Reasons to Spend the Holiday Season in Pismo Beach

holiday seasonIt doesn’t matter what kind of holiday you celebrate or don’t celebrate in December. Pismo Beach is home to a delightful array of entertainment and activities to keep you and yours busy while visiting the Central Coast. Here are just 10 of our favorite things to do during the holiday season in Pismo Beach:

1. Get your shop on.

There’s never a wrong time to do some serious shopping in Pismo Beach. If you dare, attend Midnight Madness at the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets, the event that kicks off Black Friday weekend, and get a nice taste of high-profile brands and reasonably priced favorites – there’s something for everyone (including yourself!).

2. Light up.

The annual Holiday Harmony in downtown Pismo Beach and on Pismo Pier is scheduled for December 4, 2015, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. This festive family event includes fresh snow (in California!), bounce houses, crafts, music, and cookie decorating. And, of course, Santa will make an appearance to receive wish lists and take pictures.

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First-Rate Food Trucks: A One-of-a-Kind Scene in Pismo Beach

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Food is no longer just sustenance. It’s an experience. But you don’t have to visit a brick-and-mortar five-star restaurant run by a celebrity chef to get delicious, memorable foodstuffs. The food truck movement has exploded in Pismo Beach, and if you haven’t snagged at least one meal from these restaurants on wheels, you – and your taste buds – are missing out.

Hot dogs, soft pretzels, and quesadillas might be what comes to mind at the mention of a food truck, but the mobile food vendors on the Central Coast are operating on a whole new level (and at a relatively affordable price). You’ll find traditional food truck fare, but it’ll be elevated, with additions like pear, fig, elegant cheeses, and sophisticated dressings.

Food Trucks for Hire

If you’re a guest at a wedding in the San Luis Obispo area, visiting a winery, or attending a special event or party in Pismo Beach, there’s a good chance you’ll run into Chef Anna Andriese and her popular big blue food truck, the Haute Skillet Truck. For some seriously innovative cuisine, the Haute Skillet is at the top of the list. Andriese caters “anywhere you want us to be” and is known for her “truck ciabatta” bread made daily from raw ingredients. Toasts, skewers, tapas, flat breads with proteins, greens, cheeses, savory sides, and delectable desserts are on Haute Skillet’s extensive menu.

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Top Tips for Riding the Gorgeous Oceano Dunes

ATV riding pismo dunes

While in Pismo Beach, many visitors enjoy riding the Oceano Dunes. This off-road vehicle experience is thrilling, adventurous and allows you to take in the wondrous surrounding scenery of the Pismo State Beach.

Kylee Jepsen recently wrote an article for entitled “Ride the Sand at the Oceano Dunes Using these Do’s and Don’ts” that addresses the fun and safety aspects of riding the dunes. Let’s review Kylee’s tips alongside some of our own for an enjoyable ride along the beautiful Oceano Dunes.

Do Your Research

Selecting your off-road vehicle shouldn’t take place on a whim. There are a number of vehicle models that meet various rider goals and require different levels of experience. Ask the advice of a professional or your dune tour’s hosting company. “They can provide tips and insider information on what is safe for a beginner, all the way up to an advanced rider,” states Kylee.

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The Bacon Eating Contest Is Back at the 3rd Annual SLO Bacon Fest


Mmm… bacon. Bacon beer, bacon chocolate, bacon liquor, bacon bandaids, and Kevin Bacon – bacon is magnificent whatever form it takes. And at the SLO Bacon Fest, the superlative of swine is available in everything from pastries to spirits. Plus, for the most hardcore bacon eaters out there, the bacon-eating contest is back!

Say “Oink” If You Love Bacon

It was in 1924 when Oscar Mayer packaged the first pre-sliced bacon for American families to enjoy with their breakfast meals. Bacon and eggs were the norm, and boy was it good. Bacon is as tasty as ever these days and people are eating it as more than just a side to their eggs. Creative chefs and innovative entrepreneurs have found dozens upon dozens of ways to join in the bacon renaissance and show their savvy for the finest of the pork belly.

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Get Ready to Cheer! Fall Sports Are in Full Swing on the Central Coast

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Athletic events on the Central Coast bring the community together for good times, good friends and complete support for hard working student athletes. Cheering on Cal Poly’s very own Mustangs is a fall tradition embraced by long-time locals, visiting Cal Poly parents, Cal Poly alumni and of course current students and faculty.

We welcome everyone to enjoy fall sports on the Central Coast. Here are some highlights from this season’s Cal Poly sporting events.


Football is always a top attraction for fall. The Mustangs currently hold a 2-5 record and look forward to two more home games this season. Tailgating before home games is allowed on campus in designated areas. So, join the fun all day, game day!

View the Football Schedule.

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Seeing Orange: The Pumpkin Patches of the Central Coast

fall at pismo beach

It is that time of year when the city of Pismo Beach is surrounded by the joyful colors of autumn. Children and adults alike enjoy visiting pumpkin patches, selecting the perfect pumpkins and gourds, and decorating homes, businesses and front yards.

While visiting Pismo Beach this fall, don’t miss out on the many beautiful pumpkin patches on the Central Coast. Family outings and celebratory settings are just a short drive away.

Here are 5 of our favorite pumpkin patches to get you started:

1. Jack Creek Farms

Jack Creek Farms is located within the heart of wine country just off 46 West. Fall invites kids to select their perfect-sized pumpkins to fill their wagons. All pumpkins in the u-pick patch are $4.00 or less. The kids will also enjoy endless entertainment with farm animals, antique farm equipment, a picnic area, hay maze, wooden train play structure, dummy steer roping and more.

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Cal Poly Parent & Family Weekend plus 5 Must-Dos for First Time Poly Parents

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Join Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students, faculty and alumni for Parent & Family Weekend October 23rd – 24th. The Mustang community will introduce you to its “Learn by Doing” philosophy with hands on experiences and festivities all weekend long. Enjoy concerts, specialized department events, comedy shows, sporting events (including the Homecoming Football Game versus Portland State at Spanos Stadium Saturday night) and much more.

To register and see the weekend’s full schedule visit Cal Poly’s Parent & Family Programs.

While most of your Friday and Saturday will be occupied on the beautiful Cal Poly campus, plan to stay an extra day or two to experience 5 must-do activities for first time Poly parents and visitors to San Luis Obispo.

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The Pizzerias of Pismo Beach

Who doesn’t crave a good slice of pizza every now and then? From classic cheese to specialties including cheeseburger, white sauce and Hawaiian, pizza is a favorite dining option. If you are looking for a quick afternoon slice with a salad or plan to take the family out for a treat, look no further than Pismo Beach for standout pizzerias on the Central Coast.

Del’s Pizzeria

Del’s Pizzeria is located in the Pismo Beach community of Shell Beach. It is the oldest established Italian restaurant in San Luis Obispo County and is fondly called a “little pizza heaven” by owner and operator, Bernadette Donakowski. “Bernie” offers substantial portions within a warm and friendly environment complete with traditional Italian décor, soft candlelight and music to match.

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