The Sand Dollar Walk – A Rare Pismo Beach Vision

sand dollarThe wildlife in Pismo Beach is something to be admired. One great creature often overlooked is the sand dollar. Yes, I said creature. Many people do not realize the sand dollar is an echinoderm related to the sea urchin and sea star. Groups of these beautiful animals can often be found as you walk Pismo Beach’s sandy beach at low tide.

You will notice the 5-point symmetrical white sand dollars seen are actually the rigid skeletons, called tests, and the animals are no longer alive. But if you look very carefully among the groups you may see one adorning a purple hue. This little guy is more than likely still alive. If you watch closely you may be lucky enough to see it move very slowly in what is called “the sand dollar walk.” This “walk” is how they bury themselves in the sand for protection. It is a rare vision simply because most people don’t slow down long enough to observe a live sand dollar in action. But Pismo Beach is just the place to slow down, relax, and observe nature at its finest.

As you take a stroll to admire these delicate creatures, here are some fun facts to keep in mind:

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Capture Your Moments in Pismo Beach

central coast photographyPeople visit Pismo Beach for the scenic views and intriguing coastal atmosphere making it a go-to location for special moments, including weekend getaways, family celebrations, engagements, weddings, and more. These moments are worth remembering for years to come and what better way to recall memories than through exquisite and detailed photography?

Pismo Beach’s community of professional photographers is a group of passionate people ready to capture the uniqueness and sincerity of your next Pismo Beach visit. They welcome family photo shoots with newborns, families celebrating 15 years of Pismo Beach vacations, engagement celebrations, 50th anniversaries, and more.

Here are 10 photographers to consider as you arrange your perfect Pismo Beach photo shoot:

1. Samantha Lovett Photography

Samantha Lovett offers both outdoor and lifestyle photo shoot packages to fit your needs. From playing in the ocean water to capturing beautiful moments at the Pismo Beach Pier, take a peek at what Samantha Lovett Photography can do for your family.

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Everything’s Better with an Ocean View in Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach PierWhen you hear, “Pismo Beach,” what images pop into your mind? Surfers? Clams? A 1,370 foot-long pier? These popular attractions are at the heart of Pismo Beach, but we also believe any favorite everyday activity becomes better with an ocean view. So, when we think “Pismo Beach” we see someone strolling in the morning with a cup of coffee, a couple holding hands, and friends having a beach picnic.

Here are 7 everyday activities made extra special with a view of the Pacific Ocean:

1. Playing Games

From favorite kids’ games to classic board games, you can find a travel version for almost any game. These travel games are designed for more than just a long car ride, they are the perfect outdoor companion. Grab your game of chess, connect four or a deck of cards and find a bench on the pier or at one of Pismo Beach’s many parks.

If you don’t have a travel game on hand, head to the beach and the moist packed sand. A game of tic-tac-toe or hangman can come to life right by the water.

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Baseball Season: Cheer on Your Team at Pismo Beach’s Favorite Hangouts

pismo-beach-hangoutsThe question can be asked, “Why do we love baseball so much?” Simply, it’s a sport most of us can relate to and grew up playing and/or watching. It has become a way of life with its ups and downs, highs and lows, enthusiasm and drama. Through it all comes much joy and laughter in our lives as we look forward to each game.

Saturday, April 4th and Sunday, April 5th marked the opening of the 2015 Major League Baseball Season. Fans everywhere attended games, gathered around television sets, tuned in on their radios and got together with fellow baseball enthusiasts at their favorite sports bars. Pismo Beach was no different and the community is ready to keep on cheering. As we progress through the 2015 season, we invite you to Pismo Beach’s favorite hangouts to cheer on your favorite team. Here’s why:

  • You will find TVs ready to air many baseball games in almost every bar
  • Good food is always on the menu
  • Local craft beers are in abundance
  • Local wines are plentiful
  • You can find your perfect atmosphere for an all-around good time

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Pismo Beach: A One-of-a-Kind Destination to Celebrate Your Special Day

We have a lot to celebrate throughout our lifetimes. From births and reunions to engagements, weddings and anniversaries, our lives are filled with happy occasions that invite both intimate getaways and large gatherings of friends and family.

If you have a special date coming up, we invite you to take a look at what it would be like to celebrate in the beautiful beach town of Pismo Beach.

SeaCrest WeddingsPicture-Perfect Weddings

Pismo Beach offers not only the perfect centrally located California destination to tie the knot, it creates memories for your special day that will last forever. Stretches of beautiful white sand, pristine water, and majestic cliffs set the stage for your special day. It is most definitely a flawless backdrop for any wedding no matter the size, colors or theme.

If you have already decided Pismo Beach is where you wish to have your wedding, take a look at what the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel can offer you from its private bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the most breathtaking wedding and reception sites on the Central Coast.

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Celebrate SLO Wine Country

slo wine tastingSLO Wine Country is celebrating its 25th anniversary and invites you to join 33 days of fun, food, and wine with “Roll Out The Barrels 2015” starting April 1st. The organization is very excited to celebrate what makes this wine region so special, including:

  • A reliable cooling effect from the Pacific Ocean, ensuring a long growing season for grapes to achieve natural ripeness and balance for consistent quality from vintage to vintage
  • Complex soils that add a variety to single varietals for increased quality and complexity

What to expect at this year’s event:

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Zip into Spring with The SeaCrest and Margarita Adventures

zip lining

Prepare to be adventurous, explore local history, enjoy nature and experience fine wine with The Santa Margarita Ranch and Margarita Adventures.

Why Participate in a Zipline Adventure?

The historic Santa Margarita Ranch in Paso Robles Wine Country is an iconic California landmark and soaring high above this beautiful land from five different ziplines is what “adventure” is all about.

Margarita Adventures offers zipline canopy tours to  promoting a deep appreciation for the natural surroundings and the unique traditions of Santa Margarita. The ziplines span more than 4,500 combined feet for the ultimate experience in thrill, exploration and education.

Let’s meet the ziplines:

The Renegade

This epic zipline takes you alongside the Santa Lucia Mountains for a 1,200 foot soar across a grassy valley and into an oak forest.

The Woodlander

The second zipline is a true treetop exploration, gliding 600 feet over canopies of native blue and white oak trees before landing onto a steeply sloped mountainside.

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Pismo Beach Workouts That Rock

pismo beach workoutSo, you are planning a visit to Pismo Beach. Perhaps it is time for a family vacation or you are fortunate enough to be scheduled for a work event or conference in the area. Whatever your reason for traveling, we all know even a couple days outside of a normal schedule can throw your workout routine for a downturn. Luckily for you, Pismo Beach is filled with many inspirational ways to stay on top of your conditioning requirements.

Whether visiting Pismo for work or play, here are 5 ways you can hit the beach for fun and fitness:

1. Join a Group or Class

A quick glance around Pismo Beach will reveal people gathered together enjoying the outdoors while getting in shape. If you enjoy pick-up games, many recreational athletes will warmly welcome you to their volleyball, tennis or basketball game. Volleyball courts are located on the beach near the pier. If tennis is more your style, two beautifully maintained public courts with ocean views are located at Palisades Park. There are also two public basketball courts at this location.

If you are looking for a more gentle approach to exercise, join Tai Chi at the beach with Dr. Troy Smith. Experience the many health benefits of this graceful, ancient Chinese tradition of slow, focused movements and deep breathing. Classes are held every Saturday morning from 10:00am to 11:00am at Margo Dodd Park. The cost is $10 per class. Drop by or contact Dr. Troy Smith, D.C. for more information:

2. A Good Old Fashioned Jog

A jog on Pismo Beach provides you with a beautiful setting and a sandy challenge.

According to an article by Better Health Channel, the health benefits of jogging include:

  • Building strong bones
  • Strengthening muscles
  • Improving cardiovascular fitness
  • Burning calories
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

So, what are you waiting for? Whether it’s your first jog or your 1,000th, the beach is calling you.

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45 Years Ago in Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach has been an outdoorsman’s paradise for many, many years. While some activities have changed, several have remained. Let’s take a look at Pismo Beach 45 years ago as featured in the March 1970 edition of Field & Stream. Author Bob Grant wrote “Ocean Paradise” as a tribute to Pismo and all that it offers the outdoor enthusiast. Let’s take a look!

Clamming as it Once Was

pismo beach clam festivalAs expected, the highlight during this time was the Pismo Clam. While this popular clam was found from Monterey Bay to the southern tip of Baja California, Pismo was known to have probably the greatest concentration Here are a few Pismo Clam fun facts gathered from Grant’s article:

  • A single clam “drinks” 5,800 gallons of sea water a year.
  • A single clam can spawn 15 million eggs annually.
  • The clam has many predators besides humans, including seagulls, sharks, rays and surf fish.
  • In the late 1890s and early 1900s, farmers would use their best plow horses to plow up the beach sand during a low tide. Men would follow the plow with pitchforks to load up the exposed clams into a wooden wagon. These clams were turned into feed for pigs and chickens. 1911 brought a halt to this practice with a 200 clam per day limit.
  • 1916 to 1947 were the years of commercial digging with 1918 being a peak year, when approximately 350,000 clams weighing well over a half-million pounds were harvested for commercial use.
  • By 1970, laws required a harvested clam to be 4 ½ inches in diameter and a personal limit was set of ten clams per person.

Camping at the Beach

Aside from clamming, camping in Pismo was a favorite activity, as it is today among both locals and tourists. It appears that in 1970 the state park and other facilities, as well as private ranches in the area allowed camping on the beach for approximately $1 per day. These campsites made great home bases for people participating in clamming, surf fishing and skindiving –activities that attracted thousands of visitors a year from all over the country.

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Get Your Sweet Fix in Pismo Beach

salt water taffy pismo beach

We all get a sweet tooth every now and then and here in Pismo Beach we have the perfect candy and treat shops to help ease your cravings. Whether you enjoy sophisticated chocolates, decedent caramel apples or fun-loving salt water taffy, you can find the sweets you love.

Checkout the list of our 7 favorite sweet treat stores in Pismo Beach and our surrounding communities:

1. Tomasko’s Pismo Beach Taffy

If you are looking for your salt water taffy fix, then head to Tomasko’s in downtown Pismo Beach. Observe their “Candy Kitchen” as they make your favorite taffy flavors. This local gem received the award of Pismo Beach Business of the Year in 2010.

Owner Roger Tomasko contributes his success to the “goodwill of people coming back year after year. They know they are going to get good quality homemade candy at a reasonable price”. Over the years he has increased the amount of homemade items to include: Divinity, Fudge, Carmel Corn, Carmel Apples, English Toffee and of course, many Chocolates.

2. The Chocolate Sheep

Located in the village of Arroyo Grande, this multi-generational family owned gourmet chocolate and toy shop is known for its delicious chocolate and friendliest of customer service. It is a delightful stop on your journey to seek out satisfying chocolate. Visit or find them on Facebook.

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