Pismo Beach, CA: A Real Beach Town

View of Pismo Pier

View of Pismo Pier

Active or Passive Adventures Await You!

By: Charlene S. Mixa

Quaint and charming Pismo Beach welcomes visitors to miles of beautiful beaches. Visitors seeking relaxation in a laid-back setting or endless hours of outdoor activities will find these and more at this picturesque seaside community. This hidden gem quietly boasts 23 miles of beautiful sandy beaches along with scenic gently, rolling hills. It is conveniently located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco just off US 101. Experience the thrill of riding an ATV on the famous Oceano Dunes, go wine tasting in the local wineries, walk along the pier or stroll the beachside shops and restaurants.

Our third stop on this visit to California’s coastal towns, we head to Pismo Beach from Santa Barbara, taking the route through the Santa Ynez Mountains. Stopping at several wineries along the way, we enjoy the scenic drive through the mountains and countryside. As we wind our way to the west, we arrive in Pismo Beach at the SeaVenture Resort and Spa. Located directly on the beach, the SeaVenture is one of the premier California beachfront hotels. The staff is very helpful and most welcoming as we check-in. A gentle rain starts as we unload making the covered parking extra special. The lobby is small but opens on to a sandy beach.

SeaVenture Room - Great Bed!

SeaVenture Room – Great Bed!

Our room is luxurious with deep green walls contrasting with bright white custom furniture and shutters. The king bed with its pristine white down comforter and pillows sits caddy-corner facing the sliding glass doors to the balcony. A gas fireplace adds warmth and coziness to the room’s casual elegance. Stepping out to our private balcony with its hot tub, we enjoy the view of the beach and the Dunes to the south. The rain shower gives us the perfect excuse to relax and refresh.

As the sun peeps out, we explore this seaside town. Exiting through the lobby, we walk onto a sandy beach with gentle ocean waves. A short stroll from the SeaVenture, we arrive at the 1,200’ long Pismo Pier. The view is picturesque! Looking inland, the rolling hills are a rich green, dotted with homes, and the low wispy clouds, add extra charm. Walking into the nostalgic seaside town at the end of the pier, we wander along the streets with its numerous novelty shops. Named for the Pismo Clam, many eateries tout the “best clam chowder”. Returning to the SeaVenture, we pass their restaurant with a great ocean view. Since we only have one night in Pismo, we elect to try a local restaurant, Steamers with a view of the bluffs on the edge of the town. Drizzling rain limits our exploration and our plan to go ATVing at the Oceano Dunes. A romantic evening in our cozy room with an excellent bottle of local wine is the perfect ending to the day.

Our morning begins with an enchanting continental breakfast basket delivered to our room. Sitting in our plush robes at the dinette table, we enjoy this complimentary breakfast served with real bowls and flatware. The fresh fruit plate is excellent!

Oceano Dunes

Oceano Dunes

Now we are off to check out famous Oceano Dunes. The Oceano sand dune area is recognized by scientists, conservationists, government agencies, and the public as the finest, most extensive coastal dunes remaining in California. It is also the State Vehicular Recreation Area and provides an impressive playground for off-highway enthusiast. Arriving at the Park entrance this Sunday morning, cars are lined up to get in. Parking outside the Park, we walk to the beach watching the cars and motor homes with trailers towing their ATV’s. We chat with a father and his sons, as they let air out of the truck tires to get better traction. The ATVing area is much further down the beach. It is a great way to have a fun-filled day with your family on this off-highway playground. We must return for our own experience on riding the Oceano Dunes. Now off to our own next adventure in California!

If you go:
SeaVenture Resort, 100 Ocean View Avenue, Pismo Beach, California 93449


Oceano Dunes SVRA


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About Charlene Mixa

Seeing new places, learning about cultures and seeing the sights has always been my dream. Growing up I was blessed with parents that enjoyed traveling and thought nothing of taking a family of seven on excursions. My career in Human Resources and later as a consultant for an international Human Resource firm offered some travel, but I knew as my husband and I approached retirement, my goal was to do more traveling and broader trips. The nine years since retirement has been filled with fantastic adventures from short local one day trips to several week excursions. Living in Florida, it is especially enjoyable to be away in the summer to cooler climates. Multi-week driving trips across the good ol' USA, settling in for a month in the mountains to explore the local area, or a combination of both fill much of our summer season. Our travels are predominantly self-orchestrated, bringing the fun and challenge of getting everything to click. It's all about doing and sharing! Experiencing a travel adventure is exciting. Reliving a special travel moment with a friend or family is exhilarating. I feel my heart race and pulse quicken, as I sharing that special moment. Thank you for joining in my travel adventures and allowing me to hear your stories.