Are you visiting the Central Coast? Then, Pismo Beach may be the ideal vacation spot for you.
It may not be as well-known as the others but this coastal city is an interesting alternative to the more popular Californian destinations. It offers some unique activities, gorgeous scenery, and plenty of things to do if you love the great outdoors.
Be sure to make the most of your trip by hitting all the tourist hotspots and embarking on a few adventures.
- Check out the Pismo Beach Pier
You’ll find a 1,370-feet long wooden pier that stretches into the Pacific Ocean right on the main beach. It’s one of the most crowded tourist hotspots and community gathering points. After all, it hosts many seasonal events and offers spectacular views of the area.
Furthermore, it’s a terrific fishing spot if you’re looking to relax for a while and engage in friendly conversation. And if you’re interested in seeing which water sports look fun to do in the area, the pier acts as a perfect viewpoint for you.
- Have an Adventure in the Local Sandbox
You may think that riding sand dunes is something you’re unlikely to experience in the United States. But, it’s actually one of the top things to do in Pismo Beach.
Take a trip to the Oceano Dunes. You can take the car if it can handle the rolling white sandhills or opt to rent an ATV.
The challenging dunes bring tons of fun and the view of the ocean adds another layer of excitement to this popular activity.
- Head to Avila Beach
Who said you have to cool off when you go to Pismo Beach, US? For a unique experience, feel the warmth of the hot springs like those found in Avila.
Bask in the 104-degree water heated by a mineral spring. Then, relax with a hot stone or deep tissue massage afterward to really eliminate the stress from your body.
- Explore the Pismo Reserve
One of the best things to do in Pismo Beach is to visit the reserve. It’s a dreamy spot for nature lovers as they get access to over 11 miles of trails.
You can explore the reserve on foot or even horseback riding on some particular trails. Make sure to stop at any one of the scenic overlooks and take in the region’s idyllic scenery.
Note that the massive reserve also has abundant wildlife, many woodland areas, and mesmerizing open pastures overlooking the ocean.
- Admire a Unique Castle
Hearst Castle is perhaps one of the most fascinating buildings in California.
Located one hour north of Pismo Beach, the structure once belonged to William Randolph Hearst. And in its heyday, the massive mansion with ornate halls and glistening blue pools hosted lavish parties and greeted influential celebrities from all walks of life.
A tour of the mansion takes you to either the main house or Casa Grande and the guest houses. However, there isn’t a full tour that covers all the buildings, so you’ll have to pick and choose what you want to see first.
- Have Fun at the Dinosaur Caves Park
A long time ago, this park had a massive metallic dinosaur structure that gave it its name. But these days, the 11-acre park no longer has its once-iconic landmark.
However, it still provides plenty of entertainment.
Exploring the trails, open areas, and cave system is among the best things to do in Pismo Beach with kids. The playgrounds can easily keep kids entertained and the dinosaur-themed rides help the park stay true to its name.
One other thing you may appreciate is that this is a dog-friendly park. It’s a place you have to visit when traveling with your furry friend.
- Tour the Local Wineries
If you’re visiting central California, you should know that the wineries are among the top Pismo beach attractions.
Sample some of the famous Riesling and pinot noir varieties. Then, head over to the many tasting rooms in and around downtown Pismo Beach for even more local blends.
You’ll gain a new appreciation for the state’s oldest known grapes.
- Visit the Monarch Butterfly Grove
This isn’t one of the things to do in Pismo Beach throughout the year. That said, it’s an interesting experience if you visit between November and February.
That’s the period in which you can catch tens of thousands of monarch butterflies. They use the grove as a natural shelter to keep the majestic creatures safe from chilly ocean winds. You’ll easily spot pine and eucalyptus trees literally covered in butterflies.
This family-friendly activity can be quite fun and an interactive learning experience about long-distance migrations. So, if you want something different among the free things to do in Pismo Beach, this is a great choice.
- Have a Picnic at Spyglass Park
Pismo Beach has a couple of parks that are ideal for spending a relaxing afternoon. And Spyglass Park, which sits on four acres of land with beach access, is one of the best.
Its open grassy areas are ideal for playing lawn games and having a picnic. The playgrounds can keep kids entertained while the BBQ pits will surely draw in the adults.
Take some time to gaze in the distance through the many spy glasses found in the park. When you’ve had enough, head down to the beach. But keep in mind that the trail leading to the beach is very hard to navigate during high tide.
10. Engage in Your Favorite Activities at the Pismo State Beach
Did you know you can register your vehicle for off-roading and head onto the beach? Pismo Beach is the only place in California where you can do this.
Once on the city’s main beach, you’ll have access to all kinds of popular beachside attractions and activities. Some of the coolest Pismo Beach activities include going on a dune exploration and doing some clam digging.
Surfing, sailing, and other fun water sports are also available there.
A Different Central Coast Experience
Do you want a romantic getaway? Are you a thrill-seeker or do you just want to spend some quality family time away from the hustle and bustle of back home?
Pismo Beach can accommodate all kinds of travelers by offering a wide range of experiences. Hopefully, these suggestions will make planning your itinerary a lot smoother.