Pismo Beach is a classic California beach town in San Luis Obispo County, on California’s Central Coast. It offers small-town charm and traditional seaside activities along miles of pristine, uncrowded beaches, plus 21st-century amenities like fine food and comfy, upscale lodgings. Life happens at a blissfully slow pace in Pismo Beach. Yet there are plenty of activities for visitors of all types and ages.
Long before European settlers arrived, the Chumash people inhabited the region. They were hunter-gatherers and fishers, and the abundant marine life, including Pismo clams, was a vital food source. Later, tourists came to dig for the clams, and while they are no longer as abundant as they once were, clam digging is still a popular pastime, and the Pismo clam remains an iconic symbol of the area. Pismo Beach is also one of the largest monarch butterfly overwintering sites in the United States. Between October and February, thousands of monarch butterflies cluster in the trees at the Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove.
Wine tasting is a popular pastime in these parts. Pismo Beach edges SLO Coast AVA – which includes the nearby Arroyo Grande and Edna Valley sub-appellations. Beyond the beach, the surrounding areas offer hiking, golfing, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities.
This itinerary guides you through the best Pismo Beach has to offer, from exploring the Monarch Butterfly Grove to tasting world-famous clam chowder and capturing Insta-worthy sunset moments.