Things to do in Pismo Beach, California

Framed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the vineyards on the other, Pismo Beach is perfect for unwinding. A picturesque coastal town nestled in the crevices of California, Pismo Beach is a laid-back place with offers tourists with several recreational opportunities. Unlike a quintessential beach town, there is so much more to do in this place.

In addition to soaking up the sun and sand, tourists can indulge in hiking at the Price Historic Park, sandboarding at the Oceano Pismo Dunes Preserve and enjoy a glass of wine at Tastes of The Valleys Wine Bar and Shop. For those interested in doing unusual and non-touristy things, the Monarch Butterfly Grove and The Dorn Pyramid are good options. A must-visit place for outdoor lovers, the distinct character of the unique Pismo Beach never fails to impress! Traverse through this charming coastal town and indulge in a memorable beach vacation.

10 Best Things To Do in Pismo Beach

1. Get enchanted by hundreds of butterflies at the Monarch Butterfly Grove

Every year, thousands of colorful butterflies migrate to Pismo Beach to protect themselves from the harsh northern winters. During the migration season from October to February, these butterflies cluster in the limbs of Eucalyptus trees at the Monarch Butterfly Grove. With each one hanging with its wing down over the one below it, the resulting formation resembles the shingle effect. Monarch Butterfly Grove is touted to be one of the largest butterfly colonies in the nation, hosting an average of 25,000 butterflies over the last five years. It thus comes as no surprise then, that Monarch Butterfly Grove is one of the best things to do in Pismo Beach in winter.

2. Enjoy the sunset at Pismo Pier

The beautiful Pismo beach spread across 24 hectares boasts of a quaint Pismo Pier and promenade which is a perfect spot to relax and unwind. The best time to visit this pier is at dusk, when the sun dips behind the horizon, casting golden hues across the water. Fading light, occasional glimpses of migrating whales, views of the cliffs and jutting outcrops at the Pismo Pier make it one of the most romantic things to do in Pismo Beach.

3. Explore sandbanks in buggies at Oceano Pismo Dunes Preserve

Located three miles south of Pismo Beach, Oceano Pismo Dunes Preserve is possibly California’s most expansive collection of sandbanks. There is a huge plethora of on-the-sand activities for visitors to indulge in here - from desert camping and horseback riding to buggy-boarding and off-roading. For those wondering about what to do in Pismo Beach apart from typical beach activities, Oceano Pismo Dunes Preserve is a must-visit place!

4. Walk through the eccentric Bubble-gum Alley

A 15-foot high and 70-foot long alley in downtown San Luis Obispo, just 12 miles away from Pismo Beach, Bubble-gum Alley is a street lined with chewed gum left by passers-by. It is precisely due to this bizarre reason that the alley is a major point of interest in Pismo Beach! While some may find it unhygienic and disgusting, there are others who find it amusing and inspiring. Numerous professional artists such as Matthew Hoffman have drawn inspiration from the Bubble-gum Alley and created a self-portrait titled "Project Bubble Gum" entirely with bubble gum!

5. Soak in the naturally hot water at the Avila Hot Springs

Hot springs are said to have medicinal elements that cure many diseases. Avila Hot Springs, is one such medicinally enriched site of hot springs which is perfect for a relaxing dip in the warm waters. Located very close to the Pismo Beach, it is also known for its group picnic and BBQ facilities, heated freshwater pool with double slides, and bike trails, in addition to the hot springs.

6. Have a picnic at the Eldwayen Ocean Park

With a rock-strewn beach, an unforgettable view of the ocean and an impressive shoreline, Eldwayen Ocean Park is a long narrow park stretch along the bluff in the Shell Beach area. Equipped with grassy picnic areas and picnic benches, this oceanfront park is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Pismo Beach. A narrow stairway connects the grassy picnic areas to the rocky beach, thus providing the visitors direct access to the water.

7. Hike at the Price Historic Park

Featuring huge open spaces, several hiking trails and a biking trail, Price Historic Park is a dream-come-true for all the outdoorsy tourists visiting Pismo Beach. This 7-acre park which aims to highlight the local history for the visitors through the means of the ranch house, a replica Native American Chumash village, windmill, orchard and a farm implement garden, was built by Pismo Beach founder, John Michael Price. Though one of the unusual things to do in Pismo Beach, Price Historic Park is sure to give you a taste of the local culture.

8. Take your kids for an enjoyable time at the Dinosaur Caves Park

Spread across 11 acres facing the ocean, Dinosaur Caves Park is one of the best things to do in Pismo Beach with toddlers. Featuring a large variety of kids play toys with animal and dinosaur themes, a trip to this park will surely be a fun-filled experience for children. This park was so named because once upon a time, a large concrete dinosaur was constructed at this location where visitors could enter the dinosaur and descend a tunnel in the tail, straight into an underground sea cavern. Neither the sea cavern nor the dinosaur structure exists anymore but the park continues to be called the Dinosaur Cave Park. Equipped with open grass areas, picnic tables, walking trails, and ocean overlooks, this park is a popular place for family getaways. Also, pets are welcome at this park and so, this park is a favorite on the list of things to do in Pismo Beach with dogs.

9. Visit the mysterious tomb at The Dorn Pyramid

Nestled in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in San Luis Obispo, The Dorn Pyramid is an ancient Masonic symbol sheltering the mortal remains of a mother and child. A mysterious place shrouded by several versions of the stories surrounding those exhumed within the tomb, The Dorn Pyramid was built in 1905 by a lawyer in the honor of his wife and son, both of whom he lost during childbirth. Located just 11 miles from Pismo Beach, a visit to The Dorn Pyramid is one of the best things to do around Pismo Beach.

10. Unwind with a glass of wine at Tastes of The Valleys Wine Bar and Shop

The perfect place to end your day with a glass of wine, Tastes of The Valleys Wine Bar and Shop is counted among one of the best things to do in Pismo Beach at night. Offering patrons with a choice of over 1000 wines, Tastes of The Valleys Wine Bar and Shop is the ideal place to quench your thirst after a tiring day of sightseeing. As the name suggests, this is not only a bar but also a shop from where you can buy exquisite wine bottles to take back home.

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    10 Tourist Attractions in Pismo Beach

    Must see places in Pismo Beach ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Pismo Beach and point of interests to visit.

  • Pismo Pier

    #1 of 10 Things To Do in Pismo Beach
    Pismo Pier

    Tags: View Point, Pier, Leisure

    Address: 100 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Blue ocean, pleasant weather, ample of time, some good food and great beverages. Well, Pismo Pier has everything to keep you hooked. So, if you want to soak in the sun, or just want to relax beach sid...Read more

  • Monarch Butterfly Grove

    #2 of 10 Things To Do in Pismo Beach
    Monarch Butterfly Grove

    Tags: Outdoors

    Address: 400 S Dolliver St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    Who doesn’t like butterflies? And if they are monarch butterflies and there is a full fledged attraction dedicated to them, then who would miss it! Well, Monarch Butterfly Grove is an important ...Read more

  • Dinosaur Caves Park

    #3 of 10 Things To Do in Pismo Beach
    Dinosaur Caves Park

    Tags: Outdoors, Park, Leisure, Picnic Spot

    Address: 2701 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Located aptly between the Pismo beach and Margo Dodd Park is the fun Dinosaur Caves Park. If you’re travelling with your family and kids and wondering what exactly will excite your children, the...Read more

  • Margo Dodd Park

    #4 of 10 Things To Do in Pismo Beach
    Margo Dodd Park

    Tags: Park, View Point, Leisure, Bird Watching

    Address: Pismo Beach, CA 93449, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Another popular park in Pismo Beach, Margo Dodd Park is small in comparison to the Dinosaurs Caves Park. But the view it offers is just unmatchable. Are you a birdwatcher? Or a photographer? Or do you...Read more

  • Eldwayen Ocean Park

    #5 of 10 Things To Do in Pismo Beach
    Eldwayen Ocean Park

    Tags: View Point, Leisure, Peak

    Address: Pismo Beach, CA 93449, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Travelling with a special person and want to spend some intimate moments? Well, Eldwayen Ocean Park will surely offer you a perfect setting to your ultimate romantic date. The sunset and the view is t...Read more

  • Pismo Beach Farmer's Market

    #6 of 10 Things To Do in Pismo Beach
    Pismo Beach Farmer's Market

    Tags: Market

    Address: Pismo Beach, CA, United States

    Timings: 02:00 pm - 05:00 pm Details

    Any tourist attraction is incomplete without a shopping space. A place which has something or the other to offer to everyone. Hence, Pismo Beach is no exception! The Pismo Beach Farmer’s Market ...Read more

  • Price Historical Park

    #7 of 10 Things To Do in Pismo Beach
    Price Historical Park

    Tags: Museum, Park

    Address: 100 Rancho Pismo Dr, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    A piece of history in Pismo Beach and that’s Price Historical Park for you. Mind you, this not one of those parks of the city. Instead, this one has a historical significance to it. Once a house...Read more

  • New Life Community Church

    #8 of 10 Things To Do in Pismo Beach
    New Life Community Church

    Tags: Church, Religious Site

    Address: 990 James Way, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, USA


    Tired of visiting beaches or partying and want to detox the soul? Want to be at peace? Then how about visiting a church which is grand and very quiet at the same time. Soak in some divinity, worship a...Read more

  • Tastes Of The Valleys Wine Bar And Shop

    #9 of 10 Things To Do in Pismo Beach
    Tastes Of The Valleys Wine Bar And  Shop

    Tags: Bar, Food And Drinks, Winery, Specialty Shop

    Address: 911 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, USA

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 09:00 pm Details

    A tourist attraction is incomplete without a good place to hang out and grab a drink. But Pismo Beach has many of them. Tastes of the Valleys Wine Bar and Shop is the most popular wineries in Pismo Be...Read more

Tourist Attractions Near Pismo Beach

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  • John Price House

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • The Powerhouse

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • San Luis Obispo Carnegie Library

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • William Shipsey House

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Myron Angel House

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Pacific Coast Railway Company Grain Warehouse

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • Natural History Museum

    412 S McClelland St

  • Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum

    705 S McClelland St

  • San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

    1010 Broad St

  • Santa Maria Historical Society Museum

    616 S Broadway

  • Dunes Center

    1055 Guadalupe St

  • Museum of Natural History

    20 State Park Rd

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  • Wheel Fun Rentals

    150 Hinds Ave

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Oceano County Park

    1330 Dewey Dr

    Amusement Parks
  • Mustang Waterslides

    6840 Lopez Dr

    Amusement Parks
  • Motionz

    218 Town Ctr E

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Butler Ammusements

    937 S Thornburg St

    Amusement Parks
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  • The Boardroom

    160 Hinds Ave

    Bars American Burgers
  • F. McLintocks Saloon & Dining House

    750 Mattie Rd

    Steakhouses Seafood Bars
  • Shell Beach Brewhouse

    1527 Shell Beach Rd

    American Bars Breweries
  • Frog & Peach Pub

    728 Higuera St

    Bars American Music and Show Venues
  • Shaw's Famous Steak House

    714 S Broadway

    Steakhouses Bars
  • McCarthy's Irish Pub

    600 Marsh St

    Bars Restaurants
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  • Oceana Card Room

    1795 Front St

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Central Coast Casino

    359 W Grand Ave

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Gold Rush Casino & Resort

    1750 El Camino Real

    Casinos and Gaming Hotels and Motels
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  • Morro Bay Estuary

    Natural Parks
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  • El Chorro Dog Park

    Dairy Creek Rd

    Dog Parks
  • Arroyo Grande Dog Park

    1221 Ash St

    Dog Parks
  • Costa Bella Park

    Dog Parks
  • Five Cities Dog Park

    Dog Parks
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  • Eldwayen Ocean Park

    1751 Ocean Blvd

  • Memory Park

    224 Seacliff Dr

  • Pismo Dunes Natural Preserve

  • Silver Shoals Beach

  • Pismo Beach Boardwalk

  • Shelter Cove Beach

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  • Shell Beach Coastal Trail

  • Sycamore Crest Trail

    Avila Beach Dr

  • Point Buchon Trail

  • Islay Hill Park

    4301 Orcutt Rd

  • Islay Hill

    1398 Sweet Bay Ln

  • Reservoir Canyon Trail

    Reservoir Canyon Road

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  • Tackle Warehouse

    747 Buckley Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Central Coast Salmon Enhancement

    229 Stanley Ave

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Patriot Sportfishing

    3975 Avila Beach Dr

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Flying Fish Sportfishing

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Select Ag Services

    1520 E Donovan Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Best Baits

    4525 9th St

    Hunting and Fishing
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What To Do in Pismo Beach: Day-Wise Ideas

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