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Get-A-Way to Pismo Beach

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The hubs and I took a mini-vacation to Pismo Beach last week. Pismo Beach is a beach town in the middle of California’s Central Coast in San Luis Obispo county. We’ve gone there annually (and often twice a year) for 20 years. See photos from our visits and what to do and where to stay and eat in Pismo Beach, California.

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Highway 1, Coastal California views

What to do in Pismo Beach

Since we’ve been going there so long, we’ve established traditions that we do on virtually every visit to Pismo Beach. Over the years though, we’ve added new adventures to keep things fun. Here are some of our traditions (websites are linked):

We always take a walk through town to check out the shops and see what’s new.

The main part of Pismo, near the pier is an easy walk. One of our favorite shops is a local pet store where they always have puppies. Although we’d never buy one, it’s so cute to watch them play together! The breeds rotate, so it’s fun to see what breeds are there when we stop by.

What to do in Pismo Beach: the downtown area
photo from pismobeach.org

Splash Cafe

Going to Splash Cafe is a must. They have the best clam chowder I’d ever had (before I created my own version). Sometimes we go there everyday for lunch during our stay.

If you go during peak season or on a weekend, there might be a line down the street of people waiting. It’s that good.

Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach

I found that our local Costco is selling their clam chowder in their frozen seafood section.

Splash Cafe Clam Chowder at Costco

But, I created my own version of Splash Cafe Clam Chowder. We call it the Ultimate Clam Chowder because it is really that good! Get the recipe for my Pismo Beach and Splash Cafe copycat recipe for Ultimate Clam Chowder here.

Monarch Butterfly Grove

Pismo Beach has a huge monarch butterfly grove at the edge of town. January is one of their peak months.

There are so many butterflies that they literally cover all of the eucalyptus leaves. The trees look like they have brownish butterfly leaves instead of green eucalyptus leaves.

More Places to Eat in Pismo Beach

Rosa’s Ristorante Italiano has really good Italian food and we always have a dinner there when we are in town. Their menu offers a wide-variety of dishes and the service is always excellent.

where to eat in Pismo Beach: Rosa's is one of the restaurants we eat during our visits
At Rosa’s

Giuseppe’s Cucina Italiana is another popular Italian restaurant, but they experienced a fire at their main restaurant about a year and a half ago and have been undergoing rebuilding.

They’ve had a separate location with express take-out pizza for many years now and we often get a pizza to-go on one of our nights there.

Pismo Beach pier - stay close to the pier for the best views
Photo taken in 2014. The pier is undergoing an extensive renovation now and is closed.

What’s Around Pismo Beach

One reason we rarely tire of going to Pismo Beach is that there are lots of other beach towns nearby. Sometimes, we split our stay between towns, or we alternate towns when we’ve gone semi-annually.

This time, we stopped in Avila Beach and walked around on our way home. We really impressed with how lovely their “downtown” area is.

They closed off part of the main beachfront street in order to expand outdoor dining, offer nighttime entertainment, and casual eateries. We’ve stayed here in the past and are really looking forward to another visit next time.

Close to the highway (a few miles from the beach) is Sycamore Mineral Springs. This resort and spa offers private mineral hot tub rentals and lodging with hot tubs on their patios. It is such a relaxing place to stay.

Nearby is the Avila Valley Farm, a quaint farm with farm animals and tractor rides. Inside the barn, they sell fruits and vegetables, baker items, ice cream, and kitchen and home decor.

The nearby towns of Morro Bay, Cambria, Cayucos, and Arroyo Grande have annual festivals and events, and activities that allow make them unique, too.

Paso Robles is wine country, and only about 30 minutes from Pismo. They have a vast selection of wineries, sure to satisfy the pickiest of wine lovers.

San Luis Obispo is home to California State Polytechnic University and has an eclectic and fun college-town vibe. We enjoy strolling around their historic downtown, with its local shops and eateries.

a map of High 46 East.
Wineries on Highway 46 east

There is so much more to do, so I’ve embedded links to websites in each of the cities and towns above.

The Central Coast of California

Before moving two years ago, we lived in the northern part of the Central Coast for 30 years. So, we are very knowledgable about that area, and I’ll do a future post on it. People love visiting the Central Coast because addition to the ocean and beach, it’s cool in the summer and mild in the winter.

Here is a little more information on the Central Coast:

  • The Seaventure – ideal for couples with a spa on the balcony and oceanfront. Most of the beachfront pictures here were taken from our balcony at The Seaventure.
  • The Cliff’s Resort – pet friendly rooms and their oceanfront suites are gorgeous with jetted spa bathtubs and large balconies.
  • Inn at the Pier – just opened in November and is offering great deals! They have a large rooftop area with plunge pool, spa, a bar, and lots of comfortable seating.
  • Seacrest – recently remodeled and highly-rated by guests.

As always, we had a great visit and are looking forward to our next trip down soon.

Relive a taste the coast with my Ultimate Clam Chowder soup! https://thefeatherednester.com/ultimate-clam-chowder-recipe/

Splash Cafe copycat clam chowder recipe

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