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Pismo State Parks on the Beach - Guide to Pismo State Beach

Trail Walk to Pismo State Beach in Oceano, California

Trail Walk in Pismo State Beach in Oceano, California (in San Luis Obispo County)

Pismo State Beach is a beach on the Pacific coast of California. It is approximately 17 miles long and fronts the towns of Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, and Oceano in San Luis Obispo County, California. It is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

Pismo State Beach offers all kinds of attractions: hiking, swimming, surf fishing, and digging for the famous Pismo clam. There are tree-lined dunes and the beach is popular with bird watchers. The park has the largest over-wintering colony of monarch butterflies in the U.S.

Pismo Dunesin Pismo State Beach

Beach and Sand Dunes in  Pismo State Beach in Oceano, California

Beach and Sand Dunes Pismo State Beach

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes is the largest remaining dune system south of San Francisco and the second largest in the U.S. state of California. It encompasses an 18-mile (29 km) stretch of coastline on the Central Coast of California and extends from southern San Luis Obispo County to northern Santa Barbara County.

The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex is home to a unique dunes ecosystem as well as several endangered and threatened species of plants and animals. To protect the dunes environment, much of the Complex has been set aside for conservation. In addition, it is recognized as a National Natural Landmark. Another portion of the Dunes is utilized for recreation, such as camping and Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) use.

Within the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex are several distinct regions, each managed by different organizations and used for various purposes.

Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is located south of Oceano. It consists of five and half miles of beach open for vehicle use and a large area of the sand dunes open for off-highway vehicle use, including quads, dirt-bikes, and four-wheel drive vehicles. It is the only California State Park where vehicles may be driven on the beach. Each year the park attracts 2 million visitors. The park also offers guests the ability to camp on the beach itself. Other activities available at the park are horseback riding and bird watching.

The Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area is a California State Park located north of the city of Guadalupe. Visitors to the Natural Area can walk along the mile-long boardwalk that follows the creek, passing across Oso Flaco Lake, to the ocean.

Recreation in Pismo State Beach

Beach Front in Pismo State Beach in Oceano, California

Beach Front in Pismo State Beach

The beach offers many attractions such as camping, hiking, swimming, surfing, fishing, and is home to the famous Pismo clam. It is a popular place to bird watching and is the largest over-wintering colony of monarch butterflies in the U.S.

- ATV rentals are available within 2 blocks of the park.
- A trolly service provides access to the surrounding community.
- Ocean Lagoon has a wheelchair-accessible fishing overhang.

Bird and Butterfly Watching in Pismo State Beach

Monarch Butterflies in  Pismo State Beach in Oceano, California

Monarch Butterflies in Pismo State Beach

The beach is home to several types of marine life, such as abalone, anemone, several types of sea bass, crabs, kelp, California moray, sea urchin, several varieties of sharks, as well as many other marine life. Several types of birds also live at the beach such as brown pelican, great blue heron, ivory gull, and several other species.

It has a large monarch butterfly population who winter over at the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. It is popular to view the monarch migration from October to February. Docents provide guided tours.

Camping in Pismo State Beach

Pismo State Beach-Oceano Campgrounds is located further south than the North Beach Campgrounds, near the town of Oceano. The Oceano Campgrounds, like the North Beach Campgrounds, is run by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and also has a nature museum on site.

Pismo State Beach-North Beach Campgrounds is located at the northernmost part of the Dunes and is run by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. While visiting the North Beach Campground, guests can enjoy family camping, surfing, swimming, surf fishing, and hiking.

Pismo State Beach's two main campgrounds Northern Beach and Oceano Campgrounds. Here are detailed of the two campground: Pismo northern Beach campground maps and Pismo Oceano campground regulartions and maps.

Max Camper Length: 36 Feet
Max Trailer Length: 31 Feet

There are four restaurants are within 2 blocks of the campground. Pismo State Beach now offers AT&T Wi-Fi Service.

Location of Pismo State Beach

The Pismo State Beach is located at 35°6'37"N 120°37'53"W. The Pismo State Beach is in the town of Oceano off Highway 1. The address of Pismo State Beach is 555 Pier Avenue, Oceano, CA 93445. Pismo State Beach can be contacted at (805) 489-1869. Use it to get details of the campground too.

Here is a driving map to Pismo State Beach.

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Here is a detailed list of other state beaches of California besides Pismo State Beach.

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