Located on the Central Coast of California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Pismo Beach is a quintessential Californian beach town. Whether you are seeking outdoor adventure or the chance to be at one with nature, these are a few of the unique attractions to be found in Pismo Beach.
Pismo Beach is home to two of California’s finest state parks, both of which give visitors the opportunity to get closer to nature. The Montana de Oro State Park features over 8000 acres of sandy beaches, coastal plains, canyons and hills, and is known for being one of the largest state parks in California, while the Morro Bay State Park is home to the Museum of Natural History, as well as a vibrant marina and plenty of outdoor activities.
The Monarch Butterfly Grove
Each year between October and February, thousands of orange and black Monarch butterflies head to Pismo Beach to shelter from the freezing winters up north. On average, around 25,000 butterflies can be found here each year, making it one of the largest colonies in the country. The butterflies gather in the limbs of native Eucalyptus trees, forming a tight cluster to protect each other from the wind and the rain.
While surfing and skateboarding may both be iconic Californian sports, skim boarding is quite unique to Pismo Beach, and is basically a mix of the two. Riders wait at the shore with their skim board in hand, and, as soon as a wave breaks, they skim across the surface of the water, which is only a few inches deep. For those who have never skim boarded before, Pismo Beach is a great spot to give this a try, with boards available for rental at the Pismo Beach Surf Shop.
For those who want unbeatable views of Pismo Beach’s rugged coastline, a biplane ride is an absolute must, and can be found at Oceano Airport. Offered by Banner Airways, visitors are able to enjoy a ride in the open cockpit of a biplane that dates back to WWII, which was the same aircraft that was used to train American pilots. There are a range of rides available, from the serene and picturesque to the exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping, all of which offer views that cannot be found elsewhere.
Oceana Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area
Located just three miles south of Pismo Beach, the Oceana Dunes SVRA is the only state park in California that allows vehicles to be driven on the beach. This is an extremely unique park that offers an off-road adventure to visitors, with 5.5 miles of beach, and 1500 acres of sand dunes, to be explored. In addition to racing around on off road vehicles, there are many other activities to be found here at the Dunes, from surfing and swimming to bird watching and horseback riding, the latter of which is best done at sunset.
Pismo Beach is a one-of-a-kind destination, and it has plenty of unique attractions to match this. From skim boarding to biplane rides, this is a great area to visit if you want to try something new, while exploring one of the most spectacular parts of the Californian coast line.