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When someone says “California Central Coast”, Pismo Beach is likely the image that pops into mind. Pismo is known for it’s downtown, expansive beach, and giant pier. But, in this blog, we’re going to look outside the downtown area at 5 fun things to do with friends and family. So whether you’re a local, or just visiting for the weekend, you’ll find some of the great things the area has to offer.
1) Shell Beach Tide Pools- This place brings back some great childhood memories. One of the best field trips we took at Shell Beach Elementary School was the day at the tide pools. You’ll want to make sure to look up the shell beach tide chart, or else you may end up seeing a whole lot of water, and not many rocks. But, if you can catch a low tide, you can spend hours here exploring the rocks. You’ll see crabs, sea anemones, starfish, muscles, and if you’re lucky, a sea cucumber or an octopus! To get there, head through town until you come across Central Coast Kayaks, then head towards the ocean. There are a couple of areas with stairs down to the beach, or if you’re more adventurous you might be able to find a trail.
2) Central Coast Kayaks- Central Coast Kayaks has been a staple of the community for as long as I can remember. Located on the corner of Cuyama and Shell Beach Rd, their central location is a great launching point for a day of adventures. If you’re looking to see some exclusive scenery, take one of their cave tours where you’ll visit caves and beaches only accessible by kayak. Another, more mellow option, is the wildlife tour offered in nearby Morro Bay. I’d be remiss if I did not mention their electric bike rentals. These bikes are awesome. You can cruise all the way out to Avila Beach via the Bob Jones trail (which will be covered in a future video), or head out in the other direction towards Pismo. These bikes are a great, relaxing back way to explore the area on your own time.
3) Dinosaur Caves Parks- This park got its name from a giant 50-foot brontosaurus a local businessman created to attract travelers to his souvenir and bait shop in the 40s. Recently the city developed it into a perfect spot for a family lunch after some of the other activities we’ve talked about. There is a giant playground as well as large grass areas and walking paths with excellent views of the coastline.
4) Sunset at Pismo Heights: If you’re looking for the best sunset view of the city, head up Wadsworth St just past Judkins Middle School. On your left, you’ll find a little park with a rocky bluff overlooking the city. Head up just in time for sunset and you’re in for a treat. Views span all the way from Point Sal to Avila beach.
5) Pismo Preserve Hike: Did you know there is some hiking in Pismo Beach? The Pismo Preserve is 880 acres of open space with over 10 miles of trails to explore. There are a number of different trails with the longest covering just under 5.5 miles. The preserve has picnic tables as well as bathrooms at the entrance and they do have bike bells available so you don’t run anyone down while you’re bombing those hills. The trails are now re-opened every day from dawn until dusk, so get out there and get some steps in!