Surrounded by wineries and beautiful stretches of sand, Pismo Beach overlooks the Pacific Ocean on California’s sun-drenched Central Coast. It features attractive public gardens and plenty of walking trails, and hosts around 100,000 monarch butterflies during the winter migration season.
Things to do
A highlight of Pismo Beach is visiting the Monarch Butterfly Grove where thousands of butterflies migrate between October and February each year. Wander through the eucalyptus grove to witness this spectacular wildlife display and browse the interpretive panels to discover more about the butterflies’ unique behaviours.
If you’re travelling with kids, visit the Dinosaur Caves Park, which sits perched atop a rugged bluff just outside Pismo Beach. You’ll find sweeping ocean views and picturesque walking trails, as well as a children’s playground with huge dinosaur eggs.
History enthusiasts can visit the 1930s English Tudor mansion of Chapman Estate, which features an iconic stone lighthouse. Admire the historic windmill that was once used to pump water into the swimming pool, as well as the fish-filled Koi Pond and Chinese-inspired “Pavilion of 1000 Moons”.
Follow one of the nature trails through the wetlands of Chumash Park to find beautiful wildflowers igniting the landscape during the spring months. The park also features two playgrounds and a basketball court, as well as tables and barbecues where you can enjoy a picnic lunch.
San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is located 20 minutes’ drive north of Pismo Beach, which is under four hours’ drive from Los Angeles. A free trolley runs between Pismo Beach and Port San Luis on weekends and during holiday periods, with regular buses also servicing the area.
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