||San Luis Obispo, CA|
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Oceano Dunes is a wild, rugged spot where sand blows everywhere and large dunes look down on a beach filled with rugged people preparing to enjoy their off-highway motorcycles, dune buggies, sand rails, and ATVs (allowed one mile south down the beach). So much sand is airborne that there is a hazy look to the area and the weather is so harsh that the buildings on Pier Ave look like they've come through the ringer!
Kids enjoy climbing the dunes just north of Pier Ave and playing I'm the King of the Castle! It's great exercise to chase each other, which feels especially good after a long car drive. From the top of the dunes you can see Pismo pier, the wide expansive beach, and a nature area with lovely Monterey cypress strands and plants of all hues. There are flowers that cling to the dunes.
The people in Oceano are tough- some were walking around in tank tops when it was so incredibly cold out on the beach! Many camp on the sand and make bonfires at night.
Check out nearby Oceano Playground, where your kids will have a blast climbing on the tropical-themed structure.
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From Highway 1 three miles south of Pismo, take Pier Ave toward the ocean. Park along the road or proceed straight ahead if you want to pay the ranger and drive onto the sand. Day Use parking fee is $5. It costs $10 to camp on the beach- reserve through the Reserve America website at least two days in advance.
An address to punch into your GPS: 311 Pier Ave, Oceano CA 93445 (This is Arnie's ATV rentals right by the ranger station).
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.