Pismo Beach Pier, Playground, and Promenade

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San Luis Obispo, CA
Pismo Beach Pier, Playground, and Promenade
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Pismo Beach Pier is a gorgeous spot with everything you could need for a fun outing. There is a wide open plaza at the foot of the pier with modern, wavy paving. At the plaza, on the water, is a new, attractive playground with a whale breeching- so fun! A huge Pismo Beach sign in red makes for bright selfies, plus kids love to run in between the letters. The sign is lit up at night. The wide pier leads out to open ocean views. There are benches along the way where you can admire views of the shoreline with its green hills and pretty hotels. Surfers ride the many waves in to shore. If there is a fish feeding frenzy, birds circle above you and even whales come to feed! We saw eight whales breeching and blowing water up high in the air! It was exhilarating!
A wooden boardwalk leads in both directions. To the south, it takes you to an older playground with swings and a slide in the sand.
A block back from the pier are some cafes and touristy shops. Some have dowdy 1950s architecture, while others are newer. Hoagies has happy-looking seating outside. Splash Cafe is a trusty favorite with down home cooking. Esteem Surf Shop has coffee. Surfside Donuts, Pismo Yogurt, El Pizmo Fish Company, Scorpion Bay Coffee Co, Kraken Coffee (in a great spot facing the oceanfront plaza, open 7am-2pm), and Milk T Society Boba are some others to try. There are some shops and galleries: Pancho's Surf Shop, Pier Gifts, The Sky's The Limit Kite Shop, and Thomas Kinkade Gallery. You can rent bikes and surfboards at Pedal Up Bikes & Boards.
Seaventure has ocean views through the glass (which keeps you warm)- happy hour is Sun to Thurs 4-6pm.
Once a year, around January, there is a week-long World Surf League contest at Pismo Pier, which runs all day. It's wonderful to watch the surfers, from an amazing vantage point on the pier. The surfers are right there below you! The atmosphere full of excited people is fun!
The haziness of the area, which I assume is caused by all the sand particles from Oceano Dunes, causes bright pink sunsets, which you can watch from the pier.
There are beautiful, nature spots that you must check out while in this area! The absolute best is the Shell Beach Panoramic Walk- this is one of the most beautiful spots on earth, with the rock stacks on one side and the waves rolling into Pismo Beach on the other! To get there, you park at a fantastic playground, Dinosaur Caves Park, with dinosaur eggs to hide in and whales and dolphins to climb.
Also lovely is the Monarch Butterfly Preserve- the butterflies come from November to February, and the sand dunes are pretty. If you need a sheltered playground for your kids, Chumash Park has two large playgrounds, one for toddlers and the other very high up and for big kids.

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The wavy ground in the plaza is lovely!

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The playground is inspiring!

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View of the beach and lifeguard shack from the pier.

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Waves rolling in to shore.

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Kinkade Gallery, a block back from the pier.

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Hoagies has nice outdoor seating along the road.

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Looking at the coastline from the pier. Birds going wild on a feeding frenzy.

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People watching whales from the pier.

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Benches along the pier, and hills in the background.

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Bench with beautiful views.

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The hills and cliffs.

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A photographer taking photos of whales.

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The pretty hotels and palm trees along the beach.

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Families and friends walk along the pier.

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A couple watches the whales.

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Nice sand at the beach, as seen from the promenade.

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The dunes, as seen from the promenade.

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The red Pismo Beach selfie sign- kids like to run in between the letters.

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The plaza at the base of the pier.

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Wooden promenade above the sand.

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The older playground in the sand- swings and a twisty slide.

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Dunes at the southern end of the promenade.

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Bike riding along the promenade.

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Pedal Up Bike, where you can rent bikes.

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Inn at the Pier is attractive.

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Whale and bird!

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A whale breeching, on a sunny September day.

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Whale puffing out mist.

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Whales and birds galore!

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A whale and its spray catching the light.

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Surfer in the SLO Cal surf contest.

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It's fun to watch the surfers up close in the SLO Cal Surf Contest in January.

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A surfer does a trick during the SLO Cal Surf Contest.

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Winner of his heat, during the SLO Cal Surf Contest.

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A surfer carving through a wave, during the SLO Cal Surf Contest.

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Riding a wave during the SLO Cal Surf Contest.

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Beautiful January day in the surf.

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A surfer in the glistening water at the SLO Cal Surf Contest.

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The amazing colors you see from the pier. Mountains, sea, and cliffs, in January.

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Girls watching the waves during a surf contest.

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Little girls walking hand in hand on the pier during a surf contest.

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A surfer rides a wave during the SLO Cal Surf Contest.

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A female surfer showing off some moves during the SLO Cal Surf Contest.

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It's amazing how close the surfers come to the pier.

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After a heat at the SLO Cal Surf Contest.

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Directions

Pismo Beach Pier is located at 601 Cypress Street, Pismo Beach, CA. 
You can park for free along Cypress Street. There is also a huge parking lot at the base of the pier where you can pay at the machines.

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Last Updated: Wed, 24 Jan 2024 03:48:23 GMT

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