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California Central Coast - Visitors Guide - Things to Do

Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Shell Beach, Grover Beach, Oceano

Experience the California Central Coast
Try It, Live It, Love it - Facts and Fun Things to Do

Planning a Visit the Central Coast? Use the Rental Search Box above to Find the Right Rental for You.
San Luis Obispo County, California, Central Coast - Miles of Beaches, Countryside, Charming Towns, Artistic Villages
Visitors Guide - Tour - California Central Coast

Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Central Coast - Weather, Climate and Temperatures

Warm, Mediterranean Climate
Sunny, Dry, Mild Temperatures Year Round on Average
Average High in Feb. is 68.5 degrees
Average High in July is 73.2 degrees
California Central Coast Activities

Please click to visit our Travel Blog and our Events Blog for more about the area and activities. You may also enjoy our local area photo albums with photos by CVR too.

Avila Beach, Pismo Beach and Nearby Area - Things To Do

Water Activities - Swimming, Surfing, Kitesurfing, Skimboarding, Bodyboarding, Body Surfing, Kayaking, Jet Ski/Wave Runner Riding, Boating, Fishing, Boat Charters at Port San Luis, Beachcombing, Boat Launch areas
Outdoor Activities - Hiking, Biking, BBQ's, Tennis, Golf, Beach Volleyball, Sunbathing, Beach Picnics
The Arts - Beach Front Art Shows, Live Music at the Beach and Outdoor Concerts, Festivals, Farmers Markets, Theaters in nearby towns
Other Activities - Hot Mineral Spas, Hot Tubs, Public Swimming Pools Nearby, Local Central Coast Aquarium, Lighthouse Tours, Nightlife, Restaurants and Cafe's, Lake Lopez
Festivals Throughout the Year - "Wine, Waves and Beyond," Amgen Tour, Tequila Festival, Blues Festival, Chardonnary Symposium, Central Coast Oyster Festival, Pismo Clam Festival, Billabong Surf Festival, Volleyball Clinics, Art in the Park at Dinosaur Caves, Monarch Butterfly Preserve Opening Day, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and more.
Nearby Activities - Oceano Dunes, Drive Vehicles and ATVs on the Beach, Horsebackriding on the Beach, Monarch Butterfly Preserve Talks, Spas, Swimming Pools, Picnics and More.
Daytrips - Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Vineyards and Wineries Throughout the Area, Cambria in the Pines, Morro Bay, Los Osos, Cayucas, Atascadero, Paso Robles, Lake Naciemiento, Lake Lopez, Santa Ynez, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta, Carpenteria.
Avila Beach Guide - Frequently Asked Questions

If you don't see the answers you need please give us a call.

Please take a moment if you are new to the area and enjoy watching the Avila Beach Ca Beachfront and Village Scenes Video by CVR.

Q. Avila Volleyball. Where are the volleyball courts?

A. North of the Avila Beach Pier on the sand.

Q. Avila Playground. Where is the kid's playground?

A. About a block north of the Avila Pier, next to the beach, also next to the Central Coast Aquarium.

There is also a great kids' playground in Shell Beach called Dinosaur Caves Park overlooking the ocean. It has giant dinosaur eggs and other imaginative playground amenities.

It is great for adults too with a view from on top of the bluffs of miles of Pismo State Beach.

Q. Swimming Pools. Where are the swimming pools and hot mineral spas?

A. After you leave highway 101 and start driving the short semi-rural road to Avila Beach you will see Avila Hot Springs and Sycamore Springs. Avila Hot Springs also has a large, heated, outdoor, freshwater swimming pool.


Pismo Beach Guide - Frequently Asked Questions

Please click the link to watch the Pismo Beach, California Views, Surfing, Swimming and Beachcombing Video by CVR.

Newcomers to the area please enjoy watching the Pismo Beach Ca Tour Video by CVR.

Q. Volleyball. Where are the volleyball courts at Pismo Beach?

A. They are located a short way north of the Pismo Pier on the sand.

Q. Pool Hall. Where is the Family Pool Hall in Pismo Beach?

A. It is across from the Bowling Alley about two blocks from the Pismo Pier on Price Street.

Q. Pismo Beach Playground. Where is the kids' playground?

A. It is in front of the Sea Venture, south of the Pismo Pier. About a mile north of Pismo next to the ocean there is another playground called Dinosaur Caves Park. It is a great place for kids and adults too. There are paths, views of the miles of coastline and creative landscaping.

Q. Golf. Where is the Pismo Beach Golf Course?

A. It is about a mile south of the Pismo Pier next to the beach and the Grover Beach entrance to the beach.

Q. Butterfly Preserve. Where is the Monarch Butterfly Preserve and Trails?

A. About a mile south of the Pismo Pier, right before you get to the Pismo Golf Course.

Q. Swimming Pool, Spa. Where is the swimming pool and whirlpool spa in Pismo Beach.

A. It is in the Pismo Beach Health Club across from the Kon Tiki Inn and Steamers Restaurant. Club use is open to the public for a fee.

Mobil App for Activities. Please also download the Coastal Vacation Rentals Mobile App from the website homepage. It provides guides for activities, entertainment, restaurants, music and a fast rental search

Custom CVR Area Videos. To view the CVR custom videos of the area please click the Youtube icon at the bottom of the homepage.

Local Photos, Activities and Announcements. Please use the social media icons at the bottom of the homepage to see more photos and activities. Visit CVR on Google+, Facebook and Twitter to keep updated for news, festivals and events.


California Central Coast Offers Variety

The California Central Coast is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. From Avila Beach and Pismo Beach it is about 200 miles to either city.

The geography of the area is semi-rural, rolling hills and mountains with valleys. The mostly undeveloped nature of the county and the beautiful beaches make it a popular vacation getaway.

San Luis Obispo is the center of the county. Most of the area consists of countryside with small villages, farms, ranches and vineyards.

Shopping and restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining are plentiful.

Theater, live music, art galleries and activities related to the university and college provide a variety of entertainment.

Fresh vegetables and fruit are available from local agriculture and can be purchased at roadside stands, Farmers Markets and other local venues.


Avila Beach Features Sheltered Bay, Boats, Drive on Wharf and Artistic Village

Avila Beach has an artistic, handcrafted, unique quality to much of the ocean front area with its sculptures and ceramic inlay on the beach walk.

It is located in a sheltered bay and features several long piers for strolling and fishing. The Port San Luis Harbor is adjacent to the village of Avila Beach.

The harbor and port feature boats anchored on buoys, a boat launch, the drive-on wharf, and boat charters. Marine life such as pelicans and sea lions on the wharf are seen there.

With the wide expanse of bay and the foothills rolling down to the sea the bay and port area scenery is highly acclaimed.

The Avila Beach area near the Avila Pier has volleyball on the sand, a children's playground, the Central Coast Aquarium, BBQ's and picnic tables, handcrafted art, sculptures and unique architecture.

Also in the Avila Beach area are the hot mineral water spas and hot tubs. Apple and other fruit orchards and farms provide fresh fruits and vegetables available at local roadside stands.


Pismo Beach, the Classic California Beach Town

Pismo Beach has the nickname “Classic California” and with its surfing contests and vintage, classic car shows has its own personality.

Surfers on the waves next to the pier, beach area surfboard rentals and wetsuit rentals, and volleyball.

The long, wide Pismo Pier is used for strolling, fishing, watching sunsets, enjoying the view and watching sunsets. The town has many casual and fine dining venues.

Live music, Farmers Markets, surf contests, classic car shows, bowling, the Monarch Butterfly Preserve, and walking the miles of beach offer activities throughout the week.

The Pismo State Beach and Oceano Dunes offer miles of sand and dunes for exploring. The wide, long beach curves along the coast with the dunes stretching for large distances inland in some areas.

At the Grover Beach onramp and Oceano onramp vehicles can drive out onto the beach. ATVs are used in parts of the beach and dune areas.


The Five Cities Area - 5 Small Towns Along the Coast

The term "Five Cities" refers to the five small towns situated along the coastal area. Starting at the north and going south these include Avila Beach, Shell Beach, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach and Oceano.

Other nearby towns include Arroyo Grande and Nipomo.


Shell Beach, Charming Village With Cliff and Beach Views

About a mile north of Pismo Beach is another unique village called Shell Beach.

The "Dinosaur Caves Park" is a wide expanse of parkland at the top of the cliffs and bluffs right on the ocean.

From there the view shows miles of Pismo State Beach and Dunes stretching in a curve to the south.

The Dinosaur Caves Park in Shell Beach has a kids playground with giant dinosaur eggs and other dinosaur themed recreation.

Adults like it too. There are paths to stroll along the bluffs, benches for resting and enjoying the view, Art in Park events and music events.


Grover Beach, Located on Pismo State Beach, Adjacent to the Town of Pismo Beach

Adjacent to the town of Pismo Beach is another small village called Grover Beach.

The Pismo Beach Golf Course is actually just in front of Grover Beach, right next to the sand.

Next to the golf course is the Monarch Butterfly Preserve. Thousands of butterflies migrate there each fall for the winter. Docents provide talks and there are telescopes to watch the butterflies as they cluster in the trees.

The beachfront features a drive on ramp going to the south for cars on the wide beach.

To the north there is a system of paths and boardwalks that sometimes rise above the dunes and leads all the way to the Pismo Pier.


Oceano, Drive on the Beach, Explore the Dunes

The Ocean Dunes stretch for miles and often reach far inland.

In Oceano you can drive a car or RV out onto the beach at the onramp.

There are special places set aside for ATV use.

Trailriding through the dunes and on the beach is available by renting a horse at the local stable.

The Oceano Melodrama offers a wide variety of family oriented fun entertainment.


Pismo Beach Area Day Trips Explore the Central Coast

Driving to the north are other scenic and interesting roads and towns. Morro Bay, Baywood Park, Los Osos, Cayucas, Cambria and San Simeon all offer views of coast, foothills, mountains, cliffs and the local villages.

Inland the towns of Atascadero and Paso Robles offer a rural area with vineyards and wineries, farms and ranches.

In San Simeon the famous Hearst Castle has tours daily. Farther north of San Simeon is the beginning of the Big Sur coastal wilderness area.


San Luis Obispo, Nationally Acclaimed for Lifestyle

San Luis Obispo, nearby, has Spanish and Victorian influences in its architecture.

It is situated in a scenic position at the base of the mountains and mostly surrounded by foothills, rolling farmland, ranchland and vineyards.

All of these towns have been nationally recognized for their special qualities.

Both Avila Beach and Pismo Beach are Top Ten Small Beach Towns in the U.S. in multiple voters choices.

San Luis Obispo is also nationally recognized for its healthy lifestyle, university and unique qualities.


Local University and Junior College Offer Resources, Activities, Adult Classes

California State Polytechnic University is located in San Luis Obispo. Cuesta Junior College is also located just outside town.

Having these educational facilities nearby provides access to many activities. There are many credit and noncredit adult education classes and groups.

Many people attend classes for fun in addition to career purposes, ongoing personal growth and pleasure.

There are many opportunities for social interaction with groups for so many special interest niches that there is something for everyone.


San Luis Obispo County, Semi-Rural, Offers Variety

San Luis Obispo County has attracted a wide variety of people with occupations ranging from technology, business, agriculture, tourism, education, and innovative industries to arts and humanities, entertainment and sports.

The area features an enriched environment for a variety of both learning and fun activities.

With the mild year round climate, there are many outdoor sports enthusiasts. The area is nationally recognized for its high ranking healthy lifestyle.

Staying active outdoors year round, enjoying a wide variety of group social activities and enjoying the variety of both the coast and countryside provides a unique lifestyle.


Medical Resources in San Luis Obispo County

Medical Care is available from multiple hospitals and facilities. In nearby San Luis Obispo there is the French Hospital Medical Center and Cardiac Care Unit and the Sierra Vista Regional Hospital.

The Arroyo Grande Hospital is adjacent to the Five Cities, Pismo Beach area and farther south is the Marian Regional Medical Center of Santa Maria.

To the north is the Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton.

San Luis Obispo County Airports

Two commercial airlines, general aviation and corporate facilities are available at the San Luis Obispo Regional Airport.

To the north there is also the Paso Robles Municipal Airport.

In the southern part of the county is the Oceano Airport.


Newspapers in San Luis Obispo County

Local newspapers include The Tribune and New Times in San Luis Obispo, the Times-Press-Recorder, the Cambrian weekly newspaper and the Paso Robles Press.

The Mustang Daily is the newspaper for the California State University in San Luis Obispo.

The Santa Maria Times and the Santa Maria Sun are for the town in the northern part of Santa Barbara County.