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Beaches bike helmet

Beaches

Watch the video to see the wide range of ocean activities San Luis Obispo has to offer.

Swimming, surfing, sandcastles, walking hand-in-hand – what’s better than a day at the shore? San Luis Obispo is central to several fabulous beaches. Don’t miss laid-back Cayucos, or for families and surfers, try Pismo Beach or The Strand in Morro Bay. For family fun, stroll along the tide pools at Shell Beach to spot starfish, crabs, sea slugs and more. And don’t miss secluded Avila Beach for a stunning sunset finale to your day.

Download a printable version of the beach list.

Montaña De Oro Massive dunes, caves, bluffs, rocky coastline and magnificent coastal mountains. Many beaches, campsites, trails and horse trails.
Directions: From 101, take Los Osos Valley Road and stay on it until you reach Montaña De Oro State Park. Trails and beaches are along the road.


Avila Beach Family and dog friendly beach. Piers, local seafood restaurants, ice-cream stands.
Directions: From 101 take Avila Beach Drive exit and follow it until you reach the town of Avila, past San Luis Bay Golf Club. Turn left on 2nd St.


Guadalupe Dunes Stunning massive dunes, environmentally sensitive area, no dogs allowed.
Directions: Take Highway 1 South, past Pismo. In Guadalupe turn left on Main St until you reach the beach. Close by is also the Oso Flaco Natural Area, a wetland with boardwalk.


Point Sal Remote due to the lack of motorized access and proximity to military base. A 2m hike over the mountains, gives the visitor a breathtaking view onto the Pacific and beaches.
Directions: Take Highway 1 South, past Pismo and Guadalupe. 1m outside Guadalupe turn left on Brown Rd until the end. Follow trail over mountains to beach (2m moderate to strenuous).


San Simeon Wetlands, beach, camping in close proximity to Hearst Castle, 40m north of San Luis Obispo.
Directions: Take Highway 1 north, past Morro Bay and Cambria until you reach San Simeon State Park.


Oceano Dunes Family friendly. Extremely busy beach with camping and OHV (Off Highway Vehicles) Recreation.
Directions: Follow Highway 1 to Grover Beach. Turn west on Grand Ave.


Morro Bay Family friendly. Surfing. Close to Morro Bay Rock and Morro Bay Harbor and Marina.
Directions: Follow Highway 1 to Morro Bay. Turn off on Highway 41 exit and head west on Atascadero Road.


Pismo Pier surf

Surfing

The coast near San Luis Obispo has a wide variety of surf spots for all skill levels. The most easily accessible beaches from San Luis Obispo are between Pismo Beach and San Simeon. To ensure good surf conditions, surfers should take into account details such as wind conditions and tides when selecting a surf spot. Generally, the mornings are the best time to surf, prior to the wind kicking in by mid-day, especially during the spring time. The water temperature typically oscillates between 52-59 degrees, so you should be prepared to wear a 3/2 or 4/3 millimeter wetsuit all year round.

Surf Shops

The central coast has some of California’s finest surf shops. Many of them are well known within the industry and have a global reach. Any of these retail stores listed below is worth visiting and will no doubt be able to take care of any of your action sports needs.

Click the links below to find more info and location:

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