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5 Best Beaches Near San Luis Obispo, CA

Jon Fesmire | August 12, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

San Luis Obispo is a gorgeous California city with some outstanding places to visit. These include Hearst Castle, Point San Luis Lighthouse, Dallidet Adobe and Gardens, Old San Simeon, and Mission San Luis Obispo.

We hope you’ll visit all those sites, but we encourage you to check out our county beaches where you can enjoy swimming, bird watching, leisurely walks, amazing views, and more. 

Here are five of our favorites.


Pismo State Beach

Looking for a large beach with plenty to do? Then visit Pismo State Beach. People come here to go fishing, swimming, surfing, bird watching, hiking, and even camping. Yes, the state park area has camping and is home to Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. From November to February every year, the monarch butterflies come here on their migrational path and cover the trees in color.

Parking is affordable, too, at $5 for the entire day. So consider getting here early and staying until dark. Just slather on that sunscreen. If you’re looking for more information about the area, stop at the Oceano Dunes Visitor Center.

If you’re camping, you’ll stay in North Beach Campground or Oceano Campground. Want to have a bonfire on the beach? Small ones are all right, no larger than three feet in diameter. You can burn natural wood. Avoid treated wood or anything potentially toxic, and put out the fire completely with water before you leave. Keep the site exposed so no one accidentally steps in it.

Dogs are welcome here, too. You can walk them on the trails and the beach, but they must be on a leash six feet long or shorter. However, they are disallowed on Pismo Dune Preserve and Oso Flaco Lake.


Moonstone Beach

In Cambria, you’ll find Moonstone Beach at 6216 Moonstone Beach Drive, which is parallel to Highway 1. It’s easy to find parking along Moonstone Beach Drive if you get here early.

The Moonstone Beach Boardwalk is just before the sand and follows the beach for one mile from Santa Rosa Creek to Leffingwell Landing. People come here to enjoy beachcombing, to find seashells, to swim, or to simply walk along the sand. The ocean here is clear and shimmering, and you get a great view of nearby rocky bluffs.


Fisherman’s Beach

Right here in San Luis Obispo, you’ll find Fisherman’s Beach, the last beach on Avila Beach Drive. Your dogs are allowed here, and not just on a leash. That’s right, they can prance and run off the leash. Your pooches just might enjoy frolicking in the water as the waves crash on the shore. Just make sure they don’t get too far away.

People come here to enjoy the waves and surf or swim, too. The sand is light and beautiful, the views of the coastline, the ocean-front homes, and the ocean itself, stunning. You can camp here at the RV camping areas, and you’ll find parking near those sites or Harford Pier.


Morro Strand State Beach

Morro Strand State Beach is In Morro Bay along Highway 1. Yes, you can reach several of these beaches along our coastal highway. The view of Morro Rock is perfect. This is a huge rock, a hill that juts out of the ocean nearby.

This is a wonderful beach for fishing and sunbathing. There’s camping here, too. There are hookup and non-hookup sites for RVs, and each site has a two-vehicle maximum, including trailers. You’ll find the best parking near Yerba Buena Street and along Azure Street.


Pirate’s Cove Beach

With a name like Pirate’s Cove Beach, you know this San Luis Obispo location, along Cave Landing Road, must be a fun place.

It’s near the bluffs, which certainly fits the name, and has a hidden feel. The beach is clothing optional, so keep in mind it’s for adults, but if you relish the idea of swimming au naturel and catching some rays all over (but carefully, please wear sunscreen and don’t overdo it), then this is the beach for you.

Pirate’s Cove also has trails to follow, and you can walk to Shell Beach from here.

If you need a place to store your surfboards, beach gear, or RV, then visit us at Derrel’s Mini Storage. We have dozens of locations and strive to meet and exceed your needs.

Jon Fesmire
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