We arrived in Pismo Beach Sunday evening, after spending the day climbing at Lizard’s Mouth and wandering around Solvang. Our first stop (after a good night’s sleep at Planet Fitness) was Dinosaur Caves Park, a long green space full of flowers, benches, and gazebos. A little path winds through the park along the tops of rocky cliff-sides. Big waves crash onto pebbly coves below.

As we walked along this park and through the surrounding neighborhoods I found so many small things that I loved about the town. The wooden posts marking the sidewalk from the street had beautiful succulents and flowers planted in them. In the neighborhoods, people kept their front doors open and kids ran and played together in their front yards. The locals that we walked by all smiled and said hello. It’s a beautiful and welcoming town.

After our walk, we headed into town for delicious garlic fries and burgers at Old Village Grill (thanks for the recommendation, Courtney!). After our burgers, we walked down the street to Doc Burnstein’s for huge ice cream cones (another of Courtney’s recommendations).

After of our big meal, we headed over to Avila Beach, a big long stretch of a beach full of families. I read my book for a while on the beach while Choi took a nap in the van. Rested up, we walked along the beach for a bit and then drove over to a spot Christina and Jeremiah had told us about.

We parked the van up high on a cliff top and walked along a cliff to an archway with an incredible view of the ocean and a beach below called Pirate’s Cove. On our walk back to the van, I noticed a small trail leading away from the road and decided we needed to investigate. The trail took us through tall flowers and grass down to a ledge overlooking a small cove. After sitting there a few minutes enjoying the view, a couple popped over some rocks and told us that the coolest part, “Thunder Cave” was just around the corner. We took their advice and found a small cave with waves crashing loudly just below. The sound of the waves booming off the cave walls sounded just like loud claps of thunder. It was incredible!

The rest of the week was much more relaxed than our first jam-packed day. We returned to Dinosaur Caves Park to work each day. We hiked at Pismo Preserve, a park full of little trails and wide open views of the ocean and tons of highlighter-yellow wildflowers. We took walks along beaches and discovered creatures like hermit crabs, sea snails, and anemones in tide pools on the beach.

One evening, we drove to downtown San Luis Obispo to meet one of my coworkers and his wife, Jon and Laura. They took us to a BBQ restaurant and we got delicious trip-tip sandwiches (kind of like a juicier brisket), which we’ve seen all over menus in California but hadn’t tried yet. We then wandered through the farmer’s market, stocking up on local fruits and veggies. We even got peaches and apricots from Jon’s grandfather’s farm! Our few days in Pismo beach were over too soon and we hope to come back some day!

Pismo Beach, we love your pebbly, full-of-life beaches, your flowers and succulents, and your friendly locals. Along We Go!

Categories: Travels


Meredith Davis · June 4, 2021 at 4:25 pm

I’m sold, can’t wait to visit Pismo Beach someday and explore!!

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