Fun Things to Do in Pismo Beach
Staying at Pismo Lighthouse Suites makes it easy to discover the best of California’s Central Coast. From oceanfront paradise to rolling vineyards, San Luis Obispo County is one of the most beautiful regions in the country, and there’s no shortage of things to do for you and your whole family.
Take a journey on California's longest highway, Highway 101, and discover the dozens of towns, parks, beaches and attractions beckoning you to exit. Let our “101 Reasons to Exit Highway 101 on the Central Coast” lead your way.
Download your complete guide to Discover 101 Reasons to Exit Highway 101 with Martin Resorts today!
As you explore, we hope you'll also share your adventures by tagging your photos with #CentralCoasting when you post to your public profile on Instagram. You'll instantly become part of our Central Coasting community and will be eligible to win prizes. Visit centralcoasting.net for contest rules and more information.
Learn About Our Hotel Near Pismo Preserve and Discover the Great Outdoors
Located just minutes away from Pismo Lighthouse Suites lies a 900-acre private ranch set atop Pismo Beach that is in the process of being transformed into a public preserve for outdoor recreation by The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo. Opening to the public in fall 2015, Pismo Preserve will provide world-class opportunities for community enjoyment, after the creation of over ten miles of new recreation trails but until then, the Preserve is closed to the public. Limited access is allowed only during volunteer work days. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, contact volunteer@LCSLO.org or call (805) 544-9096.
As one of many ambitious projects The Land Conservancy aims to complete over the next year, our hotel near Pismo Preserve offers unmatched access to premier hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Discover the scenic beauty of Pismo Beach and the Pismo Preserve to enjoy a truly unique habitat for wildlife and plans that provides our guests with their very own oasis for relaxation and rejuvenation. After a day full of exploring what our local area has to offer including great recreation, shopping, dining and nightlife, enjoy a peaceful retreat to our comfortable guestrooms where you will discover a plethora of modern amenities.
To learn more about the Pismo Preserve, visit LCSLO.org/pismopreserve.
Central Coast Local Attractions
Whether you plan to spend your day wandering the beach, exploring tide pools and caves by kayak, hiking and biking popular San Luis Obispo County trails, playing golf, visiting wineries, touring nearby Hearst Castle or shopping at boutiques and antique stores, a wealth of activities and fun things to do in Pismo Beach await you during your vacation to California's Central Coast.
Visitors to Pismo Beach will enjoy beautiful weather year-round, over 23 miles of sandy beaches and the classic California charm of Pismo Beach. Other popular Central Coast attractions and things to do include:
Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument: The renowned Central Coast landmark of Hearst Castle is just a scenic 45 mile drive from Pismo Beach. Former home of publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, the castle is an area must see given its vast collection of European artwork, architectural magnificence, incredible pools and gardens and a unique glimpse into the lifestyle of one of American's leading publishing greats. Five distinct tours are available.
Take your appreciation of Hearst Castle even further by viewing the National Geographic Theater's film "Hearst Castle - Building the Dream." Showing on their larger-than-life iWERKS theater screen, this documentary takes you into the history and construction of Hearst Castle like you've never seen. The National Geographic Theater is located in the Hearst Castle Visitor Center. Visit the theater website for more information.
Tour reservations are strongly recommended to enjoy this historic California attraction. Call 1-800-444-4445 to reserve your tour. Please visit the Hearst Castle Website.
Ride the sand highway! Just 3 miles from the Pismo Lighthouse Suites, visit one of California's most popular state parks at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. This 3,600 acre off road area includes 5.5 miles of beach open for vehicle use and 1,500 acres of sand dunes available for off road motor vehicle recreation. The Oceano Dunes is the only California State Park where vehicles may be driven on the beach.
Passenger cars can easily drive on the northern portion of the beach. Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended for driving to the camping and off highway vehicle use areas in the park. Activities available at or near the Oceano Dunes include ATV rentals, beach Hummer excursions, Dune buggy rentals, bi-plane aerial tour or coastal horseback riding.
With many courses located 5-40 miles from the Pismo Lighthouse Suites, the choice for championship golf is yours. Below is a list of popular golf courses nearby.
To see a more comprehensive list of golf courses in San Luis Obispo County, please visit the Central Coast Golf Trail Website.Here are a few San Luis Obispo County golf courses that we recommend.
Avila Beach Golf Resort
Located in Avila Beach, about 5 miles from the Pismo Lighthouse Suites, the Avila Beach Golf Resort features a challenging course set beside the ocean. Serene tidal estuaries, oak-lined valleys and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean provide the backdrop for this championship course.
Blacklake Golf Resort
A short drive to Nipomo, just south of the Pismo Lighthouse Suites, brings you to this beautifully manicured course nestled in more than 421 acres of beautiful natural surroundings. Among Eucalyptus groves and natural water features, Blacklake features three distinct nines, Canyon, Lakes and Oaks that test the skills of every golfer.
Cypress Ridge Golf Course
This Peter Jacobsen Signature Course is as challenging as it is beautiful. Mature cypress trees, lush green fairways and cool fresh ocean air makes it a golfers' paradise. The Cypress Ridge Golf Course is just a short drive South of the Pismo Lighthouse Suites in Arroyo Grande.
Monarch Dunes is an award winning golf course located in Nipomo, just south of the Pismo Lighthouse Suites. Monarch Dunes features both the award-winning championship "Old Course" as well as the newly opened 12-hole “Challenge Course”, both designed by Damian Pascuzzo & Steve Pate. Surrounded by windswept dunes, eucalyptus trees, coastal vistas and amber-colored hillsides, Monarch Dunes Golf Club is reminiscent of the true links-style courses found in Scotland and a "must-play" for those who seek a challenging, yet amiable, unspoiled golf adventure.
If you're ready to discover the Central Coast's wine and waves firsthand then the Pismo Lighthouse Suites is the perfect wine country hotel for you. The Central Coast produces first-class wines out of several main regions including Paso Robles, Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo/Edna Valley and Avila Beach. The Pismo Lighthouse Suites is just minutes from dozens of wineries and tasting rooms including Morovino Winery, Alapay Cellars, Salisbury Vineyards, Laetitia Winery, Edna Valley Vineyard, Tolosa Winery and the Tastes of the Valleys wine bar in downtown Pismo Beach.
Avila Beach Community Park and Marine Institute in Avila Beach
San Luis Obispo Children's Museum
The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville in Oceano
Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero
Avila Valley Barn in Avila Beach open seasonally
Powell's Sweet Shoppe in San Luis Obispo
Get even more ideas by visiting Trip Buzz List of 74 Things to do with Kids
Monarch Butterfly Grove
Each winter, from October through February, thousands of migratory monarch butterflies arrive in Pismo Beach and gather in the Monterey Pines and Eucalyptus trees. Located just a few miles away from the Pismo Lighthouse Suites, off Highway 1, the butterfly grove is open seasonally and not to be missed!
Approximately 50 miles North of Pismo Beach, take a scenic drive up Highway 1 and enjoy the natural surroundings of Ragged Point. On your way, stop by the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, located just North of San Simeon, and see these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
Kayaking, Bicycling, Hiking and More...
The Central Coast is a cornucopia of outdoors activities. All kinds of adventures, from surfing or kayaking along the coast to bicycling quiet country roads, await you.
Visit nearby Avila Beach and discover the Bob Jones City to Sea Bikeway that meanders around the San Luis Creek, wooded areas and the Avila Beach Golf Resort. A complete listing of local biking trails.
Central Coast Outdoors at 888-873-5610 offers numerous day trips in the area including biking and kayaking explorations.
The Pismo Lighthouse Suites is surrounded by many dining options, all within close proximity of the hotel. Whether you're looking for a romantic oceanfront setting, casual dining, delicious seafood, a great burger or just a great place to enjoy cocktails while admiring the beautiful sunsets, the Central Coast offers great choices for every appetite.
F. McLintocks Saloon & Dining House
750 Mattie Rd., Pismo Beach
Saloon and Dining House offers the best in authentic ranch-style cooking and atmosphere teamed up with high-spirited service and genuine western hospitality. Known for legendary oak-pit barbecued steaks, ribs and fresh seafood.
Giuseppe's Cucina Italiana
891 Price St., Pismo Beach
Old Juan's Cantina
649 Pier Ave., Oceano
Enjoy a fun and casual atmosphere and great Mexican food just a few miles south of Pismo Beach.
197 Pomeroy Ave., Pismo Beach
Splash Café has been a favorite destination in Pismo Beach since 1989. Famous for its award winning clam chowder, they also specialize in many other fresh seafood entrees and it's a can't miss during your stay in Pismo Beach!
Steamers of Pismo
1601 Price St., Pismo Beach
Specializing in California coastal cuisine, Steamers features seafood, pasta, fresh salads and steaks and is set atop the bluffs of Pismo Beach. The restaurant offers a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and offers lunch and dinner daily.
2575 Price St., Pismo Beach
Ventana Grill's modern cuisine is inspired by fresh flavors of California cuisine and the coastal countries to its south. The resulting fare captures the true spirit of California coastal fusion. Fresh ingredients, many of them locally sourced, combined with regional flavors to create dishes with nuance and depth. Bright colors, vivid flavors, and textures blend seamlessly to deliver cuisine that is delectably inventive.