Visiting Pismo State Beach, Oceana Dunes

Our second stop on our California Coastal Vacay was Pismo State Beach, Oceana Dunes! We stayed at the Oceana campground which is about a mile inland from the beach. There are some beach trails to walk but we drove over to the ocean since you can drive right on the sand at Pismo Beach. The sand dunes are a must see on the coast of California. Currently there are areas where you can drive in the dunes. 

Pismo Beach Sand Dunes

The Oceano Dunes are open from 7 AM to one hour past sunset for vehicle day use.  Day use passes are sold on a first come first serve basis at the beach entry kiosks at Grand Avenue and Pier Avenue for $5 per vehicle or you can use the CA explorer pass. There is camping right on the beach or in campgrounds nearby. We really enjoyed the Oceana Dunes campground. Be sure to bring a flag for your vehicle on the dunes or you can buy one at the liquor store near the entrance. 

The kids and Ellie loved the sand dunes. We used to go to Gordon’s Well when Ellie was little and she just loved rolling around in the sand again. 

I love that you can drive right up to the beach, park and enjoy the ocean. 

Pismo Beach Eats

Pismo Beach has a lot of fun surf and souvenir shops to browse through. We heard through several places that we had to try the seafood while in town. We ate lunch at Splash Cafe and had delicious clam chowder, clam steamers, fish & chips and a shrimp po-boy. Everyone enjoyed their food. The steamers were my favorite. You have to try Old West Cinnamon Rolls if you visit Pismo. Their shop is right on the corner of town near the paid parking lot. Try the original with cream cheese frosting or maple bacon! Pro-tip from my friend Anna – order the frosting on the side if you are ordering to-go.

Play At Pismo Beach

The kids loved the playground at Pismo Beach. There are really cute whale and sea life structures turned into playgrounds in the area. Our favorite park was right by the pier. There are really tall slides that dip you right onto the beach. The kids also loved when grandma got them a worm lollipop from Hotlix. We parked on Price street then enjoyed all the shops and lunch along Pomeroy Avenue. 

On our last day, we went back to the beach before heading to our next campground. We towed our trailer right out on the sand and even rode our bikes out there for a bit. 

We loved camping at Pismo Beach Oceana Dunes campground. It was right on the lagoon and had lots of trees. Watch out for poison oak. We did enjoy a few walks along the lagoon and the kids even spotted a beaver. We were wondering what was making such a strange noise in the evening time. We had a few BBQ’s and got to spend time with family while we were in the area. We really enjoyed visiting Pismo Beach and will head back there again! 


I love sharing about family, food and fun in and around San Diego! Enjoy, Bri

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