Pismo State Beach

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This article is about the beach. For the city with the name Pismo Beach, see Pismo Beach, California. For the state park/dunes formerly known as Pismo Dunes, see Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.
Pismo State Beach
Location San Luis Obispo County, California
Nearest city Pismo Beach, California
Coordinates 35°6′37″N 120°37′53″W / 35.11028°N 120.63139°W / 35.11028; -120.63139Coordinates: 35°6′37″N 120°37′53″W / 35.11028°N 120.63139°W / 35.11028; -120.63139
Area 1,050 acres (4.2 km2)[1]
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

Pismo State Beach is a beach on the Pacific coast of California. It is approximately 17 miles long and fronts the towns of Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, and Oceano in San Luis Obispo County, California. It is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The area includes beach and dunes.

Recreational Uses[edit]

The beach offers many attractions such as camping, hiking, swimming, surfing, fishing, and is home to the famous Pismo clam. It is a popular place to bird watch and is the largest over-wintering colony of monarch butterflies in the U.S.[2]

Animal and Plant Life[edit]

The beach is home to several types of marine life, such as abalone, anemone, several types of sea bass, crabs, kelp, California moray, sea urchin, several varieties of sharks, as well as many other marine life. Several types of birds also live at the beach such as brown pelican, great blue heron, ivory gull, and several other species.

It has a large monarch butterfly population who winter over at the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. It is popular to view the monarch migration from October to February. Docents provide guided tours.

Pismo Beach Nature Center[edit]

The Pismo Beach Nature Center is located in Oceano Campground at Pismo State Beach. Operated by Central Coast State Parks Association, the Center features exhibits about the park's birds, animals, Monarch butterflies, plants, fresh water lagoon and Chumash culture. Nature education programs are offered for campers, schools and group organizations, and docents lead guided walks. There is also a nature-themed gift shop.

See also[edit]


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