A CHILLAXING CAMPING TRIP AT PISMO STATE BEACH

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SUMMARY

TRIP · 3-day camping trip
FOR · Friends & first-time campers

VIBE · Easy & relaxing

COST · $$
DRIVE · 3.5 hours from LA

RESERVATION · Yes, book a site at North Beach Campground
IDEAL DATES · May - September
PETS · Welcome on beach & trails, but not in Pismo Dune Preserve & Oso Flaco Lake

WHY PISMO STATE BEACH?

Camp at Pismo SB, and stay for the clamming, fishing, surfing, sparkling sunsets & more. Pismo SB is neighbors with Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA), which is the only drivable beach in the country, but that's ending by 2024. The sand dunes will stay though, which is one of the SB's many natural gems. Another is that from November to February, one of the largest Western Monarch Butterfly populations flock to Pismo SB's Monarch Butterfly Grove. This park is butterfly & Bewilder approved.  
 

· Directions to Campground

· Official State Park Website

BOOK A BEACHSIDE CAMPSITE AT NORTH BEACH CAMPGROUND

Pismo State Beach has two campgrounds: North Beach & Oceano. They both have showers (token-operated), restrooms, drinking water & firewood available on site, but North Beach is closer to the beach whereas Oceano is about a quarter-mile walk to the ocean. Tent & RV campers are also welcome at North Beach, but only Oceano has hook-up RV sites. Camping at North Beach means you're only a mile away from downtown Pismo & if you visit between November - February you'll likely see Western Monarch Butterflies migrating to Pismo SB's Monarch Butterfly Grove. 

Check-in: After noon | Check-out: Before 2 PM

Quite hours: 10 PM - 6 AM

Nightly fee: $25


View Campground Map

CAMP

EACH CAMPSITE COMES WITH:

- A picnic table

- Fire ring

- Space for up to 8 people

- Two parking spots
- Trash collection (on site)

- Restrooms (on site)

- Showers (on site)

For more than 10,000 years, the Northern Chumash people lived along the coast & Pismo's sand dunes 

The name Pismo comes from the Chumash language word for tar, or pismu, which was gathered from tar springs near Pismo Beach​

STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW

🗑️

As of June 1, 2021, there's an extra $10 fee for using the dump station. You can pay by credit card. Help do your part to keep our parks clean :) 

🦋

The Pismo State Beach Monarch Grove is free to visitors & open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset.

🚗

Just visiting for the day? The fee is $5 a car

🔥

 

ITINERARY

DAY ONE
LEAVE LA & STOP BY TRADER JOE'S TO PICK UP FRESH GROCERIES

- TJ is a 10-minute drive from camp. There's a Vons in town too.

- Located at 955 Rancho Parkway in Arroyo Grande

- Open from 8 AM - 9 PM daily

- LAST PIT STOP · Chevron - 340 5 Cities Drive in Pismo Beach

CHECK-IN & SET UP CAMP AT NORTH BEACH CAMPGROUND

- Set up your tent & familiarize yourself with the campground

COOK UP AN EARLY DINNER

HEAD TO THE BEACH FOR SUNSET & S'MORES 

- Walk to the state beach area closest to camp. Bring your camp chairs, jacket, beach towel, s'mores ingredients, drinks, firewood & water for dousing the fire

- Find a spot for a beach campfire, get comfy & watch the sunset  
- Enjoy your first night at Pismo State Beach!

DAY TWO
MAKE BREKKIE, STROLL ALONG COASTAL ACCESS TRAIL & FIND A SPOT TO HANG OUT BY THE BEACH

- It's an easy, flat, about four mile round-trip hike from camp

- Bring everything you'll need to spend the morning chilling & relaxing by the beach: Towel, water, snacks, a jacket, sunscreen, swimsuit, sunglasses, a good book & sandals

- Part of the trail takes you along Highway One & by downtown, but Pismo Beach Pier is worth checking out


WALK TO & HAVE LUNCH AT ADA'S FISH HOUSE IN DOWNTOWN PISMO BEACH

- Diners love the seafood dishes at this family-owned restaurant

- Located at 558 Price Street in downtown Pismo Beach

- Open from 11:30 AM - 9 PM daily

HEAD BACK TO CAMP, TAKE A HOT SHOWER & COOK UP DINNER

- Savor your last evening at Pismo State Beach & spend the rest of the evening stargazing & swapping stories around the campfire

DAY THREE
PACK UP, CLEAN UP & CHECK OUT BY NOON

- Cook up brekkie & pick up any pieces of litter around camp

HEAD HOME!
 

GEAR

ESSENTIALS
CLOTHING
ACCESSORIES
 
DAY ONE

Dinner

CHICKEN PAD THAI

Dessert

S'MORES

FOOD

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LAST UPDATED: September 12, 2021

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