State Beach

Pismo Beach

The world famous Pismo Monarch Butterfly Grove attracts 100,000 annual visitors to watch tens of thousands of Monarch Butterflies overwinter in the trees surrounding the grove from November to March. Butterflies cluster together and fill the air on sunny winter days. It is truly a place of wonder and renewal.

Where is it?

Pismo State Beach is located in the small coastal town of Oceano, along Highway 1.


Special programs are available for campers, Road Scholar groups, scout groups, garden clubs, service clubs, senior citizens and other organizations. School program docents offer interpretive programs on Monarch butterflies, fresh water lagoon life, turtles & tortoises and Native American Indian culture for teachers and students.

Activities at Pismo

  • Hiking
  • Adventures with Nature (docent-led hikes)
  • Horseback riding
  • Camping (tent and RV)
  • Visitor’s Center
  • Exhibits & interpretive programs
  • Fishing
  • Birding
  • School group programs/field trips
  • Guided tours
  • Scuba diving/snorkeling
  • Clam digging
  • ATV rentals
  • Beach area
  • Surfing/windsurfing
  • Swimming
  • Geocaching
  • Food service


Visitor Center

Located at the Pismo State Beach – Oceano Campground, the Visitor Center links visitors to the plants, animals and cultural history in this State Park. Interactive, hands on exhibits on birds, animals, monarch butterflies, the fresh water lagoon, native plants, and Chumash culture make learning fun for all ages.

Monarch Butterfly Grove

In the Monarch Butterfly Grove, docents give two free talks at 11am and 2pm everyday during the season. The Butterfly Trailer offers books and information on the butterflies, butterfly clothing, and many other items. It is a great place for teachers and those seeking unique gifts.

Interpretive Gardens

There are a variety of native plant gardens in Pismo State Beach. Over the last ten years, we have planted approximately 160 species that are native to San Luis Obispo County. You can visit the “Walk-Through Garden” between the two campgrounds, the adjacent “Dune Interpretive Garden,” and the “Chumash Interpretive Garden.” For more information about each of our gardens, click here.


Visit the Oceano Dunes Visitor Center for exhibits, park information, and a small gift shop. The Butterfly Trailer in the Monarch Butterfly Grove is also open seasonally, and offers merchandise with a monarch-focused theme! It is a great place to shop for teachers and those seeking unique gifts.


Camping is available at Pismo State Beach Campground and Oceano Campground. Please consider buying your firewood from our camp hosts. Sales of firewood fund education and interpretation in our local parks, and protect our trees and plants from invasive, non-local pests traveling on out-of-area wood. Click here for campground information and reservations.