Pismo State Beach

Pismo State Beach

Pismo State Beach has a pleasant year-round climate, making it ideal for outdoor recreation and exploring. Visitors enjoy many diverse outdoor activities, including camping, surfing, swimming, fishing and bird watching. There are also walking trails along the coastal sand dune habitat and around the freshwater Oceano Lagoon. Click here to access the State Parks’ webpage.

Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove

The world-famous Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove attracts 100,000 visitors annually to watch thousands of western monarch butterflies flutter and cluster among the trees. The best time to visit is during their overwintering period from November to February. There is no charge to visit the grove. The Monarch Mercantile Trailer offers books and information on the butterflies, apparel, souvenirs, and many other items. 

The migrating western monarch butterfly is in crisis. According to the Xerces Society, the “number of monarchs making the annual journey to coastal California has declined by >95%” in recent years. Even with the 2021 counts reporting higher numbers, they are still extremely low compared to historic counts. To learn more about the monarchs and how you can play a role in conservation, please visit westernmonarchtrail.com.

Oceano Dunes District Visitor Center

The Oceano Dunes District Visitor Center provides park visitors with an array of educational opportunities. The exhibits highlight the Oceano Dunes District’s natural and cultural resources as well as our diverse recreational activities. Visitors can learn about Northern Chumash culture, the famous Pismo clams, dune habitat, shorebirds, the history of off-highway vehicles, and the Dunites. This facility serves as a hub for the District’s educational programming and a nature store. The Visitor Center is located at 555 Pier Avenue, Oceano and is open daily from noon-4pm.