Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, full of weird and unusual things, attracting an array of people to the coast. Whether it’s weird landmarks you wish to explore or the local parks which hold bizarre history statues, you’ll find something of interest in Pismo Beach!
Scroll down to check out the best things to do in Pismo Beach, California.
1. Bubble-gum Alley
A weird but increasingly popular tourist attraction, this 4.5-meter (15-foot) high and 21-meter (70-foot) long alley has accumulated chewed gum left bypasses by embedded in the walls. Some recognize it as a distasteful other have seen it as art, it has gone on to inspire. Professional artists have gone on to replicate, artist Matthew Hoffman who erected a self-portrait of himself entirely made of bubble-gum titled ‘Project Bubblegum.’ Town historians are at a loss as to do whereas some local shopkeepers say it’s an eyesore. Others are calling it a special landmark that brings in trade! Visit the alley and make your mind up yourself.
Bubblegum Alley has been featured on a number of TV shows and news programs. It has also appeared in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! The alley also featured in reality TV series The Girls Next Door. Concrete evidence of how this wall started is not known, but some historians suggest that the tradition of the alley started after WWII as a San Luis Obispo High School graduating class event.
Address: 733.5 Higuera St, 93401 San Luis Obispo, CA
Website: Bubble-gum Alley
2. Monarch Butterfly Grove
Every year thousands of vibrant colored butterflies descend to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the northern winters. From October to February the butterflies gather within the grove of Eucopitis tree at Pismo Beach. This is one of the largest in the country with over 250,00 butterflies visiting over the last 5 years. When visiting the caves, volunteers are on hand to offer daily talks.
They offer information and facts about the yearly spectacle that brings visitors to the beach. The natural history museum in Morro Bay offers up excellent additional information about Monarchs. Daily talks are held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. weather permitting.
Monarch Butterfly Grove
Address: 400 S Dolliver St, 93449 Pismo Beach, CA
Website: Monarch butterfly Grove
3. Oceano Pismo Dunes Preserve
An explosive coastal range of dunes allowing rare on sand activities - horseback riding, camping and even driving on the beach. The only California state park that allows four or all-wheel drive vehicles to do so. A great chance to take part in riding a sand buggy is on offer: a must for thrill seekers. With your own vehicle, you can fly up and down the massive dunes of sand in a Hummer or even your own ATV or Buggy.
Besides all the activities on the sand, you can also indulge in water activities. You can try surfing or kiteboarding. You can also go on a three-hour cave excursion and explore some protected coves. If you want to go at your own pace, rent a kayak.
Oceano Pismo Dunes Preserve
Address: 555 Pier Ave, 93445 Oceano, CA
Website: Oceano Pismo Dunes preserve
4. Dinosaur Caves Park
Getting its unusual name from history was once the mighty T-rex battled a TriceRaptors to the death - the image the artist wanted when conveying a 15-meter (50-foot) long Brontosaurus tail. To adjoin to the cave in a shrouding of a mystery until residents deemed it an eyesore where it was later removed. Today a 4.5-hectare (11-acre) oceanfront top park is great for those who love the outdoors.
A favorite spot for joggers and walkers overlooking the ocean. For the children, a unique Dinosaur theme play park is on hand to entertain containing a gentle dinosaur, two concrete dolphins, three beautiful dinosaur eggs, three playful seals and a tire swing and the USS imagination. A great day for everyone.
Dinosaur Caves Park
Address: 2701 Price St, 93449 Pismo Beach, CA
Website: Dinosaur Caves Park
5. Pismo Pier
A beautiful beach of 24 hectares (60 acres) to explore of pier and promenade. A perfect family day out is to be had with a children’s play area, volleyball courts, and equipment. The park contains drinking water fountains along with plenty of ocean recreations nearby. Visit spyglass pine, a 1.8-hectare (4.5-acre) park with ocean view and access to tide pools.
For those who love holiday mementos, you can now buy a piece of the pier to take away with you. The city of Pismo Beach is selling pier planks as well as a limited number from the historic project. Limited edition items include historical sentiments and a golden hammer.
Address: 760 Mattie Road, 93449 Pismo Beach, CA
Website: Pismo Pier
6. The Dorn Pyramid
The pyramid stands alone in an isolated location just out of Pismo Beach. Because of the weight of the pyramid the location was the only one solid to support the massive structure. Constructed in 1905 by a wealthy lawyer after he lost his wife and son during childbirth in their honor the mysterious tomb was built. The entrance of the pyramid also reads ‘Disturb not the sleep of death.’ Two stones on the pyramid remains unsealed till date. It is said that the lawyer, Fred Adolphus Dorn, wanted to be buried in the same place and then the last two stones were to be sealed. He moved over to San Francisco and remarried, and died in 1940 and he was thenburied at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma.
The Dorn Pyramid
Address: Higuera Street and Elks Lane,Oddfellows Cemetery, 93401 San Luis Obispo, California
Website: The Dorn Pyramid
7. Margo Dodd Park
A gorgeous park overlooks Pismo Beach to see the ocean views. There are fantastic opportunities to spot wildlife along the pier. This park has been hailed as one of the best places to watch a sunset in Pismo.
Bird life and marine animals are frequent visitors. At the end of the pier is a tide pool allows snorkeling for exploration adventures. It is great for budding photographers with plentiful photo opportunities. Dinosaur coves and the dunes can be seen. Join in the art in the park every Sunday of every month.
Margo Dodd Park
Address: 93449 Shell Beach, California
Website: Margo Dodd Park
8. Surf with Pismo beach surf shop
More than just a shop, Pismo Beach Surf Shop offers a wide range of water tours such as kayaking, paddle boarding, surfboarding and boogie board rentals. Surf’s up! If you’re not wanting to learn a new hobby/skill, then the store offers up a range of classes. Surf lessons have proven the most popular and they have been teaching visitors since 1962 so you’re in safe and capable hands. Lessons begin with water safety and last up to 1.5 to 2 hours.
Pismo Beach Surf Shop
Address: 470 Price St, 93449 Pismo Beach, CA
Website: Pismo Beach Surf Shop
Weird but wonderful
While the attractions at Pismo vary from interesting to just plain weird, it’s always fun to explore something different on your trip to Pismo Beach. Check out the Bubblegum Alley and see what brings everyone to this strange yet popular attraction.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.