Pismo State Beach
Map showing the location of Pismo State Beach
Map showing the location of Pismo State Beach
Map showing the location of Pismo State Beach
Map showing the location of Pismo State Beach
LocationSan Luis Obispo County, California
Nearest cityPismo Beach, California
Coordinates35°6′37″N 120°37′53″W / 35.11028°N 120.63139°W / 35.11028; -120.63139
Area1,050 acres (4.2 km2)[1]
Governing bodyCalifornia Department of Parks and Recreation
Monarch butterfly at the Pismo Butterfly Grove
Nuttall's woodpecker at Pismo Beach, near the butterfly grove

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

The area includes a beach and dunes.

Recreational uses

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

The Cal Poly Mustangs women's beach volleyball team has used the beach for home beach volleyball matches.[3]

Animal and plant life

The beach is home to many forms of marine life, such as abalone, anemones, crabs, kelp, and sea urchins. Several types of birds also live at the beach, such as the brown pelican, great blue heron.

A large monarch butterfly population winters over at the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove.[4] It is popular to view the monarch migration from November to February.[5]

Pismo Beach/ Oceano Dunes District Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is located in Oceano Campground at Pismo State Beach. Operated by Ca State Parks, the center features exhibits about the park's Natural, Cultural and Recreational history. Education programs are offered for campers, schools and group organizations, and lead guided walks. There is also a gift shop.

See also


  1. ^ Pismo State Beach. Wildernet. Retrieved February 8, 2017
  2. ^ Pismo State Beach. California Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved February 8, 2017
  3. ^ "Photos: Cal Poly Beach Volleyball takes to the sands of Pismo Beach for first home matches, this weekend". Santa Maria Times. March 8, 2019. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  4. ^ Cruz, Kimberly (October 11, 2023). "Monarch butterfly season has arrived on the Central Coast". KSBY News. Retrieved October 12, 2023.
  5. ^ Netburn, Deborah (March 12, 2019). "In the middle of a butterfly crisis, California sees a burst of painted ladies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 20, 2019. "In our grove alone we would have 250,000 monarchs in the 1980s," said Danielle Bronson, a state park interpreter at Pismo State Beach. "This season we had about 3,000 at our peak."