4 Best Beaches Near Arroyo Grande, CA

Jon Fesmire | May 25, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

Arroyo Grande is a beautiful place to live, a coastal town of 18,000 residents with great weather year-round. That’s because Arroyo Grande enjoys a temperate, Mediterranean climate, with an average of 286 sunny days a year and just 20” of rain. The ocean breeze helps cool things down in the area, especially when you compare it to towns and cities more inland.

There’s a lot to do here, but today, we’re going to focus on four beaches and parks. When we’re done here you’ll feel ready to slap on some sunscreen and go relax in the sand, or put on a wetsuit and hit the waves.


Pismo State Beach

The biggest, and most popular, beach site in the area is Pismo State Beach. Here, you can enjoy camping, swimming, fishing, surfing, bird watching, hiking, and more. This state park includes the Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. Every year from November to February, beautiful monarch butterflies stop here during their migration, covering the trees in patterns of black, orange, white, and yellow.

There are two campgrounds, North Beach Campground and Oceano Campground. Remember to stop by the Oceano Dunes Visitor Center, which can give you information about the park, the beach, and more, including their junior ranger program and continuing education programs.

Campfires are allowed on the beach as long as they’re no larger than 3’ in diameter and that you burn wood, not treated wood, and nothing toxic. Remember to extinguish the fire with water when done, and leave it exposed. Don’t bury it. It’s a rude surprise to step in the sand only to burn your foot on still-hot coal. Oh yes, dogs are allowed on the beach and on trails, so long as you keep them on a 6’ or shorter leash. They are not allowed on Pismo Dune Preserve or at Oso Flaco Lake.

Parking here costs $5 for an entire day.


Eldwayen Ocean Park

This park rests on a large bluff above a narrow beach. Eldwayen Ocean Park has a large grassy area for playing and picnics, including picnic tables and benches, stairs down to the beach, and tide pools. There’s no designated parking, but plenty of street parking is available.

Visitors here love the ocean views along this one-and-a-half-mile-long park. Watch for the ropes along the cliff, which show where it’s no longer safe, and don’t cross over them.

Many people have reported that the stairs on the southern side have eroded, but that the stairs on the northern end, the Vista Del Mar Ocean staircase, remain in good shape.

Down on the beach, the sand is coarse but not overly so, and during low tide, this is a great place to relax. The bluff gives the area a secluded feel. Plus, you’ll get a beautiful view all around, including the ocean and the natural rock formations.


Vista Del Mar Beach

This narrow, sandy beach continues past Eldawyen Ocean Park, but you take the same staircase to reach it. Vista Del Mar Beach is another narrow, sandy shoreline with a secluded feel. It’s below an old oil tank farm, but don’t worry, it’s safe. In fact, the tanks have all been removed.

Again, stick to low tides here. High tide can cover the lower part of the stairs and get dangerous. Above, you can enjoy cooking in the barbeque pits at the end of Eldwayen Ocean Park.


Margo Dodd Park

Margo Dodd Park is another ocean bluff park with spectacular views. People enjoy taking photos here (though, of course, we think you should take photos at all these sites!). There’s a covered gazebo on the bluff, a frequent spot for weddings, a grassy area for rest and recreation, plus street and bicycle parking.

The park features tide pools, lots of birds, and stunning sunsets. There are plenty of park benches to relax on and take a break while on a walk. When you want to head down to the beach, you’ll find it beyond the tide pools.

If you live in Arroyo Grande and need a place to store your beach gear, from wetsuits to surfboards, contact us here at Central Coast Self Storage. We offer military discounts, provide solutions for business storage, and much more.