The 6 Best Beaches Near Arroyo Grande, CA

The Central Coast Team | October 10, 2023 @ 12:00 AM

California is famous for its beaches, and those on the Central Coast near Arroyo Grande are some of the states most stunning. Locals and tourists love the sandy shores, gorgeous views, and the many activities the beaches here offer. There are tranquil coves, stretches of sand, parks, and so much more.  Here's our guide to the best beaches near Arroyo Grande.

  • Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach is known for its wide sandy shores and stunning ocean views, offering visitors an ideal California beach experience. Its sandy shoreline stretches for approximately 17 miles, making it one of the longest beaches on the Central Coast, and the beach is known for its clean, soft sand and gentle waves. Sunbather, beachcomber, and anyone who enjoys splashing in the ocean will love this place.

It's a lovely place to go swimming, bodyboarding, and surfing. In fact, if you're interested in surfing lessons, you'll find local surf schools. You can also rent a paddleboard or kayak, or find a fishing spot. 

Plus, Pismo Beach is a wonderful place to spot wildlife and local plants. The area is home to diverse marine life, including sea otters, seals, and dolphins. You may even spot migrating whales just offshore. Birdwatchers enjoy spotting the numerous shorebirds and seabirds. Plus, the beach is adjacent to the Pismo State Beach Preserve, a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.

  • Avila Beach

Avila Beach is a coastal town near Arroyo Grande, with beautiful beaches, a mild climate, and a relaxed atmosphere. Here, you'll enjoy wide sandy shores and clear waters. The beach is perfect for sunbathing, building sandcastles, and strolling along the shoreline. Just remember to put on your sunscreen. Families with children will enjoy the gentle waves, though farther out, surfers enjoy the waves, too. 

You should also check out the Avila Beach Pier, which stretches into the Pacific Ocean. It's the perfect local spot to enjoy panoramic views of the coastline and ocean. As you stroll on the pier, you can enjoy the refreshing sea breeze, and perhaps even try your hand at fishing. The pier is also a fantastic spot to capture photographs of the beach and the surrounding natural beauty.

  • Grover Beach

Grover Beach, just south of Pismo Beach, is a charming coastal town near the beach with the same name. It has a charming beach town atmosphere, beautiful sandy shores, and many recreational activities.  The beach itself stretches for miles along the coastline and is perfect for walks, building sandcastles, or relaxing under the sun. It's a fun spot for swimming, boogie boarding. You can even rent kayaks or paddleboards to explore or go surfing. People also come here to enjoy picnics, beach volleyball, and beachcombing.

While you're in Grover Beach, we encourage you to visit the Monarch Butterfly Grove, a natural habitat filled with thousands of monarch butterflies during the winter. The park offers guided tours and educational programs that will teach you about the life cycle of monarch butterflies.

  • Shell Beach

Like the other beaches on our list, Shell Beach features a scenic coastline with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. You'll also find rugged cliffs, rocky shores, and sandy coves. If you like tidepools, this is the beach to visit. These pools teem with marine life. While you'll see ocean life in the tidepools, you may also spot dolphins and whales off the coast, either from the beach or on a boat tour. 

Here, visitors and locals enjoy sunbathing on the sand, taking calm walks, and picnicking. This is an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. People also enjoy hiking along the nearby cliffs. Plus, the shoreline features sea caves and hidden coves, created as the waves have pounded against the cliffs for centuries. Exploring the sea caves and coves can be an exciting adventure, but be careful, and be aware of the tides and weather conditions.

  • Pirate's Cove

Just south of Avila Beach is a hidden gem along the coastline known as Pirate's Cove Beach. The first thing to know about this spot is that it's clothing optional. If you want to walk, swim, or sunbathe in the buff, you can do so here, but you don't have to. Just keep in mind that when you're here, you'll need to be comfortable with other people going without clothing.

Pirate's Cove Beach has a blend of natural beauty and rugged charm. Cliffs and rock formations surround the beach, making it private enough to be clothing optional, and creating a tranquil atmosphere. The clear water here is perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The rocky tide pools offer an opportunity to explore local marine life.

Hiking trails along the cliffs (which are not clothing optional) provide breathtaking views of the coastline and the Pacific Ocean. Along the trails, you'll encounter various plants and animals, including wildflowers, coastal shrubs, and seabirds.

  • Cayucos State Beach

Along the coast of the charming town of Cayucos, this beach is a captivating natural area with many fun activities. Cayucos State Beach includes a long stretch of sandy shoreline, rolling sand dunes, sparkling blue waters, and breathtaking coastal views. Visitors here enjoy relaxing under the sun, walking along the water's edge getting their bare feet wet, building sandcastles, and more. With consistent waves, it's a popular spot for surfing and other water sports. Experienced surfers and beginners alike can enjoy catching waves here. 

Want to go fishing and bring your catch home for dinner? Cayucos State Beach provides opportunities for surf fishing, where you can cast your line into the surf and try your luck at catching various fish. Or, head along the Cayucos Pier and reel in halibut, perch, and other coastal fish.

Those who enjoy spotting birds and other animals can look for local wildlife. Birdwatchers will especially enjoy this. You're bound to see a variety of shorebirds and seabirds.

Just next to the beach you can find a scenic coastal trail stretching for miles along the coastline, with alluring views of the ocean.

With so many amazing nearby beaches, Arroyo Grande is a gateway to a world of outdoor adventure and relaxation along California’s beautiful Central Coast. Please note that beach conditions and accessibility may vary, so it's always a good idea to check local regulations and advisories before planning your beach visit. Enjoy your time exploring the stunning coastal treasures near Arroyo Grande!