Pismo State Beach Camping
Pismo State Beach offers some of the best coastal camping in Central California. In addition, Pismo State Beach is an excellent place for visitors to explore and enjoy ocean recreation with a gorgeous climate year-round.
Of course, if you're planning a camping excursion to Pismo Beach, knowing the ins and outs of the camping situation before you show up is crucial.
Luckily, you've come to the right place.
Come dive in with us as we explore all there is to know about Pismo Beach Camping.
Tent, Trailer, RV, Group, ADA
# Of Tent Sites: 38
# Of Hook Up Sites: 145
555 Pier Avenue
Oceano, CA 93445
Pismo State Beach Campground
People often praise San Luis Obispo County for its gorgeous beaches and scenic backdrop.
However, if you're looking to get the best out of your San Luis Obispo County trip, there's no place better to start than Pismo Beach, CA.
Pismo Beach offers something for just about everyone from camping to swimming to surfing to bird watching to fishing and beyond.
It is one of the most diverse spots for beach camping in California.
There are 17 miles of shoreline to enjoy in this San Luis Obispo County coastal sand dune habitat.
Pismo Beach offers unique sand dunes that you won't find anywhere else, as well as the the Oceano Lagoon, the perfect freshwater spot to explore local wildlife for those who want to get off the shoreline.
While you're there, we highly recommend stopping by the Oceano Dunes District Visitor Center, as they have plenty of information on current educational programs. If you end up visiting Pismo Beach any time between November and February, you may get to catch the Western Monarch Butterflies as they begin taking flight from the Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove.
Pismo Beach camping is not remote by any means. You'll find plenty of day-use visitors hanging out by the boardwalk or at the nearby Finn's Bar & Grill. Public restrooms are also available for visitors in this area, a short walk from the campgrounds.
Pismo Beach is California's only beach where you can drive a standard highway vehicle along the shoreline. Just three miles south of Pismo Beach, you'll find a 5.5-mile stretch of sand dunes, where you can cruise around with a four-wheel-drive SUV.
To learn more about offroad recreation here, you can head to the Oceano Dunes website.
Beyond hitting the Oceano Dunes with your offroading vehicle, you can also enjoy a pleasant stroll, go bird watching, or dig up the famous Pismo clam, which can be found in the sand of the Oceano Dunes.
Unlike many beach campsites throughout Southern California, you can create campfires on the beach. However, your campfire must not exceed two feet in height and three feet in diameter. You may only use untreated wood products as well.
The campground is dog-friendly, and dogs are allowed on the park trails as well as the beach. However, they must be kept on a leash at all times. You may not bring your dog to Oso Flaco Lake or the Pismo Dune Preserve.
You'll find two campgrounds here, including the North Beach Campground and the Oceano Campground.
North Beach Campground has a campfire center and plenty of tent camping facilities. Each of the 103 campsites here sit behind a long row of dunes, offering a bit more privacy.
You will not find any RV sites with hook-ups in this campground. However, with that said, every site can still accommodate RVs.
North Beach Campground offers beach access and gorgeous walking trails that wind along Carpenter creek. If you want to explore nature, we highly recommend checking out the famous Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove while you're camping here. There are also pay showers available for those who want to keep clean during their trip.
Oceano Campground has 80 tent camping sites and RV sites. Sites 1-42 are very close together, made for RVs and trailers.
You'll find beach access from this campground as well. However, Oceano Campground also sits adjacent to the freshwater lagoon, allowing for more nature exploration. Head to the Interpretive Center to find out if any unique programs are happening during your stay. They have plenty of information on the history of the Oceano Lagoon, great for those who enjoy fun geographical facts!
The nearly Ocean Dunes Campground Visitor Center has tons of friendly staff, allowing visitors to learn more about the surrounding area. If you're not sure what to do during your stay in Pismo Beach, head here for some local tips and tricks.
Note that most California State Parks have a $10 fee for the dump station. You can find the RV dump station at the park entrance.
If you're looking to get a day trip in from either North Beach or Oceano Dunes Campground, here are some ways to explore around the county:
Pismo Camping Reservations
Camping in Pismo Beach requires reservations, which can be made at Reserve California. You can begin making reservations six months in advance.
We recommend making them as soon as possible, as the campgrounds get booked up pretty quickly.
You can also check out Pismo Coast Village, which offers a unique central coast camping experience.
The resort is nestled on Pismo Beach and surrounds Pismo Creek.
The resort has won numerous awards and is conveniently located next to the best restaurants and shopping experiences downtown, only walking distance from the resort. Plus, you can walk down to the Pismo Pier to enjoy fishing and dining!
There are 400 full water and electric hookups at the Pismo Coast Village RV resort and complimentary cable TV and wireless Internet Access. Some other amenities here include an on-site restaurant, general store, arcade, heated pool, bicycle rentals, miniature golf, and laundromat.
If these sites are all booked up, we recommend checking out the Lake Lopez Recreation Area in Arroyo Grande, CA. This camping area sits on a 1,000-acre lake and provides more than 22 miles of shoreline for campers to enjoy. In our opinion, Lake Lopez offers the best camping for outdoor enthusiasts in the area. Plus, during the off-season especially, it is one of the most affordable options around.
You can find more details about this are at the SLO County Parks website.
Pismo State Beach Camping Map
See our Beach Camping California guide to discover 9 alternative coastal camping locations!