Address: 555 Pier Ave, Oceano, CA 93445
Phone: (805) 473-7220
I spent a few days at Pismo Beach Oceano Campground in October. It’s a nice little State Park, parts of it are tent sites and parts of it are RV sites with electric and water hookups. Please note, they do not have a dump site, you will have to dump at the North Beach Campground.
The first night I was at site 14th, it was a nice shady site under a big tree. All sites have picnic benches and concrete pads. I spent my second night at site 19 which has no shade. If it is really hot out, I would recommend avoiding this one.
There is a 1.5 hike trail, called “Lagoon Trail” that starts right in the park. It goes around Oceano Lagoon. It’s a fairly flat trail by the green-colored lagoon and trees. It’s really nice. There are two other shorter trails from the park to the beach, both require some climbing in the sand.
There are also two short trails leading to the beach through the sand. This is a beach where you can drive in with your car if you decide to do that, the entrance is near the park’s entrance. You might have to pay a fee though.
I spent my second night at site 19 which has no shade. If it is really hot out, I would recommend avoiding this one. It was raining all afternoon and the site completely got flooded. I couldn’t even get out of the car without stepping in the 2 inches of rainwater. For the next day, I had site 15 reserved but that was underwater. Site 13 and a couple of other sites were completely flooded as well. I told the ranger, that I am unable to move to my reserved spot when they gave me a “brown site”. I’ve learned, brown sites are “reserved for emergencies” sites, most parks have them but they don’t really like to give it to anyone unless it’s real emergency.
After spending the night at spot#33, I spent 3 nights at #10, which was right under a large tree. It’s pretty shady, but you get all the tree mess on your car.
I found a camping event on Meetup and some people spent the weekend camping there, at the dry campsites. It was nice sitting around the fire with about 15 other people. If you feel alone, just look around, maybe there is an event with a local Meetup group!
We’ve visited the Monarch Butterfly Grove about a mile and a half drive from the park. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in the limbs of a grove of Eucalyptus trees. They have a life span of six months. This place has one of the largest colonies in the nation, hosting an average of 25,000 butterflies. I would highly recommend visiting this place if you are in the area during the fall.
About 15 minutes’ drive away from the camp, I spent some time at the Sycamore Springs Resort, hang out in one of their private hot tubs. It was a unique experience. They have 23 mineral spring hot tubs outdoors in their tree-canopied hillside. Each hot tub has its own wooden fence for maximum privacy. Please note, steep stairs lead you to most of their private spring tubs, if you don’t want to climb it, just ask for one on the main level. If you go on the weekend, it cost about $5 less to rent a hot tub for an hour. It’s an awesome place, it can be a very romantic visit with your partner.
There is also a relaxing, easy bike trail near the Sycamore Resort, it is called Bob Jones Bike Trail. Exit US101 at Avila Beach and head west. Turn right on Ontario Rd. Go past the KOA campground and you will see a parking lot off to the right. The trail starts right across the street. The trail is about 2.5-mile-long. The trail leads you through the woods, then a golf court ending on Avila Beach. You can even rent bikes at the Sycamore Resort and they have access to this trail.
Near the Resort, there is a little family farm, called Avila Farm that you can visit. The offers lots of fun if you are visiting with kids. They also have a market, fresh bakery, and great tasting pies. A little bit overpriced in my opinion.
INTERNET connection with my Sprint was not great, but my Verizon Hotspot worked like a charm.