Pismo Beach is one of the coolest beach towns on the California coast and a well-known summer vacation destination. We discovered Pismo Beach a few years ago on our first visit to the USA. We were road tripping up the Pacific Coast Highway and it was first up on our tour of the Central California coast.
We wanted to tent camp and the North Beach Campground was the only campground we could find in the area. We hadn't made a reservation and it was the beginning of summer holidays so we were very lucky to grab the last site when we turned up. As it was June, the weather was mostly foggy but we loved that it gave us a reason to snuggle up and use the fire pit.
Camping at Pismo Beach
North Beach Campground is right off Highway 1 and within walking distance to downtown Pismo Beach. The campground is very well spread out and all sites are grassy. The campground accommodates tents up to very large RV's and has many facilities such as restrooms, showers, fire pits and tables. The showers are token operated and cost one dollar for two minutes so be sure to bring some change with you.
As mentioned above, it can be quite chilly even in June so be prepared. If you’re not from California you might assume the weather is sunny and warm at this time of year but this is not the case around these parts until late in summer. May is known as ‘May Grey’ and June as ‘June Gloom’ in California for a reason... but the fog just adds to the charm of the town. The local people here are super friendly and almost everyone will stop to say good morning to you on your walk into town.
North Beach Campground
North Beach campground is open year round. Site reservations can be made here and booking in advance is strongly recommended if you plan to visit on the weekend or during the summer holidays. Campground facilities include hot showers, fire pits and picnic tables.
Dump station: yes
The Best Things About Staying At North Beach Campground
The best thing about staying at North Beach Campground is its location at Pismo Beach. The campground is walking distance to downtown shops and restaurants, has its own beach access, a hiking trail and is adjacent to the Pismo Monarch Butterfly Grove.
This campground is awesome because it has its very own beach access. This comes in handy because if you are here in peak season it saves you the hassle of having to drive into town and trying to find a parking spot. You can also walk to downtown along the beach and grab some ice cream with the kids or grab a few drinks with your partner.
Meadow Creek Beach Trail
Meadow Creek Beach trail is a short hiking trail that begins at the North Beach Campground and runs along the waterfront to Pismo Beach golf course and Fins Restaurant & Bar. This trail is especially pretty in spring when the flowers are in bloom. A morning stroll along this trail is a nice way to start your day.
Monarch Butterfly Grove
The Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove just happens to be located adjacent to the North Beach Campground so if you happen to be visiting the area between October and February you will be able to see these pretty little creatures who flock to the area to hibernate during the winter months.
Here is a list of some of Pismo Beach attractions located close to the North Beach Campground along with the distance.
Pismo Pier - 1.3 miles / 6 minutes
Oceano Dunes Entrance Station - 1.3 miles / 6 minutes
Dinosaur Caves Park - 2.8 miles / 10 minutes
Avila Beach - 8.5 miles / 16 minutes
Edna Valley Wineries - 6.2 miles / 12 minutes
Getting to Pismo Beach
The North Beach Campground is located two miles south of downtown Pismo Beach at 399 South Dolliver Street. Pismo Beach is approximately a three hour drive from downtown Los Angeles. You can take highway 101 the whole way up but we recommend taking the 101 until you reach Santa Barbara and then driving highway CA-154 until it joins back up to the 101 for a more scenic drive. You won't be disappointed!
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