Top 10 Things to do in Avila Beach, United States

December 6, 2017 Franklyn Hardiman

Avila Beach /ˈævɪlə/ is an unincorporated community in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States, located on San Luis Obispo Bay about 160 miles (257 km) northwest of Los Angeles, and about 200 miles (320 km) south of San Francisco. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Avila Beach as a census-designated place (CDP). The census definition of the area may not precisely correspond to local understanding of the area with the same name. The population was 1,627 at the 2010 census.
Restaurants in Avila Beach

1. Point San Luis Lighthouse

1 Lighthouse Road, Avila Beach, CA 93424 +1 805-540-5771
Excellent
85%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 140 reviews

Point San Luis Lighthouse

Point San Luis Lighthouse is a fully restored national landmark with tours open to the public Wednesdays (12 & 1pm) & Saturdays 12, 1, & 2). The site offers private group tours, educational trips for schools, special events, and weddings. Tickets for the tours can be purchased online at the Point San Luis Lighthouse website. Point San Luis is a non-profit charity and all ticket sales go to support ongoing restoration, education, and conservation programs. The Pecho Coast Trail is a trail hike that leads to the Lighthouse on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. To learn more about signing up for the hike please visit PGE's website. In order to take the hike you must be with a Pecho Coast Trail Guide. There is no public access on the road or the trails leading to the lighthouse due to the nearby power plant. The park is closed at dark.

Reviewed By bettihomemaker - Oak View, California

This was our annual women's trip away for a weekend. One of our friends suggested this lighthouse tour because she heard it was good. Our experience was great. The trolley ride to the lighthouse was very informative and beautiful viewing Avila and the water. Our tour guide was Marsha and she was so enthusiastic. We learned a lot about the Point San Luis Lighthouse and interesting facts if we visit future lighthouses. I loved that we go to go through the house and see where the lighthouse keeper and his family lived. This is a very worth it tour and I would highly recommend others to enjoy it.

2. Monarch Butterfly Grove

State Hwy 1, Pismo Beach, CA +1 805-773-5301
Excellent
65%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 874 reviews

Monarch Butterfly Grove

Reviewed By Linda O - san jose, United States

We drove by the Butterfly Grove and we were happy we stopped by to see the Monarchs. Docents very helpful and informative. Look forward to visiting again.

3. Farmers Market

Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA
Excellent
78%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 296 reviews

Farmers Market

Every Thursday night through out the year, the city hosts a delightful outdoor market/festival where local farmers sell the freshest fruits, vegetables and produce while local musicians and performers entertain the crowds.

Reviewed By Val W - Cayucos, California

Get to know the town and it’s people. Great bargains on farm fresh foods and fun entertainment on nearly every corner.

4. Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail

Ontario Road, Avila Beach, CA 93406 +1 805-544-9096
Excellent
83%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 244 reviews

Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail

Reviewed By Gene H - Los Osos, California

This is a 1.5 to 4-5 mile walk or jog depending on how far you go. It is very scenic and can be crowded later in the day. We recommend early morning and a food break at the Market or Avila Gardens

5. Dinosaur Caves Park

2701 Price St, Corner of Cliff Street and Shell Beach Road, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 +1 805-773-7039
Excellent
53%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 167 reviews

Dinosaur Caves Park

Reviewed By Paul M - San Luis Obispo, California

As someone who lives right in the neighborhood, I can say that
I rarely go here even with visitors. Why? Well, unless you go right
up to the Cliff edge, there is really not much to see. This Park fails
on two main points... 1) there is no beach access & 2) the park has
really no trees & is not very park-like.

It is more of a road-side stop for those with young kids & want a
break from the road. The playground is adequate, but I would really
worry about those kids who wander away. There are numerous
poorly defined areas that are right next to shear cliffs!

There is a public restroom, but it is not well maintained, nor
too clean.

If you are looking for a beach pitstop, I would definitely pick
Avila Beach Park for this. While it is a few miles off the 101,
it is far nicer & far safer. There are also plenty of places to
grab a bite.

If you are looking for a park that does have limited access to the
water, then you want the next door Margo Dodd park. For far better
access, there is the nearby Pismo Beach or the quieter Palisades
Park.

Please be aware that the Cliffs in this area do tend to crumble
without warning & are hazardous. People also do get trapped
on the shore at high tide. Such events appear in the local news
from time to time....so use your common sense.

6. Avila Valley Barn

560 Avila Beach Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405-8047 +1 805-595-2810
Excellent
63%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 342 reviews

Avila Valley Barn

Reviewed By Jon R - San Luis Obispo, California

Sometimes I really want a half-star option between each rating level. In this instance I’d post a 3.5 star rating, because this place is better than "average" but calling it "very good" is a bit of a stretch. The pluses are the animals on display for little children. There are goats (lots of goats), sheep, horses/ponies, a cow, chickens, a couple of emus, and a coupe of turkeys. You’re allowed to feed some of the animals certain types of food. There is a nice selection of fruits, vegetables, nuts, olives, pickles/tapenade, jams, salsas and sauces. There is also a deli for sandwiches, ice cream and fudge/candy. They sell yummy roasted corn at certain times.

Another plus are the pre-made but not cooked pies, cobblers and crisps. Grab one, take it home, put it in the oven, and enjoy it. They are very good.

The minuses are the animals being kept in very poor and cramped housing conditions. The animals display lethargic and repetitive behaviors common to those that don’t have enough of the right kind of space in which to live. The fruits and vegetables for sale are nice, but this region has a lot of farmer's markets that offer as many if not more selections that seem fresher. This place can get very crowded for the people, too. It also seems a little rundown and in need of some freshening up.

I may return, for a pie or a cobbler.

7. Margo Dodd Park

Ocean Blvd, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Excellent
66%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 79 reviews

Margo Dodd Park

Reviewed By Woodpecker48 - Walnut Creek, California

When in Pismo Beach, I like to stop by this little park for a great view of the rocks and coastline. It fun to watch the pelicans. A peaceful place. Usually a lot of friendly people from the neighborhood walking their dogs. A beautiful view.

8. Eldwaylen Ocean Park

Ocean Blvd, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 805-773-7039
Excellent
53%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 29 reviews

Eldwaylen Ocean Park

Reviewed By Emmanuel B - Alhambra, California

We were guided here by our friend and loved it!! Eventhough it was an overcast day, how can you not enjoy overlooking the beach?! You can walk along the stretch of park, even have a picnic if you want. Walk all the way to the northern end and there are stairs you can walk down to the beach. Our daughters loved it! The got to climb some caves and see the kayakers.
Wonderful place to enjoy the ocean breeze.

9. Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards

1947 See Canyon Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405-8023 +1 805-595-9700
Excellent
70%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 88 reviews

Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards

We are a family owned winery known for our award winning wines, our beautiful creek side views, and being both family and dog friendly. Visit us with a camera and take advantage of the 130+ peacocks that roam the property and love to eat out of your hand! Located between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach, right by Avila Beach, please stop by and see why we have consistently been rated as one of the best local wineries in the Central Coast.

Reviewed By SLOGuy7662 - San Luis Obispo, California

Famous for its apple orchards, See Canyon is also home to the Kelsey Family’s Vineyards and Winery. Set in a peaceful and serene woodland with several acres of estate grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes terracing the landscape, this incredibly lovely facility produces several varieties of top quality and affordable wines…featuring Merlot, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Rose, Albarino and Reserve Chardonnay, plus unique Golden Delicious Apple/Wine Blends and Scrumpy Hard Apple Cider! In addition to the Tasting Room decorated with exquisite artwork produced by Shell Beach artist and family member, Colleen Gnos… (awesome mermaids!)… there is a gorgeous patio/picnic area where you can kick back and enjoy the burbling sounds of the See Canyon Creek as you enjoy a tasty libation. On weekends there is live music and many special events take place like the recent Woods Animal Society Vineyard Dog Walk. The staff, with several family members involved at every level, including founders Dick and Delores, their sons Keith and Richard, grandson Clive and granddaughter Devon and cousin Travis, is friendly, knowledgeable and dedicated to ensuring that everyone enjoys themselves. The Tasting Room is open every day, including Christmas and New Years Day, from 11 to 5:30. Oh, and they have over 100 peacocks patrolling the property…unique?...yup...and very cool!

10. Pirate's Cove Beach

Avila Beach, CA
Excellent
36%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 25 reviews

Pirate's Cove Beach

Reviewed By Tommy O - San Luis Obispo, California

Pirate's Cove is a neat little beach, a nude beach, at the end of a not very good long dirt trail. People often fall off the edge while in the parking lot. Not very well maintained.

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