TRAVEL GUIDE FOR AVILA BEACH
TRAVEL GUIDE FOR AVILA BEACH

Welcome to the Avila Beach Guide!  Find all the things to do in Avila Beach, and get insider tips for staying in this jewel of a town.  We share things that make this place a truly unique Central Coast vacation spot.  You won’t just learn the best spot to get a cup of clam chowder (although we share that, too), you will get to know the locals!  Our Local Profile blog series will allow you to see Avila Beach from the eyes of those that cherish it and live here year-round.

Ready to visit Avila Beach? Plan your vacation in Avila Beach from finding places to stay, places to eat and events or activities to do while you are here using our guide and itinerary builder.  You can save your itinerary and share it with your travel buddies.  We help visitors to Avila Beach live like a local!

SHORT HISTORY OF AVILA BEACH
A LIVELY HISTORY

The name “Avila” comes from Miguel Avila, who was given a land grant (or “rancho”) in the greater area by Mexico in 1842. In the latter half of the 1800s, Avila Beach was established.

Avila beach was initially the main port town for San Luis Obispo, and to this day is a working commercial fishing port. Many visitors to Avila Beach love to watch the fishing boats return from the sea each evening.  

MAGIC IN 3’s

Avila Beach has three piers:

The California PolyTechnic Pier is for University use only and closed the public. Avila Beach Pier was closed in 2015 after recommendations from a structural engineering survey suggested restricting access to the general public due to structural issues. Reconstruction is in the early phases of development. As a result, the Harford Pier is currently the only pier open to the public.

There are three beaches to enjoy in Avila Beach.  Fisherman’s beach is where you can cast your line and reel in the local catch.  Olde Port Beach (aka “Dog Beach”) is a pet-friendly area, and Avila Beach is the main beach along Front Street, perfectly equipped for families with a playground and volleyball net.

A SEA CHANGE

In 1989, a resident digging in his basement discovered a large reservoir of petrochemicals due to seepage from leaking pipes that sat underneath the town. For about the past century, Unocal had been piping crude oil, gasoline and diesel from tanks in the valley to the bay so tankers could retrieve and ship the oil. Ultimately, Unocal paid $200 million in damages, razing the majority of the town and building anew.

As a result, this formerly gritty, unknown beach town got a big facelift. Today, boutique hotels and restaurants line Front Street and tourism is now the main industry in Avila Beach.

WHAT MAKES AVILA BEACH SPECIAL?
WHAT MAKES AVILA BEACH SPECIAL?
  • MICRO-CLIMATE

    Avila Beach’s position on the coast gives the town a unique microclimate. This is due to being tucked away in the harbor and shielded by the surrounding mountains.

  • QUIET, RELAXED, FAMILY FRIENDLY

    While there are plenty of libations to be had in Avila Beach, this town is chill, quiet and family-friendly. Throw the windows open and hear nothing but the surf. And if you’re looking for party central, head down the beach to Pismo.

  • SURF

    With the shore being sheltered by the harbor, the surf is not as intense as it is along the coast. For this reason, many don’t consider Avila Beach as a surfing destination but it actually makes for an excellent learning environment!

  • CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

    Whether you are a foodie, sucker for spa life, beach bum, or outdoor adventurist, Avila Beach has something for everyone. Pick and choose your own adventure, and have a different experience every day!

  • SMALL TOWN CHARM

    Avila Beach isn’t a town with high-rise condos, chain or commercial anything, or resort-lined beaches. With one road in and out, Avila Beach is not a chance encounter; it takes a deliberate choice to come to Avila Beach.

  • SIP AND SAVOR

    Avila Beach has a rich food and wine scene for such a small town. Explore the scene, from beachfront dining to high-quality tasting rooms. Avila Beach even has its own brewery!

TOP 3 TRAVEL TIPS FOR AVILA BEACH
TOP 3 TRAVEL TIPS FOR AVILA BEACH

ONE WAY IN MEANS TRAFFIC

Did you know there is only one road in and out of Avila Beach? This means traffic can be a bear in high season, so take the Trolley to and from Pismo Beach. Enjoy the view as you make your way to the best beach town on the Central Coast.

PARKING IS A PREMIUM!

When you want to travel to Avila Beach on vacation, find a vacation rental that includes parking. Landing Passage offers covered private parking in a parking garage, and some of the rentals even offer an attached garage.

MIDWEEK STAYS CAN MEAN SAVINGS

You can get excellent deals around town when you travel during the week. Many area shops and activities lower their rates Monday-Thursday. Read our blog to find out more.

ARE YOU READY TO PLAY?

EXPLORE OUR LISTINGS
EXPLORE OUR LISTINGS