An iconic surf destination with great breaks at high tide, warm waters, and solid swell direction that's ideal for all skill levels, Pismo Beach is one of California's premier surf spots.Even if you're not getting in the waves yourself, the 17 miles of shoreline and sun-dappled cliffs are enough to make you consider a dive into the water—or at least a move to SLO. Take a stroll on that picture-perfect pier, where you can usually spot the surfers bobbing around and under it between rides.
Wedged between Big Sur and Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo is the unofficial center of the Central Coast, a mix of beach culture, metropolitan sensibilities, and some of the country's best farmland. You might catch Cal Poly students trading books for a board and some waves at the start or end of their day, or local artists setting up an easel on a street corner in SLO's charming downtown. With a long history of laidback vibes and scenic beauty, this is one of the oldest communities in the state—but there's always something new going on. Want to make sure you're ahead of it all? Just follow our handy guide to the most amazing things to do in San Luis Obispo.