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- History of Pismo Beach
- 10 Best Pismo Beach Campgrounds and RV Parks
Experience classic California at its best in one of these 10 Pismo Beach camping spots! You can find this vintage beach town on the Central Coast of California. It features an award-winning oceanfront boardwalk, iconic Pismo Beach Pier, and sandy dunes. It also has one of the most walkable beaches in California.
History of Pismo Beach
Located off scenic Pacific Coast Highway and U.S. Highway 101, Pismo Beach is the only stretch of coastline in the state where you’re allowed to drive a standard highway vehicle along the shore. The views from the drive are just a preview of the simple beauty you’ll find in this city.
Rich with history, Pismo Beach was originally home to the Chumash Indians over 9,000 years ago. It was first developed in 1875 by John Michael Price when he built the Pismo Beach Hotel. The city became so popular that they made a second hotel and additional overflow tourist housing called “Tent City.” These tents could be rented for $8 per week and became one of the original timeshare models.
Several movies and television shows reference the city. Other claims to fame for this city include its abundance of monarch butterflies in the winter months and giant clams.
Read on to check out the top Pismo Beach camping spots to experience all that Pismo Beach has to offer!
10 Best Pismo Beach Campgrounds and RV Parks
We’ve done all the work for you and compiled the top campgrounds and RV parks in the Pismo Beach area. This list is sure to fit your needs from oceanfront campsites to nearby resorts when traveling to the area.
North Beach Campground
Address: 399 S. Dolliver St., Pismo Beach, CA 93449
About North Beach Campground
The North Beach Campground features walking access to Pismo Beach. Walk to the nearby Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Garden to see the country’s largest over-wintering colony of monarch butterflies. Or, take a visit to the nearby campfire center and participate in the Junior Rangers and Campfire Programs.
This state park campground features dry camping only, meaning there are no hook-ups. The campground is open to tent camping and offers a dump station, showers, and restrooms. You’ll find spacious, pull-through sites at this campground that come with picnic tables and fire rings. The maximum camper length is 36 feet.
Avila/Pismo Beach KOA
Address: 7075 Ontario Rd., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
About Avila/Pismo Beach KOA
A 10-minute drive from Pismo Beach, this campground is located in a beautiful canyon surrounded by hills with nearby trails and bike paths. This campground features full-hookup sites and a variety of site amenities. Spend time in the onsite pool or visit the destination farm next door to enjoy a petting zoo and hayrack rides.
The maximum length for this campground is 40 feet. Tent and personal van or car camping are not allowed. This is a smoke-free campground that does not allow wood, pellets, smokers, or dura flame.
Holiday RV Park
Address: 100 S Dolliver St., Pismo Beach, CA 93449
About Holiday RV Park
This campground puts you steps away from all the action of beach life since you’ll be just two blocks from Pismo Beach. Get ready to enjoy sunbathing on the sandy beaches, local shopping, and strolling along the famous Pismo Beach Pier.
The RV park features 195 RV spots with full hookups. It has several amenities, including a heated swimming pool, spa, clubhouse, and complimentary cable. Any RV size is welcome, although campers over 36 feet may require the rental of two spaces to accommodate the additional length.
Pismo Sands RV Resort
Address: 2220 Cienaga St., Oceano, CA 93445
About Pismo Sands RV Resort
You’re sure to enjoy a comfortable stay at Pismo Sands RV Resort. This resort has several awards under its belt, including “Best Medium-Sized Park in California” from the California Travel Parks Association (CalARVC). Enjoy the heated pool and jacuzzi on site, or spend the day at Pismo Beach, which is just 10 minutes away by car.
This campground offers 133 paved, full-hookup sites with grass throughout and a gated entry. This is an excellent place for big rigs with pull-through spots of up to 78 feet. Tent camping is not allowed.
Coastal Dunes RV Park & Campground
Address: 1001 Pacific Blvd., Oceano, CA 93445
About Coastal Dunes RV Park & Campground
This San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Park campground is within walking distance to Pismo State Beach and nearby Oceano Dunes. And, you’re less than 10 minutes by car to downtown from this campground. You can expect features like a heated pool, restrooms, showers, and laundromats.
There are 232 level turf campsites with grass throughout. And, this campground can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet long. It offers full hook-up sites as well as hiker-biker sites with no hook-ups. It’s located next to Grover Beach Amtrack Station, and near railroad tracks, so you should expect to hear some louder noises.
Pacific Dunes Ranch and RV Resort
Address: 1205 Silver Spur Pl., Oceano, CA 93445
About Pacific Dunes Ranch and RV Resort
This RV resort offers breathtaking views and diverse topography. Here, you can enjoy sand sledding, onsite horseback riding, surfing, and beach fishing. It’s located next to Oceano Dunes and is a 10-minute car drive to downtown Pismo.
This campground offers 229 sites with full hookups. It’s part of the Trails Collection for Thousand Trails members and is also open to the general public. Tent camping is not allowed.
Lopez Lake Recreation Area
Address: 6800 Lopez Dr., Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
About Lopez Lake Recreation Area
Outdoor enthusiasts will love all this camping area has to offer. Think fishing, boating, windsurfing, and canoeing in the 1,000-acre lake with 22 miles of shoreline. Take your family to the nearby high adventure ropes course or Mustang Water Park within the Lopez Lake Recreation Area. And, you’ll be just a 20-minute car drive away from downtown Pismo Beach.
This SLO County Park has over 350 campsites ranging from primitive to full-hookups. You’ll love the beautiful views of nature with over 150 species each of flowering plants and birds. It’s a beautiful campground and an affordable option!
Pismo Coast Village RV Resort
Address: 165 South Dolliver St., Pismo Beach, CA 93449
About Pismo Coast Village RV Resort
This award-winning Pismo Beach camping resort is within walking distance of downtown Pismo Beach. You are sure to enjoy an enjoyable getaway with amenities like a heated pool, bicycle rentals, an outdoor game area, and an indoor arcade. The resort also features an on-site restaurant.
This resort offers 400 full-hookup sites and can accommodate RVs up to 45 feet long.
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area
Address: 100 Pier Ave., Oceano, CA 93445
About Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area
Join hundreds of other thrill-seekers for primitive camping on the beach of Oceano Dunes! This site is located on 1,500 acres of beach and sand dune area. Here, you can off-road in a dune buggy, four-wheel drive, all-terrain vehicle, or motorcycle. If your pace is more leisurely, enjoy beach walks, bird watching, and stargazing by your firepit once the sun goes down.
This area is for dry and dispersed camping only. It offers a dump station, restrooms, and garbage area nearby. And, it’s a 10-minute drive from downtown Pismo. This is truly a find if you want to experience an unforgettable Pismo Beach camping trip!
Oceano – Pismo State Beach
Address: 555 Pier Ave., Oceano, CA 93445
About Oceano – Pismo State Beach
Stay at the nearby Oceano Campground, where you can access the beach and take a walk along the coastal sand dune habitat. Near the campground entrance, you’ll find the Oceano Dunes District Visitor Center. This is an interpretive center that tells about the history and wildlife in the area. Oceano Lagoon is next to the campground and is a prime area to enjoy freshwater fishing and birdwatching.
This campground offers electric and water hook-ups plus tent camping. You can expect restroom and shower facilities with fire rings and picnic tables at the sites. Downtown Pismo is less than 10 minutes away by car.