In the vicinity of Grover Beach and Pismo Beach, the foothills push westward and slope quickly to the ocean, forcing the highway seaward, within view of the resorts atop the bluffs overlooking the beach and surf. Miles of wide beach extend southward from the city of Pismo Beach to the Pismo Dunes and beyond. To the north, at the base of the cliffs are tiny pocket beaches and tidepools. Pismo is a Chumash Indian word roughly translating to “tar” and referring to the natural asphalt that bubbles up through fissures in the ocean bottom and washes ashore along the beaches of central California. The Indians used it to caulk their plank canoes and waterproof their baskets. The same material has combined with the extremely fine sands here to create beaches hard enough to drive on. Pismo Beach has been a resort town for the better part of a century, and Grover Beach has been attracting fun seekers and outdoor enthusiasts for nearly as long. Most of the resort motels and hotels are in Pismo Beach and Shell Beach along the bluffs, while the campgrounds and RV parks are at Grover Beach and Oceano. This eTrail includes information on lodging, campgrounds, RV parks, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and outdoor activities near these coastal cities.
© Donna Peck Editor/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.