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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of Pismo Beach
—  City  —
Pismo Beach
Location in San Luis Obispo County and the state of California
Coordinates: 35°8′54″N 120°38′53″W / 35.14833°N 120.64806°W / 35.14833; -120.64806Coordinates: 35°8′54″N 120°38′53″W / 35.14833°N 120.64806°W / 35.14833; -120.64806
Country United States
State California
County San Luis Obispo
 - Total 13.4 sq mi (34.9 km2)
 - Land 3.6 sq mi (9.4 km2)
 - Water 9.8 sq mi (25.5 km2)
Elevation 56 ft (17 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 8,551
 Density 638.1/sq mi (245/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 93448-93449
Area code(s) 805
FIPS code 06-57414
GNIS feature ID 1652776

Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. The population was 8,551 at the 2000 census.



Pismo Beach is located on the Rancho Pismo Mexican land grant made to José Ortega in 1840. José Ortega sold Rancho Pismo to Isaac Sparks in 1846.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 8,551 people, 4,230 households, and 2,322 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,366.0 people per square mile (914.6/km²). There were 5,496 housing units at an average density of 1,520.7/sq mi (587.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.35% White, 0.60% African American, 0.71% Native American, 2.92% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.65% from other races, and 2.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.89% of the population.

There were 4,230 households out of which 17.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.1% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.58.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.3% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 24.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,396, and the median income for a family was $61,036. Males had a median income of $48,606 versus $30,189 for females. The per capita income for the city was $30,835. About 6.3% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.5% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

The population had a wave of expansion starting in the 1980s, after completion of waste water treatment facilities expansion designed by Kennedy Jenks Engineers; this lack of infrastructure had previously limited population growth.

Geography & Climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.8 km²). 3.6 square miles (9.3 km²) of it is land and 9.8 square miles (25.5 km²) of it (73.09%) is water.

Shell Beach is a populated place within the city limits of Pismo Beach, located at 35°09′19″N 120°40′21″W / 35.1552532°N 120.6723950°W / 35.1552532; -120.6723950.[2][3]

Climate data for Pismo Beach, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 85
Average high °F (°C) 65
Average low °F (°C) 43
Record low °F (°C) 24
Rainfall inches (mm) 3.59
Source: February 17, 2010


In the state legislature Pismo Beach is located in the 15th Senate District, represented by Republican Abel Maldonado, and in the 33rd Assembly District, represented by Republican Sam Blakeslee. Federally, Pismo Beach is located in California's 23rd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +9[4] and is represented by Democrat Lois Capps.


Shell Beach Elementary

Public Schools

  • Shell Beach Elementary School, 2100 Shell Beach Rd., Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (Grades K-6)
  • Judkins Middle School, 680 Wadsworth, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (Grades 7-8)
  • High school students attend Arroyo Grande High School, 495 Valley Road, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Colleges and Universities:


Pismo Beach is the "Clam Capital" of California. The city holds the "Clam Festival" every October, complete with clam chowder competitions and a clam-themed parade. At the southern end of Price Street upon first entering Pismo Beach, a gigantic concrete clam statue greets visitors. Clamming is restricted, due to over-harvesting by humans and the protected sea otter. An 8 inch shell of the Pismo clam (Tivela stultorum) is on display at the Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce.

In "Ali Baba Bunny", Bugs Bunny and his travelling companion Daffy Duck emerge from a burrow, believing they have arrived at Pismo Beach "and all the clams we can eat".

Other facts

  • Pismo means "tar" in the language of the native Chumash Indians.
Pismo Beach car show
  • Pismo Beach hosts one of the largest gatherings of custom and classical cars every June, on the 3rd full weekend.[5]
  • Quads and dirt bikes for recreational use are run at the Pismo OHV dunes.
  • The codename for the last revision of Apple Computer's PowerBook G3 is "Pismo", named after Pismo Beach. (The previous PowerBook, "Lombard", takes its name from San Francisco's Lombard Street.)
  • Pismo Beach allows dogs on the beach, provided that they are on leash and that their owners pick up after them.
  • As at Daytona, the sand at Pismo Beach is hard enough to drive on, and campers can drive for miles along it.
  • In The Big Lebowski, Walter refers to Pismo as one of the places that Donny surfed. In "Futurama" Bender fights "The Gizmo from Pismo" a reference to Pismo Beach.
  • In Ali Baba Bunny and Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales, Bugs and Daffy were on their way to Pismo Beach when they ended up in the desert somewhere on the other side of the world.
  • In the movie Clueless, the main character helps establish emergency aid for the "Pismo Beach Disaster", an entirely fictitious event.



External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Get in

The closest commercial airports are San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria . Also nearby is Santa Barbara Airport. Major airports are in the Los Angeles area, or San Francisco Bay Area where you will have more travel options.

By car

Pismo Beach is off Highway 101 south of San Luis Obispo.

By rail

Nearest train station is in Grover Beach. The station it self is about a quarter mile away from Pismo Beach

  • Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove Each Year thousands of beautiful butterflies migrate to stay in Pismo Beach. In the winter months, starting in late October and ending in early March. Located on State Highway 1, near the south city limit. More information or directions call the Pismo Chamber of Commerce at 800-443-7778.
  • Pismo Beach is a fun place to go to the beach for all kinds of tourists. They offer beach bike rentals, surf board rentals, and atv rentals for the Pismo Beach dunes.
  • Pecho Coast Trail, +1 805 541-8735. Satrudays: 9AM. A fairly strenuous 3.5 mile round trip docent-led hike to Point San Louis allowing a closeup look and tour of the San Louis Point Lighthouse. Ages 9 and up. Call for reservations. Suggested $3.00 donation for Lighthouse tour.  edit
  • Alex Bar-B-Que, 853 Shell Beach Road, Shell Beach, CA 93449, (805) 773-5656, [1]. One of the finest bar-b-que places on the entire California coast. A Pismo Beach classic, recently brought under new management and restored to old glories.  edit
  • Splash Café, 197 Pomeroy, Pismo Beach CA, (805) 773-4653, [2]. Wildly famous clam chowder dive, with more awards to their name than Donald Trump has buildings. Burgers, chicken strips, and other assorted staples accompany the world-famous chowder. Perfect lunch spot. Get there early, or get in line.  edit
  • Rock and Roll Diner, 1300 Railroad St, Oceano, CA, 93445, (805) 473-2040, [3]. A restaurant inside of a classic train car, Rock and Roll Diner serves classic American drive-up diner food as well as an authentic Greek cuisine menu. Located directly alongside highway 1 up in Oceano, it's easily missed by the tourist crowd.  edit
  • Hot Shots, 250 Pomeroy Ave, 805-773-4542, [4]. Large family friendly pool hall.  edit
  • Best Western Shelter Cove Lodge, 2651 Price Street, +1 805 773-3511, Fax: +1 805 773-0368, [5].
  • Best Western Shore Cliff Lodge, 2555 Price Street, +1 805 773-4671, Toll-free: +1 800 441-8885, Fax: +1 805 773-2341, [6].
  • Motel 6, 860 4th Street, +1 805 773-2665, Fax: +1 805 773-0723, [7].
  • Spyglass Inn, 2705 Spyglass Drive, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, (800) 824-2612, [8]. Features include heated pool and spa, banquet facilities and a conference room for meetings, the Spyglass Restaurant, a heated ocean view deck, free parking, and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet.
  • Cottage Inn by the Sea, 2351 Price Street, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, (888) 440-8400, [9].
  • SeaCrest Resort, 2241 Price St., +1-805-773-4608.  edit
Routes through Pismo Beach
SalinasSan Luis Obispo  N noframe S  Grover BeachSanta Barbara
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