As even the town’s name reveals, the ocean is the star in Pismo Beach. The town is very much a haven for surfers, to the extent that you can almost smell the board wax on each breeze that drifts through.
Back when I used to surf regularly, this was my favorite place to practice (and to recommend for new surfers) thanks to its relatively low and fairly regular waves. To be fair, this is also the only place where I was seriously afraid of drowning, on a day when some large waves caught me off-guard and dragged me underwater.
In recent years, thanks to a non-surfing-related knee injury, I’ve come to enjoy the ocean here in other ways, besides my previous commentary musings on food and drink around Pismo. The main beach is a gorgeous place to walk, especially near sunset when the light turns golden and glints off the waves. The beach is also great for wading, thanks to those same laid-back, casual waves that make it ideal for not-so-skilled surfers.
The Pismo Beach Pier is usually full of people fishing. In my surfing days, this frustrated me to no end, as they seemed to aim for surfers’ heads. These days, though, it’s a lot of fun to stroll up and down the pier, nosily peering into their buckets or watching them haul up a fish or a basket of crabs.