The tiny San Luis Obispo County community of Avila Beach had a rebirth of sorts in the late 1990s when the Unocal Corporation began cleaning up a tremendous oil spill beneath the town by removing contaminated sand by the truckload and replacing it with pristine sand from the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes.
After the cleanup was complete, the newly refreshed waterfront was allowed to thrive. Successful new businesses and beautiful homes were built all along the shore, and Avila Beach City Beach became a popular destination for a wide range of activities both on the sand and in the ocean. Visitors like to bike ride on the Bob Jones trail, play volleyball and basketball on the nearby courts, and take scenic walks down Avila Pier.
Front Street and San Francisco Street in Avila Beach
Swimming, sunbathing, surfing, fishing, tidepooling, walking, biking, skateboarding, volleyball, and basketball.
Bob Jones Trail begins on Ontario Road near Highway 101 and leads all the way to Avila Beach City Beach. It’s a scenic 6-mile round trip that you can bike or walk. Dogs are allowed on the trail, as well.
There’s a playground for children, as well as a grass park, right near the beach.
Avila Pier has great views and allows unlicensed fishing. Keep an eye out for humpbacks and gray whales. They like to feed nearby.
Dogs are allowed on the beach before 10 am and after 5 pm.
Restrooms, lifeguard, picnic tables, barbecues, basketball courts, volleyball nets, grass park, playground, and shops.
Free parking is available.
There are shops and restaurants all along the waterfront that you can check out once you’ve had your share of sun and sand for the day.
The Central Coast Aquarium is on the north end of the waterfront. kids can learn about marine life and even get an opportunity to touch a variety of sea creatures in the aquarium’s touch tanks.
There’s a number of fun things you can do in the town of Avila Beach, as well. Visit Point San Luis Lighthouse, check out Avila Beach Farmer’s Market, or sneak off to Pirate’s Cove Beach.
For overnight accommodations, the Avila/Pismo Beach KOA campgrounds and the Avila Hot Springs are both nearby. They have campsites and cabins for rent.
Avila Beach is home to Diablo Canyon Power Plant, the last remaining nuclear power plant in the state of California.
The 1979 comedy-drama California Dreaming used Avila Beach as a primary shooting location.