Small in scale, but large in possibilities, the unique coastal community of Grover Beach offers some serious outdoor recreational possibilities. This family-friendly beach destination is known for its sand dunes, and offers a chance to drive right onto the beach, hike the dunes, take a horseback ride, fish or search for clams. Each year the area also hosts thousands of Monarch Butterflies for the winter, setting the scene for some stunning photographs you likely won’t get anywhere else in the world.
Enjoy the many wonderful beaches of Grover Beach, and the Central California coast (you’ll find a list here), then come enjoy. Our Grover Beach CA travel guide has all your answers to start planning your beach vacation. Just keep reading.
Grover Beach Weather – When to Visit
During the summer months from June thru August, the weather is comfortable cool and also the busiest time to visit Grover Beach. In August you will find hotel rates to be at their highest. Low season (September thru November) averages between 70°F and 83°F. During this time hotel rates will be at a lower rate than during the summer.
Grover Beach Attractions
Pismo State Beach offers all kinds of attractions: hiking, swimming, surf fishing, and digging for the famous Pismo clam. There are tree-lined dunes and the beach is popular with bird watchers. The park has the largest over-wintering colony of monarch butterflies in the U.S.
Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in the limbs of a grove of Eucalyptus trees at Pismo State Beach. The grove is easily accessible. It is located on State Highway 1 at the south boundary of the city limits of Pismo Beach. Visitors are greeted by knowledgeable and well-informed volunteer docents offering daily talks and information.
Oceano Dunes Preserve is one of the most expansive coastal dunes left in California. The Preserve offers rare opportunities for on-the-sand activities—you can camp, go horseback riding, and drive right on the beach in the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA). In fact, it’s the only California State Park that allows vehicles to do so (four-or all-wheel drive recommended). Thrill-seekers: Don’t miss the opportunity to fly up and down the massive mounds of sand in a Hummer or your own ATV or dune buggy.
At over 900 acres, the Pismo Preserve offers truly exceptional and diverse recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors will enjoy over 10 miles of existing ranch roads and trails that meander throughout the property offering ready-to-use routes ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. These trails traverse serene oak woodlands and coastal ridgelines with stunning panoramic vistas of the Pacific Ocean stretching from the Irish Hills to Point Sal.
Grover Beach is a wide flat sandy beach that is typically packed firm enough for even passenger cars to drive onto. It’s still recommended to have four-wheel-drive to avoid getting stuck in the sand. Near the Grover Beach entrance is a day-use plaza with a wooden boardwalk that leads to a platform between the dunes that looks out over the beach. Another boardwalk starts from the plaza and leads north through the dunes next to the Pismo Beach Golf Course.
Things to Do in Grover Beach
Refugio State Beach Kayak Tour
Paddle off for some adventure and wildlife spotting during this kayaking trip along the shores of Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara. Float along the Gaviota Coast, one of the last undeveloped, open sections of the California shore, stopping to look at underwater kelp beds and search for dolphins. You’ll cap it all off with lunch on a secluded beach plus swimming and kayaking games. A guide, lunch and all gear is included. Read more about Refugio State Beach Kayak Tour
Sunset Guided Tour – Monterey/Pacific Grove
This is a sunset cruise of beautiful Pacific Grove with breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the golden hues with streams of pink and blue as the sun appears to dip into the ocean. We ride the electric scooters as a group, seeing the sights on the way to Asilomar Beach to enjoy a beautiful sunset. This is a tricky tour as Pacific Grove does have the occasional marine layer, either way riding these electric scooters are fun! Read more about Sunset Guided Tour
San Luis Obispo County by Convertible: Tours for the Solo Traveler
This is a full-day tour (8 hours) of San Luis Obispo County by convertible for the solo traveler. The tour combines sightseeing with the region’s history. It takes you inland to the wine country, to charming old town sites, farms, ranches, lakes, to hidden beaches, dunes, sea caves, and to a spectacular old port that offers amazing views of the Pacific.. Read more about San Luis Obispo County by Convertible
Learning to surf with Sandbar Surf School is a lifetime bucket list thing that you will never forget. We are the premier surf school in California’s Central Coast and we have been teaching surf lessons here in Pismo Beach since 1996. We have tons of local surf knowledge as well as many of our instructors are world travelers/surfers. Read more about Surf Lessons
Pismo Beach Dune Buggy Experience
Set out on a spectacular dune buggy adventure on the sands near Pismo Beach, CA, approximately 1.5-hours north of Santa Barbara. For 2-hours you’ll whip across dunes and zoom alongside the coastline past crashing waves in either a single or multi-person 4WD vehicle, enjoying what locals truly consider ‘off-roading.’ This is actually the only public beach in the state where driving is allowed. Instruction is included, so no need to worry if you’ve never ridden in a dune buggy before. Read more about Pismo Beach Dune Buggy Experience
Best Grover Beach Restaurants
The Spoon Trade $11 – 30
The Spoon Trade is a gathering place in the heart of the five cities in Grover Beach. You can trust the food and drink to be sourced and prepared with care and creativity. The owners celebrate the diverse bounty of California and continue to rotate offerings with the seasons. Alongside the food will be an eclectic drink list, featuring craft beer and small production wine. Brooke Town will source producers that keep sustainability and natural processes at the forefront. Telephone: 805-904-6773 Web: The Spoon Trade.
Rib Line by the Beach $11 – 30
There’s nothing like eating barbeque at the beach. Tender, juicy ribs and chicken with award-winning sauce and Rib Line baked beans are just what your palate is craving. Telephone: 805-543-7427 Web: Rib Line By The Beach.
Lil’ Bits Café $11 – 30
Hidden off the main street of Grand Avenue, but worth the time to find. The staff is very friendly and attentive. It is not much to look at from the outside and appears small, but it is larger than it loos and the food is worth it! Telephone: 805-489-8615 Web: Lil’ Bits Cafe
Ember $11 – 30
Ember Restaurant in Arroyo Grande is all about serving authentic hand-crafted food cooked by a wood fire. They aim to create the ideal environment to experience Central Coast food and wine. Telephone: 805-474-7700 Web: Ember.
The Oyster Loft $31 – 60
More than a restaurant, Oyster Loft is an experience, where excellent service rivals the taste and aesthetics of presentation. Oyster Loft boasts a menu rich with fresh fish and thoughtfully executed dishes. Their raw bar features a variety of oysters shucked on the half shell from both the east coast and the west. The menu also includes refined fish dishes, shellfish preparations and a selection of meat to round out the pervasive offerings. Telephone: 805-295-5104 Web: The Oyster Loft.
Best Grover Beach Bars
Harry’s Nightclub & Beach Bar
Harry’s is known as the local beach bar. A favorite of bikers, surfers, smokers, and anyone looking to dance to the eighties on Friday nights. The bar is large and has two pool tables. They serve the basic beers and well drinks but nothing too high end. Telephone: 805-773-1010 Web: Harry’s Nightclub & Beach Bar
The Rooftop at Inn at the Pier is the bar to visit in Pismo Beach, with elevated views of the Pacific coastline and effortless West Coast style. Bask in the sunshine poolside, or keep it cool under an umbrella. Choose from seasonally-inspired small plates at our Pismo Beach restaurant, perfectly complemented by signature cocktails and the best of local craft brews. Grab the girls for the ultimate Sunday brunch – did we mention the Build Your Own Bellini Bar? Or share a breathtaking sunset with that certain someone. At The Rooftop, every occasion is special. Telephone: 805-295-5565 Web: The Rooftop.
Mongo’s Sports Bar & Restaurant of Grover Beach, CA features great food, cold drinks and entertainment every day of the week. Stop by for great food, cocktails, cold beer, live music and meet the friendly staff and local customers. Try their award winning Bloody Mary’s, 1/2 lb Burgers, fabulous Fish & Chips, and homemade Clam Chowder!! Watch your favorite sport on our 9 HD TVs and for special events a 14 ft projector screen. Happy hour is daily from 3 – 7 p.m. Telephone: 805-489-3639 Web: Mongo’s Saloon.
The Oyster Loft
More than a restaurant, Oyster Loft is an experience, where excellent service rivals the taste and aesthetics of presentation. The upscale cuisine and regional seafood dishes are prepared with the utmost attention to detail. Happy hour is Monday – Thursday from 4:00pm – 5:00pm. Telephone: 805-295-5104 Web: The Oyster Loft.
AJ Spurs Saloon
They have a full service bar that is elevated over the parking lot with a view of the ocean. It is a nice relaxing bar with occasional live entertainment. This rustic bar takes you back in time to the old west with a more “parlour” like atmosphere and great open views. Telephone: 805-489-7770 Web: AJ Spurs Saloon
Best Grover Beach Hotels
Holiday Inn Express Grover Beach-Pismo Beach Area
The Holiday Inn Express Grover Beach-Pismo Beach, California is placed perfectly in between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the sunlit central coast. Hotel guests are just two swift miles away from the attractions at Pismo Beach, where they can enjoy beach recreations such as surfing, sailing, fishing, and ATV riding. Guest can also take full advantage of the areas numerous outdoor activities like golfing at over ten prestigious golf courses, tennis, walking trails, horseback riding and bike riding in addition to an abundance of wineries and tasting rooms.
SeaVenture Beach Hotel
SeaVenture Beach Hotel and Restaurant sits right on the white sands of Pismo Beach just south of the Iconic Pismo Pier and shopping district. Most guestrooms rooms offer King size beds, fireplace, private balcony with a two-person Hot Tub. On the top floor, be sure to enjoy panoramic Ocean Views from the SeaVenture Restaurant and Tapas Bar which feature delectable California Coastal Cuisine and a large wine list featuring many central coast wines.
Oxford Suites Pismo Beach
Nestled along the dramatic California coastline, just one mile from the Pismo beaches and down the street from Pismo Beach Premium Outlets®, the Oxford Suites Pismo Beach is well-equipped to handle all of your travel needs, whether you are traveling for business or looking for a relaxing getaway. With 133 non-smoking suites, the Oxford Suites Pismo Beach is your home away from home and offers both short term and extended stay lodging. Pismo Beach is the classic California beach town—surf the day away, play in the tidepools, visit local art galleries, sample local wines, enjoy shopping or explore miles of sandy beaches.
Sandcastle Hotel on the Beach
There’s so much to see in Pismo Beach and it begins with our property, featuring an upper deck with lounge chairs and a fireplace and some of the best views in the city.
Inn at the Pier
Inn at the Pier features is located in the center of Pismo Beach just steps from the Pismo Pier. The hotel features Blonde Restaurant and the Rooftop Bar, with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and California coastline. Guestrooms feature luxury amenities, in-room espresso, refrigerators, 55 inch HDTVs and Amazon Echo with Alexa.