Located on the southwest portion of the Discovery Route, the classic and historic beach town of Oceano is known for it’s majestic dunes, beautiful parks, fertile farm fields, and remains the only beach in California you can drive on. Established in 1893 as a railroad town, Oceano still retains most of the original flavor of the past. Oceano is a very family-friendly place. The Oceano lagoon with its abundant wildlife is one of the crown jewels of the central coast. The Guiton lagoon trail encircles the north side of the lagoon and provides excellent bird watching, exploring, and photo opportunities. Some of the best live stage entertainment in the area is at the Great American Melodrama, where the audience can participate in cheering and booing the heroes and villains portray by a cast of very talented performers.
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is the top tourist attraction in the city of Oceano. Gateway Post 1 to Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is the entry point where cars and vehicles pay a fee to drive on the beach. Passenger cars can drive on a small portion of the beach but many are not sand-ready to drive to the dunes for camping and off roading. Sand dune terrain is best accessed with 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Enjoy the many wonderful beaches of Oceano, and the Central California coast (you’ll find a list here), then come visit Oceano. Our Oceano California Vacations guide has all your answers to start planning your beach vacation. Just keep reading 🙂
Weather (When to Go)
The warmest month of the year is September with average temps from mid 50s to the high 70s. February is typically the wettest month with 4 of the 18 inches of annual rain. The winter months will be chilly with temperatures between 43 to 67 degrees. In the summer months, the temperature averages are between 53 and 78 degrees. You do need to know that the California coast is prone to “June gloom.” This happens when the offshore ocean fog layer comes inland and hovers over the shore all day long. The condition can start in May and often extends into July.
Things Not to Miss
Oceana Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area
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.
Oceano Train Depot
The Oceano Train Depot is in near-original condition as when it was in use and is open for tours of this turn-of-the-century train depot that remains virtually untouched. The Oceano Depot was once the most important building in South San Luis Obispo County as all passenger, freight, telegraph, and mail service passed in and around the Depot.
Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville
At the Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville in Oceano, audience participation is a must. Theatergoers are encouraged to boo and hiss as the mustache-twirling villain menaces the damsel in distress and cheer when the dashing hero thwarts his evil plans — just as their counterparts did a century ago. A Central Coast institution for four decades. Everybody laughs. Everybody interacts.
Things to Do
Sunbuggy Fun Rentals
They have the best prices on the best selection of the best OHVs on the beach! SunBuggy is the only place you can choose from a great variety of off road vehicles, UTVS, ATVs, and real dune buggies. For more information call 855-783-1325, or visit them on the web at Sunbuggy Fun Rentals.
Arnie’s ATV Rentals
They rent ATV’s (All Terrain Vehicles i.e.: quads) for riding on the Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area today. At Arnie’s visitors will find a rare opportunity to tour one of the largest coastal sand dune ranges in the world. For more information call 805-474-6060, or visit them on the web at Arnie’s ATV Rentals.
Sandbar Surf School
Their professional and skilled instructors are there for your safety and to provide you with everything you’ll need to experience surfing, the ocean, and the beauty of Pismo Beach. Their private classes, group lessons, and extended surf camps are geared for people of all ages, skill levels and abilities – Wetsuits, Soft-top Surfboards, and the Ocean are provided! For more information call 805-835-7873, or visit them on the web at Sandbar Surf School.
Pacific Dunes Ranch Riding Stables
For an unforgettable experience, rent a horse at their stable for an exciting ride to the beach. Bring your family to join their family for a one of a kind camping trip – from horseback riding to flying kites, there’s fun for the young and the young at heart. For more information call 805-489-7787, or visit them on the web at Pacific Dunes Ranch Riding Stables.
California Kiteboarding and Paddle boarding is a premier retailer for kites, kiteboards, stand up paddles, stand up boards, longboard skateboards, mountain boards, and outdoor accessories. For more information call 805- 295-6306, or visit them on the web at California Kiteboarding.
Best Rated Restaurants
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$ Chacho’s Mexican Food
Great food, great value and the locals love it! What more can you ask for? Everything is homemade, including the tortillas at Chacho’s. All of their food is authentic Mexican food. Try their infamous burritos made with their amazing homemade tortillas. One bite and you will be in love! For more information call 805-489-5136, or visit them on the web at Chacho’s Mexican Food.
$$ Rock ‘n Roll Diner
The two old railroad cars that house this old-fashioned American diner aren’t the only attraction here. Generous breakfasts, juicy pastrami burgers, great guacamole burgers, and a surprising number of very good Greek dishes make this a popular place for a casual breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Fifties music, and a kid-friendly atmosphere make this the campers’ favorite. Call 805-473-2040 for more information, or visit them on the web at Rock ‘n Roll Diner.
$ Beach Burger
Beach Burgers in Oceano is serving up great burgers, fries – seasoned steak, sweet potato or beer battered. Open daily for lunch and dinner. For more information call 805-473-2383, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Beach Burger.
$$ Old Juan’s Cantina
Owned and operated by a local family with Mexican roots for two generations, Old Juan’s Cantina is a terrific spot for authentic Mexican food in a family-friendly atmosphere. Favored by locals and visitors alike, the extensive menu features festive appetizers, hearty combination plates, sizzling fajitas, and the best margarita on the coast. For more information call 805-489-5680, or visit them on the web at Old Juan’s Cantina.
$ Sylvester’s Burgers
It’s Big, It’s Hot, It’s Juicy! Serious Central Coast burger nuts swear by Sylvester’s, a bright yellow and turquoise shack whose meaty motto is a smiling burger with Mickey Mouse-like hands and feet declaring that he’s “Big, Hot ‘n Juicy.” Only 100 percent unfrozen USDA grade beef is used, and the chewy sesame seed buns are always perfectly toasted and buttered. Don’t forget milk shakes (including pineapple), malts and floats, all made with real ice cream, or the chili and just-cooked onion rings. For more information call 805-270-4434, or visit them on the web at Sylvester’s Burgers.
R & D’s (Ralph and Duanes)
R&D’s is owned and operated by Mother and Son, Marsha & Arly Maretti. They have an excellent team of friendly bartenders on staff, and a high-energy DJ ready to start the party. In addition to the main bar that features a pool table, pong table and dart board, there is a BIG outdoor patio – affectionately known as “Marsha’s Backyard” – which has plenty of seating, an additional bar, oak pit barbecue and a stage where bands come to entertain during the summer months. For more information call 805-481-2871, or visit them on the web at R & D’s.
Mason Bar & Kitchen
Drop in for casual dining in a spirited atmosphere at the bar, or enjoy fireside ambience in our dining room. Their menu relies on locally sourced ingredients to offer a diverse, evolving menu. With 25 beers on draft, an eclectic wine list, and only premium spirits, creative cuisine meets premium libations. For more information call 805-202-8918, or visit them on the web at Mason Bar & Kitchen.
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 their 9 HD TVs. Happy hour is daily from 3 – 7 p.m. For more information call 805-489-3639, or visit them on the web at Mongo’s Saloon.
Harry’s Night Club & Beach Bar
Harry’s specializes in FUN! Full service bar with live music every night at 9:00 pm. They also have afternoon bands on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 3:00 pm. They have 3 pool tables that are always hopping too. Go on in for a cool one, dance the night away with friends, or enjoy a friendly game of pool. For more information call 805-773-1010, or visit them on the web at Harry’s Night Club & Beach Bar.
Pacific Plaza Hotel
This property is a 5-minute walk from the beach. This hotel is located just 2 minutes’ walk from Oceano State Park and 1.5 miles from Pismo State Beach Golf Course. It features a hot tub and suites with a kitchen. The suites at the Pacific Plaza Hotel are furnished with a fireplace and private balcony. Free WiFi and satellite TVs with DVD players are provided. Guests can relax in the Pacific Plaza’s outdoor hot tub or enjoy the onsite BBQ facilities. A launderette is available. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Pacific Plaza Hotel.
This property is a 9-minute walk from the beach. Located on the Pacific Boulevard in Oceano, California, this motel is 0.7 miles from Pismo State Beach and 4 blocks from the Oceano Dunes. Free WiFi access is available.Each room at the Oceano Inn is equipped with a microwave and a refrigerator. Cable TV with HBO is available. Other helpful amenities include a coffee maker and a hairdryer. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Oceano Inn.
Strand Way Home Vacation Home
Located 2.7 miles from Pismo Beach and 22 miles from Morro Bay, Strand Way Home offers accommodations in Oceano. The property features views of the sea and is 15 miles from Santa Maria. The kitchen is equipped with a dishwasher. A TV and DVD player, as well as a CD player are provided. Other facilities at 1316 Strand Way Home Home include a fitness center and barbecue. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your vacation home, visit the Strand Way Home.
A Tuscan Sun Vacation Home
A Tuscan Sun is located in Oceano, just 2.7 miles from Pismo Beach. Morro Bay is 22 miles from the property. The accommodation is fitted with a TV with satellite channels. There is also a kitchen, fitted with a dishwasher. An oven and microwave are also provided, as well as a coffee machine. Each unit is equipped with a private bathroom with a hairdryer. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your vacation home, visit A Tuscan Sun.
York Holiday Vacation Home
Featuring free WiFi and sea views, York Holiday Home is a vacation home, located in Oceano. It provides free private parking. A dishwasher and a microwave are provided in the kitchen. Pismo Beach is 2.9 miles from 319 York Three-Bedroom Holiday Home, and Morro Bay is 22 miles from the property. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your vacation home, visit York Holiday Home.