Avila Beach Camping

Avila Beach Camping - Places to Visit While Camping at Avila Beach

Oct 20, 2023

Avila Beach is one the most beautiful places you can visit if you want to go camping with your family or that special someone who has got your head spinning and sending chills down your spine.

This is a seaside oasis and kayaking is great here in the calm bay waters. You can explore the waterways or take a trip along the picturesque cliff trails.

Let's take a look at the amazing places on Avila Beach that you can visit while camping,

1. Central Coast Aquarium

Central Coast Aquarium

When visiting Avila Beach with small children in tow, the Central Coast Aquarium is a must-visit location.

The aquarium has a sizable kids' play area right next to it, and it is situated 50 yards from the beach. Since its opening in 1994, the aquarium has grown to play a significant role. Many marine species, including fish, sea turtles, rays, and sharks, call it home.

Before the aquarium was built, its founder, Russell Kiesseg, started teaching people about marine life and ocean management in classrooms on Harford Pier. The present staff has carried on Russell's concern for ocean sustainability by emphasizing student education about marine life.

Because of its handy location and modest size, the aquarium is a simple addition to the list of what you want to do while camping. They charge adults $9, and kids $7, while military personnel with ID can bring up to four persons for just a fee of $6.

If you plan your visit well, you can participate in the monthly Sharks After Dark event, the Shoreline Explorers guided tidepool tour, or even one of their beach or diving clean-ups to support the preservation of our oceans' beauty and integrity.

2. Pecho Coast Trail Hikes

Pecho Coast Trail Hikes

Hikers who want to explore the California Coast often choose to hike the Pecho Coast Trail, which is 3.75 miles in total round trip. Renowned for its breathtaking vistas of Avila Beach, hikers can enjoy long periods of treks.

You will also gain from the naturalists' sharing of knowledge about the surrounding environment, the physical formations, and the native plants and animals, as the trail is only accessible for guided treks.

There are two hiking routes available: an 8-mile trip up to Rattlesnake Canyon and a 3.75-mile hike to the Port San Luis Lighthouse.

These hikes are good for hikers with moderate hiking experience due to their uneven terrain, steep cliffs and grades, small routes, and disintegrating dirt. Always remember to come with your hiking shoes.

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3. Avila Beach Golf Resort

Avila Beach Golf Resort

This championship par-72 resort, tucked up in the hills on the edge of the sea, offers great views. The Golf course which was created by Desmond Muirhead, has fast, traditional bent-grass greens and fairways made of kikuyu grass.

While the back nine holes wind around a tidal estuary with multiple-level greens and multiple forced carry, the opening nine holes wind across high terrain. This is a course you won't want to miss if you need to work on your golf game.

4. Avila Beach Farmers’ Market

Avila Beach Farmers’ Market

The Avila Beach Promenade is transformed into a rich farmers' market every Friday. It's a great spot to buy picnic supplies and pick up a few souvenirs, with stalls selling everything from locally produced tomatoes and fresh-cut bouquets to wildflower honey and small-batch skin care products.

Also, this is a  fantastic way to spend a night in the town because there are many food trucks and live music.

5. Port San Luis Lighthouse

Port San Luis Lighthouse

This is a great place to visit if you're camping on Avila Beach because it houses history.

After the liner Queen Mary of the Pacific was sunk for attempting to enter the harbor in the dead of night, the Port San Luis Lighthouse was finished in 1980. After the lighthouse was decommissioned in 1974, a non-profit organization was founded in 1995 with the goal of restoring it and making it accessible to the public.

Currently, historical tours of the lighthouse are available for visitors and also provide them with information about the lighthouse's keepers and their families who previously resided there.

If you want to see the lighthouse, you need to join one of the tours which are only done on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Since there are no access for cars, you can take the trolley from the Wild Cherry Canyon Parking lot or join Pecho Coast Trail to reach the lighthouse.

6. Avila Beach Pier

Avila Beach Pier

Of course, visiting Avila Beach would not be complete without taking a stroll down its pier. One of the beach's most enjoyable activities is to relax in one of the hammocks slung beneath the pier, which is situated in the middle of the area.

It's possible that some teenage tightrope walkers will be setting up their equipment and practicing here.

Even though Avila Beach is far less crowded than other beaches in California, get there early in the morning if you want to enjoy it before the families and groups arrive for the day. If you prefer watching sunsets, you can wait until late afternoon and spend some time relaxing on the pier as the sun sets.

7. Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards

Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards

This is a really lovely, cozy spot to have a wine tasting in the afternoon. Also, it's very affordable. Five wine tastings only cost $12, and the tasting fee is waived if you buy wine that is worth more than $29. Apart from the delicious wines with captivating histories surrounding them, the location is flawless.

You can play a few games of corn-hole, watch peacocks stroll by, sip wine in the garden, and take in some live music. It's the ideal spot to kill a few hours, even though you have to go because there's still so much more to see in Avila!

8. Avila Hot Springs

Avila Hot Springs

Founded in 1907, the Avila Hot Springs has lodging options such as camping and cabins for guests who like to stay overnight.

The Avila Hot Springs is a geothermal spring located around 104 meters below the Earth's surface. The spring is heated to 104 degrees after being pumped to the surface via a well, making it the ideal temperature for relaxation.

If getting pampered is your idea of relaxation, there's a spa and a waterslide for the kids. Meanwhile, if you are just in for the day, you can enjoy the freshwater heated pool and relax in the mineral pool. Adult admission is $12, while children's admission is $10 for the day.

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9. Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

Constructed in 1919 for the publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, this house offers a glimpse into how life was in the early 1900s. You can take a guided tour to explore the enormous halls of Casa Grande, take in the breathtaking vistas from Casa del Mar, or meet the gaze of a bronze replica of Donatello's David in Casa del Sol.

The Roaring Twenties still feel very much in effect at Hearst Castle, whether you're studying the screening room or taking in the immaculately trimmed landscape.

10. Avila Valley Barn

Avila Valley Barn

The Avila Valley Barn is one of the most entertaining and picturesque locations on a road trip, something most people wouldn't consider. If you live in Avila, there are so many fresh food alternatives in the shop area, and you should really come to shop here.

However, if you're a guest, you can come here to stock up on their luscious fruits and strawberries, as well as freshly baked pastries, cookies, almonds, and other delectable treats, for a picnic

Things to Do While Camping on Avila Beach

After you are done visiting the beautiful places on Avila beach, there are other fun activities you can do while camping. They Include:

1. Water Activities

One of the nicest areas to spend a day in Avila Beach is by the San Luis Obispo Bay's water. There is a lot to do on the bay if you enjoy the sea.

There is something for everyone, whether they choose to swim, surf, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or go boating. Anything you want to do is easy because there are plenty of businesses in town that offer tours, rentals, and classes.

Making reservations and scheduling your paddle-powered trip between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. is advised to avoid the choppy waves in the afternoon.

2. Go on a Walk on Bob Jones Trail

The Bob Jones City To Sea track is a 2.5-mile path that leads directly up to Avila Beach. This is a multipurpose path that circles San Luis Obispo Creek before terminating in the city's downtown.

It is very well-liked by bikers, hikers, runners, and plenty of moms. The entire trail is three miles long. You can ride a bike, rollerblade, stroll, or run there. Ontario Road is where you'll find the trailhead.

3. Whale Watching

    Whale-watching cruises are among the top activities in Avila Beach from January to mid-November. In every season, the marine life you're likely to witness varies, with humpbacks in September and gray whales in April.

    But regardless of the time of year you visit, you can pretty much count on having a nice day because of the whale or dolphin sitting guarantee.

    4. Wine Tasting

      There are many locations to go wine sampling in and near Avila Beach because this is California. You may sip and savor right in the heart of town at Peloton Cellars, Avila Wine & Roasting Co., Sinor-LaVallee, and Alapay Cellars Tasting Room.

      There are more vineyards in the surrounding area if you'd like to venture farther. Along Avila Beach Drive, you'll see signs pointing you in the direction of locations like Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards. Paso Robles isn't too far from Avila Beach, and there are plenty of wineries to explore there.

      5. Shopping

        Going shopping is one of the best things to do in Avila Beach when you're back in town. The streets are lined with boutiques, which are wonderful locations to buy presents and mementos.

        There are plenty of places to look around and purchase items, including Hula Hut, art galleries, hat shops, and apparel stores.

        Can I Find Good Restaurants at Avila Beach?

        There are so many beautiful restaurants at Avila Beach that you can visit while camping. They are:

        1. Mr Rick's

        Mr Rick's

          Situated near the beach, Mr. Rick's has been a popular destination for live music, cocktails, and casual dining since 1992. There are sixteen beers on tap at the restaurant, including offerings from Firestone-Walker, Figueroa Mountain, Liquid Gravity, and SLO Brew, local breweries.

          Wine lovers can choose from a variety of regional and local wines. The bar serves traditional cocktails to enjoy with the Avila Beach sunset, such as the Pink Mermaid, Moscow Mule, and Mai Tai. The menu has different hot and cold sandwiches.

          Here, salads, nachos, wings, and jalapeño poppers are served alongside beachy appetizers and main courses including fish and chips, clam chowder, and fish tacos.

          If you stop by any evening, there's probably a live band performing or a DJ playing music. You can also visit for Sunday brunch and take in the sights and sounds of the area's acoustic musicians strumming as you eat.

          2. Custom House

          Custom House

            The "Old" Custom House, which served as the official Port of Entry for California at San Luis Bay, was previously located in this cherished eatery. Constructed in 1927, the Custom House hosted numerous ships before it was shut down.

            The building was converted into the Custom House Restaurant in 1971. It serves steaks, seafood, and beverages in a waterfront setting. It is currently regarded as a premier location for eating freshly prepared local cuisine while watching the waves.

            You can taste the renowned Bloody Mary at the Custom House and many locals say it's the best in the neighborhood. Pub fare such as salads, sandwiches, burgers, and nachos is always on the lunch menu.

            It's advisable to try a couple of appetizers before treating yourself to a Teriyaki Mahi-Mahi, Blackened Ribeye, Fettuccine Alfredo, or traditional fish and chips for dinner.

            After every meal, desserts are waiting for you, or you can just stop in for appetizers and a glass of local wine, beer, or cocktail. Dogs are welcome outside on the beachfront patio at The Custom House, which has both indoor and outdoor seating.

            3. Ocean Grill

            Ocean Grill

              Ocean Grill is a great place to watch the sunset over Avila Beach because its view is slightly different from the rest of Front Street. Together with a well-chosen selection of regional wine and beer, the restaurant specializes in steak, pasta, and flatbreads.

              Perfect for bringing that special someone, this restaurant is open for supper every day and there's happy hour on the weekends.

              You can eat flatbread pizzas and green salads at happy hour, along with draft beers and wines. There are many varieties of appetizers, salads, flatbreads, and main courses for supper that come from farms, ranches, and the ocean.

              Popular menu dishes include Pan-Seared Scallops and Pork Belly, Grilled Flank Steak with Chimmichuri, and woodfired flatbreads from the outdoor pizza oven.

              However, if you are a vegetarian, Ocean Grill has a number of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options that are clearly marked on the menu.

              So, you can enjoy year-round dining in the dining room with glass panels or outside on the covered patio that is heated.

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              4. Blue Moon Over Avila

              Blue Moon Over Avila

                At Blue Moon Over Avila, the atmosphere is like a beach in the south of France. Mediterranean-style enthusiasts will find this place appealing because of its oceanfront location, excellent cuisine, and wine selection.

                Along with house specialties and seasonal items, the menu also has imported and local wines and beers. In actuality, Blue Moon is known for having lots of European and foreign wines.

                You can always enjoy a traditional French meal such as baked brie, baguettes, escargot, Salade Nicoise, Croque Monsieur, or Steak Au Poivre.

                There's also an option of trying out a more California-inspired dish like the Blue Moon Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowl or Avocado Toast. The eatery serves lunch, supper, snacks, and dessert. On weekends, it also serves brunch.

                5. Mulligan’s Bar & Grill

                Mulligan’s Bar & Grill

                  You can come here for taste, camaraderie, and good times before or after taking a view of the Avila Beach Golf Resort. The restaurant has a relaxed, informal atmosphere and menu, which includes salads, sandwiches, tacos, and burgers. Breakfast is offered all day, so arrive early. Stay for lunch before another round.

                  On Sunday afternoons, Mulligan's hosts live music performances, and there's a happy hour complete with beer deals and food. You can play golf on the course or just come in for a bite to eat and a drink in a laid-back atmosphere with fire pits, outside heaters, and lawn games.

                  Is a Visit to Avila Beach Worth it?

                  Yes, Of course! Avila Beach is the ideal destination for anyone who is looking for a carefree and enjoyable beach getaway.

                  It has something for everyone with its gorgeous surroundings, many activities, and magnificent places to visit.

                  There are lots of options at Avila Beach for those people who want to hike the trails or love wine tasting.

                  So, it's up to you to make a choice and start packing your sleeping bag and camping gear.

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