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A Beachy Keen Romantic Pismo Beach Getaway

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Located just three hours north from LAX, the classic Californian coastal town of Pismo Beach offers couples a fun and laid-back beachfront getaway. There is no shortage of great activities to choose from in this popular destination—golf, tennis, cycling, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, dune buggy riding, and exploring expansive sand beaches. Whether for a babymoon, anniversary trip, or romantic getaway with kids, here are some reasons to embark on a romantic Pismo Beach getaway.

The stunning California coastline, Pismo Beach

The stunning California coastline in Pismo Beach

Car lovers paradise

The annual Classic at Pismo Beach Car Show takes place every June. One of the largest classic car shows in the country, the Classic showcases nearly 1,000 vintage and hot rod vehicles in all of their gleaming, restored glory. Keeping with the car theme, Pismo Beach has the only drive-on beach in California. Oceano Dunes offers 5.5 miles of beach dunes for off-road dune buggies and ATVs, which can be rented on site.

Worth the line up for clam chowder? Yes!

Worth the line up for clam chowder? Yes!

Chow down on chowder

In downtown Pismo Beach, it's worth lining up for a bowl of clam chowder at the award-winning Splash Cafe. This colorful Cafe has been a local favorite since 1989. They dole out 18,000 delicious gallons of clam chowder a year. Walk off that chowder on the 1,200-foot long Pismo Pier, admiring the gorgeous coastline and browse the plentiful surf shops along the boardwalk.

The wide expanse of Pismo Beach

The wide expanse of Pismo Beach

Monarch Butterfly Grove

Just to the south of Pismo Beach is the unique Monarch Butterfly Grove. High season for this sanctuary is late October to February, when thousands of bright orange and black butterflies spend the winter months clustered in the trees of Pismo State Beach. Visits are free to the Grove, and tours are led by volunteer docents from the community.

Spa at the Dolphin Bay Resort, Pismo Beach

Spa at the Dolphin Bay Resort, Pismo Beach

Where to stay and play

At the stunning, clifftop Dolphin Bay Resort, couples can relax in style. Choose from one or two bedroom suites, equipped with plenty of room to cozy up with your honey. Each suite has a living room, dining room and decked-out kitchen. Spend your days here lazing on the beach, swimming in the oceanfront pool or borrow a complimentary bicycles to pedal along the nearby coastal trails.

At the resort's spa, choose from standard spa options like facials, body treatments, and my favorite, outdoor massages. If you want to look extra lovely for your lovely, choose more intense therapies like Botox injections or hair removal treatments.

Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa

View of the pool and beach (Photo from Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa website)

If you bring children along, you can still sneak off for some romance. Kids ages 5 to 12 are entertained each Saturday afternoon with tide pool exploration, arts and crafts and more.

The resort welcomes furry children too. Pets slumber in their own beds and water bowls and special treats are provided to Fido or Fluffy.

Stay fit on your romantic retreat with a visit to Harmony House Yoga in downtown Pismo offers toning  yoga classes that focus on deep breathing and relaxation. Follow it up with a tasty brunch or lunch of huevos rancheros at the Honeymoon Cafe just next store.

Watching the sunset from the patio of Ventana Grill

Watching the sunset from the patio of Ventana Grill

Sunset dinner

No romantic Pismo Beach getaway is complete without a sunset dinner at the Ventana Grill, perched on a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Grill is popular with locals and visitors, with a menu focused on meat, seafood and fresh local ingredients. They make their own tortillas and salsas in-house, and you can even bring your own local wine to enjoy with your meal, with no corkage fee for diners.

What do you look for in a romantic getaway destination? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Curious Travel Mama:  Thank you to Visit California and the Pismo Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau for hosting my California research trip. All opinions expressed are honest and my own, as always.

All photos by Claudia Laroye.

About Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama

Claudia Laroye lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons. She started traveling at a very young age, and has never stopped. She’s had the fortune of visiting more than 20 countries on four continents, and has also lived abroad in Sweden. Claudia is passionate about the travel experience and the value of traveling as a family. She is the founder of, and contributes to many online and print media publications around the world. Connect with Claudia on Twitter as @travelling_mom or Instagram as @itsclaudiatravels.

  1. Claudia Laroye says

    Thanks for your comment Jay. The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa is stunning indeed! I could easily spend an entire week being pampered and enjoying the fabulous facilities.

  2. Jay@TravelIdeaz says

    The beach was good but when you got to the spa, it was just BEAUTIFUL. The whole setup is just relaxing, it’s must-see place for sure.

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