Guadalupe Beach Photos and Information, Guadalupe California

Guadalupe Beach & Dunes


Guadalupe Beach is tucked away about a mile from a parking lot where you leave your car and walk to the beach. Children often complain that it's too far. And it's not a place to trek if you have ambulatory difficulties. But improvements were made several years ago that included an incredible walk bridge and panels laid on the sand to provide an easier trip through sand dunes to the ocean. For those who love nature, the walk is a unique experience and well worth an hour of your time.


One the clearest, warm days, the beach is a pleasant temperature and never seems too hot. It's location north of Point Conception marks it as the southernmost region to receive the cold Alaskan water current.  While the cold water temperatures make swimming and surfing a bit chilly without body suits, the air temperature combined with the Santa Maria Valley location in which Guadalupe sits, makes for fantastic harvests of wine grapes, vegetables and fruits.


At the beach there's usually someone enjoying the sand and having a picnic. Sometimes the wind can blow the sand against your face and the air can be quite chilling, requiring a coat and glasses to protect your eyes. Most times the breeze that hits Guadalupe Beach is pleasant. It's not often that the air is still in this location, however.


As you enter the parking lot to walk along the beach trail, several posted signs offer information and warnings. One shown in the photo above is printed in both English and Spanish (Guadalupe's population is mostly Hispanic).


The sign states that construction activities involving remediation and decommissioning of the neighboring Unocal Oil Field will not affect access or activities at the beach. A decade ago when we visited this beach it was most common to get huge globs of tar on our shoes and feet. There seems to be great improvement of this situation.


Another sign further down the tree-shaded path to the walk bridge warns that mountain lions may frequent the area. Hikers are advised to never walk alone and to make noise when walking. The photo below shows the location where we spotted a small bobcat on one journey. It walked quickly across this path near the entrance to the trail and it disappeared into the thicket.  We've seen and heard coyotes in the area numerous times, as well. We have not heard reports of any confrontations of humans and wild animals, however. Either they are not reported or it's not usually a problem here. The fact that the entry to the parking lot and trail is surrounded by farms may provide one answer. There's lots of food for the food chain to enjoy near Guadalupe Beach.




Things to see include:

Dunes Discovery Center, 951 Guadalupe Street, (Hwy 1), (805) 343-2455, Open Fri. 2 pm - 4 pm., Sat. and Sun. Noon to 4 pm. Information and displays about the history of the dunes and plant and animal life which thrive in the protected region.


Guadalupe Beach offers fishing and a nearly deserted beach with expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. Also enjoy the Guadalupe Sand Dunes, part of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Region which runs from Guadalupe and Oso Flaco Lake north to Pismo Beach.


Where to Stay: When visiting Guadalupe Beach & Dunes, there are several nice beach hotels to choose for a Central Coast vacation. Several of our favorites are in Pismo Beach and include The Cliffs which offers ocean views and beach strolls via a set of steps down to the beach. For a hotel on the beach and close to Pismo Beach Pier, you may want to check another popular choice in the heart of the action, Sandcastle Inn. While these hotels are not cheap, you have to remember that Central Coast is the number one getaway for Southern California (or we should say a close second to San Diego), and likewise a top getaway for Bay Area residents who frequent Napa wine country, and Central Coast.


Don't be deterred by hotel prices, however. There are some budget options I've found. A decent Holiday Inn in Arroyo Grande is not on the beach but just a short drive away. And the closest, most affordable city for hotel stays near the Guadalupe beach and dunes is Santa Maria, of course. Located approx. 8 miles from the beach, this city offers more hotels in the affordable range than any city surrounding it or nearby.  Santa Maria is known for its Saturday and Sunday street corner oak pit barbequed tri-tip and chicken sold by civic groups. When you wander out on a weekend, the smell of that delicious cooking wafts through the air. And sometimes you just have to stop and sample the wares with a sandwich and some Santa Maria style beans.


Santa Maria Hotels
Best Western Big America
1725 North Broadway
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Santa Maria, Ca
2100 North Broadway
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Radisson Hotel Santa Maria
Santa Maria, CA 93455

Hotel Reviews
Santa Maria Inn
Holiday Inn & Suites
Radisson Hotel Santa Maria

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