Oceano Beach and Sand Dunes Central Coast California Photos and Information


People, horses and motorized recreational vehicles at Oceano Dunes Vehicular Recreation Area all share the same beaches. It's an interesting mix and much like a race track, pedestrians should keep their eyes on the course behind them. Oceano Information: 805- 489-0908  Population is around 7,000. 

Driving on the beach is simply unheard of in Southern California but on the Central Coast it is a sporting adventure. Oceano, Grover Beach and Pismo are several locations where you can take campers, cars and all terrain vehicles for an excursion on the sand in the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.

The Oceano sand dunes area is recognized as the most extensive coastal dunes remaining in California. Bordering on a protected region, you might see arroyo willow, California Sagebrush, sand verbena, bush lupine and rare plants such as surf thistle and giant coreopsis.

Chumash Indian settlements dotted the region during the time that European explorers traveled through in 1769. The late 1800's brought railroads and commerce to the region and in the 1930's, Oceano became a mecca for nudists, artists and free thinkers who collectively called themselves "Dunites."  The Dunites believed that the Oceano Dunes were one of the centers for creative energy. 

Don't expect to see any nudists today. You'll see agriculture, businesses and tourists when visiting the beach town which has gained a reputation for its wonderful weather and beach recreation.  Highlights of the small region on the ocean include Oceano Airport, a small craft airport near the beach and a cute Rock and Roll Diner made out of a train car which is decorated in the theme of the 1950s.

With wineries abounding on the Central Coast, Oceano is located in the heart of wine country, and makes it an ideal spot to venture out to visit various wineries from Arroyo Grande to Santa Maria Valley's many visiting tasting rooms. It is but one more enjoyable option and charm that makes this region so appealing.

Open all year round - Oceano Dunes Ocean Dune State Vehicular Recreation Area has 1,500 acres, featuring beach and sand dune riding. Thousands of off-highway vehicle enthusiasts enjoy the beach dunes. It is a motorcycle, four-wheel drive, all-terrain vehicle, and dune buggy use area. This is not Oceano Campground at Pismo State Beach.  At Oceano Dunes SVRA, the campsites are on the beach in the OHV area.  Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended.  A maximum of 10 reservations can be made for Oceano Dunes.  Each vehicle entering the park under it's own power must have an individual  reservation number. Vehicles on trailers do not need a reservation.   Directions: The area is located in Oceano, three miles south of Pismo Beach, off Highway One.   Oceano Dunes SVRA,  928 Pacific Avenue, Oceano, CA 93445   For more information about the park, please call (805) 473-7220  or visit on line at oceanodunes.com

If roughing it isn't your bag, check out the Pacific Plaza Resort, an affordable accommodation with studios and one or two bedroom suites available, just a short walk from the beach in Oceano.  Other options nearby that you can book online include an extensive selection of hotels in Pismo Beach.

When you visit, there are some really beautiful cities and attractions to check out on the Central Coast. Next door neighbors to Oceano include delightful Grover Beach, Halcyon and  Arroyo Grande. Head north past Pismo Beach to enjoy Shell Beach, Avila Beach and San Luis Obispo.

oceano photos

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