Things to do in Avila Beach – California

Avila Beach is a community in San Luis Obispo County, California. It is located on the Pacific coast, about 9 miles south of the city of San Luis Obispo. The town is known for its beautiful beaches and scenic views, as well as its small-town atmosphere and relaxed way of life. It is a popular destination for beachgoers, outdoor enthusiasts, and travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

This small beach town is packed with tons of fun things to see and do. Avila Beach is a great get away for you and your significant other. It’s even a great place to take the kids. Avila tends to be a little bit warmer and the waves are much smaller than the other beaches close by. You can thank Point San Luis for making the ocean appear almost lake like at times and creating a wind break from the Northwesterly winds.

Avila Beach Source : Flickr

History of Avila Beach

The history of Avila Beach dates back to the turn of the century. During this time, the town was home to a booming oil industry. In fact, it was the world’s largest crude oil shipping port. Oil tankers were stationed on the shores of the city, and the town’s beachfront was dominated by them. In the 1990’s, the city suffered from a major oil spill and extensive cleanup and restoration efforts were required.

Fortunately, this small town is a thriving center for activities, including shopping, dining, and the occasional concert. It has a vibrant arts scene and boasts a growing number of top-quality wineries. The beach offers ample opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment, as well as fun and excitement.

The town was also home to a historic pier. In 1907, a supermajority of County voters approved the construction of the Avila Municipal Pier. This structure featured several hoists and a large warehouse. It was later used by the Avila Lumber Company to unload cargo from ships. In addition to this, Front Street was turned into a lumber yard.

Today, Avila Beach is a small town in the Central Coast region of California. It is home to less than a thousand residents and a few hotels and small businesses. The 0.5-mile-long shoreline is backed by the Point San Luis, which helps to break the prevailing northwesterly winds. This provides the town with a warmer climate than most of the beaches on the central coast. The temperature is usually in the 70s in the summer.

Must do

You’ve made it to Avila Beach, what should you do first? Hit the beach, that’s part of the reason you’re there, right? You will love the sandy beaches, warm weather, and mild swells. The sea life in Avila is very active. Take a walk out on the pier and you will be able to watch the sea lions swimming, along with the Sea Otters. If you happen to be visiting between December and April you will most likely see the whales migrating along the coast.

If you are a fan of sea creatures swing into the Central Coast Aquarium. Staffed by Cal Poly’s Marine Biology students, you will be able to touch and learn about the ocean life in the area and other exciting facts about the local ocean climate. If you are In Avila on Friday evening make sure you take a stroll through the Farmers Market. Filled with local vendors selling local hand made crafts, locally grown produce, freshly made baked goods, and more.

Avila Beach Source : Flickr

What do you like best about Avila Beach?

Avila Beach is where I prefer to go on a day outing to the beach. The park, beach, aquarium, shops, everything about it just puts you in a good mood! Good Vibes summer music festival is a huge hit and it wouldn’t be summer if this wasn’t part of the entertainment line up! This small town may look like a quite beach retreat but this is a hot spot for fun in and out of the sun!

Best Walk in Avila Beach

There are some things that are best done on foot. Bob Jones Trail also known as City to the Sea is a beautiful walking path. Where She’ll Beach ends and the road to Avila begins. This well maintained, paved walking trail takes you on a low intensity stroll through the beautiful landscapes, park, and by the athletic club. A few short miles and you will arrive in Avila Beach.

If you’re looking to burn some calories and take in some breath taking views take a hike along the Avila Ridge. Starting at Pirates Cove in Avila you will follow the coastal ridge, take in the ocean view and the costal rocks and caves that make up the landmarks along the coast. As you hike along keep your eyes open for the tree swing that points you in the direction of the local apple orchards and vineyards. You better have your camera handy because you will definitely want to share these photos when you get back home.

Avila Beach Source : Flickr

Best Restaurants in Avila Beach

With all of the places to eat how do you pick where to go. A big hit with the locals is Fat Cats! Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The family friendly cafe has all off the breakfast favourites, lunch classics, and home cooked comfort style dinners. There is a little something for everyone here! Now if you love fresh fruits and veggies Kravabowl is a mandatory stop! Fresh pressed juices, blended fresh fruits making the best smoothie to ever hit your lips. Acaci bowls blended fruits on the bottom top it off with Acaci and sliced fresh fruits, fresh hand crafted salads, makes this a mandatory must try before you leave town.

Avila Beach is a charming seaside town located on the central coast of California. With its beautiful beaches, stunning views, and great weather, Avila Beach is a popular tourist destination. One of the highlights of any trip to Avila Beach is its fantastic dining scene. From seafood to Mexican cuisine, there are plenty of options for foodies to indulge in. Here are some of the best places to eat in Avila Beach:

  1. Custom House: Located right on the beach, Custom House is a popular seafood restaurant that offers fresh catches and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant’s menu features classic seafood dishes like clam chowder, fish and chips, and crab cakes.
  2. Ocean Grill: Another great seafood restaurant, Ocean Grill is located in the heart of Avila Beach and has a wide range of seafood dishes on its menu. The restaurant also has a great wine selection and outdoor seating with ocean views.
  3. Maya Restaurant: For those who are looking for Mexican cuisine, Maya Restaurant is the perfect spot. The restaurant serves traditional Mexican dishes like enchiladas, tacos, and burritos. They also have a great selection of margaritas and other cocktails.
  4. The Olde Port Inn: The Olde Port Inn is a seafood restaurant that has been a local favorite for over 40 years. The restaurant’s menu features fresh seafood dishes like lobster bisque, clam chowder, and seafood pasta. The restaurant also has outdoor seating with views of the harbor.
  5. Joe Momma’s Coffee: Joe Momma’s Coffee is a great spot for coffee lovers. The coffee shop serves a variety of coffee drinks, as well as pastries and sandwiches. The outdoor seating area is perfect for relaxing and enjoying a cup of coffee.
  6. Mersea’s: Mersea’s is a casual seafood restaurant located right on the beach. The restaurant serves a variety of seafood dishes like fish tacos, clam chowder, and crab cakes. They also have a great selection of beer and wine.
  7. Kraken Coffee Co.: Kraken Coffee Co. is a cozy coffee shop that serves a variety of coffee drinks and pastries. The shop also has outdoor seating and a great view of the ocean.
  8. Avila Market: Avila Market is a great place to grab a quick bite to eat. The market offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, and snacks. They also have a great selection of beer and wine.
  9. The Inn at Avila Beach: The Inn at Avila Beach is a boutique hotel that offers a fantastic restaurant. The restaurant serves fresh seafood dishes like scallops, prawns, and lobster. The restaurant also has outdoor seating with views of the beach.
  10. Avila Beach Paddlesports: If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, Avila Beach Paddlesports offers a kayaking and dining tour. The tour takes you on a kayak trip through the harbor, followed by a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.

In conclusion, Avila Beach has a great selection of restaurants that offer something for everyone. From seafood to Mexican cuisine, there are plenty of options to choose from. So, whether you’re looking for a casual lunch spot or a romantic dinner with ocean views, Avila Beach has it all.

Best Places to Stay in Avila Beach

I have added some of the more popular places to stay in Avila Beach. Please hit the links for more details and also for customer reviews at TripAdvisor

  1.  Avila Lighthouse Suites is the only all-suite oceanfront hotel in beautiful Avila Beach, California. Make yourself at home in one of our 54 newly renovated two-room suites, with a variety of family-friendly options boasting 550 to 1,100 square feet of coastal comfort—each with a private balcony or patio overlooking Avila Beach.
  2. Inn at Avila Beach is your all inclusive oceanfront hotel! The Inn at Avila offers so much more than just room. Every night we end the day with our 8pm pie reception with homemade baked pie and ice cream. At the top of the hour, guests enjoy access to our rooftop coffee house for breakfast.
  3. San Luis Bay Inn is a home away from home, the hotel rooms offer a flat screen TV, a refrigerator, and a kitchenette, and getting online is easy, with free internet access available.

Music Festivals that Rock Avila Beach

Some of the best performers come to play right here by the beach! From the Good Vibes Summer tour and blues festival, to Boots and Brews for the country lovers, and classic rock bands there is always good music to be heard! Rebulation, Jon Pardi, Gary Allen, ZZ Top, and George Throrogood are just a few of the epic performers that have hit the stage by the bay in Avila Beach. If you want to snag a spot you better be ready to purchase tickets as soon as they hit the box office. If you don’t get the tickets don’t worry you can still enjoy the music you just won’t get to see the concert, but like many of us locals dancing on the beach is just as fun!


Avila has a beachfront lineup of open air bars, a few spots to play pool, a little bit of dancing, in a fun and laid back setting. Mr. Ricks is a local favourite and always brings in a big crowd with their custom cocktails and highly skilled bartenders.

Avila Beach is a charming seaside town located on the central coast of California. While the town is known for its beautiful beaches and great weather, it also has a lively nightlife scene. From beachside bars to live music venues, there are plenty of options for those looking for a night out. Here are some of the best nightlife and bars in Avila Beach:

  1. The Custom House: The Custom House is a popular bar and restaurant located right on the beach. The bar has a great selection of local beers and wine, as well as signature cocktails. They also have live music on weekends, making it a great spot to enjoy a drink and some live entertainment.
  2. Mr. Rick’s: Mr. Rick’s is a classic beach bar located just steps from the sand. The bar has a casual atmosphere and a great selection of beer and cocktails. They also have a large outdoor seating area that’s perfect for enjoying the California sun.
  3. Avila Wine & Roasting Co.: For those who prefer wine to beer, Avila Wine & Roasting Co. is the perfect spot. The wine bar offers a wide selection of local wines, as well as coffee and light bites. They also have a cozy indoor seating area and a patio with a fire pit.
  4. Woodstone Marketplace: Woodstone Marketplace is a great spot for a casual night out. The market offers a variety of craft beers, as well as sandwiches and snacks. They also have live music on weekends, making it a great spot to hang out with friends.
  5. Avila Beach Golf Resort: Avila Beach Golf Resort is not just a golf course, but also a great spot for nightlife. The resort has a full bar and restaurant, as well as live music on weekends. They also have a beautiful outdoor seating area with views of the golf course.
  6. Olde Port Inn: Olde Port Inn is a seafood restaurant that also has a bar with a great view of the harbor. The bar has a great selection of local beers and wines, as well as signature cocktails. They also have live music on weekends, making it a great spot to enjoy a drink and some seafood.
  7. The Custom House Wine Bar: The Custom House Wine Bar is the perfect spot for wine lovers. The bar offers a wide selection of local wines, as well as cheese and charcuterie boards. They also have live music on weekends, making it a great spot to enjoy a glass of wine and some live entertainment.
  8. Kraken Coffee Co.: While Kraken Coffee Co. is primarily a coffee shop, they also offer beer and wine. The shop has a cozy atmosphere and a great selection of coffee drinks, as well as pastries and light bites. They also have live music on weekends, making it a great spot to relax and enjoy a drink.

In conclusion, Avila Beach has a great nightlife scene with a variety of options for those looking for a night out. Whether you’re in the mood for a beachside bar or a cozy wine bar, Avila Beach has it all. So, head out and explore the town’s nightlife, and you’re sure to find a spot that suits your style.

Best Day Trip Out of Avila Beach

There are so many amazing things to see outside of Avila too. If you have the chance to get away for the day you must take a trip to Hearst Castle. Take a trip further north to San Simeon and take in the beauty of this National and California Historical Landmark. Truly rare art, beyond gorgeous views, and stunning one of a kind architecture is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to visiting this Castle!

Young and old will enjoy its beauty and will leave in awe that something so beautiful actually exists somewhere and not just in fairytales. If I you have time on your way back to Avila, take a quick stop in San Luis Obispo and grab a late lunch or early dinner at The Maddonna Inn! Owned by Alex Madonna this place has original decor chosen by Mrs.Madonna. Take a walk through the dinning hall and sitting areas. If by chance it’s the off season ask if you can see inside a few of the rooms. Each room has its own unique design and no two rooms are alike!

Something that not many travellers would know about Avila Beach

Over the years this special spot has gotten more popular with travelers, but it has always been a hot spot with the locals! Sycamore Mineral Springs was an accidental discovery in 1886 when two men who were drilling for gold. Sadly no gold was found but what they did stumble upon was hot sulfur mineral water. These therapeutic waters are known for their curative properties, so in 1920 Sycamore Mineral Springs was born.

Along the hillside settled in among the oak trees, are 23 hot mineral hot tubs. All of these tubs are positioned to give you the most private and relaxing experience possible. When soaking in the tubs it’s recommended to follow the clothing optional suggestion and are completely shielded from the view of others.

You can add water and change the temperature for the ideal conditions. The winds are minimal and the view of the stars above is breathtaking! This is a spectacular place to spend a romantic evening. You can book one of the 72, rooms that have their own private tubs on the back deck. You will enjoy every minute of this spectaculars destination.

As you can see Avila Beach has something to offer everyone. This is defiantly a destination that she be added to yro bucket list. If I wasn’t fortunate enough to live here it would definitely be on mine. I hope you enjoy your visit to Avila Beach California.