Avila Beach, California

A beach with people on it.

Avila Beach – A “new” beach town

Sheltered by surrounding hills, Avila Beach has a warmer microclimate than any other Central California beach city with little fog. Fresh and new, it is a nice little beach town just down the road from San Luis Obispo.

Street view near the Avila Beach pier

Avila is a city that almost didn’t make it…

Now we’ve all heard about ghost towns in the desert or out on the plains, but a “beach city” dying? NAH!

Shipping and Oil

Avila Beach (pronounced Ă-vuh-lah) sits on a natural harbor, San Luis Obispo Bay, and has been important for shipping from the establishment of the mission in San Luis Obispo.

When oil was discovered in the region, Avila became the terminal for the shipping of petroleum products. In the 1990’s it was discovered that oil transport pipes beneath Avila Beach had been leaking for decades.

The main plaza at Avila Beach

It was finally decided that the city should be closed for several years while all the contaminated sand was removed and replaced with clean sand.

What you are greeted with today when visiting lovely beach city is a very fresh and welcoming city.

Avila is also a great place to stay during your Central California vacation or getaway. Check out this site for the best hotel deals in Avila.

Avila Beach Quick Facts:

  • County: San Luis Obispo
  • Population: 1,627 (2010)
  • Elevation: 55 ft.
  • Coordinates: 35.17891N, 120.73380W
  • Zip Code: 93424
  • Area Code: 805
  • City Government: Unincorporated
  • Piers: 3: Avila pier and Harford Pier are publicly accessible; the Cal Poly pier is private.
Sunset at Avila Beach with the piers and Whalers Rock in the distance

Fun Things to do at the beach in Avila

  • Wine Tasting
    • 2nd Chance Winery – 65 Landing Passage Street, AB- (805) 595-9500
    • Alapay Cellars – 415 1st Street, AB – (805) 595-2632
    • Avila Wine and Roasting – 53 San Miguel Street, AB – (805) 627-1918
    • Cuvée-Champagne Bar, AB – 550 1st Street #A, AB- (805) 627-1443
    • Kelsey See Canyon Winery – 1947 See Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo – (805) 595-9700
    • Morovino – 76 Landing Passage, AB- (805) 627-1443
    • Peloton Cellars – 470 Front Street, AB- (805) 627-1080
    • Salisbury Vineyards – 6985 Ontario Road, Avila Valley – (805) 595-9463
    • Wood Winery – 480 Front St., AB- (805) 595-9663
  • Visit the Avila Valley Barn
    • Open May-December; bakery; u-pick produce; hay rides; seasonal fun
  • Take a mini-scenic drive up See Canyon
The view from the end of the Port Harford pier in Avila Beach

Several of the beaches here are dog-friendly, as are some of the businesses in town.

There are also places for RV camping.

In the summer the town hosts many concerts and festivals. There is a Farmer’s Market if you’d like to sample the areas fresh produce and products.

View toward Avila Beach from the Port Harford pier

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