Explore Pismo Beach and all of its oceanside activities. | Photo by SJtoday staff
City Editor Alyson here — over the last year, I’ve been trying to adventure to in-state destinations that don’t hurt my wallet, but are still an escape from my normal day-to-day.
This time, I ventured to Pismo Beach — a small coastal town that’s a perfect getaway for enjoying the beach + sand dunes, nearby wineries, and great seafood.
While you’re packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + my insider recommendations.
Drive time: ~4 hours
Est. population: 8,036
Avg. high in September/October: 70°-73°
🌊 Things to do
Visit the Oceano sand dunes Whether you want to hike, surf, lay back, ride ATVs, or go horseback riding, the dunes are your destination. A lot of people come here specifically to ride ATVs on the 8-mile stretch of dunes, so there are plenty of ATV rental companies located at the entrance to the dunes. Pro tip: Reserve ahead of time to skip long waits.
Go wine tasting With just a 15 to 30-minute drive, you’ll find an abundance of wineries in the nearby Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande, and Avila Valley areas. Most of the wineries accept walk-in tastings, but check with each to make sure you don’t need a reservation. For a casual outdoor tasting, we suggest Claiborne & Churchill Winery.
🦪 Where to eat
Splash Cafe, 197 Pomeroy Ave. This restaurant has served its award-winning chowder since 1991 — generating 40,000 gallons of it a year. The loaded clam chowder is a fan favorite and made with mixed seafood, bacon, green onions, and cheese.
Tito’s Red Tacos, 690 Dolliver St. Breakfast, lunch, late night munchies — this restaurant hits the spot. Their famous red queso tacos comes with consomé + chicharrones — we recommend filling it up with birria. They also serve Mexican fusion ramen, birria fries, and elote cups.
Monday Night Social Poker | Monday, Sept. 18 | 6-9 p.m. | Off the Rails Brewing Co., 111 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale | Free | Learn how to play Texas Hold’Em while meeting new people and enjoying beer + wine.
Pruneyard Dine-In Cinemas | Monday, Sept. 18 | 7 p.m. | The Pruneyard, 1875 S. Bascom Ave., Ste. 100, San Jose | $57.50 | Indulge in a three-course meal inspired by the featured film, “Casino,” that includes a meatball sub and tiramisu.
Tuesday, Sept. 19
Karaoke Night | Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 8-11:45 p.m. | Renegades Bar, 501 W. Taylor St., San Jose | Free | Enjoy local talent or step up to the mic yourself at this weekly event.
Wednesday, Sept. 20
Tully Night Market | Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 5:30-8:30 p.m. | Tully Community Ballfields, 800 Tully Rd. + Kenoga Drive, San Jose | Free | This fall market is back with gourmet food trucks, local vendors, and live entertainment.
Author Talk with Marie Silva Vallejo | Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 6-7:30 p.m. | San Jose Library: Willow Glen Branch, 1157 Minnesota Ave., San Jose | Free | As part of SJPL’s “Pinoytown Rising” exhibit, this author will talk about the U.S. Army’s 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments in WWII.
Pumpkin Spice Everything Bingo Night | Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 7:30 p.m. | Britannia Arms Almaden, 5027 Almaden Expressway, San Jose | Free | Play four rounds for a chance to win fall-themed prizes.
Starting Monday, Sept. 25, Caltrain will operate on a new weekday schedule to better align with BART’s timing, increase Gilroy service, and provide faster evening trips. The change will add a fourth daily round trip on weekdays.
A 154-unit affordable housing development is being proposed for 259 Meridian Ave. where a decades-old office currently sits. A mixed-use complex was proposed for the 1.3-acre site a few years ago, but never went through. Current plans are still in their preliminary stages. (The Mercury News)
A new winery, Bella Montagna, is opening its tasting room soon and coincidentally, is located on a property that was once owned by the Mirassou family — the oldest winemaking family in the US, established in 1854. You can reserve a tasting starting this weekend, Saturday, Sept. 23-Sunday, Sept. 24. (The Mercury News)
Downtown Ice will return for the holidays this year, and feature a unique layout with LED-lit palm trees. Last year, Aloha Roller Rink operated in its place — so retire those rollerskates + lace up your ice skates.
A new California-style restaurant + bar is coming to a shared groundfloor space of two buildings located at 189/177 W. Santa Clara St. Owner David Mulvehill hasn’t named it yet, but plans to make it a farm-to-table concept. He also owns four San Pedro Square eateries and bars. (San José Spotlight)
Coastal Kids Home Care, a pediatric health care services nonprofit, recently secured office space thanks to two Bay Area real estate firms. The new office is on the groundfloor of an apartment complex at 333 Sunol St. Coastal Kids serves ~650 children in four NorCal counties. (The Mercury News)
The San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara metro area saw its biggest rent year-over-year decline last month, according to recent data from Apartmentlist.com. In August, it dropped 3.4% — the largest decline in 27 months. (The Mercury News)
Actor and comedian Adam Sandler will make a stop at the SAP Center on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m., with a special surprise guest. The I Missed You Tour tickets are now available.
Audiologists are raving about the latest generation of Horizon hearing aids. Why the excitement? They deliver unmatched speech clarity in an ultra-discreet design. The best part?hear.com offers a local, 45-day no-risk trial, so you can try before you buy. Secure your spot.*
How many credit cards are in your wallet? Make your answer “one.” The Ascent’s credit card experts personally signed up for this card because of its perfect mix of benefits: up to 5% cash back, a big bonus, no annual fee, the list goes on. Learn more.*
Voting is your civic right + responsibility. | Photo by SJtoday staff
National Voter Registration Day is tomorrow, Sept. 19, and helps citizens ensure they are eligible to vote in upcoming elections. To date, nearly 5 million voters have used the holiday to register to vote.
And guess what? Santa Clara County’s Registrar of Voters is hosting an event tomorrow at PayPal Headquarters at 216 N. First St., 4-7 p.m., with music, live entertainment, food trucks, games, and a photo booth. Meet with community organizations, learn about future elections — and if you haven’t already — register to vote. Admission + parking at the event is free.
Unsure if you’ve registered? Use the county’s portal to look up your information.
J Boog, one of my all-time favorite reggae singers, is performing at Music in the Park this Friday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it — I’ll be in Sin City this later this week. But, please go for me and take advantage of this giveaway that may get you in for free. Music in the Park is handing out 50 free tickets, just follow the simple rules on the Instagram page. Trust me, J Boog is worth seeing.