The California Trip, Part Nine: Pismo Beach

We were in Pismo Beach on Thursday. Is it okay to call Pismo Beach déclassé? Or is that pretentious?

Our guide book describes it thusly:
Pismo is about the beach. Forget about chic. Shorts, a t-shirt, sandals, a beach hat, and lots of sunscreen are all you need to pack...

In the 1900s, with saloons, brothels, and a dance hall established, the town had become a tourist getaway for wild times, and that reputation was furthered during the Depression when Pismo Beach became a well-known source for illicit booze. Currently, it's merely a time-warp shrine to days when California beach towns were unpretentious places meant for just goofing off.
And by goofing off, the book includes riding ATVs on the beach.
The Pismo dunes are the only place in California where it's legal to drive on the beach--in specially designated Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area... A five-and-a-half mile sand highway at the ocean's edge parallels the mountainous dunes; you can take the family car onto the sand highway, but the dunes themselves are off-limits to all but four-wheel-drive and all-terrain vehicles.
Alas, we only came to scope the place out, not ride ATVs on the beach.

Here are some pictures.

pismo 1

Pismo 7 Pismo 31

Pismo 32 pismo 5

pismo 3

Pismo 9

Pismo 14

Pismo 22

Pismo 15

Pismo 16

Pismo 24

pismo 26 Pismo 27 Pismo 28

Pismo 25

Pismo 17

When I was about four years old, an obnoxious uncle told me to watch my step on the wharf in Santa Cruz or I might fall through. "Heh, heh!"

pismo 29

I was damaged with fright for years. Taking me to the Wharf became an ordeal for my parents which is unfortunate because we used to go there frequently.

Pismo 23

Pismo 21

By the weekend, I'm sure Pismo Beach was packed.

Pismo 13

The trip continues in Part 10.

1 comment:

lisa said...

So that's the famous Pismo Beach...looks like a fun place! My aunt scared me in similar fashion with "someone might be under your bed"...I used to look underneath, turn off the lights, and take a running leap into bed every night after that. (Until age 10 at least.) Why do people think it's fun to scare little kids?