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Living in Pismo Beach Guide 🐚 | What Pismo Beach Living Is Like + Tips for Moving

Last Updated on: 3rd October 2023, 05:13 am

Situated in the Central Coast area of California, Pismo Beach is a beautiful seaside city. Nicknamed the “Clam Capital of the World,” Pismo Beach is known for its beautiful beaches where clamming was popular throughout all of the 1950s. Although clams are not as abundant today, Pismo Beach still hosts an annual Clam Festival every October. Residents living in Pismo Beach have access to gorgeous nature, highly-rated schools, and some of the best waterfront real estate in California. As such, Pismo Beach is a good place to live. 

Where Is Pismo Beach?


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Pismo Beach is in San Luis Obispo County and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. Of the 13.5 miles that make up Pismo Beach, 9.9 square miles are covered by water. Pismo Beach is a part of the Five Cities area, which is made up of Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Shell Beach, Arroyo Grande, and Oceano.

There are many great opportunities for day trips when living in Pismo Beach, CA. It is 81.5 miles from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara, 13.1 miles from San Luis Obispo to Pismo Beach, and 19.0 miles from Santa Maria to Pismo Beach.

Pismo Beach Population & Demographics

The Pismo Beach, CA population is 8,072. The city is a part of the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles metropolitan area, which has a population of 283,159. Because of its relaxing beaches and nearby attractions, Pismo Beach is a popular place to live for older couples and retirees, and the median age in the city is 58.2.

The residents of Pismo Beach are very well educated, with 97.0% holding a high school degree (or higher), and 48.4% holding a bachelor’s degree (or higher). This is higher than both the rate in California and the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles metro area.

The median household income in Pismo Beach is $94,268, which is above the California average of $84,097.

Additional Pismo Beach Demographics:

  • Sex ratio: 50.2% female, 49.8% male
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 85.5% White (82.7% non-Hispanic), 6.1% two or more races, 2.7% Asian, 1.2% Black or African American
  • Foreign-born population: 8.0%

Is Pismo Beach a safe place to live? Here is a breakdown of Pismo Beach crime.

  • Overall crime in Pismo Beach: 4,352 crimes per 100,000 people (68.6% higher than state average, 85.5% higher than national average)
  • Violent crime in Pismo Beach: 681 crimes per 100,000 people (54.1% higher than state average, 75.6% higher than national average)
  • Property crime in Pismo Beach: 3,671 crimes per 100,000 people (71.6% higher than state average, 87.5% higher than national average)

As you can see, the Pismo Beach crime rate is higher than the state and national average. Pismo Beach is a popular tourist destination, and most of the crimes happen at night in areas where clubs and bars are present. The residential areas of Pismo Beach are very safe and see little to no crime at all. You can check out the Pismo Beach Police Department’s crime map to keep up with crimes in real time. The department also has several crime prevention programs in place to keep both residents and visitors safe.

The Pismo Beach Police Department has 23 sworn officers on the force.

Cost of Living in Pismo Beach CA

If you are moving to Pismo Beach, it is important to prepare for high living expenses. The Pismo Beach Cost of Living Index is 178.6, which means that it is 78.6% more expensive than the national average. If you are moving from another California city, this may not be a shock, as California is the 2nd-most expensive state to live in (just behind Hawaii), according to Business Insider. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $104,773 per year to live in Pismo Beach.

Typical Pismo Beach Living Expenses

  • Cappuccino: $4.30
  • Carton of eggs: $3.52
  • Gallon of gas: $5.08
  • Average Pismo Beach utilities per month: $245.00
  • Gym membership: $71.25
  • Movie ticket: $14.25

Source: Numbeo

*These prices are for the nearby city of San Luis Obispo but accurately reflect the figures for Pismo Beach.

Pismo Beach real estate is likely the highest expense you will encounter when moving to the area. Houses for sale in Pismo Beach range from charming beach houses to seven-bedroom mansions. The average home price in Pismo Beach, CA is $1.23 million, which is up 18.9% over the past year.

If you are thinking about renting Pismo Beach, CA real estate, then there are many options to consider. According to Rentcafe, the average rent in Pismo Beach is $2,850.

Of the 6,040 housing units in Pismo Beach, 70% are owner-occupied, and 40% are renter-occupied.

Pismo Beach Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Pismo Beach

These are the best places to live in Pismo Beach

Downtown Pismo Beach | Trendy Area Great For Young Professionals

Downtown Pismo Beach is the perfect area for those who love to be in the center of all of the action. This walkable area runs along the beach and is full of shops, restaurants, and bars. Many trendy Pismo Beach hotels and the Pismo Beach Pier are also in this area.

Pacific Estates | Popular Pismo Beach Neighborhood Among Families

This residential neighborhood in Pismo Beach borders Price Historical Park and is popular among families. This neighborhood is within walking distance of the top-rated Judkins Middle School.

Pismo Oaks | Quiet Neighborhood Ideal for Retirees

Pismo Oaks is a quiet area that contains many beautiful, custom-built homes. Chumash Park is located in the center of Pismo Oaks, which provides many outdoor recreation opportunities.


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Pismo Beach Weather & Climate

According to the Köppen classification, the Pismo Beach climate is a Mediterranean climate. The weather in Pismo Beach is characterized by hot summers and wet, cool winters. During the summer months, the average temperature in Pismo Beach is 76ºF. In the winter, it is 54ºF.


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The warm season in Pismo Beach lasts for almost four months, and the best time to visit the area is from late June to late September.

Things to Do in Pismo Beach

The city of Pismo Beach has endless attractions for you to enjoy. You can enjoy Pismo Beach shopping at the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets and the Pismo Coast Shopping Plaza. If you are looking for Pismo Beach grocery stores, check out California Fresh Market or Pismo Market. These are some of the best things to do in Pismo Beach, CA.

Monarch Butterfly Grove

The southern end of Pismo Beach is bordered by sand dunes that contain eucalyptus trees that attract thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies to the area each year. You can visit the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove to view the butterflies from late October through February.

400 S Dolliver St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, 805-773-7170

Pismo Preserve

View the cliffs in Pismo Beach at the Pismo Preserve. This 880-acre stretch of land offers 11 miles of trails with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean.

80 Mattie Rd, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, 805-544-9096

Pismo Beach Pier

The Pismo Beach Pier is one of the best things to do in Pismo Beach, California. This lively pier is lined with stores and restaurants with easy access to the beach and play areas for children.

Pismo Beach, CA 93449, 805-773-7039

Additional Pismo Beach Attractions

Still unsure of what to do in Pismo Beach? Check out Pismo Beach events on the city calendar. The Pismo Beach Recreation Department also runs several parks in the area for you to enjoy.

Pismo Beach Restaurants

Are you on the hunt for the best restaurants in Pismo Beach? There is no shortage of incredible food in the city. These are the restaurants in Pismo Beach you can’t miss out on.

Ada’s Fish House

Ada’s Fish House is one of the best restaurants in Pismo Beach, CA, and specializes in lobster rolls, clam chowder, and fresh oysters. 

558 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, 805-556-3077


Stop by Wooly’s and enjoy some classic American food with a view of the ocean. This beach bar is famous for its delicious New England clam chowder and Philly cheesesteak.


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101 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, 805-295-5100

Rosa’s Italian Restaurant

Rosa’s is easily one of the best places to eat in Pismo Beach. This relaxed eatery serves up classic Italian dishes and specialty cocktails.

491 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, 805-773-0551

Jobs in Pismo Beach

If you aren’t moving to Pismo Beach for a career, then you may want to explore jobs in the area. There are many amazing Pismo Beach jobs for you to choose from. According to Pismo Beach’s 2020 Comprehensive Financial Report, there are 1,102 employees in Pismo Beach. The top employers in Pismo Beach are:

  • The Cliff’s of Shell Beach (230 employees)
  • Keller-Williams (179 employees)
  • Dolphin Bay Resort (124 employees)
  • City of Pismo Beach (120 employees)
  • Martin Resorts (100 employees)

According to PayScale, the average salary in Pismo Beach is $73,000. The unemployment rate in Pismo Beach is at an all-time low of 1.60%, which is well below the California average of 4.6%.

If you are on the hunt for jobs in Pismo Beach, CA, then try checking out Indeed or taking a look at the city job board.

Pismo Beach Schools

Pismo Beach is served by the Lucia Mar Unified School District. This Pismo Beach school district contains 19 schools and serves nearly 10,000 students. The only schools within the limits of Pismo Beach are Judkins Middle School and Shell Beach Elementary School. Judkins Middle School is ranked by US News as the #1 middle school in the Lucia Mar Unified School District.

The Coastal Christian School is the only private school in Pismo Beach and serves grades PK-12.

Pismo Beach is also home to the famous Pismo Beach Surf Academy, where students can take private surf lessons all year round.

Pismo Beach Statistics & Information

  • County: San Luis Obispo
  • Pismo Beach area: 13.37 square miles
  • Pismo Beach zip code: 93448,93449
  • Pismo Beach area code: 805
  • Pismo Beach elevation: 56 feet
  • Pismo Beach time zone: Pacific Time Zone (PT)
  • Closest airport to Pismo Beach: San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP), 8.4 miles away

Pismo Beach Map

Living in Pismo Beach has never been better! The amazing weather, fantastic job opportunities, and gorgeous real estate make this city the perfect place to call home. If you are ready to make the move, then let our experienced Pismo Beach movers handle everything. Martian Movers has been in the moving industry for over nine years and completes over 1,000 moves each year. Give us a call today at 805-779-3844 to receive a free quote!


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