Heading north from LA and looking for spots where you can turn off Highway 1 and have some fun with your canine companion? Check out Pismo State Beach, a lovely sandy beach located around 20 miles northwest of Santa Maria. To get there, turn off Highway 1 to the town of Oceano.
A wide, expansive beach, Pismo State Beach offers ample room for dogs and their humans to walk, run, play and explore. Your dog will need to stay on a leash at all times, but that won't stop the two of you having a grrr-eat time. Of course, you'll also need to clean up after your pet and keep them under control for the duration of your visit.
You and your dog can enjoy a long walk, wade in the shallows or just sit down in the sand and enjoy some warm California weather. The beach is popular for swimming and surf fishing, and it even offers a chance to dig for the famous Pismo clam. Backed by tree-lined dunes, the beach is also a favorite haunt for bird watchers hoping to catch a sight of a variety of rare species.
During the warmer weather, particularly on weekends, Pismo State Beach can get quite crowded. Avoid visiting during peak periods if you're hoping to spend some quiet time on the sand, and also make sure your pet is well socialized and knows how to act around other people and dogs.
Restrooms and showers are available on site, and there are plenty of interesting attractions and facilities nearby, including a wheelchair-accessible fishing overhand at Ocean Lagoon and a number of nearby restaurants.
But the most fun can be had down on the sand by the water's edge, where you and your dog can make the most of the relaxed coastal lifestyle for which California is famous.