Oceano Campground, Pismo State Beach

Oceano Campground at Pismo State Beach
Oceano Campground at Pismo State Beach. Adapted from Google Street View

Oceano Campground is one of two campgrounds at Pismo State Beach. It's not quite right on the beach, but the sand is only a short walk away.

At the park and beach, you can go hiking or swimming. The beach is also popular with bird watchers, and it has the largest over-wintering colony of monarch butterflies in the United States. You may have to wait a while to add clam digging to that list, that is until the famous Pismo clams which recently reappeared after a two-decade absence reach a legal size of 4.5 inches. After that, you need a fishing license to harvest them.

The vehicular recreation area at Pismo Beach is just past the sand dunes. You can rent ATVs at a couple of nearby shops, which are within walking distance. That's great if you want to join in with others zooming around the dunes, but those same vehicles can be annoyingly noisy if you prefer peace and quiet.

There's also a small lagoon at the edge of the campground. The nature center can help you learn more about the area's plants and animals. They can also give you information about walking trails.

Oceano campground has direct beach access, but because of the trees, it's protected from the wind.

If Oceano doesn't appeal to you, the North Beach Campground — also at Pismo State Beach — is only about a mile away. 

Oceano Campsites

Oceano Campground has 42 sites. You can camp there in an RV or a tent. Some of the sites have RV hookups. The campground can accommodate campers up to 36 feet long and trailers up to 31 feet long.

Some of the sites at Oceano have trees, which are rare in campgrounds near the beach. They provide some shelter from the wind and keep you cooler on hot, sunny days. 

If you'd like to stay at Oceano in comfort but don't have an RV, check with Luv2Camp. They deliver an RV to the campground, set it up and take it away when you're done.

What You Need to Know Before You Go Camping at Oceano

Reservations are a necessity at Oceano Campground on weekends and during the summer. Make them as early as you can. That's especially important during peak season, which is between mid-May and mid-September, as well as holiday weekends. The California state parks reservation system forces you to reserve as much a six months ahead, and you need to know how to use it before you get started. Learn how to make California state park reservations

Up to eight people can stay in each campsite, and you can bring up to three vehicles.

Dogs are allowed at Oceano, as long as they stay under control and on leashes no longer than six feet. You'll also have to keep them inside a vehicle or in your tent or RV at night.

The campground has restrooms and showers, although some campers say they don't have enough of them. And you can't use coins to pay for the showers. Instead, you have to have to buy tokens.

WiFi is available within 150 feet of the restaurant at the Le Sage Day use area, about three-fourths of a mile from the campground.

Oceano is a convenient place to camp. That's because the two campgrounds in Pismo State Beach are both visited by a service that brings water, provides pump out service, and sells ice. 

You can walk to the beach, but you'll need to drive to town if you want to buy something or have a meal in a restaurant.

Online reviewers say that Oceano is lenient about enforcement of quiet time and some people complain about noisy parties that go on into the early morning. Homeless people in the area concern some campers, too. Others mention that a lot of coyotes are seen in the area. You can read more reviews at Yelp.

You will find firewood for sale in the park, which the best place to buy it. That's not just for someone to make money,  but to keep invasive species from spreading, including some that could eventually destroy the vegetation around the campground. For more information about threat and other places to get your wood, visit the California Firewood Taskforce website.

How to Get to Oceano Campground

Pismo State Beach Oceano Campground is two miles south of the town of Pismo Beach off CA Hwy 1. The street address is 555 Pier Avenue, Pismo Beach, CA. You can get more information on the Oceano Campground website.

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