Pirate's Cove Beach

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    Pirate's Cove Nude Beach

    Pirate's Cove from the Avila Ridge Trail
    m+s mumby / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Pirate's Cove in Avila Bay should not be confused with Pirate's Cove in Los Angeles or Pirate's Cove in Marin County. This beach is also called Cave Landing or Mallagh Landing.


    Between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach. Get a map and directions on the last page of this guide.


    • Quarter-mile long cove
    • One of the most beautiful nude beach settings
    • No fishermen here, so it's easy to walk without fear of getting a hook where you don't want it

    Who's at Pirate's Cove Beach

    Gawkers are often a nuisance at Pirate's Cove. Women may find them particularly intimidating.

    • Up to 200 on weekends
    • Suited and not
    • Almost half are women
    • 10 percent families
    • Gawkers on the cliff and on the beach

    Pirate's Cove Beach Facilities


    Pirate's Cove Beach Activities


    More Nude Beaches Within 25 Miles of Pirate's Cove

    Nudity Laws and Pirate's Cove Beach

    Laws regarding nudity at the naturist beach vary by location and fines are stiff in some places. We haven't been able to get information about San Luis Obispo County nudity laws and the responsibility for knowing the law at Pirate's Cove Beach is yours.

    Nude or naturist beach neophytes, please be respectful of others and read the Nude Beach and Topless Beach Etiquette guidelines before you go to a nude beach.

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    Getting to Pirate's Cove Beach

    San Luis Obispo Beaches
    Google Maps

    If you want an interactive version of the map, would like to convert to a close-up satellite map that shows the beaches and trails or need driving directions, use our San Luis Obispo County Beach map at Google.

    Driving Directions

    About 7 to 9 miles south of San Luis Obispo (depending on which interchange you start at) and 5 miles north of Pismo Beach off US Hwy 101.

    • Take the Avila Beach exit (#195)
    • Turn right at the end of the off ramp onto Avila Beach Drive
    • Follow the signs toward Avila Beach for 2.0 miles, past Sycamore Hot Springs and a traffic light.
    • As soon as the golf course is visible on the right, look for a road to the left going uphill
    • Turn left on Cave Landing Road
    • Follow the road to a dirt parking lot at the end


    Parking lot at top of cliff

    Walking from Parking Lot to the Beach

    • Take the trail at the south (left) end of the lot
    • Stay to the left go down the long series of steps
    • At the sand, walk east to the far end of the beach
    • The nude area is near the volleyball net