The Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is a unique sand dune complex where visitors can swim, surf, surf fish, camp, and hike. Scientists, conservationists, government agencies, and the public all recognize the coastal dunes as the finest and most extensive remaining in California.

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Expert Review of Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area

Parks and Outdoors Review of Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area

Away Travel Expert: Ann Marie Brown
ParksExpert Rating 4.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Birding,Camping,Off-Roading,Saltwater Fishing
Parks and OutdoorsExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • Oceano Dunes is the only state park in California where you can drive your vehicle on the beach. The area is heavily used by those with dune buggies and 4x4s, but even passenger cars can travel on the northern portion of the beach. Camping is permitted south of Post 2, both on the beach and in the open sand dune area, but is recommended for those with four-wheel drive vehicles only.
  • Off-highway vehicle users can play all day on the Oceano sand dunes, considered to be the most extensive coastal dune system in California. Five and one-half miles of coastline are open to OHV use.
  • Birders head for Oso Flaco Lake, which is closed to OHV use, to seek out the Audubon warbler, long-billed marsh wren, and various raptors. The threatened snowy plover and the endangered California least tern nest in the sandy beach beyond the lake. Many areas of the beach are fenced off between March 1 to September 30 from OHV use to protect the nesting birds .

Three miles south of Pismo Beach
Arroyo Grande, California
Parking: Daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 805-773-7170
Neighborhood: 93420
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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