Summer Travel Series: Pismo Beach + San Luis Obispo


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What day is it? HUMP DAY! I am envisioning the camels from that one commercial right now. BUT it is also the day for the second installment of my Summer Travel Series (you can check out Part 1 here). So where to this time? A very quick trip to sunny Pismo Beach, California (with a cameo by St. Luis Obispo). Let’s get traveling!

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The view from our balcony
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Look at what I found in our bathroom! So cute

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Where to Stay

We stayed one night at the Inn at the Cove on Price St. in Pismo Beach, and let me tell you, it was absolutely amazing! My parents and I still talk about how great a stay it was. Unfortunately, this trip was back over spring break and I didn’t think to take any pictures of the room. 🙁 But be sure to swing by their website to check out some gorgeous photos.

So why was this hotel so great? For starters, it was relatively inexpensive. The following night we stayed at a hotel in San Jose—just a generic one right by the airport—and it was almost twice the price for just a boring, sub-par room! Our room at the Inn at the Cove had a balcony to sit and watch the ocean. We slept with the door slightly open so we could hear the waves crashing violently against the rocks! It was so peaceful (despite what that may have sounded like). Also, they had a great pool and free breakfast that included gluten-free options—they had blueberry muffins! Score! (In case you didn’t know from previous posts, I’m gluten-free, but not by choice—yuck.)

The Inn is a motel style so you have to walk outside to get to your room. I always thought motels had kind of a sketchy vibe, but trust me, this one definitely does not! It was actually really nice because there aren’t that many rooms–it was a really quiet night. No loud floor stompers staying above us. 😉

Again, I could not recommend this place enough. It’d be the perfect vacation spot for a road trip with your friends! Tucked away and a little treasure of California. 🙂

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(Does this outfit look familiar? You already saw it in this post.)

What to Do

Day 1: We arrived in Pismo Beach right before lunch time, so the first thing we did was drop off our bags in our awesome room. Then we decided to drive about 45 minutes to San Luis Obispo, although it didn’t seem like that long of a drive because the scenery was pretty. We quickly found a lunch spot at Splash Café, which had great gluten-free sandwiches and some yummy sweets for dessert. Would recommend this quick little joint!

After lunch, we made our way to the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and wandered around the gift shop, museum, and church. The Mission is kind of the star of the town, especially since they share the same name/saint. I thought it was really cool, but if you’re not religious, I’m not sure it would be very interesting. But the old architecture (it was founded in 1772!) and the garden out back is worth checking out.

We walked around a bit and my mom and I found this cute little shop where we ended up buying hair clips as souvenirs. I’m wearing mine in these pictures, and the color is called “Red Crackle” but it’s really a dusty pink color. They’re nice because they hold better than a traditional claw, aren’t as huge, and can be worn more ways. I keep mine on my nightstand to throw my hair up in the mornings!

We then drove back to Pismo Beach (I think mainly because our parking meter was up, haha) and took a walk along the water. We first explored this park that had something to do with a dinosaur egg? Oh, I think they had built a huge dinosaur sculpture many years ago but then it fell part. I don’t know, I obviously don’t remember very well, but it was interesting to read about (there was a plaque in the park). The picture of the dinosaur was really cute. 🙂

We made our way closer to the town and wandered about some shops and the beach; there were lots of people out! We felt our tummies grumble and of course answered the call. The Oyster Loft was where we ate, and it was great! (I’m very rhyme-y today…) The service was excellent and so was the food. Plus, it was nice to have a fancier atmosphere because many of the restaurants we walked past didn’t look so good.

When we finished dinner, we went into a few shops, but they were mainly just surfer boy places with cheap souvenirs. But still, sometimes it’s fun to check that stuff out. 🙂 We drove back to our hotel and worked because unfortunately, we all had either homework or papers to get done. Once it got dark though, my dad and I went to the outdoor pool! Well, really, we just hung out in the hot tub. It was really relaxing and enjoyable. Like I mentioned earlier, we fell asleep to the sound of the ocean.

Day 2: Honestly, there wasn’t really a day 2 in Pismo Beach. We woke up, took these outfit photos by the pretty rock alcove right near the hotel’s property (that’s why I look so out of it—I had just woken up!), and then ate the free breakfast in the hotel. We were off then, roadtripping to our next spot! Even though it was a short stay in Pismo Beach, it was jam-packed with fun. I would definitely return to this hotel and town if the opportunity presented itself. It’d be awesome to rent a boat or something and actually get out on the water next time.

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What to Pack

Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a swimsuit are definitely a must. If you plan on having a full-on beach day (which you should!), a beach bag, sun-hat, and towel would also be good. As far as clothes go, even in the summer, it stays relatively cool and breezy since the water is right there. I’d recommend shorts, skinny jeans, tank tops or short-sleeve blouses, and definitely a cute sweater/open cardigan. Light sweaters are perfect here to keep away the chill of the breezes and to warm up at night. And don’t forget sandals! It’s all sandals, all the time.

Fashion I Saw

Pismo Beach was super casual with an understandably surfer vibe. Denim cut-offs, rompers, and breezy tanks were popular. There were a TON of flip flops. And I’m pretty sure I saw at least one red lifeguard sweatshirt. 😉

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I hope you enjoyed this travel guide! Both of these towns were so cute, and there’s a really young atmosphere (San Luis Obispo is a college town) so it’s great for a girls trip (post-graduation vacation, anyone??). Are you heading anywhere special soon? Do you like hanging at the beach? Thanks for stopping by today.


Miles of smiles,



Blouse: Kohl’s, $20, last seen here // Cardigan: Nordstrom, $30, last seen here // Jeans: A.N.A. via JCPenney, $25, last seen here // Shoes: DSW, $40, last seen here 

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