MEMORIAL DAY GETAWAY: Pismo Beach, It’s Close and It’s Cool

May 24, 2012
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pismo1Usually, I don’t like the word “clammy” as a description, unless you’re referring to Pismo Beach, a great California coastal getaway that once billed itself as the “Clam Capital of the World.

While the clams — once so abundant that plows harvested them on the beach — are largely gone, the Splash Café still makes a terrific clam chowder that draws huge crowds. Located at 197 Pomeroy Ave. (805.773.4653), it serves more than 15,000 gallons of rich, buttery clam chowder a year.

If you don’t like clams, you have lots of other treats in store. One is Old West Cinnamon Rolls at 861 Dolliver Street (805.773.1428). They should rename this place Splurge because these giant cream cheese-frosted buns are definitely an over-the-top indulgence.

For dinner, try Rosa’s Italian Restaurant at 491 Price Street (805.773-0551) and its thin crust pizza with Italian sausage, salami and green pepper. Specialties include Cioppino on Wednesday, Osso Bucco on Thursday, and freshly made Tiramisu. Rosa’s offers moderately priced dishes and unpretentious ambiance.

Don’t worry about overeating. Pismo Beach offers multiple ways to walk off the pounds. You can stroll along the beach or the rebuilt pier, fly a kite purchased at The Sky’s the Limit Toy & Kite Shop at 761 Dolliver Street (805.773.8697), rent a beach cruiser from Beach Cycle Rentals (805.773-5518) or Wheel Fun Rentals (805.773.0296), rent and ride ATVs over eight miles of dunes (Angello’s ATV – 805.481-0355 or Arnie’s ATV – 805.473.1670) or walk through more than a dozen vineyards in the Edna Valley located about 30 minutes out of town. pismo2

Depending on season and day of week, hotel accommodations range in price from about $79 to $150. For a full list of hotels and coming attractions, call the Pismo Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau (805.773.7034) or visit

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