Pismo Beach

I chose to write this blog about the economic side of a small, beautiful beach named Pismo Beach.  Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast of California, half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is part of the Five Cities Area, which also includes Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, and Shell Beach. Below are the 2017-2018 census facts:

Population Demographics by Race and gender.
Male Female Total
Total Population 3,699 3,956 7,655
White 3,369 3,607 6,976
Hispanic or Latino 350 365 715
Two or More Races 101 103 204
Asian 93 110 203
Some Other Race 82 88 170

Pismo Beach Housing Information – Census


Index Pismo Beach California National
Median Home Price $633,300 $409,300 $184,700


Clearly there is quite a contrast in prices when comparing Pismo Beach, California, and national average house prices. When looking these statistics up on Zillow, the average cost of a Pismo home is over $800,000. I’m not sure why the prices are so different from the Census, but the message is still clear: living in this city is expensive.


The small town is known for its undeveloped, beautiful seaside bluffs and coves, surfing, the dunes and off-road activities, amazing weather, wonderful restaurants, and it’s romantic feel. There are long white beaches and spectacular sunsets. It is very busy and clearly booming, making it difficult to find parking. It has become a hot spot for tourists looking for a quaint get away from the big city.   We had dinner at the Cracked Crab, which is also benefiting from the tourism and economic situation of the area. The restaurant’s “house specialty” was a bucket for 2, full of your choice of sea food (such as crab and lobster). The reason I can tell the restaurant must be doing well is this meal was $80 and additional fees are added on to that price depending on what type of sea food you select.

The Pier was just recently reopened after closing in March of 2017, for an overhaul of the aging structure, which cost $8.7 million.   There were wooden boards on the structure that had not been replaced since the pier was built in 1928, and many of the wooden pilings and supports had eroded underwater.  As I walked along the new pier, I realized how crowded it was compared to even just a few years ago. My parents have told me stories of how Pismo was relatively unknown when they were kids and how everything in the city was completely different. Now there are tourists everywhere you look, which has changed the cities economic situation drastically.

It’s worth noting that I visited this Beach in late November (close to winter), and during the summer the crowding and number of tourists is significantly higher.

From the local real estate market in Pismo Beach, to the booming tourism, and all that Pismo Beach has to offer, I believe this amazing beach is one of California’s finest.



4 thoughts on “Pismo Beach

  1. Forrest says:

    It is very thorough and thoughtful in that you looked at the socioeconomic status of Pismo Beach. The socioeconomic status of any given area is indicative of the budget that is allocated in maintenance and upkeep, like the expensive pier reconstruction you mentioned. Great post, thank you for sharing.

  2. Goldberg says:

    I’ve never been to Pismo Beach but from the prices and the photographs you posted, it seems as though it is the perfect image of California you see on all travel sites. It’s incredible how that area is so desirable, but you look at the history it changed as the image of California changed and became more popular. Very good and informative post!

  3. Sorenson says:

    Great blog! I have never made my way up to Pismo Beach but have heard a lot about it from friends and family. It is interesting to see the prices along with history both new and old. Having never been there I am glad I came across your blog to get a better understanding of the location. I’ll have to check it out sometime for myself!

  4. Ferrer says:

    I have never been to Pismo beach but from the pictures you posted it looks really beautiful. It is insane how expensive houses are there. I agree with your post that the unique location and what Pismo Beach has to offer is why houses are so expensive. If i ever win the lottery I’m definitely buying a house there.

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