Guadalupe Dunes & Beach

Santa Barbara County

Nearby Activities and Events

Santa Barbara County Fair

Santa Maria Fairpark
July TBA, 2018
937 South Thornburg St.
Santa Maria, CA
Santa Barbara County Fair

Santa Maria BMX Racing

4040 Highway 101, Santa Maria, CA
BMX racing for riders of all ages.
Santa Maria BMX Racing


Go Karts, Bumper boats, miniature golf, rock wall, batting cages, lil' thunder road, game room
2250 N. Preisker Lane
Santa Maria, CA

Santa Maria Discovery Museum

Over 20 play and education areas for all ages.
705 S. McClelland St.
Santa Maria, CA
Closed on Sundays
Santa Maria Discovery Museum

67th Annual Clam Festival

Pismo Beach
October TBA, 2018
Parade, chowder contest, surf contest, food, music
Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce
(800) 443-7778

Books of
Local Interest

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center

The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center, a non-profit organization founded in 1999, promotes "the conservation and restoration of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes ecosystem through education, research, and the support of cooperative stewardship."

The Dunes Center is located in Guadalupe. The organization offers educational programs, docent led walks in the dunes, guest speakers, and information for visitors to the dunes. For school-age children the Center offers classroom lessons and field trips.

During the year the Center sponsors a number of events and offers free public hikes. Among the events offered in the past were
Art Exhibit Opening
Talk on the Status of the Western Snowy Plover
Black Lake Ecological Area Hike
Guadalupe Walk and Talk

Check their Events Calendar for current offerings.

Docent Led Group Walks

For a fee, the Center provides naturalist-led 2 or 3 hour walks at the Oso Flaco Lake boardwalk. They can accommodate groups numbering up to 60.

The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center
1065 Guadalupe Street, Guadalupe, CA
(805) 343-2455   Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center
Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM


Bird watchers will find an abundance of birds along the coast, especially around Oso Flaco Lake and in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. Snow Plovers receive a lot of attention and have shown steady increases in their numbers. Another endangered bird is the least tern seen along the beach and around coastal rivers and lakes.

At Oso Flaco Lake birders will walk over a mile-long boardwalk and footbridge through riparian areas, over the lake, and through dune scrub habitat. Keep eyes open for pelicans, osprey, kingfishers, hawks, sparrows, and dozens of other species.

Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Beach

Visitors to Rancho Guadalupe Beach find it an interesting place to hike, view wildlife, surf fish, take photographs, and surfing. Dangerous rip-tides make it unsafe for swimming.

Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.

Hiking to Mussel Rock

The hike to Mussel Rock along the beach is about 3 miles. For the easiest walking stick to the hard packed sand near the water, but always keep an eye on the ocean. As you approach 450-foot Mussel Rock look for routes up through the dunes. More rugged trails continue south toward Paradise Beach.

Surf Fishing

Surf fishermen along Guadalupe Beach do well hooking surf perch.


Surfers at Guadalupe Beach enjoy a nice shore break. Consistent waves can reach up to 5 or 6 feet, especially in spring. The best surfing is when the offshore winds are blowing. Many surfers are wary of sharks around the Santa Maria River mouth.

Pismo Beach Surf Shops, Surf Lessons and Rentals

Esteem Surf Co.
590 Cypress Street, Pismo Beach
(805) 773-2144
Retail surf shop

Moondoggies Beach Club
781 Dolliver Street, Pismo Beach
(805) 773-1995
Retail and rentals

Sandbar Surf
791 Price Street #210, Pismo Beach, CA
(805) 835-SURF (7873)
Lessons, camps and rentals

Pismo Beach Surf Shop
470 Price Street, Pismo Beach, CA
(805) 773-2089
Lessons, kayak tours, and rentals

Pancho's Surf Shop
181 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA
(805) 773-7100
Beach supplies, surfboards, rentals

Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

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