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Tips for Celebrating the Fourth of July in Pismo Beach

Every year, the City of Pismo Beach hosts a unique Independence Day celebration enjoyed by San Luis Obispo county locals and far-flung vacationers, culminating in a spectacular firework display from the end of the Pier. Due to it’s immense popularity, Pismo is notoriously crowded on this evening of celebration. Read on for event information and tips for a Fourth of July to remember!

Arrive Early

Unfortunately, there aren’t many free parking spots within walking distance of the pier. Parking lots will fill early in the morning, and street parking will likely fill shortly after. Your best bet at getting a great parking spot is to arrive before the crowds. Grab breakfast at Old West Cinnamon Rolls before you venture down to the Pier Promenade for celebratory activities beginning at 10 a.m. The early bird always catches the worm at Pismo’s 4th of July Celebration.

Pro Tip: If you plan on spending the entire day in Pismo, be sure to pack a bag of Fourth of July essentials.

Leave Early

Pismo experiences dense traffic on Independence Day every year. Any seasoned local will tell you that the worst traffic begins as soon as fireworks end. To avoid ending the day in bumper to bumper traffic, pick a firework-viewing location close to your car, or leave a few minutes before the show ends to avoid traffic.

View from Oceano Dunes

Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area will be open for on the Fourth. Just south of the Pier, with several large parking lots and a long beach, Pismo Dunes is a great place to celebrate if you will only be staying for fireworks. Park just outside the park gate to avoid paying for park entrance, and turn right towards the pier when you enter the gate. Nearly a mile of soft, sandy beach with elevated dunes will be yours to choose from. However, be sure you plan your time well! Since this location is so far south, traffic after fireworks can be particularly pesky.

For the more adventurous, camping at Oceano Dunes may be a perfect option for celebrating the Fourth. For just $10, you can reserve a campsite and drive out on the beach for a night of fireworks, food, and family fun. Choosing the right tent can make or break your camping experience, so be sure to check out these tips when packing your equipment for the outdoorsy weekend!

Safety Considerations

This Independence Day, leave the fireworks to the experts! Open fires and personal fireworks are not allowed on the beach, but we promise this will not put a damper on your day. Beach-goers are welcome to bring portable barbecues, umbrellas, tents, and food. Bring your own supplies for a family cookout, or enjoy food and drink from the wonderful vendors and famous Pismo Beach restaurants.



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