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Must-Do Activities at the Oceano Dunes

On the Central Coast, we’re lucky to enjoy easy access to the Oceano Dunes, California’s most extensive coastal dunes that are still remaining. Thrill-seekers flock from all over the United States to take advantage of this impressive off-highway playground—swimming, surfing, camping, hiking and more during their time in Pismo Beach. An official Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation area, visitors can drive trucks, ATVs, dirt bikes, and more along this unique stretch of land. On your next Central Coasting adventure, try out some of our favorite dunes activities!

Horseback Riding

For a romantic escape or a fun family getaway, horseback riding with Pacific Dunes Ranch & RV Resort along the Oceano Dunes is an idyllic experience you’ll never forget. Choose between an hour long trail ride or an hour and a half guided ride through the dunes and beach. Pack a picnic and watch the sun set over the beautiful Pacific Ocean, and you’ll think you’ve gone from the dunes to heaven in just a matter of hours.

Dune Buggy Rentals

Dune buggies are low, wide-wheeled motor vehicles designed for driving on sand, and one of the most exciting ways to explore the dunes. If you’re seeking a major adrenaline rush, buckle into your dune buggy for a wild ride because these off-road vehicles are specifically designed to race up and down the dunes at high, but safe, speeds. With over 13 styles of dune buggies, SunBuggy is the perfect place to go for your next dune buggy adventure!


These all-terrain vehicles are one of the most popular modes to ride up, down, and all around the dunes. Servicing dune visitors since the 1930’s, Angello’s ATV Rentals is your one-stop shop for all things ATV. Visit their storefront at the end of Pier Avenue in Oceano and they’ll set you up with everything you need for an unforgettable off-roading experience. Be sure to wear long, pants, long sleeves, and even a bandana on your face to protect yourself from the sandy wind as you zip from dune to dune in beautiful Pismo Beach.


While other beaches like Olde Port Beach in Avila require bonfires to be lit in designated fire rings, the Oceano Dunes allow visitors to drive their vehicles directly onto the beach and light their campfire right on the sand. While it is illegal to burn anything other than wood, officials encourage campers to allow their fires to burn completely, even if that means leaving your fire to burn unaccompanied. So break out the s’mores and bring a jacket, because this is the perfect winter activity for friends and family to enjoy together. For tips on how to host the best beach bonfire, check out our other blog here.


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