After a not-so-great stop in San Francisco (I decided not to highlight our one-night stay there as we entered California from Bend, Oregon) Pismo Beach was a welcomed, and needed, stay for the night. I actually never heard of this beach town before and discovered it when researching coastal cities that would cut our drive as we make our way south. It's located in central California halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles and bears no resemblance to either city. Instead, it exudes a laid-back, quaint, and charming vibe that makes visitors feel a world away. Our daughter kept saying she felt like we were in Panama.
The Cliffs Hotel & Spa is a stunning property on the Pacific Ocean. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a glass of bubbly and a cheerful staff. We never left the premises. I don't have much to share about Pismo Beach except that the beaches are breathtaking and the hotel is a piece of Paradise. Now that we are on our way to officially become Californians, Pismo Beach will be on our weekend destination list for return visits.
The hotel has an open, airy restaurant overlooking the sea. Marisol has an enticing menu that is well-balanced with seafood, meat, and veggie options. We enjoyed the dishes we sampled including an enormous order of nachos, Brussel sprouts, fried calamari, ahi tuna salad, avocado chop salad, Caesar salad, and lobster pappardelle. Make reservations in advance and request outdoor seating. Dining with the sunset is a magical experience. Their breakfast is equally satisfying and once again, you can't beat the views from their terrace.
Just a few blocks from the hotel is the most adorable provisions shop filled with everything you could hope for on your heavenly vacation. Depalo & Son is attractively loaded with a great selection of cheeses, local wines, and a bakery that makes made-to-order, delicious sandwiches.
Apparently, there are lots of activities to enjoy in the area, which we will check out on our next visit. From golf courses to vineyards and a beautiful boardwalk and pier, Pismo Beach makes for a perfect weekend escape.