About This Place
Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. The population was 7,655 at the 2010 census, down from 8,551 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Five Cities Area, a term used to describe the cluster of cities that are present in that area of San Luis Obispo County.
Pismo Beach is a popular beach town located in southern San Luis Obispo County in the Central Coast area of California. It is located on the Rancho Pismo Mexican land grant made to José Ortega, grandson of José Francisco de Ortega (explorer), in 1840. In 1846 José Ortega sold Rancho Pismo to Isaac Sparks. John Michael Price bought most of the rancho from Isaac Sparks. Price established the town of Pismo Beach. His homestead is now Price Historical Park. His home is a registered historical landmark. Pismo State Beach is named for the city of Pismo Beach. The name Pismo comes from the Chumash word for tar, which was gathered from tar springs in Price Canyon near Pismo Beach. It was a valuable product used to caulk canoes. The Pismo clam was named for the long wide beach where so many were once found. Once so abundant they were harvested with plows on the beach, giving the city the name "Clam Capitol of the World", the Pismo Clam is now greatly diminished.
The first wharf at Pismo was built in 1882, followed by a fishing pier built in 1924. After it suffered considerable storm damage, it was replaced by the present Pismo Pier in 1985. The Pismo Pier is admired for its diamond-shaped platforms over the beach and over the water.