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Pismo Beach

(4.6/5 based on 2,400+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, wildlife areas, adventure
Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of 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 cluster of cities in that area of San Luis Obispo County. Its former motto was "Clam Capital of the World", though it's no longer used because of over-harvesting.HistoryThe first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish Portolà expedition, passed through the area, traveling up today's Price Canyon from Pismo Beach, where they camped on September 4, 1769. Franciscan missionary and expedition member Juan Crespi noted in his diary that they found a native village near the creek.Pismo Beach is located on the Rancho Pismo Mexican land grant made to José Ortega, grandson of José Francisco Ortega, 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 in 1891. His homestead is now Price Historical Park. His home is a registered historical landmark.The name Pismo comes from the Chumash language word for tar, Pismu' , which was gathered from tar springs in Price Canyon near Pismo Beach. The tar was a valuable product which the Chumash Indians used to caulk their seagoing canoes, called tomol, which traveled along the coast and out to the Channel Islands.
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