A Weekend Guide to Avila, California

avila california

Getting the Blues never felt so good…  As autumn season has just began, we opt to visit the California coast as many times as possible.

One of our favorite places to stay at the coast is Avila Beach.  From the local freshness of California specialties to its warm sandy beaches, you might want to stay longer or visit often.

Here’s how we spent our family weekend in Avila Beach, California!


Where to stay

Port San Luis RV Campground –

When we bought our new motor home, we were so excited to visit the coast once again.  So we booked a spot at Port San Luis RV Campground.

We booked the site online and arrived at the site ready to hook up to the utilities.  Some of the sites here provide full hookups and some don’t.  So be careful when making your reservations.   After meeting the Camp Host and starting to setup, she informed us that the spot was double booked and we would have to leave!  We were so bummed..  It was a great site and our three year old was very upset over it.

Without any other choice, we packed up and started calling around for another place to camp..  If you decide to stay at Port San Luis RV Campground, I recommend you double check your reservation by calling the office for confirmation. The campground would have been a perfect place to wake up in the morning and feel the ocean breeze.  It is also convenient being located close to everything Avila has to offer.

So from there, we parked by the beach while my husband continued to search for RV parks or campgrounds anywhere in the area.  Being a Friday afternoon, we felt our chances were slim and were even considering camping at Walmart or driving home…  Luckily, we found an available spot for 2 nights at the local KOA.

Avila/Pismo Beach KOA –

There are a bunch of RV Parks around the California Central Coast and we have visited a few (see our review of Pismo Coast RV Resort).  But, KOA parks are always an option that offers a home away from home.  We typically like the facilities they have and usually suit your needs – They have nice bathrooms, laundry and so much more.  Most are even a dog friendly.  The only drawback I have for their campgrounds are the size of the spots.  They are usually a little tight for us.  So, whenever we call for a reservation, we always try to see if they have any larger spots. Checkout their website for more info.

Where to eat

Having a trailer or motor-home can be very easy when it comes to eating. However, if you opt to eat out, there are a bunch of places to eat in Avila Beach.  Within the area of Port San Luis, there are only three restaurants though.  All of which have their own character.

Fat Cats Cafe serves classic Cali specialties. It is Located in the Port parking lot facing the bay and features indoor and outdoor seating which is perfect for relaxing while admiring the beauty of the bay.  Its also great location if you want to take a stroll by the beach afterwards.

Merseas –  Situated right next to a very authentic fish market at the end of the pier.  This lovely restaurant offers great seafood, brunch, and burgers, with lovely views out over the sea.

Olde Port Inn – Ranked as one of the Top-Ten restaurants in California.  A chic restaurant offers some of the best shrimp and oysters, all of which are freshly prepared.   It is located behind the fish market.  A special characteristic of the Old Port Inn is their bottomless table which is a unique experience.  Adults or Kids would enjoy the food while watching the sea lions underneath the see-through table.

Port San Luis Avila California 1

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What to-do?

Avila Valley Barn – is located across from KOA campground. It is a fun place to visit especially with kids.  It has become a tradition of ours to visit Avila Valley Barn during the fall season. It is one place that the whole family would enjoy.  With no entrance fee, you and your kiddos can have fun watching some of the farm animals or feed the goats for a dollar. Avila Valley Barn is also a great place for Fall family Photo.  I suggest to be early so you can take a picture with less people or if you get lucky to have no people in the background.

Port San Luis Pier – Whether your seeking for a place to stroll or sink your toes, this quaint beach area of Avila is your place.  A walk at the pier from the parking lot gives you the barking sea lions and harbor seals along with views of magnificent port.  You can also shop at the fish market. At the end of the pier, you will find the fish market that has the freshest seafood.  The prices were reasonable but way better than ordering a plate at the restaurant.

Shop the local – Local markets are a must when you’re at the coast. While Avila Valley Barn sells the best of their local delicacies, you should also check out Makeshift Makers Market which is a hub for SLO Artisans. Visit their site for upcoming market events in the area.

Port San Luis Avila Harbor

Few tips on visiting the Port San Luis

  1. Park right before the pier. While it is nice to drive on the pier, the end parking lot is very limited and tight.  The parking lot before the pier has plenty of room. Plus, walking along the dock allows you to see lots of barking sea lions which I find fascinating specially for my toddler.
  2. Wear layers. The ocean breeze at the coast fluctuates temperature so much. Even if it is sunny and warm, the ocean breeze usually change the temperature.
  3.  Leash your dog.  The port is a dog friendly area which means there’s lots of dogs.

Port San Luis Avila Sea Lions

Avila is a quaint little town.  We always have a wonderful time whenever we visit.  There is always something to do, to see or to pause and reflect.  We usually love to visit around fall season. I hope you’ll find a good time too when you visit this Central Coast Treasure.

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About Us

Hi there! I’m Jello and together with my husband Richard, this is our space where we share our family adventures with you. Our love for food and travel is our passion. Welcome to our blog, Rich and Sweet Life! I hope you enjoy your time here! read more…

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