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About Avila Beach


Located on San Luis Bay about 160 miles north of Los Angeles, this area was home to the Chumash Indians for centuries before Spanish explorers arrived. The town of Avila Beach was named for Miguel Ávila, whose Rancho Miguelito was part of a Mexican land grant awarded to him in 1840. When California became a U.S. territory in 1848, the bay soon became the main shipping port for San Luis Obispo, and the town of Avila was founded.


The Point San Luis Lighthouse was built in 1890. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the lighthouse sits on a bluff at 600-foot elevation on the west end of the beach. The bluff provides a natural wind barrier, and is the reason the south-facing Avila Beach is noticeably warmer than other central coast beaches.


Visitors are drawn to the small-town atmosphere and unhurried pace of Avila Beach today. Though beach fun is a big draw, other popular activities include exploring the wineries of San Luis Obispo and Avila Valley, taking a docent-led hike to the lighthouse, and peddling the Bob Jones Bike Trail along San Luis Obispo Creek. The 1,685-foot Avila Beach Pier is a popular walking and fishing spot.
Dining out means a chance to feast on fresh fish and other specialties at the many restaurants in Avila Beach. Head for the harbor to enjoy a water view with your meal.