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Best Central Coast Beaches Near Rice Ranch

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

Fall and winter months along California’s Central Coast bring some of the best weather in the country, with temperatures hovering in the 70s and early sunsets providing mesmerizing, colorful ocean views.


Want to swap frigid temperatures for time relaxing on the beach? Make the move to Rice Ranch in Santa Barbara County. Our master planned community in Orcutt is a short drive away from some of California’s most beautiful and famous beaches, including Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach/Oceano Dunes, Surf Beach and Jalama Beach.

Rice Ranch is located conveniently on the 101 in Orcutt, nestled against 580 acres of open space. There are plenty of hiking trails outside your door, the private Summit Club with a pool and tons of outdoor amenities, plus awesome towns, beaches and wine growing regions, just down the 101 freeway.


Avila Beach

Photo by Cali Coast Wine Country

Take a short drive along a lush, oak-lined valley off the 101 near San Luis Obispo and you’ll arrive at Avila Beach. Since it’s sheltered by south-facing bay, Avila Beach has calmer waters and warmer air than other towns on the Central Coast, which makes it one of the best places to hit the sand. About a half-mile long, the beach has soft sand, gentle waves and even some tidepools. Spend the day swimming, walking and enjoying the sun, or rent a kayak or paddleboard, on your own or with a tour.


Don’t miss the wine tasting, shopping and dining while at the beach, plus natural mineral springs, world-class golf and Avila’s own barn, petting zoo, market and horsey rides in in the valley.


Pismo Beach

Photo by Cali Coast Wine Country

This classic California beach town is located on California’s famous central coast along Pacific Coast and 101 Highways. Pismo is knows for its long white beaches, perfect for strolling, sunbathing or just hanging out. You can also go surfing, body boarding, or fishing. The famous Pismo Pier has recently been renovated, so you’ll want a photo in front of the iconic sign, plus the the spectacular views of the Pismo Beach sunset.


The classic town offers great wineries, shopping, dining, chowder contests and tons of perfect photos.


Grover Beach & Oceano Dunes

Photos by Friends of Oceano Dunes

Three miles south of Pismo Beach, Grover Beach is a small portion of flat, sandy beach that has a small boardwalk leading to the Pismo Peach Golf Course and also to a platform looking over the dunes.


The Oceano sand dune area is recognized by scientists, conservationists, government agencies, and the public as the finest, most extensive coastal dunes remaining in California. Adjacent to that is a stretch of sand where you can camp, go horseback riding, or ride the dunes in a four-wheel ATV. Oceana Dunes SVRA is a 3,500 acre playground for off-roading enthusiasts.


Surf Beach & Jalama Beach

Photo by Cali Coast Wine Country

Surf Beach is located near Lompoc, at the west end of Ocean Ave. It’s a great spot for beach strolls and photography. Surfers and bodyboarders use this beach, and at low tides, you can walk to nearby Ocean Beach County Park which is an excellent bird-watching spot.


If you feel like venturing further, head to the lesser-visited Jalama Beach. Along Jalama Road, you’ll see working ranches, vineyards, and hillside vistas around every bend, culminating in a rugged Central Coast overlook, before heading down to the beach. Jalama Beach is a popular place for surfing, kite surfing, bird watching, nature photography, fishing, hiking and camping. You can visit beach caves during low tide, hike to a historic lighthouse, surf and windsurf, plus whale watch, bird watch and fish. The onsite Jalama Beach Grill is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and early dinner. Be sure to try the famous Jalama Burger for a delicious picnic at the Pacific.

So, ditch your down, cold weather jacket and visit us at Rice Ranch; we are waiting to change your life!


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