Avila Beach Vacation Travel Information
Pirate’s Cove Beach in Avila Beach, California
Pirate’s Cove is a well-known clothing optional beach between Avila Beach and the Shell Beach area of Pismo Beach, CA. This south-facing cove is somewhat protected from the weather and attracts many locals looking for a comfortable clothingless beach atmosphere. Pirate’s Cave and other sea caves are nearby so the area on the bluff has been named Cave Landing. Trails begin at the main parking area and meander about on the bluff. One such trail called the Shell Beach Bluff Trail begins at the north end of Indio Drive in Shell Beach where a small public parking area can be found. This is a section of the state-long California Coastal Trail. Another trail for hikers who want to take the long route here is called the Ontario Ridge Trail which begins on Shell Beach Road near El Portal Drive.
The most direct route is from the main parking area at the end of Cave Landing Road which branches off Avila Beach Drive. From this lot walk east on a path and a sign will point you to either the beach or the main cave. The cave is actually a tunnel through the rock which leads to a stunning viewpoint of the ocean and San Luis Bay. The trail to Pirates Beach is somewhat steep and can be challenging. San Luis Obispo County has taken over ownership of the land around the cove and promise to make improvements to the property in the future. Locals have resisted these changes hoping to protect the rural feel of the unimproved site. The name of Pirate’s Cove comes from the history of the cove when liquor was smuggled into the area on ships headed to Port San Luis Harbor.
Cave Landing Road
Avila Beach, CA 93401
- County Beach
- Sunbathing, Hiking
- Trails, Caves, Tide Pools, No Facilities
- Pet Policy
- Dogs allowed on leash
- Free parking
* Note: This is a clothing optional beach