Skip to content

The Shell Beach area of Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo County is primarily a residential community, but it’s a fine place to visit. It has many beaches to choose from that offer seclusion, sandy coves, tide pools, and well-manicured bluff top parks. The main part of Pismo Beach is close by and has wide sandy beaches, an amazing pier, many restaurants, and even campgrounds.

dolphin bay resort pismo beach mid pic

If you are visiting this region of the California Central Coast, there are a few great options for staying in the Shell Beach area.

  • The Inn at the Cove is directly above Elmer Ross Beach. It is walking distance to Dinosaur Caves Park and other Shell Beach beaches. The Ventana Grill is a short walk away too.
  • The Cliffs Resort is one of the best options in the area. It has it’s own access to Silver Shoals Beach. At low tide this beach allows longer beach walks, access to tide pools, and dry sand for sunbathing. Marisol is their onsite restaurant which serves three tasty meals a day and has a popular bar as well.
  • The Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa (pictured above) is a luxurious getaway in Shell Beach. It has a fine dining restaurant onsite called Lido. Paved walkways line the bluff in front of this resort and beach access can be found at the north end.
  • Spyglass Inn is another lodging option directly above the ocean in Shell Beach. From there it is a comfortable walk to Spyglass Beach below Spyglass Park and to the beach below the Cliffs Resort. Onsite is the Spyglass Restaurant with good food and a happy hour too.
  • For those who are budget-minded there is the highly rated Shell Beach Inn which requires a longer walk to find sand and saltwater, but everything is pretty close in Shell Beach. Several eateries are nearby.
  • The Palomar Inn is also budget priced, but doesn’t rate as high as the Shell Beach Inn. Bonus for having the Shell Beach Brewhouse across the street!