Vacation Inspiration: Plan A Trip To Avila Beach With Kids - 510 Families

Vacation Inspiration: Plan A Trip To Avila Beach With Kids

About four hours from Berkeley, Avila Beach is a tiny town on the Central Coast. We recently stayed in a condo just steps away from the boardwalk and beach and were charmed by this sweet place.

Things to do in Avila Beach
Pre-sunset splashing on Avila Beach

Things to Do With Kids In Avila Beach

The Beach. Avila Beach is in San Luis Obispo County and, if you’ve heard of Pismo Beach, is pretty much the same place. Avila is simply smaller than Pismo and features its own beach with soft sand and small waves for boogie boarding.

In the sand at Avila Beach
photo credit: Scarlett Currier

The Boardwalk. Front Street is a strip of cafes with ice cream counters, donuts, gift shops, and restaurants that are accomodating take-away or outdoor dining. The pizza place has posted its menu outdoors so that you can call in your order and pick-up without going inside.


The Bob Jones Trail. Bring your wheels to enjoy this paved creekside path.

Avila Valley Barn. Pumpkin season is a fun time to visit this family-friendly farm. You can walk into the fields and pick pesticide-free produce (whatever’s in season). The onsite shop and bakery are charming and packed with local goodies. Cross your fingers that hayrides will return soon!

Avila Hot Springs. This unique swimming pool (with waterslides once health restrictions are lifted!) is naturally heated via a nearby hot spring. Thermal hot pools (also closed for COVID) allow kids 8 and up to soak. Onsite tent cabins mean you can stay at the Hot Springs and ride your bike a couple of miles along the Bob Jones Trail to Avila Beach for an affordable vacation.

Dinosaur Caves Park. Technically in Pismo Beach, this little playground is set in front of a spectacular ocean view. Head there at sunset to watch the sky change as the kids play.

Central Coast Aquarium. Walking distance from the beach and boardwalk, this small aquarium has been closed for COVID-19, but will re-open with limited capacity shortly. Visit them online to find out if admission is available. A playground and picnic area is available outdoors in front of the building.


Other seasonal activities in the area: Monarch Butterfly spotting from October to February and Whale Watching from May to October

Does this sound good to you? Book a trip for the Spring!

Where to Stay in Avila Beach

Rental condos and houses are abundant in Avila, and how close you are to the water likely impacts the price. I stayed in a condo that was a stone’s throw from the beach, with a loft that I thought would be fun for the kids. I later remembered that I hate lofts. Everyone has to be quiet once the loft-sleepers go to sleep and, in the morning, any kitchen activity wakes up the loft-sleepers. For me, it’s a lose-lose.

However, it was a nice new building “The Courtyard at Avila Beach” and the proximity to the beach meant we could go down there multiple times per day or head back to our place for a potty run.

Here are a bunch of rentals located close to the beach that will accommodate 2 adults and 2 children.

Related: Where to Stop on a 101 Road Trip with Kids

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