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Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo Countymarker, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 8,551 at the 2000 census.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.8 km²). 3.6 square miles (9.3 km²) of it is land and 9.8 square miles (25.5 km²) of it (73.09%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 8,551 people, 4,230 households, and 2,322 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,366.0 people per square mile (914.6/km²). There were 5,496 housing units at an average density of 1,520.7/sq mi (587.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.35% White, 0.60% African American, 0.71% Native American, 2.92% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.65% from other races, and 2.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.89% of the population.

There were 4,230 households out of which 17.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.1% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.58.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.3% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 24.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,396, and the median income for a family was $61,036. Males had a median income of $48,606 versus $30,189 for females. The per capita income for the city was $30,835. About 6.3% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.5% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

The population had a wave of expansion starting in the 1980s, after completion of waste water treatment facilities expansion designed by Kennedy Jenks Engineers; this lack of infrastructure had previously limited population growth.


In the state legislature Pismo Beach is located in the 15th Senate District, represented by Republican Abel Maldonado, and in the 33rd Assembly District, represented by Republican Sam Blakeslee. Federally, Pismo Beach is located in California's 23rd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +9 and is represented by Democrat Lois Capps.


Shell Beach Elementary
Public Schools
  • Shell Beach Elementary School, 2100 Shell Beach Rd., Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (Grades K-6)
  • Judkins Middle School, 680 Wadsworth, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (Grades 7-8)
  • High school students attend Arroyo Grande High Schoolmarker, 495 Valley Road, Arroyo Grandemarker, CA 93420

Colleges and Universities:


Pismo Beach is the "Clam Capital" of California. The city holds the "Clam Festival" every October, complete with clam chowder competitions and a clam-themed parade. At the southern end of Price Street upon first entering Pismo Beach, a gigantic concrete clam statue greets visitors. Clamming is restricted, due to over-harvesting by humans and the protected sea otter. An 8 inch shell of the Pismo clam (Tivela stultorum) is on display at the Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce. In "Ali Baba Bunny", Bugs Bunny and his travelling companion Daffy Duck emerge from a burrow, believing they have arrived at Pismo Beach "and all the clams we can eat"

Other facts

  • Pismo means "tar" in the language of the native Chumash Indians.
Pismo Beach car show
  • Pismo Beach hosts one of the largest gatherings of custom and classical cars every June, on the 3rd full weekend.
  • Quads and dirt bikes for recreational use are run at the Pismo OHV dunes.
  • The codename for the last revision of Apple Computermarker's PowerBook G3 is "Pismo", named after Pismo Beach. (The previous PowerBook, "Lombard", takes its name from San Francisco's Lombard Street.)
  • Pismo Beach allows dogs on the beach, provided that they are on leash and that their owners pick up after them.
  • As at Daytona, the sand at Pismo Beach is hard enough to drive on, and campers can drive for miles along it.


Image:Pismo Beach sunset from Secreast Resort Motel view.jpg|Pismo Beach sunset from Seacrest Resort Motel viewImage:Pismo_Beach_004.JPG|Taken from the Sea Crest Resort MotelImage:Pismo_Beach_034.JPG|Taken of the coast at sunset in the August of 2004Image:Pismo Beach Pier.jpg|Taken of the pier at night in June of 2005.Image:Pismo Beach.JPG|Pismo Beach PierImage:Pomeroy_St_Pismo_Beach.JPG|Pomeroy Avenue, downtownImage:Above_Pismo.JPG|View from hill overlooking Pismo BeachImage:Pismo wave.jpg|Pismo Beach WaveImage:pismo_beach_hillside110206.jpg|Houses in Pismo Beach, built up the hillside.Image:Christmas, ocean, wildflowers041.jpg|Taken from pier facing northwest.Image:Pismo BeachCoastline.JPG|Coastline of Pismo BeachImage:PismoBeachSand.JPG|Sand from Pismo Beach. Scale bar is 1.0 mm.



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