Pirate's Cove Beach
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
45 reviews
Excellent
15
Very good
19
Average
6
Poor
2
Terrible
3

Zeke B
Costa Mesa, CA27 contributions
Apr 2022
The cave is truly one of the most unique and beautiful places I’ve ever visited. The parking area is located above the beach not too far off the highway, but I suggest you drop a pin on your map to help navigate there. The cave is short hike (~10 minutes) down a dirt path from the parking area, which gives you a good view of the beach below. Since we visited in the off season (April), there was only one other family around so we had the whole cave to ourselves. Despite the graffiti covering every surface, the cave is stunningly beautiful and well worth the side trip.
Written June 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lex
1 contribution
Feb 2021 • Friends
I’ve been coming to the beach since I was 16 and now I’m 21. I wouldn’t bring children or family that isn’t into the nude thing. I personally don’t go nude here but the beach is nice and has little to no wind usually. I don’t mind the nudists or bother others while I’m there. There is usually not too many people but when there is beware of drunk and high weirdos. A lot of people go there to “party” but when it is quiet it is worth the small hike and drive. My advice is to stay away when there are too many people. You can tell when you first drive up the mountain and see a line of cars going all the way back from the parking lot that is more of a field of pot holes and ditches. Avoid the parking lot at all costs if you have a low car. Trucks usually can get in and out pretty easily. There is some broken glass on the trail sometimes but not super often. The cave is covered in graffiti but the view is beautiful. My only complaints are the parking lot and lack of trash pick up at the parking lot before the trails. People pick up the beaches usually but end up dumping their trash in a big pile in the front of the trail entrance. I don’t know how it gets taken care of from there. Aside from those the beaches are fairly clean and enjoyable as well as the water.
Written March 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Travel the World
San Francisco, CA1,109 contributions
Jan 2022
This beach is tucked away from the general public. You will find mostly locals hanging out. You might also find a nude sun bather. We hiked the trails around the beach and it had beautiful views of rocky cliffs hanging over a sandy beaches. Parking is limited so arrive early in the day.
Written January 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Susan F
83 contributions
Jan 2020
Hiked to Pirate's Cove Beach from the Avila Beach pier. On a beautiful day, you might see turkey vultures sunning themselves, other birds at the Bird Santuary, and definitely a highlight at the "Tunnel." We reached the entrance to the tunnel at sunset and it was a view to behold. The lighting, the sea, the view! A real "Wow!" The hike isn't very hard, you can also drive up to the Pirate's Cove Beach, park, and walk to the beach and tunnel.
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jason H
Los Angeles, CA54 contributions
Jul 2015 • Couples
If you're looking for a place to strip off all your clothes and relax on a hot summer day you couldn't find a better place than this pretty little secluded beach North of Pismo and just down the road from Sycamore Springs Hot Tubs. My girlfriend and I found this place several years ago and have been going way out of our way to visit ever since. Like, three hours out of our way. Hey, it's hard to find a good nude beach in these prudish times.

Unlike most nude beaches there's a good mix of men and women here, which gives it a fun a casual vibe attracting couples, families, and groups of friends who tend to hang out the whole day here and have a picnic, strum their guitar, toss the frisbee, play a game of volleyball, or just look at their iPhones and listen to the waves roll in. The spot is so relaxed that after awhile you forget you or anyone else is naked and you can turn off the "Woo, I'm at a nude beach" self-conscious feeling and just enjoy the sun on your skin. Yes, I'm sure some people steal the occasional glance, but after awhile you forget to care.

Surrounded on a sides by hills, rocks, and modest cliffs, the beach itself is a long strip that you hike down to from a large dirt parking lot. I use the term "hike" loosely here, because it's fairly easy to get down to, but you need to watch your step along the trail and be careful. The place gets a fair sized crowd on most days, and on holiday weekends it's packed, so you'll have plenty of company both clothed and unclothed, young and old. The cool naked section is at the far end of the beach once you reach the bottom of the trail although it's pretty much clothing optional throughout. There are no services down here, so make sure you sure to bring some water, a magazine, a snack, an umbrella, a towel, suntan lotion, and use the bathroom in town.

Here are the directions:

Drive the 101 north from Pismo Beach and get off at the Avila Beach Dr exit. Continue straight through the stop light. Shortly after you see the golf course on the right, look for Cave Landing Road going uphill on your left. Take Cave Landing Rd and park in the dirt parking lot at the end. Continue on foot down the path leading south and stay on the left. Be careful along here. It's not an difficult path, but you should exercise caution. Go down the wooden steps and you're there. Hope to see you here.
Written July 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

harveymushman99
San Luis Obispo, CA76 contributions
Jun 2017 • Family
This is a very funky hard to get too steep drop rutted dirt path.The reward is crazy naked old people that like to walk up to you while you are sitting on your towel and show you what the have to offer for viewing...A major gay hangout so if your into that there it is.Parking is in a very rutted dirt lot butt most don't mind because they want to sea some stuff and will endure it all to get there.Many many lookie lou's hanging around to spoil the free thinking vibe that was there many many years ago...
Written April 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Al S
Fountain Hills, AZ81 contributions
Jul 2020
Full of trash, broken bottles,and graffitti now.
I used to go there in the 1980's when i attended Cal Poly.
It was a clean beach and people respected the area.
You wonder why states have state parks with entrance fees.
How tragic, and what a shame that people disrespect and trash a place.
People, why are you doing this?
Is this how you grew up to treat nature this way?
Written August 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

john
Paso Robles, CA258 contributions
May 2018 • Friends
This place I liked... you will have two way to choose... from the sign ..to the left is way to nude beach... I see alot of couples and family there enjoying the beach. And I saw one elder walking nude. Kinda weair and ironic at the same time because there were little kids... but hey its nude beach after all.... from the right side of the sign is to the little cave was so beautiful because we were there around 5 .. and the view was amazing... took alot of pictures there... great experience
Written June 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Notmelo
Pismo Beach, CA115 contributions
Jul 2020 • Solo
This area used to be so pristine. Now, it’s starting to look like it should be a landfill. Garbage everywhere. I know the California Parks and Recreation has submitted numerous plans to improve it, only to get shut down by the Coastal Commission. How unfortunate.
Written July 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

OliviahE12
Fresno, CA97 contributions
Jun 2020
I suppose I do have pretty high beach standards, having grown up in San Diego, so perhaps many won't agree with me, but I really didn't like this area. The path to get there is dirty, some broken glass here and there, full of poison oak. Also an otherwise lovely natural attraction, the cave, is covered in graffiti and the cave itself is full of trash and bits of broken glass. The whole area had a sort of icky feel to me. I would not go here again.

Also, for a beach it has an extremely high amount of kelp/seaweed. I couldn't imagine comfortably swimming in this beach with all the kelp floating in shallow surfaces.
Written June 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Pirate's Cove Beach (Avila Beach) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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