Pismo Beach has long been a coastal playground. Its rich history includes Chumash villages and early California explorers including Don Gaspar de Portola. Legends surround the area and the many hands the land has passed through. Wharf businesses, tar collection, hotels, cattle and outdoor recreation still abound in varying degrees, but the stunning beach hasn’t changed one bit.
One of the best and most comprehensively family friendly destinations in all of California, Pismo truly has something to offer all ages. From families playing in the surf at Shell Beach to wine tastings and outdoor activities, there isn’t much mystery to the area anymore: it’s stunning, safe, sensational, and stimulating. Trails with ocean views, caves and monarch butterflies, playgrounds and wetlands. Rest. Relaxation.
Located along this historical stretch of sand lies one of our favorite places to rejuvenate: Vespera Resort. Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the property celebrates the best of California’s beach culture with stylish accommodations amidst a casual coastal aesthetic that blends adventure and excitement seamlessly. Each accommodation feels like your own private Pismo vacation home, and being just steps from the sand with direct boardwalk access means you never have to go far to find some family fun.
Most of the guest rooms and spacious suites have private balconies overlooking the ocean with oversized bathrooms with floor-to-ceiling showers and freestanding tubs, mini-fridges and partial kitchens (in the suites). With a fully equipped fitness center, sparkling heated pool, whirlpool and signature restaurant on site, there’s no need to venture far from the property.
If you’d like to get out and about, the property’s locale is literally in the heart of the action – within easy walking distance to downtown and serves as the ideal “home base” whether your goal is a relaxing weekend away or an active, adventure-filled vacation (think kayaking tours, whale watching, bike rides, hiking or your choice of a mild or wild Humvee tour of the famous Oceano Dunes).
Given that Somerset Grill serves up delicious upscale coastal cuisine set against a panoramic waters-edge backdrop with live music every Saturday from 4 pm – 7 pm, I would imagine that this ranks among the most popular of dining destinations for both hotel guests and locals alike. The menu is characterized by market fresh “coastal heritage-inspired” dishes served all day from an open, exhibition kitchen. Our family’s favorites? Mine – the Baby Gem salad with shaved onion, pepitas, cojita and a creamy cilantro anaheim dressing with grilled salmon while my husband’s 6 oz. filet atop a creamy potato puree was super delish. The kids loved the signature Vespera Burger followed by a decadent blueberry lemon tart – a sweet ending to a leisurely al fresco culinary experience and gorgeous weekend away.