Thanksgiving in San Luis Obispo County

I’ll tell you this straight up: Remember your holidays and book your parks for them far in advance!

The Mad Scramble

I wasn’t thinking – clearly. We have a Thousand Trails membership, with affiliated Encore parks. There’s one in Oceano, which is a little south of Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo. With our membership, we can reserve Encore parks 60 days out; so I waited until 60 days and logged on to make the reservation. Not available. Well, I’ve had issues reserving Encore parks before, so I called customer service. It’s full. Really? “Well, the parks get really full on holidays.” Oh crap. I’d booked our summer, Labor Day, and even Christmas 6-12 months in advance, but I’d completely forgotten that Thanksgiving might be an issue.

Of course, this meant we spent the next few days in a mad scramble trying to find space for us the two weeks around Thanksgiving. Apparently, Pismo Beach is a very popular area over Thanksgiving! Who’d have thought people would want to spend time in sunny, warm weather on the coast for a holiday? 😉 We finally ended up with a week in Paso Robles (over Thanksgiving) and a week in Pismo Beach starting Saturday after Thanksgiving.

While we were at Pismo Coast Village RV Resort, there were some people sitting in chairs by the gate/office. We thought maybe they were setting up registration for a rally. No…they were in line to reserve for the Fourth of July! Lesson learned: Reserve your holiday parks super early! Even if you have to cancel or revamp dates later, reserve them asap.

Paso Robles


Luckily, Paso (as the locals apparently call it) wasn’t too far from where we’d planned to spend Thanksgiving – with family in San Luis Obispo. I hadn’t seen them for several years, so I was thrilled that we’d be in the area and be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. It was a wonderful feast and fun conversation! I was having too much fun to even think about taking a photo. Darn it!

Hearst Castle


Ooh boy! Talk about ostentatious! We decided we should go see Hearst Castle as one of those ‘just to say we’ve been there’ things and it was something to do the day after Thanksgiving. It wasn’t really on either of our bucket lists, but we both enjoy good architecture. We opted for the “Designing the Dream” tour, which focuses on the architecture and the decor. What we liked about the grounds and the tour was the appreciation for the land, the wildlife, and the historical architecture. We also appreciate that it is now a state park and all proceeds go there. If you know us, you know we didn’t appreciate the ego and massive display of wealth. We’d much rather have a small cabin (or RV) and let the rest of that acreage stay wild with maybe a garden and small farm space. But…it was interesting and now we can say we’ve been there.

Firestone Walker Brewery

While in Paso, we also happened across the Firestone Walker Brewery, which is apparently a big deal brewery according to Brian. I do know they had good beer and pretty good food. We ended up eating there twice that week because we couldn’t get parking downtown to try another restaurant we’d seen. Of course, we tried to go on Black Friday after our visit to Hearst Castle (clearly not thinking again) and there were literally no parking spaces even a few blocks out. We knew Firestone was good and they aren’t downtown; so we enjoyed another meal there. If you’re ever in the area, definitely check them out!

Pismo Beach


Pismo Coast Village Resort is definitely one of our favorite RV resorts. It’s walking distance to town and an RV supply store and, even better, is literally right behind the dunes (short ones) along the Pismo Creek (or river…I see both in several different websites). The creek is separated from the ocean by a sand bar and it’s just a short walk along the dunes to where you can cross. The resort has a good-sized store, big laundromat, and a restaurant that actually smokes its own meats. Of course, the rates are what I’d call higher than average; but you’re getting a big location convenience and a nice resort.

One of the downsides to being that close to the coast, and only able to park sideways to the water – and wind – is when storms come in. We had a doozy of a storm while we were in Pizmo with sideways rain for several hours. Unfortunately, that caused our fridge to shut down. Brian shares why it happened and how he fixed it (for just $5) in A storm broke our refrigerator!

Pismo Beach itself has some decent restaurants, including Penny’s All-American Café with some of the best chorizo and eggs I’ve had since our favorite café in Seattle closed. We also enjoyed more time with my local family at Ventana Grill, which had a gorgeous ocean view and lovely Latin-inspired food. If you can’t find what you need in Pismo Beach, it’s about a 20-minute drive to San Luis Obispo and all the big box stores you’d need.

Pismo Coast Village really was great, even with the storm. Overall, it was very relaxing and the scenery was amazing. It’s obviously a very popular resort and we were lucky to get in when we did.

We hope you enjoyed our tour of the San Luis Obispo county area. Have you been there? What were your favorite places?

Be groovy, friends, and remember to live the journey…

Julie's Signature


2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving in San Luis Obispo County

  1. Very nice. I recall hearing that the Hearst property was bigger than Rhode Island. I bet that was interesting to see.

    Love your updates and photos!

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