Shell beach stretches 17 miles of the Pacific coast and consists of nine secluded beachy coves beneath the towering cliffs of Pismo Beach. During low tides, most have exposed tide pools, and the beaches become very small during high tide.
Margo Dodd Park Beach
Margo Dodd Park is a small grassy patch atop the bluffs of Shell Beach. There is a gazebo and some picnic tables with benches to sit on while you enjoy the coastal views.
Here is where you take the staircase down to the beach.
Luckily, we arrived during low tide, and the beautiful tidepools and caverns were exposed to explore. The tidepools were filled with crabs and other sea life.
Massive boulder rocks rested in the sea and became lounging spots for the local sea lions and a variety of birds.
Climbing around the multi-colored rocks was an adventure in itself. We carefully stepped, trekking through this stone garden to see what was around the other massive boulders ahead. More caverns to explore and enjoy their natural beauty.
Several rock arches can be seen from this beach and large sea stacks attract a variety of birds, making this location great for birdwatching.
We were staying at the Inn at the Cove, so we walked from there along the bluffs, passing Dinosaur Caves Park, before we reached Margo Dodd. There is free street parking available off of Ocean Blvd and Seaview Ave if you don’t want the added walk.
Strolling along the cliffs of Shell Beach is refreshing, relaxing, and different from the beaches of Orange County. Listening to the crashing waves, enjoying the wildlife, and breathing in the salty air calmed my senses and soothed my soul. This stretch of Shell Beach is a majestic example of the differs California coast.
- Bring sunblock and water.
- Wear good water all terrine shoes.
- During a calm high tide, snorkling is recommended.