Note that these blogs posted during the sheltering-in-place period of the coronavirus crisis are meant as a virtual escape. Hopefully, the information will be of use to you when it is safe to travel again.

February 13, 2015

Avila Beach, California: Avila Beach Pier + Harford Pier + Olde Port Inn; things to do + restaurant review

Avila Beach piers: 

Avila Beach Pier  This 1,685-foot-long pier that extends out from the beach is for pedestrians only.  Recreational fishing is permitted.

Avila Beach Pier in Avila Beach, California

Harford Pier  In Port San Luis, (805) 550‐3347.  This 1878 wood working pier is a great spot to hang for a while and watch the fishing boats unload and perhaps see a few pelicans up close with their own catch.  A few fresh fish markets sell high quality local seafood and fish that is hand-filleted on the spot and packed to go.  Though it is an enjoyable walk, you can also drive on the pier and even park at the end for a meal at Olde Port Inn.

pelican with fish in mouth on Harford Pier in Avila Beach, California

fisherman on Harford Pier in Avila Beach, California

Olde Port Inn on Harford Pier in Avila Beach, California

Olde Port Inn  At end of pier, (805) 595-2515.  14 L Sat-Sun, D daily; $$$.  Dining here includes a drive down the vintage wood Harford Pier and free parking.  Arrive early to allow time to explore the pier itself.  Good water views are available from both dining rooms, but only one has the famous tables with windows in the center that allow viewing right through the wharf to the water below.  Note that you won’t be seeing into the water periscope-style.  Instead the view is from above the water, but if you’re lucky you might see a seal go by.  Though the menu is simple, some of the preparations are not.  I enjoyed a cup of white clam chowder and a fresh Dungeness crab salad with mustard-vinaigrette dressing while my dining partner slurped up the house specialty cioppino.  On my next visit, I plan to try the Dungeness crab cakes, fried fish, and housemade peach cobbler.  Amazingly, corkage is complimentary, so do some wine tasting and bring along a favorite discovery.

white clam chowder at Olde Port Inn on Harford Pier in Avila Beach, California

cioppino at Olde Port Inn on Harford Pier in Avila Beach, California

Dungeness crab salad at Olde Port Inn on Harford Pier in Avila Beach, California

Olde Port Inn Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

More things to do in Avila Beach.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


  1. Avila Beach Pier looks like a great spot. After a few months in the desert, just the mention of seafood is enough to get my mouth watering. The food looks delicious.

  2. Well what's not to like when you visit the coast and have a fantastic seafood meal with that view again of the coast, Avila sounds pretty good right now.

  3. One of the things I miss most about living in California is the whole seafood/pier experience. So much fun. These two epitomize it.

  4. Very nice, and looks to be uncrowded for Southern California.

    1. Relatively uncrowded because it is on the central coast.

  5. Beautiful pictures. The food looks very tasty. You should've put some more pictures with the view from Olde Port Inn.

  6. I grew up in southern California and clam chowder is one of my all-time favorite foods. That and maybe some of the Olde Port Inn's peach cobbler would be a perfect meal!

  7. Hi Carole,
    I so needed your post this morning as it is -25F here in Michigan! Yes, I need a pier, sand, and sunshine, please. Thanks for your little reminder that warmth still exists somewhere out there.

    1. Eeekkkk!! Poor baby. Glad to hear this warmed you up a bit.

  8. I love old fishing ports. And you can always get lovely fresh food.


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