Avila Beach  is made up of approximately 200 locals  and another 100 vacation rentals (growing daily sadly) .

Avila has three beaches Pirate Cove (clothing optional)  Avila Main Beach, and Harford beach  (also locally called  the dog beach because you can run you're dog  there all day) .Each has their own unique characteristics the  and should be part of any visit .Pirates Cove is one of most beautiful  view points on the coast -no silly it's nature view,but at least once a year some old bird falls off cliff leaning too far .This year in world of stupid people tricks  a guy was leaning out hoping for quick glance at some naked cal poly coed ,so he asked his wife to hold his hand so he could lean further ..yes you guessed it both ended  up in hospital ..

Main beach is where  most shops /resturants are and most people go .Pier is un written dividing line ..most families go on right side by golf course /lowtide tideal pools by the bridge are sometimes great  finds (beach swings /creek for wading  and bbq equipment and childrens playground ) coeds/older folks tend to go to otherside to get away from kids ,On low tide you can walk all way to Fossil Point .. Once under the 100 foot cliffs you could be anywhere  New  Zealand /Spain or yes  Avila .Harford Beach main attraction  (other than fore mention dog policy) is the only authorized firepits  on coast , weekends usualy high school or college parties  take all 7 spots ,but families have weekday bonfires /bring alot wood  and keep it in pit . Very fun thing to do ..

Old Avila  was called just Avila  ..It was made state beach in 50s and than renamed  Avila Beach ..if you're cool it's just  Avila .Avila among locals is just  the small village below the old Tank Farm . Some new "posers" surf  lingo for want to bes ,live in gated community called  Avila Estates  they are not  avila  only rich retirees  living behind gates ..ha

Hotel accommodations are available at four inns ..Joe Momma's is small new bed and breakfast  on water, ideal for girls spa weekends or couples, includes full organic day spa,organic clothing store mostly  womens bamboo/flax/organic cottons ,and areas only coffee bar (great cinnamon rolls ).

Inn at Avila beach is fun 60s Beach house Inn, right on water ,ocean front units are best but if staying several days pick back units and move into roof deck ..amazing views bbqs,tvs ,hamocks all on roof. A

Avila Light house Suites is new property next door to kid park ,has only pool so good place for families ,contlnental breakfast .

Avila la Fonda is for birthdays/honeymoons/aniversaries lots of art  everyoroom has fireplaces,spas,42 inch plasma tvs, nightly wine reception  ,small but intimate hotel  perfect for couples, not so perfect for kids, leave them home or stay at Inn if on budget or Lighthouse if cost doesn't matter .

Restaurants ..Custom House is doing great job after rough start  open for all meals. Avila Grocery store is much restaurant as grocery store - great hamburgers,wraps,excellent food . Coffee - go to Joe Momma's great coffee,cinnamon rolls,  beautiful place overlooking  ocean ,also wifi..

What to do ? Beach is big draw ..mainly locals from Santa Maria to Paso Robles  it's consisently voted as their favorite beach  ..

There are  spas ..Nekkidd is  a brand new and s one part of the Joe Mommas complex on beach .They have massage/facials/spray tanning,also two smaller one Coco Body lounge does great job with hair /nails ,also Avila Resort (san Luis bay Inn has small place mostly peds/nails)

Kayaking has become major new thing you can sometimes rent on beach or bring you're own  Central  Coast kayaks also delivers to the beach .Take creek trip very pretty ideal for inexperienced kayaks /families .After you get hang of it head south towards Pismo Beach just around the point (called Fossil point ) and you willbe amazed by the many sea caves and small beaches between Avila and Pismo Beach . Basketball courts are end of kids park  always game ..

Golf  Avila Beach Golf Resort is excellent 18 holes front nine especially fun and scenic ,try to go early or late deer are everywhere /turkeys stay left on course  and you're score will go down by at least 5 strokes ..Stay at local Avila hotel and ask if the have guest  coupon  and save 15-20 per person .They also host incredible comedy review California Cabret in tent ask local hotels or call golf course  if  they are playing .

Drives ..See Canyon is one most beautiful scenic drives in California (so say Sunset Mag). Avila Barn (great place by the way  hay rides ,baked pies,fresh fruit) on frontage road .

Go appoximatelyy  3 miles to  San Luis Bay road (usually exit you would get off to go to avila from SF) turn left  heading back to ocean ,yes you are heading back to Avila beach ...You will see the local school Bellview Santa Fe (in summer they host  Shakesphere festival) on left. Turn right on SEE Canyon road ... several wineries and apple orchards along the way .. stay on main road little forks /lanes shoot off in both directions . Eventually you will get to working cattle ranch (you will know when you drive over cattle grate  and road turns unpaved ..don't panic  just for 1/2 mile or so ..Now you arrived to top of coast ..This magic place is called Irish Hills because hills are so green in winter they remind you of Ireland ..A favorite lie is to tell people it's where Sound of Music was filmed ..You can pull off a couple places and have picnic  or just look at Morro Bay rock 20 miles away .. On clear day you can see to start of Big Sur ..

Best time to come ... September to November  weather best of year and kids in school .. and Sunday  -Thursday  year round . Great Hotel deals ..come wekday  ask Inn at avila beach if they have any La Times or radio deals  usually do , La Fonda hotel has a Costco deal  at 30% off ,and Joe momma's has girls getaway includes treatments thats a discount if bought seperately ,,Avila Light House  has several packages on their website .

Busiest Times ..July 15-August 15th  is always sellout ..weekends Friday/Sat nights sell out now all yr so book early .Holidays Thanksgiving is one of biggest of year ,and Christmas week , Highest rates are in summer  with last weekend of July /first weekend of August  highest rates , make reservations weeks inadvance .

Campers ..alittle ...if you got RV best deal in california is 25 or so spots on the water by Port San Luis  ,pay at office or ranger will collect from you .  There is a small camp ground on front age road by  Avila barn  that rents by day . There are Showers at Port  San Luis and drop off tank .Boats can be driven in (small Cats /jet ski) at hartford ramp,Portside  Marine has couple lifts .

If you sail in there are morings for rent and water taxi ..more and more large motor/sail  boats stop and spend night with crew or owners spending night in hotel  and stopping for good dinner ..

Hope all this helps ..great place ..just cleanup after you're self ..keep it special

Shopping ..avila Grocary Store for most beach supplies and bottle of wine  ,ice  sodas .

                    Nekkidd is new womens beach wear ..all organic clothing mostly bamboo ,jewelry ,hand bags

                    Alapay wine ..gift items ,wine tasting

                   Couple tee shirt shops ,sounvinor shop under canopy next door  to gelatto shop

                   Port side marine small market /ship supplies /

                    Avila Barn - amazing  place fruit,pies,icecream,vegetables ,lots canned stuff 

The other main area is Port  San Luis  ,excellent local favorite Fat  Cats  especially for breakfast ,also check out Petes (pete retired but good mexican food and fresh dungness crabs cooked and cleaned fresh for you). BJ fresh fish market does,Patroit fishing takes daily fishing trips and whale watching in season .Also the Portside marine has both small market and host boat services and supplies . Small fountain at beging of parking lot to honor lost sailiors.