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Sunshine draws visitors to Shell Beach despite limited coastal access

Ebb Tide
Posted at 6:25 PM, Feb 09, 2023

This week, officials with the City of Pismo Beach announced the closure of the coastal access stairway at Ebb Tide Park due to a recent landslide, leaving Shell Beach visitors wondering how to get down to the beach.

"It is just a nice day," said Joey Puentes of Grover Beach. "I thought I would go down to my little favorite spot but sadly the stairs are closed and whatnot so I will just walk around here instead."

Last month brought days of heavy rain and cold temperatures to the Central Coast, so on Thursday morning, surfers, tourists and locals turned out at Shell Beach for some sunshine.

"It just reminds me not to take the sun for granted, you know, because we are so used to it and then once it is raining for a couple days straight, we are just like 'why can’t it come back?'" added Alex Clark of Arroyo Grande.

Meanwhile, some tourists that were also out at Shell Beach on Thursday took in the views from the bluffs for the very first time.

"We have never even driven through here before. It is absolutely beautiful. It is a perfect day to be here," said Gaby Conte who was visiting from Orange County with Dusty Mulhearn.

"This is pretty nice, definitely better than our beaches," Mulhearn added.

But despite the staircase closure at Ebb Tide Park, some surfers ventured down the coastal access path anyway, prompting Mulhearn to do the same.

"They got down there someway, so I think I also need to go down there," he said.

While you may also be tempted to reach the beach by taking the closed staircase, the City of Pismo Beach advises you not to cross the barricade. Locals Joey Puentes and Alex Clark said they will be sure to play it safe.

"There is so many other ways to get down to Shell anyways so I don’t think it is worth doing that little risk," Puentes said.

"Be careful, and if you can maybe find a different way instead of the closed stairs because it is just a safety hazard for everyone," Clark added.

We reached out to Pismo Beach city officials to find out how long the staircase at Ebb Tide Park will remain closed but we did not hear back. Another coastal access point can be found off North Silver Shoals Drive in Shell Beach.

The landslide at Shell Beach comes weeks after last month's storms caused eroding cliffs on the Pismo Beach bluffs.