Avila Beach is first and foremost a family beach so most of the town is kid friendly. However we wanted to highlight some of the most popular activities for kids. Our guide is split off into three different sections for downtown Avila Beach, Port San Luis Harbor, and the Avila Valley. You can also see upcoming kid friendly events
The Avila Valley is filled with old world charm. You will find apple farms (open Aug - Nov) all over the valley along with the famous Avila Valley Barn. You will also find the historic Avila Hot Springs among the hills surrounding Avila Beach. Learn more about the Avila Valley.
- Avila Hot Springs - Pool with a double waterslide, bike rentals, swimming lessons, camping, movie night, birthday parties, and more.
- Avila Valley Barn - Feed the animals, pony & hay rides (seasonal), birthday parties, toys, etc.
- Bob Jones Trail -
This trail winds through the Avila Valley and leads all the way into Avila Beach. You can walk or ride bikes.
- Home Plate - Located at the Avila Hot Springs | Hot dogs, peanut butter & jelly, mac & cheese plus many other things on their regular menu. Menu Link
- Woodstone Market - Located on the Bob Jones Trail | Grilled cheese, mac & cheese, PB&J, or cheese quesadilla served with fruit and chips. Menu Link
- Avila Valley Barn - Full bakery, candy, fudge, and a full ice cream shop featuring local made ice cream.
Downtown Avila is the perfect place to entertain kids all day long. You will find a pirate themed park surrounded by grass that’s perfect for a picnic or BBQ, a promenade at the heart of the town with the Avila Beach Pier extending over a thousand feet into the Pacific Ocean, a family friendly beach that sees the most sun compared to other Central Coast beaches, and many activities perfect for your little ones. Learn more about Avila Beach.
- Avila Beach Paddlesports - During the summer you can find them setup on the beach renting kayaks and SUPs. If you don't see them here, you can always rent from them at their main location in Port San Luis. Avila Beach Paddlesports also offers the little ones the opportunity to get on the water. We call them Otter Spotters. Ages 7 and up!
- Avila Park - Pirate themed park with pirate ship fort, grass areas with some picnic tables (first come first serve), two toddler swings, play structure with 2 slides, tic-tac-toe game, seahorse rides, restrooms, etc.
- Basketball & Volleyball Courts - For the older kids. All you need is a ball.
- Bodyboard & Wetsuit Rental - Rent a boogie board and hit the waves. Located under the Avila Beach Pier in the summer or inside the Sea Barn the rest of the year.
- Central Coast Aquarium - Aquarium tours, private tours, birthday parties, feeding tours, discovery lab, floating lab, events, and summer camp.
- Jr Lifeguards - Great seasonal program for kids. They focus on character development while providing a rigorous curriculum including, paddling, running, swimming, outrigger canoe, first aid and CPR, and basic lifeguarding.
- Main Beach - Toddler & kids swings, slide, outdoor showers, tide exploring, kite flying, sandcastle building, etc.
- Pier Fishing - Anyone can fish from a public pier without a fishing licence so this is the perfect activity for the whole family. Don’t have fishing gear? No worries as Zippys at the end of the Avila Beach Pier rents poles and has bait, gear, drinks, snacks, and more!
- Van Cruza Surf School - Surf Lessons and kids camp
- Avila Beach Surf School - Surf lessons
- Avila Grocery & Deli - Mac & cheese, grilled cheese, peanut butter & jelly, fish & chips, etc. Menu Link
- Custom House - Kids meals are served on a frisbee for them to keep.Grilled cheese sandwich, hot dog & fries, chicken strips & fries, pasta & sauce, pasta & cheese, burger & fries, etc. Dinner Menu Link
- Hulu Hut -
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chicken nuggets, etc.
- Hot Dog Carts - Located on the downtown promenade and next to Avila Park during the summer and busy weekends, these hot dog carts are perfect for a quick stop for food and snacks.
- Beach n Yogurt - Many different flavors of frozen yogurt and toppings.
- Hot Dog Carts - Many different flavors of snow cones.
- Hula Hut - Tons of homemade fudge along with over a dozen flavors of famous Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream and Smoothes.
- Reimers Candy - Chocolates & candy along with ice cream & snow cones.
Other things worth mentioning...
- This Little Fishy - Children's Beach Boutique with swimwear, clothing, footwear, toys, gifts, beach necessities for ages 0-12 years old. Sells sunscreen.
- The Sea Barn - Beach gear and clothing. Sells Sunscreen.
- Del Sol - Cool sun activated color clothing and beach stuff. Sells Sunscreen
- The Avila Lighthouse Suites is a very kid friendly hotel on the ocean with a courtyard containing a pool, mini golf, ping pong, lifesize checkers, and more.
- The Avila Beach Farmers Market is a great events for kids. It takes place every Friday (Apr - Sept) from 4pm -8pm on the Avila Promenade.
- San Luis Creek empties into the ocean right on Avila Beach. The surf is really mellow here and is normally a good place for younger kids to get familiar with the ocean.
- Lifeguards are on the downtown beach during the summer and on big weekends throughout the year.
Port San Luis Harbor is home to the historic Harford Pier and its activities are what you would expect find here. It’s got year-round kayak rental, boat charters, fishing, seafood restaurants, and other unique activities. Learn more about Port San Luis.
- Avila Beach Paddlesports - Kayak Rentals, SUP Rentals, & Adventures Tours. Avila Beach Paddlesports also offers the little ones the opportunity to get on the water. We call them Otter Spotters. Ages 7 and up!
- Central Coast Charters - Take the kids on a sailing charter to explore the bay and see all the sea life.
- Pier Fishing - Anyone can fish from a public pier without a fishing licence so this is the perfect activity for the whole family. Don’t have fishing gear? No worries as Patriot Sportfishing on the Harford Pier rents poles and has bait, gear, drinks, snacks, and more!
- Fishermans Beach* - Perfect place to enjoy the beach if you have dogs as well as kids. Dogs are allowed off leash all the time on this beach.
- Olde Port Beach* - Dogs are also allowed on this beach all the time. It also has bonfires pits (they are seasonal and first come first serve) perfect for s'mores!
- Patriot Sporfishing - Take your kids out on a boat for some open ocean fishing. They also do whale watching trips when the whales are around.
- Seaweed Express - Small group boat tours in the harbor and along the beautiful coastline of Avila Beach, CA.
See the rugged coastline filled with caves. Speed along the water to visit seals, otters, dolphins and even whales.
- Watch the Sealife - Head down the historic Harford Pier to see various sea life play including seals, otter, dolphins, and sometimes whales!
*Please note that both of the beaches in Port San Luis are allowed to have dogs off leash at all times, so if kids are not used to being around dogs or that makes you uncomfortable, the downtown Avila Beach is a better place (no dogs 10am-5pm everday)
Other things worth mentioning...
- Fat Cats Cafe - Breakfast items along with chicken strips, grilled cheese, burrito, pizza, quesadillas, hot dogs, fish & chips, etc. Menu Link
- Olde Port Inn - They not only have a kids menu but they have a set of glass top tables at see all the way through the Harford Pier to the water below so you can see the sea life play while enjoying your meal!
- Kids fish free Patriot Sportfishing on the weekly half day trip with purchase of an adult ticket - Link
Don't forget to bring...
Come to the beach early in the day. This is not only easier on the kids but parking is much easier the earlier you come. The winds can also kick up in the afternoon.
Since Avila Beach is located in the Port San Luis Harbor, the waves tend to be more mellow then other local beaches.
More tips coming soon - Submit One
Things you might want to put in your beach bag
Sunscreen, towels, chapstick, drinking water, hats, flip flops, water shoes, change of clothes, money for snacks & treats at all the wonderful shops, sunglasses, few plastic grocery bags, aloe or lotion, blanket, beach chairs, umbrella or small popup tent, camera, zip lock bags, sweater or light jacket for late afternoon beach trips, book or magazine, etc
Common Beach Toys to bring
Sandcastle building stuff, bubbles, a kite, frisbee, football, volleyball, nerf ball, basketball, etc
If you have babies
Baby sunscreen, an umbrella or small tent for shade, diapers & wet wipes with a few grocery bags, and baby powder.
If you have toddlers
Sunscreen, a hat, an umbrella or small tent for shade, spare clothes, swim diapers, life vest, and toys.
If you have kids
Sunscreen, a hat, water shoes, drinking water, spare clothes, food & snacks, and beach toys.
If you have teenagers
More money and extra patience.
Please use our website as a guide only. Dates, times, prices, and other info can be changed by the businesses at anytime and we might not be notified. Make sure to check with the business on any details listed here before making any permanent plans. Please feel free to email us
with any questions. Thank you!