Shell Beach

Shell Beach


Lovely little Shell Beach snuggles up to its big sister Pismo Beach to its south. A small, primarily residential community, Shell Beach is considered part of Pismo and is located parallel to U.S. Highway 101, running for about three miles along the coast. Shell Beach really doesn’t have much of a beach, its coastline is very rugged, but there are a couple of tide pooling areas and two small parks. The area elementary school is located on Shell Beach Road. Fishing and abalone diving are popular past times in Shell Beach. There are community tennis and basketball courts available, too.

A Chumash village was located in what is now Shell Beach and many artifacts have been found here, including Indian skeletons, copper bracelets, stone grinding bowls, arrowheads, and spear heads.

In 1907 an oil refinery and tank farm was completed after a two year construction at Oilport, just north of Shell Beach. The shipping port only operated for two weeks when the ½ mile long wharf was destroyed in a storm. Its tanks were subsequently leased to Unocal in Avila Beach.

There are two good restaurants in Shell Beach, both steakhouses. The bigger of the two is across Highway 101, F. McLintock’s Saloon and Dining House, which serves charbroiled steak and ribs over an open pit barbecue. Burgers, chicken and fish are also served. Alex’s, on Shell Beach Road, which has been in continuous operation since 1942, features hand cut steaks, a 60 year old secret barbecue sauce, and was recently voted “Best Ribs” and “Best Bar” in a local newspaper poll.




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