San Luis Obispo County

KCOY 12 On the Road: Riding the Oceano Dunes

Watch KCOY 12 On the Road: Exploring the Sand Dunes by ATV

PISMO BEACH, Calif. - The Oceano Dunes are one of the biggest attractions to the Central Coast.
Every beach has it's own unique characteristics, but the Dunes is the only beach in California that you can drive on.

"Out here it's a freedom of making your own ride," Craig Angello of Angello's ATV Rentals said. "You get to operate a motorized vehicle in a safe manner out in a park that's meant to do that."

Pismo Beach is a California State Park that attracts tourists from all over the world. Angello says a little more than half of his business is repeat customers who live on or near the Central Coast.

"It's a different experience to ride on sand versus trails in the forest," said Vladimir Gushtyuk, visiting Pismo Beach from Sacramento.

Aside from off-road thrill seeking, being able to drive on the sand allows beach access for some who would not otherwise be able to get down to the shore.

"A lot of the people that we have in the community that are handicapped use this beach," Angello said. "Because they can actually drive down and get out on their wheelchair and get into the water. It's one of the few places they can do that."

Not everyone likes these rules, but those who make their living on the Dunes and see it as much more than driving on the beach.

"People who are off road enthusiasts still fight to this day to keep it open everyday," Angello, a fifth generation Oceano native said. "A lot of the time we're fighting people that have never really experienced it and are misinformed on what this is really about. It's truly a family oriented park."

Heather Creager was visiting Pismo from Seal Beach with her 10 and 11 year old children. They all rented ATV's.

"It's been fantastic for them," Creager said. "They surf the waves and swim in the water and being out here and doing something else on a bike is totally a fun new thing for them."

Emma Creager, Pismo Beach Visitor (Seal Beach): "It's awesome," 11-year-old Emma Creager said. "You can see the water when you're riding and you can be in the sand without getting all sandy."

Summertime is busy season on the Dunes. Angello says the beach often reaches capacity of 1000 campers and 500 day users.


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