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Thursday, December 8, 2011


Winter at the Oceano ElksOur Opinion: Recommend.  Fun location a few blocks from Pismo State Beach, a great walking beach also open to vehicles and camping.  This is an Elks Lodge - you must be an Elk to stay here.

Date of Stay: December 5-8, 2011.

Weather During Stay: Lovely winter weather: cool, calm and sunny.  Highs in the low to mid-60’s, low’s in the 30’s.

Sites: 50 sites on level grass with W/E (30 amp) at sites.  Dump available as you exit the camping area.  Sites are back-in around the perimeter of the parking area, long enough for big rigs, but tight if all sites are filled.

Dave is the on-site host (805/305-7627) who assigns sites as you arrive (if he is there).  During the slow times, rigs are parked in every other site, providing space for slides, awnings, and rugs.  During busy times, what had looked like one nice spacious site becomes 2 very tight slots.  We saw slides interwoven when rigs had slides on both sides!  Dave will always do his utmost to find you a spot, but call ahead in summer.

Summer at the Oceano ElksRate: $25 W/E (30 amp) includes use of dump station.  This is on the high side for Elks - Salinas (to the north) is $20/night for the same utilities; Santa Barbara (to the south) is $20/night for W and 50 amp E.  Napa, CA, with FHU and cable TV, is $20/night.   Private parks in the area charge $40 and up for FHU; the state park across the street charges $25/night for no hookups. 

Phone/radio/TV: Strong Verizon phones and aircard signal.  No obstructions to block TV satellite.  Several digital channels on the air antenna.  Speedy, strong WiFi available in the RV area - get the password at the lodge.  Local NPR on 90.1.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Flat, level parking on grass with trees on the perimeter.  View is of rigs, lodge, and attractive residential buildings across the street.  Elevation: sea level.

Lighting/Noise: Little traffic noise at night.  The lodge building leaves outside lights on all night, and the lodge parking lot has tall streetlights that burn all night.  The orange lenses help, but it is quite bright all night.

Big MH on beachFavorite Sites: Not much difference between sites; we choose to face the sun on these cool winter days. Dave, the on-site host, will point you towards the best space available when you arrive.  If the place is full, expect to squeeze into a long, narrow slot. 

Hiking/Walking: Walk three blocks to the west and you are on a fine, fine beach with good walking for miles – and dry camping for $10/night if you want to brave the sand (this photo – that’s not us!).  You can walk the beach all the way to Pismo Beach.

Comments: This lot is jammed in the summer, so don’t expect much personal space.  Per Dave, December is their slowest month, and we had plenty of room during this winter visit.  The fun town of Pismo Beach is a few miles north, a pleasant drive, with some good restaurants (try the BBQ ribs at Mo’s and fish and chips at Brad’s outdoor patio) and a pier over the ocean.  The lodge itself seems very busy.

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