Central Coasting: Get the Star Treatment at Vespera Resort

Looking for a quick getaway from Los Angeles? At the Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach, slow down and experience the beauty and bounty of the Central Coast.

Just a three-hour drive from Los Angeles, the Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach is a beacon for travelers seeking a stellar getaway on the sand in the Central Coast. The name Vespera signifies the evening star, and that starry theme, paying tribute to Chumash First Nations who inhabited the region and used stars to cross the Santa Barbara Channel, is stylishly reflected throughout the beachside resort.

Perched on Pismo Beach’s legendary boardwalk, Vespera offers guests an upscale East Coast meets West Coast beach house feel with sweeping views of the ocean and pier and easy access to the charming seaside town, farm-to-table restaurants, and award-winning vineyards that dot the Central Coast. Pismo Beach, tucked a few miles from San Luis Obispo (SLO to locals) on Pacific Coast Highway, is renowned for its sandy beaches, relaxed vibe, and fresh seafood. Rest assured, at Vespera you won’t have to sacrifice sophistication to take it easy. 

The patio at Vespera Resorts. Photo courtesy Vespera Resorts.

Sea Star

Vespera Resort’s modern coastal motif embodies the essence of a beachside home, celebrating Pismo’s beach culture with contemporary beachy décor—punctuated by clean lines, pops of blue, nautical and seashell accents, plush furnishings, natural textures, earthy touches like white oak flooring, and lots of natural light. The swank, open-concept lobby lounge, with a coffered ceiling that anchors the space, suggests a grand living room. A large fireplace and spacious seating areas welcome guests to linger and unwind before heading across the expansive Starlight Lawn, which leads to an outdoor bar with firepits and an elegant oceanfront saline pool and deck, ready for daytime lounging and cool sunset drinks. If you must work or crave a relaxed work-from-anywhere escape, a high-tech business center and Surfside Meeting Rooms await you.

After a day in the sun, you can enjoy a regionally sourced meal

The breezy, beachy vibe carries into the 124 chic guest rooms, with soft whites, taupes, browns, and blues, and fine touches, such as tongue-and-groove wood wall paneling, expansive picture windows, and soft, neutral, herringbone carpeting. Most guest rooms feature private balconies overlooking the Pacific Ocean, oversized bathrooms with Carrara marble and white subway tiles, floor-to-ceiling showers, freestanding bathtubs, premium bath products, and a Verazza espresso machine, among other amenities. Premium accommodations include the Boardwalk Junior Suite, which features a fully equipped kitchenette with dishwasher, the Dunes Suite with mountain views, and the ultra-luxurious Pacific Presidential Suite, spanning 800 square feet, with magnificent ocean views, king bed, living room with sofa bed, and expanded balcony.

Opened in October 2019, the Vespera Resort is part of the Autograph Collection, so members can earn Marriott Bonvoy points. Want to bring your pet along? Dogs under 45 lbs. are welcome. Of course, there’s high-speed Wi-Fi, but hopefully you’ll be spending most of your time off-screen. Once you’ve settled in, you can change into your swimsuit, head toward the beachfront pool deck, and pick up a refreshing cocktail or snack from the outdoor bar. 

The Somerset Bar. Photo courtesy Vespera Resorts.

Superior Seafood

After a day in the sun, you can enjoy a regionally sourced meal at Vespera’s Somerset Grill. The wide menu features vegetables and ingredients from local organic farms, including Talley Farm, and an array of entrees with an emphasis on selections from the wood-fire grill, such as Pacific salmon, grilled swordfish, prime filet steak frites, and a to-write-home-about, juicy BBQ-smoked half chicken. For sides, try the homemade, farm-fresh potato salad or the truffle mac and cheese.

Another must-go dining stop is Pismo Fish and Chips, a landmark SLO restaurant since 1963. Its savory clam chowder in a buttery, toasted, sourdough bread bowl, along with its famous Pismo Fish & Chips battered white cod and fries, are essential to a true Pismo Beach vacation.

The Ventana Grill is also within easy walking distance along the trail north of Vespera with access from the beach. With some of Pismo Beach’s best tacos and best all-encompassing beach views, the restaurant is a home away from home for brown pelicans, the area’s plentiful winged locals. 

Vespera Resort Exterior. Photo courtesy Vespera Resorts.

Surf and Sand

Vespera Resort’s beachfront location provides direct access to Pismo Beach’s iconic boardwalk and historic pier, is within walking distance to downtown Pismo Beach, and is just five minutes from the 900-acre Pismo Preserve’s 10 miles of hiking, horseback riding, and biking trails. Also nearby is the 5.5-mile Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, featuring the largest coastal dunes in the state—and the only California State Park that allows vehicle access on the beach. In addition to off-roading ATVs, buggies, and motorcycles up and down the dunes, outdoor activities include surfing, swimming, horseback riding, and kiteboarding. The nearby Dinosaur Caves Park is a blufftop 11-acre plot popular with walkers and runners.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also rent a beach cruiser from the hotel and peruse the beautiful vintage beach town. Water buffs can enjoy surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking, boating, and swimming—all at the beach fronting the resort. Water equipment is available for rent at the hotel. 

Golfers can hone their swing at the nearby Avila Beach Golf Resort, Pismo Beach Golf Course, and Cypress Ridge Golf Course.

Sightseeing and Sipping

Additional nearby attractions include Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove—California’s largest populated monarch butterfly grove—and Price Historical Park, with a museum housing early adobe ruins. California’s Central Coast offers miles of stunning coastline peppered with dozens of charming towns, including Morro Bay (with its volcanic Morro Rock), Paso Robles, and Cambria. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, Montana del Oro State Park, Big Sur, and Hearst Castle are an easy drive away.

For wine aficionados, no escape from L.A. is complete without a visit to scenic Edna Valley Wine Country. The region is home to more than 250 wineries, and you’ll find top selections as the unique, year-round temperate climate helps produce award-winning vintages. 

Talley Vineyards’ acclaimed Rosemary’s Chardonnay, served at the White House, is perfect for sipping while taking in the tasting room’s 360-views of the vineyards and working farm. Tolosa Winery is known for its Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, so plan to spend some time imbibing from its gorgeous terrace. At the tranquil Chamisal Vineyards, sustainably produced Chardonnay and Pinot Noir can be enjoyed straight from the source. 

See You (Sooner Than) Later

With its proximity to L.A., slower pace, and coastal charm, it’s likely that you’ll want to visit Vespera Resort more than once. Don’t be surprised if the stars align for a trip back soon.