Virtual Guidebook to Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur and Central Coast
Avila Bay and Avila Beach

Avila Bay is a natural harbor improved with a long breakwater. Development is limited to three piers and the small town of Avila Beach. Because it faces south and is sheltered by the Irish Hills Avila Bay is often considerably warmer and less foggy than Morro Bay or Pismo Beach.

Avila Beach is my favorite California beach town - not as big as Santa Cruz, not tacky like Pismo Beach. It has an interesting history. The first long-distance oil pipeline was built in 1902 from the Kern county oil fields to the Union Oil Pier in Avila Bay. Storage tanks were located on the hill above town, and leaked slowly for almost a century. In the 1990's most of the old town was razed, the oil-soaked sand excavated and trucked away, then the town rebuilt!


The Harford Pier is one of three in Avila Bay, along with the Avila Beach municipal pier and the Col Poly (formerly Union Oil) Pier.

(April 27, 2008)

Next Locality: Shell Beach