With its rich history and panoramic views, the Cayucos Pier represents the very best of Highway 1. Just steps from the sand and a walkable downtown, there’s countless reasons to walk the plank.
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Explore Cayucos Pier on Cayucos Beach
Cayucos Pier History
Cayucos is a laid-back beach town known for surfing, pier fishing and oceanfront dining. A hundred years ago, this scenic beach community expressed a different story. Cayucos began to evolve during the Spanish Land Grant days and was originally part of the Morro Bay Cayucos Rancho. The town’s most famous resident, Captain James Cass, built the original wharf, which channeled commerce throughout the coastal communities. Cass began construction of the Cayucos pier in 1872. Originally 380 feet long, boats still anchored out beyond the pier, as the shoreline was too shallow. In 1876, the pier was lengthened to 982 feet, allowing ships to dock alongside. Although 40 feet of pier was removed when the state took control, the Cayucos pier remains a central landmark of the area.
After a rough winter storm in July 2013, the pier was closed due to concerns over deteriorating piles, degraded beams and crumbling cross bracing. Thanks to a massive $3.5-million rebuilding effort coordinated by passionate local residents, the pier has been virtually reconstructed. On Halloween 2015, the town of Cayucos threw a community party to celebrate the reopening of its historic pier.
To see all of the locations along the Highway 1 History & Heritage Trail, check out our interactive map.
Cayucos Pier Plaques
Plaques line the Cayucos Pier, memorializing the many people who donated to support its reconstruction. Each name honors people who love to visit the pier―many who have done so for decades. There’s even a plaque in memory of a dog who spent considerable time at the Cayucos Pier. To request your own plaque commemorating your love of the pier, get in touch with the Cayucos Lion’s Club at (805) 720-3173.
Cayucos pier fishing
Fishing is a popular activity along the Cayucos Pier. What can hopefuls expect to catch? A variety of fish, depending on where along the pier you cast off. Try fishing near the surf for barred and calico surfperch. At the pier’s halfway point, find boccaccio rockfish, walleye and silver surfperch. At the pier’s end, you’re likely to catch small fish to use as live bait (great for attracting halibut).
Other bait might include live sand crabs, mussels, bloodworms, pie worms, cut shrimp and grubs. As for equipment, try a spinning rod, as well as hi/lo rigging or a sliding leader, Carolina-rig for beginners.
Pro tip: Cayucos Pier fishing can be unpredictable. When in doubt, check a fishing report (like fishingreminder.com) for information on moon phases, high tide, low tide and feeding.
The Cayucos Pier sees many people, day and night, fishing along its 950-foot length. The Cayucos Pier does not require a fishing license, making it a great spot for anyone to drop a line.
Cayucos Pier Surfing
Cayucos is a famous surf spot beloved by surfers of all skill levels. Known for great waves and uncrowded sands, stand-up paddle boarders (SUP) and kite surfers also enjoy the coastal playground. Look for northeast winds, waist-high and higher swells from the southwest, and high tide for ideal conditions. Spring and summer provide the best, most consistent conditions on this exposed beach break. For specifics, check a surf report (like surfline.com) before hitting the waves.
Water temperatures at the Cayucos Pier range between 54 degrees F (March) and 66 degrees F (September). For colder temperatures, bring a wetsuit at 4/3 mm – 5/4/3 mm thickness, plus boots, gloves, and hood. In the warmest temperatures, bring a 2 mm – 3/2 mm wetsuit or spring suit.
You can find short boards and longboards in the water here, so bring either one. New to the sport? Pack light and rent gear, including wetsuits and boards, at Good Clean Fun or Cayucos Surf Co. You may even come across a board you want to buy, as many nationally-known surfboard craftsmen call Cayucos home.
Surfing at the Cayucos Pier includes amenities like outdoor showers, bathrooms, and ample parking.
For the Kids
Kids can get in on the action at the Cayucos Pier, too. Family friendly activities abound, with a beachside playground located conveniently at the foot of the pier. Watch the kiddos laugh and play while enjoying the coastal breeze, or head to the skatepark to take the fun on wheels. Located near the Cayucos Veterans Hall, this unique seaside skatepark features half-pipes, handrails, vertical ramps and bowls nestled along the ocean. Afterward, snack time is in order. Thankfully, Brown Butter Cookie Company is on hand serving fresh-from-the-oven goodness in the heart of downtown Cayucos. Whether sprinkled with irresistible sea salt, dusted with cinnamon or spiked with cocoa, these locally loved treats are sure to inspire smiles all around.
Cayucos Pier is Dog-Friendly
Looking to bring Sparky to the Cayucos Pier? With your pup on-leash, enjoy a stroll down the pier together. More interested in frolicking in the sand? Cayucos State Beach encourages on-leash dogs to enjoy its sun and sand from the Pier south to Chaney Avenue.
See the Dog Friendly Activities page for more information.
Dining Around Cayucos Pier
Dining in Cayucos is a breath of fresh air. Take your pick of over a dozen eateries in walking distance of the Cayucos Pier. Cuisines include Mexican, Italian, American, seafood, sausages and smokehouse, farm-to-table, coffeeshops, wine bars and more.
For more information visit the Where To Eat in Cayucos page.
Hotels Around Cayucos Pier
A dozen excellent lodging properties in Cayucos stand ready to make your beach days unforgettable. Options range from seaside hotels and bed & breakfasts to private retreats and historic inns.
For more information on where to stay, visit the Where To Stay in Cayucos page.
Directions to Cayucos Pier
Looking for directions to the Cayucos Pier? Northbound on Highway 1: Take exit 285 for Cayucos Drive. Turn left on Cayucos Drive and, in 0.4 miles, turn left on Ocean Front Avenue. Find free public parking just south of the Cayucos Pier, or along Ocean Avenue.Southbound on Highway 1: Turn right onto North Ocean Avenue, drive 0.7 miles, then turn right on Cayucos Drive. Make an immediate left on Ocean Front Avenue. Find free public parking just south of the Cayucos Pier, or along Ocean Avenue.
Things to do nearby
There’s always more to explore around the Cayucos Pier. Nearly Estero Bluff State Park, one of Highway 1’s most amazing oceanside hikes, is located just north of the pier. Embark on a breezy adventure culminating in tide pools, cliffside views and even a sunken ship. This manageable trail is great for families looking to stretch their legs and take in the area’s pristine beauty. Afterward, a walk through charming downtown Cayucos provides a fun way to take in the local color. Stroll a collection of antique shops, restaurants and historic sites. Don’t forget to hit the Cayucos Pier, where fishing, whale watching and unforgettable photo opps coalesce.