Pismo Beach is an interesting city and one that it is usually a recommended stop on your way from/to the Big Sur. It has a beautiful beach and pier and very relaxing atmosphere. In the mornings there are quite a few surfers around the pier so if you are into surfing Pismo Beach should be on your list.
We spend one day in Pismo on our way back from the Big Sur. We really enjoyed the city. Spend most of the day around the pier and on the beach. Early in the morning we flew our drone around the pier and enjoyed the sunrise. After 9AM the pier really gets alive and quite busy. Once the sun is out all the stores and restaurants open and it is a great place to explore.
We stayed right on the cost line with a view of the ocean. The hotel was SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel and we definitely will go back. Great views, nice and cozy rooms and awesome overall location. Hotel has few pools and it is also just a few mins drive from the pier and the beach.
As far as food is concerned there are more than a few highly rated places there for breakfast and lunch. We decided to try the Splash Cafe for its famous clam chowder. It did not disappoint as far as the clam chowder was concerned. It was really really good. However we did not like the other dishes we tried so have that in mind if you are going there. Also this place is crazy busy and if you are going after noon to eat the line sometimes goes beyond a street block.
Another thing to consider is Pismo Beach is about one hour drive from San Simeon where the famous Elephant Seals lookout is located. The viewing area is right off of Highway 1 before you get to the Big Sur Coast. It is worth the stop. It is not every day you see that many seals in one place:
Overall Pismo Beach was worth visiting. The pier is awesome to sit and enjoy the coastal view. The restaurants are quite busy and the main street is packed. People are definitely enjoying their time in Pismo. It is also perfect location to stay overnight if you are going to or coming back from Big Sur.