Dana McGregor and his surfing goats are known worldwide, but when they're not out catching waves abroad, they make their home in the paradise of Pismo Beach. The Central Coast city is known for its walkable beaches and surfable waves where locals and tourists alike can enjoy participating or spectating in watersports.
McGregor and his pet goats, Goatee and Pismo, are also published authors, known for their children's book The Surfing Goat, Goatee, and they frequently share fun stories and joyful moments on their YouTube channel. Want to surf with these famous animals? Sign up for one of McGregor's Surf SUP Sport Beach Camps, which includes surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, sand sculpting, beach volleyball, and more. (He also offers one-hour private or group lessons.) We asked McGregor and his brood for the best spots to bring your board and hop a wave in their coastal hometown in San Luis Obispo County.
1. Pismo Beach
The namesake and central beach of the coastal city is McGregor's favorite. His goats are fond of it too. "We grew up surfing this break and it will always be our home break," he says. "It’s super fun and is a nice beachbreak, but can start closing out on big days." (For non-surfers, that means Pismo Beach generally has ideal surfable waves that break on the beach, but they can sometimes formulate into a not-so-smooth ride when a wave crest blocks you from gaining momentum.)
2. Shell Beach
Tucked away under cliffs and steep bluffs, Shell Beach is part of a scenic cove that has more modest tides. "When it gets too big in Pismo we like to shred the gnar here and find some hidden treasure," McGregor says.
3. Grover Beach
"When it’s nice and small, we like to drive right onto the beach in Grover Beach," he says. Pismo State Beach is one of few that actually allow vehicles on the sand, and you can reach Grover from the Oceana Beach Access entrance, heading south. "But if it's big and rainy, some people even like to surf the overflow onto the streets!"
Located in front of the Oceana Campground on Pismo State Beach, the dunes are popular for campers, especially those riding four-wheelers, ATVs, or ORVs. McGregor says he loves Oceano because "you can drive for miles and find your own peak!"
5. Avila Beach
"When it gets smashing huge, sometimes we hit Avila Beach and get some nice closeouts or hit the boat launch in Avila and catch some nice right handers," McGregor says. Spectators can also watch the watersports or whales from one of two piers open to the public.