Avila Beach is an unincorporated town in San Luis Obispo County, California, USA with a population of 797. Although the town still has a working commercial fishing pier, tourism is the main industry. It is located about 190 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Avila Beach lies in a bay formed by Point San Luis, which leads to a pleasant climate and warmer ocean compared to other beaches on the Central Coast. Average temperatures vary little during the year, ranging from the 40s to 60s Fahrenheit from November through April, and from the 50s to 70s from May through September. Average annual rainfall is 18 inches. Along with much of the California coast, winter is the wet season, with more than 70% of the yearly rain falling from December through March, while summer brings drought conditions.
The beach has a 1,685-foot pier used for strolling and fishing. Avila is also known for its hot springs, which are used for resort spas. In the 1990s, Unocal oil storage facilities leaked, causing a massive oil spill under the town. After years of negotiation, Unocal agreed to a thirty million dollar settlement, which has been used to rebuild the town. The contaminated soil was excavated and replaced with clean fill. Many of the town's homes and business were demolished in the cleanup process. In 2003, tourism temporarily declined after a fatal shark attack. Avila Beach and its tourism industry quickly recovered, as the ongoing construction of new luxury condominiums and upscale stores attests.