Avila Beach is a small & charming beach town with just over 1,500 residents & over 800 households. Avila Beach faces south and the 600 foot elevation of Point San Luis breaks the prevailing northwesterly winds. It is therefore usually warmer than the other beaches on the Central Coast. Most of Avila Beach is undeveloped, except for a few blocks adjacent to the beach with homes, hotels, and small businesses, and a few upscale housing developments inland near a golf course. Avila Beach is also known for its hot springs, which are used for resort spas.
Avila Beach has three piers: Avila Beach Pier, 1,685-foot-long,
closed to tourist strolling and recreational fishing; Harford Pier, which is for commercial fishing boats to offload their wares since 1873; and the Cal Poly State University Pier, part of the university's marine research program and not publicly accessible. In recent years, the pier has become a site for whale watching as numbers of grays and humpback whales come into bays around the pier to feed and draw crowds during the seasons.
Although Avila Beach still has a working commercial fishing pier and the inland areas have extensive apple orchards, tourism is now the main industry