Have you ever had a week where you’re basically Screaming, Crying, Perfect Storm (word to Taylor Swift), and you just need that escape to nowhere. All you want is to blast some sappy Coldplay songs about unrequited love, and look out into the ocean. Well, I had one of those days recently. For our final stop of the “Cruising Along the California Coast” mini-series…I’m going to show a fabulous, secret location I discovered.  This latest site was just what I needed and I think you’ll like it too!

This week’s Secret of SoCal is Staircase to Nowhere.

 In the Shell Beach vicinity of Pismo Beach, located to the right of Ventana Grill, a hidden gem lays right off of Highway 1. There, a rustic spiral staircase that leads to nowhere exists. Yes, it literally leads to nowhere!

The original purpose of the staircase was to provide beach access below. A bridge once connected to the top of the rusting stairway, however, it was deemed unsafe due to rusting from salt water and corrosion from the air. Once the walkway was removed, the mysterious staircase was left to rot and remain merely as an aesthetic attraction.


It is nearly impossible to get down to the staircase due to cliffs blocking off both sides of the beach. Looking down, the cliff is surrounded by barbed wire fencing so the only way to photograph this stairway is from above or by kayaking to the shore.

However, according to the Santa Maria Times, the Stairway to Nowhere might soon lead somewhere. The owner of Ventana Grill applied for permits to rebuild this stairway and provide patrons access to the beach. Who knows where this will lead?

As I sat on the curb and looked out at the ocean, I fell more in love with this location. As the persistent waves beat along the bluffs, and the multiple shades of blue blended to one, I felt at ease. We often feel trapped and overwhelmed with school, work, life, or whatever it may be. This adventure demonstrated the value of getting out and driving along Highway 1. Sometimes, we don’t need a solution we just need a little change of scenery.

Check back next week for our next Secret of SoCal.

Thanks for stopping by, and remember, Take Care of This Moment.

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