Asilomar State Beach is a state park in California and is a State Beach spread out over 107 acres of ecologically diverse beachfront land area in Pacific Grove which describes the breathtaking views of forest, surf, sand and scenic forest and sand dunes. It is one of Monterey’s prettiest beaches, with a curving line and sloping sand that create lots of breaking waves.
As its name Asilomar means “a refuge by the sea” and is also now count a National Historic Landmark providing public access to rocky coast and dune habitat on the Monterey Peninsula. Sharing borders with the Monterey Bay, City of Monterey, Pacific Ocean, and the Del Monte Forest, this coastal community offers breathtaking view and recreational activities.
The beach is a one-mile strip of sandy beach, narrow and rocky coves. It is also a popular and stunning spot for nature walks, surfing, kayaking, kite flying, and romantic sunset strolls along the shore. It packs more beautiful views and natural diversity into a mile long path as most of the beaches have in ten or more miles. It is an easily accessible beach, and also features wheelchairs to disable people to enjoy the coastal experience as well. Visitors can spend their leisure time bird watching, strolling along the beach, bicycling, swimming in the heated pool, or playing a game of billiards, ping pong or volleyball.
A beautiful coastal area, Asilomar State Beach stretches between Point Pinos and the Del Monte Forest. Features with dunes, tidal pools, and pocket-size beaches form one of the region’s richest areas for marine life including surfers, who migrate here most winter mornings. Visitors have great opportunities for sightseeing, beach fun, whale watching, and educational tours of the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary. Explore the expanded area by taking a stroll along the scenic coast trail. It is a boardwalk loop spanning from the coastline, through the dunes, to the Asilomar Conference Grounds. A walking path runs along the clifftops, making a perfect place to enjoy the natural surroundings.
On the beach itself, there’s lots of sand and room to play. The state beach has walking paths that go on and on along the ocean. There is a pedestrian pathway which also goes along the length of the beach. In the north, the pedestrian pathway is dirt, going alongside the rocky crevices of the shore, with the lighthouse on the other side of Sunset drive. You can drive along the entire length of the beach along Sunset Drive, a two lane paved road, with parking on the road along the Ocean side, and in various dirt-sand inlets along the road. There are no restrooms or picnicking facilities on the state beach.
In the property anyone can find the Asilomar Conference Center or Grounds, which exists from 1913 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. It is a woodsy wonderland sprinkled with buildings by famed architect Julia Morgan. It has been owned and operated by State Parks since 1956. Eleven of her original buildings remain, the largest collection of Morgan’s architecture in one location. The grounds, restrooms, restaurant, and gift shop are open to the public. They offering a rare protected glimpse of a dune restoration project.
The Beach is within the boundary of Asilomar Marine Reserve. All marine resources, animals and features are protected. No collecting or fishing is allowed. It was one of 29 marine protected areas, which created a statewide network of marine protected areas along the California coastline. The amazing marine life of the Monterey Peninsula draws thousands of visitors each year to fish, dive, hike, whale watch and kayak.
Across from Asilomar State Beach is the Asilomar Natural Dune Preserve. One of Asilomar’s landmark stiles stands at the gateway to this preserve. A one-forth mile boardwalk meanders through the 25 acres of restored sand dune ecosystem. Discover the native plant greenhouse where more than 450,000 plants, representing 25 species have been grown and planted in the dunes and coastal bluffs. The sand has been shifted and shaped into more natural contours, and an extensive boardwalk has been constructed to give the viewing public a close up look at the revitalized dunes.
Asilomar Coast Trail
Extending for one mile along the state beach, Asilomar Coast Trail is a scenic path connecting pedestrians from the coast across the dunes to the Asilomar Conference Grounds. Along the trail, you’ll find several side paths that fork off to tide pools, private pocket beaches and views of marine life, including seals, sea lions, sea otters, and migrating California gray whales. At the head of the trail a strip of unbroken white beach sand provides easy access to the ocean.
Self Guided Tours
Asilomar Park offers four different self-guided tours that explore the nature and history of the park, including Coast Trail, Forest Walk, Julia Morgan Architecture, and Living Dunes walks to choose from, and plenty of wildlife can be seen along the way. Park rangers provide a variety of cultural and natural history walks. Self-guided walking tours and audio tours are also available at the park store.
Many seagulls, hawks and other birds, with an occasional seal basking on the rocks. Visitors to Asilomar State Beach can also walk the quarter-mile boardwalk at Asilomar Natural Dune Preserve and learn more about the area’s unique ecosystem. It is a reliable and consistent surf spot where surfers can be seen nearly every day.
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