Best of Monterey Bay® Visitors Guide

32 The Best of Monterey Bay ® 2023-2024 Beaches Dress in layers. Visitors are often surprised to discover how cool and breezy Monterey Peninsula beaches can be, even in the summer. A 65-degree day can mean T-shirts and shorts or a fleece sweatshirt. The warmest months tend to be September and October. Yet area beaches are beautiful no matter the weather. Wherever you go, be aware of rip currents and changeable ocean conditions. Note: Call or check online to check current rules on whether bonfires are allowed on beaches. Asilomar State Beach This rustic stretch of soft, white sand and rocky promontories offers a variety of activities, from kite-flying to tidepooling to surfing. Asilomar also has a long boardwalk along coastal dunes laced with delicate vegetation. A popular place for sunset strolls and dog walks. Restrooms available. On-street parking. Dogs allowed on leash. Seasonal lifeguard. Bonfires and alcohol are prohibited. Beach wheelchair or walker reservations at (831) 372-8016. Adjacent to Sunset Drive, Pacific Grove. Carmel Beach Fine white sands ringed by bluffs set off the aquamarine waters of Carmel Bay, making this famous beach a weekend and sunset destination. It’s one of the few beaches where dogs are allowed to run off-leash, and there are three beach volleyball courts. A good surfing spot, though waves are significantly affected by the tide—meaning it has unpredictable rip currents and rogue or sleeper waves. Restrooms available. No lifeguard service. bit. ly/mocobeaches Carmel River State Beach Where the Carmel River meets the Pacific Ocean lies a grainier, less-populated strip of sand frequented by locals, especially birdwatchers. Swimming in the surf is not advisable because of strong currents, but the lagoon on the river side of the sand offers more protected areas. Dogs allowed on leash. Restrooms and limited parking available at the intersection of Scenic and Carmelo, Carmel. Del Monte Beach The perfect family spot for a lazy day on the beach—or an active day, as you can walk for miles. Or play in the sand, or picnic, or go for A definition of outdoor “activity” in Monterey County can be quite broad. There are many serene spaces for meditative solitude to be found, with little activity necessary. Yet those seeking an adrenaline rush can take on nature’s challenges by land, sea or both. Still, the adventure hardly needs to be as strenuous as mountain biking in order to be rewarding. Hop on a boat and have an up-close encounter with whales in Monterey Bay. In one visit you can hike to the edge of the continent in Big Sur, learn to scuba dive in the waters off Monterey’s San Carlos Beach and climb the primeval spires found in Pinnacles National Park. Or just relax on the beach. It’s all good. At Play Pacific Grove