About cara f
Lives in Capitola, California
Since Feb 2014
Bodies of Water
Beaches, State Parks
Beaches, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Beaches
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Beaches
The Monterey Bay and, more specifically, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, is one of our nation's treasures. The Sanctuary was established in 1992 and covers 276 miles of coastland. Stretching from the Golden Gate in San Francisco to San Luis Obispo in central California, this is the largest marine sanctuary in the U.S. Protected wildlife flourishes here, every year migrating Humpback, Blue, and Gray whales pass through the area, and the resident wildlife — including bottlenose dolphins, otters, harbor seals, and California sea lions — is incredible too. To enjoy the splendour of Monterey Bay you need only gaze out on its craggy cliffs or relax on one of the many beaches in the area.
Asilomar is a classic Northern California beach: craggy coastline, often wild surf, and a small stretch of sand. Although swimming is not recommended here, you will often see adventurous surfers seeking a perfect wave. The beach is home to a nice walkway for strolling, beautiful sand dunes, and, as one might expect, some fantastic tide pools (best enjoyed at low tide).
Lovers Point has everything; a grassy area with picnic tables, grills for barbecuing, and a protected little cove with a sandy beach. This place is popular with both scuba divers and kids who want to make a splash, and during certain seasons you can see migrating whales. It's also common to see its local 'residents,' California sea lions, basking here.
Petite McAbee Beach is tucked right behind the Spindrift Hotel, smack in the middle of Cannery Row; and while Cannery Row may be bustling on a busy weekend, chances are that you will have this beach nearly to yourself! This is a great hideaway for a picnic, and kayakers putting out into the water are a common sight.
San Carlos Beach and Breakwater Cove are favorite hangouts for local scuba divers (and the family and friends that often accompany them). The protected cove gives them a welcome break from the big surf that is common in the area, and a big patch of grassy lawn lends itself to lounging and picnicking. There is also a good stretch of sandy beach that is just right for tanning.
Del Monte Beach, also known as Monterey State Beach, is very close to the Old Fisherman's Wharf. It offers a gentler surf than many local beaches, and the consistent breeze also makes Del Monte ideal for kite flying and paragliders.
With nearly 3000 acres of parkland and a spectacular two miles of remote beachfront, Garrapata Beach and Garrapata State Park are hidden gems. If you wish, you could combine a day at the beach with a hike in the Coastal Redwoods (common to this area).
Known locally as 'Monastery' beach (you can see a monastery from the beach if you look back over the highway), this cove can be calm and beautiful or raging and wild, depending on the surf. Like many beaches in this area, Carmel River State Beach is popular with scuba divers and has the added benefit of bathrooms and drinking water. It's big enough to never feel crowded, even on a busy summer weekend.
Gibson Beach and China Cove are just two of the many small beaches located within Point Lobos, one of the most popular coastal state parks in Northern California. You could easily spend a day exploring the park's many awe-inspiring coves and spectacular scenery.
Abundant marine animals (otter sightings are almost guaranteed here!) and sea birds are hallmarks of Moss Landing State Beach, a wonderful place to spend some time walking the dunes and enjoying the views. This is also a great place to spot migrating whales in the right seasons.