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Asilomar State Beach Activities

Monterey County

Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.

Asilomar State Beach

Asilomar Beach's rugged coast and soft, sandy beaches make it a popular place for beach-goers who like to enjoy a day relaxing under the sun or exploring tide pools. Limited parking along Sunset Drive tends to keep the number of visitors down.

Nature Walks

A coastal trail extends for nearly a mile along the edge of the dunes overlooking the beaches and rocky coast. Along the path look for various native plants in the dunes such as beach bur, sand verbena, and beach sagewort. They help to prevent the dunes from eroding. Flowers such as Monterey spine flower and Tidestom's lupine can be seen in the dunes also.

Asilomar Natural Dune Preserve

One of the most interesting walks is through the Asilomar Natural Dune Preserve, located across Sunset Drive from the beach area. Pass through the landmark stile at the gateway to this preserve. There you will find a quarter mile boardwalk that meanders through the 25 acres of restored sand dune ecosystem. Look for the native plant greenhouse where more than 450,000 plants, representing 25 species have been grown and planted in the dunes and coastal bluffs.

Ranger Guided Tours

One-hour ranger led tours are available for either groups or individuals. Call the California State Park office (831) 646-6443 to schedule a tour.


With so many great diving locations around Monterey Bay, Asilomar State Beach is not as popular as some, but underwater explorers do venture out from here. You can always get good information about the best diving spots at local dive shops.

Glenn's Aquarius II Dive Shop
32 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA
(831) 375-6605

Bamboo Reef
614 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA
(831) 372-1685


Out in the kelp beds is the most likely place to spot a sea otter. Harbor seals are often spotted poking their heads up beyond the surf line. During the fall, winter, and early spring migrating gray whales can be sighted farther out from shore.

Brown pelicans are common along the Monterey coast line.


Local surfers know that the best surfing at Asilomar is when the swells are coming in from the west and the winds are blowing up from the southwest. The exposed beach has steady surf that is usually good most times of the year. Summer swell size can be up to 10 feet, while big surf rolls in during the winter. The exposed beach has steady surf that is usually good most times of the year.

Surfers at Asilomar look toward three main breaks: roadsides on the north end of the beach, middles, and reef at the sound end. Both reef breaks and beach breaks go left and right. It can get crowded on weekends, but weekdays are pretty relaxed.

On the Beach Surf Shop

693 Lighthouse Avenue, Monterey, CA
(831) 646-9283   On the Beach Surf Shop
Rents surfboards, bodyboards, wetsuits, surf racks.

Kite Flying

The steady winds blowing out over the Pacific make Asilomar Beach a fine place to launch kites. Be sure to bring a stout string on windy days.

Nearby Activities and Events

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

165 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove
(831) 648-5716
Learn about the geology, wildlife, plants and cultures that make the central coast region so unique.
Hours: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, closed Mondays and holidays
Admission free, $3 donation suggested ($5 per family)
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

Whale Watching

96 Fisherman's Wharf No. 1 Monterey, CA
(800) 979-3370
Year round whale watching and nature tours narrated by marine biologists/naturalists.
2½ - 3 hour excursions aboard the 100-foot Princess or Greatland, both with heated indoor cabins, indoor and outdoor seating, clean restrooms, snack-bar.
Monterey Whale Watching

Monterey Bay Aquarium

886 Cannery Row, Monterey
(831) 648-4800
Regular hours 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Winter hours 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Summer and holidays 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Summer weekends 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Fisherman's Wharf

Dining, shopping, whale watching, ocean activities, entertainment.
Wharf walks with maritime historian Tim Thomas, first Saturday of the month, 10:00 AM. Fee. Call for reservations: (831) 521-3304
Sailing, fishing, and glass bottom boat tours.
Fisherman's Wharf Monterey

Books of Interest to Visitors to Asilomar

Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at
CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

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