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Point Lobos State Natural Reserve – Favorite California Beach

The staff at loves to get outside and enjoy the weather. We asked our staff to come up with their favorite California beaches. We narrowed it down to 5 and in subsequent blog posts we will be featuring our favorite California beaches along with beach tips to help you navigate the beach like a pro!

Point Lobos State Reserve
Photo provided by docentjoyce

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Monterey, California

Visitors to this central coast destination might be better off trading their sandals and trunks for a windbreaker and a pair of hiking shoes. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a long stretch of magnificently arranged rock formations lining the Monterey coast of California. Imagine a theme park of rocks, where nearly every boulder and cliff is free for you to roam. Visitors can walk, climb, jump and admire the millions of years of geological history that artfully marks the surface of the terrain. The massive rocks serve as natural protectors of coves, where you can explore tide pools that shelter hundreds of tiny marine residents. The sounds of the ocean are spectacular from such an intimate proximity, from the crashing waves to the miniature crabs clicking along the rocks (and there are many of them!) Point Lobos offers amenities for a lovely afternoon, for families, couples, group outings or a serene solo retreat. There is a pleasant, raised pathway that runs parallel to the coastline and offers a generous walk or bike ride. Across the road, you can enjoy lunch in the picnic area, where you will also find parking and clean restrooms. This is an excellent beach for kids! Just be sure to keep a close eye on them, as there are few railings, and the rocks are very accessible.

Tips for Point Lobos Beach

  • There are maps of the reserve available at the entrance that will provide you with interesting information about plant and animal species in the area, as well as hiking trails. This is great material for a scavenger hunt! If you are a diver, call or visit the website to learn about accessible areas and regulations.
  • September is an optimal time of year to visit if you want less fog, more sun and mild temperatures.
  • There is an entrance fee to park inside of the reserve, but you can find a place to park on the outside if you don’t mind the walk.
  • Avoid crowds by visiting during the week; this place gets busy on the weekends. You will also have a better of chance of parking right along the coastline.
  • Dress in layers and bring water, a hat, snacks and a camera. Binoculars are also helpful for spotting birds and migrating whales.

Beach, Boardshorts