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Asilomar State Beach

Wander amid the rock pools, sand dunes and forests of this special place and you’ll understand why its name translates to “refuge by the sea.” 

Asilomar State Beach is a narrow one-mile (1.6-kilometer) strip of petite beaches, tidal pools and flora-rich sand dunes on the Monterey Peninsula. Follow the Asilomar Coast Trail, which runs along the dog-friendly beach. Explore the pools at low tide, and look for seals and sea lions sunning on the rocks. 

A boardwalk takes visitors through the 25 acres (10 hectares) of natural sand dunes. Twenty-five native species of hardy coastal flora, such as sagewort and coyote bush, thrive in the sand and keep erosion in check. These dunes are a fragile and protected habitat, so stay on the boardwalk. 

Continue along the boardwalk to the Asilomar Conference Center. This stunning collection of buildings was constructed in 1913 and started life as a women’s summer camp. Today, the center is used for private conferences. Take the time to appreciate this National Historic Landmark, built in the Arts and Crafts style popular in California at the time.

Just inland from the beach is the Asilomar pine and oak forest. These tall, native trees have become under threat from development and disease over the past century. Download a guide from the California State Parks website and take the 45-minute self-guided tour, starting at Merrill Hall. This 3/4-mile (700-meter) trail gives detailed information on Monterey pines and coast live oaks, some of which are 100 years old and 100 feet (30 meters) high. It also explores some of the local wildlife, from mint bushes to raccoons, hawks and salamanders. Watch out for the poison oak, however, a common native plant that can leave you scratching.

Asilomar State Beach is on the Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove, a 15-minute drive northwest of downtown Monterey. Public buses run from Monterey to Pacific Grove.


Guide to Exploring around Asilomar State Beach


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Asilomar State Beach

See all 520 Properties near Asilomar State Beach
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa ¥22,277
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

400 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Monterey, this luxury resort is within a 5-minute walk of Cannery Row and Monterey Bay. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 15 minutes.

    Asilomar Conference Grounds ¥13,556
    Asilomar Conference Grounds

    Asilomar Conference Grounds

    800 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove, CA
       
      2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Nestled on the beach, this Pacific Grove hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary and 17-Mile Drive. Monterey Bay and Lovers Point are also within 2 mi (3 km).

      Rosedale Inn ¥8,557
      Rosedale Inn

      Rosedale Inn

      775 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove, CA
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated by the ocean, this hotel is 1.3 mi (2 km) from Point Pinos Lighthouse and 2.1 mi (3.5 km) from Monterey Bay Aquarium. Maritime Museum and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Best Western The Inn & Suites Pacific Grove ¥8,784
        Best Western The Inn & Suites Pacific Grove

        Best Western The Inn & Suites Pacific Grove

        660 Dennett St, Pacific Grove, CA
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary, 17-Mile Drive, and Lovers Point. Monterey Bay and Cannery Row are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Pacific Gardens Inn ¥9,760
          Pacific Gardens Inn

          Pacific Gardens Inn

          701 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove, CA
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Pacific Grove, this beach hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary and 17-Mile Drive. Monterey Bay and Lovers Point are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            Andril Fireplace Cottages ¥15,901
            Andril Fireplace Cottages

            Andril Fireplace Cottages

            569 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove, CA
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated by the ocean, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary and 17-Mile Drive. Monterey Bay and Lovers Point are also within 2 mi (3 km).

              Deer Haven Inn ¥9,796
              Deer Haven Inn

              Deer Haven Inn

              750 Crocker Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated by the ocean, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary and 17-Mile Drive. Monterey Bay and Lovers Point are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                Monterey Peninsula Inn ¥8,389
                Monterey Peninsula Inn

                Monterey Peninsula Inn

                1101 Lighthouse Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Pacific Grove, this golf hotel is within a 15-minute walk of 17-Mile Drive and Monterey Bay. Cannery Row and Lovers Point are also within 2 mi (3 km).