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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 442 Properties near Asilomar State Beach
Asilomar Conference Grounds ¥13,174
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. Point Pinos Lighthouse and Monterey Bay are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Rosedale Inn ¥10,538
    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 ¥10,339
      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 Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay and Lovers Point are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        Deer Haven Inn ¥11,242
        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, 17-Mile Drive, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay and Lovers Point are also within 2 mi (3 km).

          Andril Fireplace Cottages ¥18,443
          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, 17-Mile Drive, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay and Lovers Point are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages ¥10,400
            Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages

            Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages

            1150 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Pacific Grove, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Pacific Grove Golf Links, Point Pinos Lighthouse, and 17-Mile Drive. Monterey Bay and Lovers Point are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Pacific Gardens Inn
              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, 17-Mile Drive, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay and Lovers Point are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                Bide-A-Wee Inn ¥13,348
                Bide-A-Wee Inn

                Bide-A-Wee Inn

                221 Asilomar Ave., Pacific Grove, CA
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated by the ocean, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Oceanview Boulevard, Point Pinos Lighthouse, and 17-Mile Drive. Monterey Bay and Lovers Point are also within 1 mi (2 km).