One of the great attributes of the Monterey Beaches is that like California itself Monterey Beaches have so many differences about them that there is something for everyone. Much like California where there is snow capped mountains, deserts, to inland valleys the differences you will find in Monterey bay beaches is dramatic. There is everything from open sand beaches of Marina to the rocky coastline of Big Sur and everything in between. So, if you want to go kayaking, scuba diving, surfing, hang gliding, rock climbing, or camping there is a beach in Monterey for you.
Zmudowski State Beach
The northern Monterey County Beaches like Zmudowski State Beach are wide long strands of sand that are exposed to the open ocean. This is a good place to go Surfing or skim boarding. This is also a great beach for surf fisherman or fisher women as it were. You can catch many species of fish perch halibut, ling cod, and stripers during their respective seasons from the shore at this beach. This is also a great place to go and just be by yourself or with a few friends because you can go to Zmudowski and enter the beach and walk a few hundred yards north or south and find yourself or your group virtually alone and I love that. Keep walking and you will see things that have washed up in the last few days that no one else has except maybe the state park ranger.
Marina State Beach
Marina State Beach is known for one main thing wind. Here the wind is a great thing. If you are a para sailor, or para glider, or hang glider then the Monterey Bay beach for you is Marina State Beach. They even have a wooden platform to launch off of. Not to mention a steady flow of traffic on Hwy 1 to be your audience as you float in the air looking out to sea. This is also a great place to go if you are an R/C glider pilot many brands are represented but especially the Zaggy is well represented. Watch out though those planes don't mix well with the ocean but they are sure fun to fly.
Ft. Ord Dunes State Park
Ft. Ord Dunes State Park has four miles of coastline that is largely unused at this time. Currently you can go out there and see a few cyclists and a few hikers but largely you will be alone in a very beautiful place. Ft. Ord Dunes State Park has some of my favorite beaches largely due to the fact that their arent' any people around. The things to do here are cycling, hiking, bird watching. Other things are watching the Sea Lions and Seals on the shore and in the surf. Not to mention their are some great sand dunes like the one in Sand City to write things on that can be seen from Hwy 1 So get out there and leave a Happy Birthday Mom next time she's driving bye. She will love it.
McAbee Beach is the tiniest beach in Monterey County that is actually named. But it's also a very busy beach it's right next to Cannery Row, Several Hotels, and the very popular El Torito Mexican Restaurant. So if you are staying at one of the Cannery Row Hotels and want to do some people watching or just get your feet in some sand McAbee beach is the place for you. So get off the sidewalk and come on down the water's fine. Not really it's actually pretty cold but that's what we tell people anyway.
Monterey State Beach and Window on The Bay Park
Monterey State Beach is a great flat sand beach that runs from Fisherman's Wharf all the way almost to Seaside. Monterey State Beach is part of the Window on The Bay Park. An ambitious plan by the city leaders of Monterey to buy parcels of land facing the beach to create this window on the bay park to open up the land around the bay where before you couldn't see the bay because it's was hidden behind old abandoned buildings. I think it was a great idea that came at great expense to the city. It's a great beach for beachcombing and just bringing your kids out and flying kites or checking out all the tide pools. It's also a great spot for surfing or kayaking. occasionally you will see divers coming out of the surf here as well. I can't recommend this beach enough especially to families. Not to mention all the sand volleyball courts and the huge grass areas they have with barbecue pits.
Carmel Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Monterey County. The sand is just powdery and warmer somehow and the water a little bluer if that's possible. Not to mention Carmel Beach is a do beach so that makes it funner automatically. So if you come expect to see lots of pups running and swimming and just having a great time. Carmel is a very dog friendly town so bring your dog as well trust me they won't mind.
Generations, a photo by Vicki & Chuck Rogers on Flickr.
Monterey -street art californien, a photo by momotosaur on Flickr.
DSCN9874, a photo by Yosemite James on Flickr.