MARINA STATE BEACH
Marina State Beach, at the Reservation Road exit of Highway One, has a sandy beach and steady winds that make it a popular place for surfing, kite flying and hang gliding. Look beyond the shoreline, and year 'round you're likely to see dolphins playing in the waves. Sunsets at Marina State Beach are a daily community event, bringing out locals and visitors alike.
Marina State Beach is adjacent to Marina Dunes Preserve, which has 170 acres of protected dunes. The dunes here, extending down to Sand City, are the highest found on the Central Coast, and provide a habitat for birds and animals rarely seen elsewhere. It's also right off the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, which extends all the way down to Pebble Beach.
Marina State Beach and Marina Dunes Preserve have several easily accessible parking lots. Marina State Beach also has a cafe and observation deck. Dogs are not permitted in Marina Dunes Preserve or at Marina State Beach.
A short, signed trail through the Marina Dunes Preserve explains the local flora and fauna. Dune restoration efforts are ongoing, and areas may be closed for wildlife protection or dune stabilization. Visitors are asked to keep to the trail at Marina Dunes Preserve.
Surfing and Hang Gliding
The winds at Marina State Beach make it a popular spot for both surfing and hang gliding. Most of the surfing in the area takes place in the morning, while hang gliders fly the winds from afternoon to the early evening. The hang gliding launch spot is directly south of the parking lot. If you prefer to send objects up into the air rather than heading up there yourself, the air currents that are so advantageous for hang gliders make this a perfect spot for kite flying.
If you're a birder, bring your binoculars. 27 bird species are regularly sighted at Marina Dunes Preserve. See the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District for detailed information, photos and descriptions. Nearby Locke-Paddon Community Park, just a short walk away, is also known to insiders as a great spot for birding.
Map and Directions
Take Highway 1 to Marina, and exit at Reservation Road. Take Reservation Road west. Reservation Road ends at Marina State Beach, and the parking area provides access to both Marina State Beach and Marina Dunes Preserve.
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