Monterey's beautiful beaches range from small jewels to broad vistas of sand and ocean. Every beach offers great opportunities for ocean recreation, from diving to kayaking to surfing. Beachcombers know that Monterey beaches are the perfect spot for finding shells and rare sea glass.
McAbee Beach, located in the midst of Cannery Row, is Monterey's tiniest beach at just under one-quarter of an acre. However, it may have the most popularity per inch! Kayakers launch from it, scuba divers occasionally wade ashore at it, and children (and their parents) dabble barefoot in the waves there. Located at the foot of Hoffman Avenue on the ocean side of Cannery Row, Monterey's McAbee Beach is the perfect place to take a break from a long day of sightseeing.
San Carlos Beach
San Carlos Beach marks the end of Cannery Row, right beside the Coast Guard Pier at the intersection of Cannery Row and Reeside Avenue. The large parking areas (pay-and-display) make it a popular 'jumping-off point' for groups of scuba divers heading for the remains of cannery gear just offshore. Families can wade in the surf, or sit back on the park benches in the beautifully landscaped green area and admire the views of Monterey Bay.
Del Monte Beach
Named after the historic Del Monte Resort, the Del Monte Beach is located in the midst of Monterey State Beach. This popular surfing and beachcombing spot, known mostly to locals, is tucked away west of Del Monte Avenue; follow Casa Verde Way west and up the hill for beach access and free parking.
Monterey State Beach and Monterey Bay Waterfront Park
The recently created Window on the Bay Park frames Monterey's largest beach, Monterey State Beach, stretching from Wharf #2 virtually to Seaside. The soft sand shelves gently into the bay, making this one of the safest beaches for paddling with small children. The beach is open dawn to sunset; there is level access to the sands.
Monterey Bay Waterfront Park runs alongside Monterey State Beach and holds a number of recreational opportunities, including sand volleyball courts, tree-shaded picnic tables and barbecue pits. The Monterey Bay Recreational Trail runs through Monterey Bay Waterfront Park.
In addition to Monterey Bay Waterfront Park, nearby businesses offer kayak, bicycle and canoe rentals, restrooms, and snack bars and restaurants.
Looking for parking? There's free parking along Del Monte Avenue, as well as several paid municipal lots. Area garages also provide easy access to Monterey State Beach.
It's possible to walk to Seaside on the beach or on the adjoining Recreation Trail. See our page on Monterey State Beach for more details.