Marina State Beach

Marina State Beach

Marina, Seaside and Sand City Itinerary

The towns of Marina, Seaside and Sand City have become a hub for adventure activities, interesting food and fantastic art, combining a "SoHo West" feel with the peace of seaside life. All three are located right on the water, so visitors can walk straight from a loft-style artist's gallery over to the beach for some parasailing, and then head back over the dunes for a drink while admiring the sunset.

Friday

4pm
The local artists' scene is concentrated in Sand City. Once a factory district in which sand was made and processed (hence the name), its industrial areas later became a popular place for artists to work and (not quite legally) live. Rather than kicking out these artists, Sand City decided to support them and legalize their live-work lofts, and now the tiny town of 310 is packed wall-to-wall with resident artists. Check the Sand City website for a list of artists and galleries.

6pm
Grab a drink before dinner at Sand City's crown jewel, Post No Bills. The unassuming watering hole is  home to all sorts of hard-to-find beers, wines, hard ciders and craft sodas. 

7pm
Dinner tonight will show off some of the best pasta and seafood dishes on the peninsula at Pacifica Cafe in Seaside. The restaurant, tucked away inside Embassy Suites, sets a unique vibe with its 1,000 gallon saltwater aquarium.

Saturday

7am
It's an early morning. If you're a surfer, it's time to head over to Marina State Beach and catch some waves. If you prefer golf, head over to Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Course for a quick breakfast and 36 holes with a fascinating history. Originally the on-base golf course for the Army's Fort Ord, one section of these courses was designed around a general's notorious slice, and has earned the nickname "Combat Corner." If you find yourself in the rough, take solace in the glorious view of Monterey Bay you'll get as you try to find your ball.

Noon
Pick up a gourmet sandwich or signature salad at Wild Thyme Deli and Cafe for lunch. Chef and owner Terry Teplitsky is known throughout the community for his fresh ingredients and fantastic catering.

1:30pm
Once lunch has settled head on over to the Marina Airport. Today you will experience views of the Monterey Bay that not many have encountered. Skydive Monterey Bay will take you on a tandem jump at 18,000 feet for incredible views seen at 120 mph. Cowabunga!

4pm
Head on up to the Sanctuary Beach Resort, a series of beachy gray buildings tucked away in Marina's sand dunes, right by the beach. A Nirvana massage at their spa will be sure to dispel any lingering soreness.

6pm
If you haven't been turned to water by that massage, head over to Marina State Beach and achieve instant tranquility. This beach is known for its sand dunes, which reach heights rarely seen on the coast of California and provide a home to unique birds, plants and animals. The well-marked Dune Nature Trail has signs throughout explaining the various features and creatures you'll find along the way. Depending on the season, you'll either be able to feast your eyes on the antics of hang gliders, who launch from an area directly south of the parking lot, or sit with the locals and check out Marina's hottest evening show - its breathtaking sunsets.

7pm
Have a drink and a bite by the beach at Kula Ranch Island Steakhouse. The lower patio has great fire pits and glass barriers that provide shelter from the sea breeze, but the upper patio has fantastic views of the beach and dunes; you'll be able to see all the way to Monterey and Pacific Grove.

Sunday

10am
Pick up a to-go breakfast at Coffee Mia and bring it down to the beach at Sand City. Marina State Beach is the hang glider's beach of choice; Sand City, on the other hand, is the place where all the paragliders take to the air. Sit and soak in the sea air and the soaring flyers, and let the tranquility permeate you. The sense of serenity (and your breakfast) will sustain you as you head home.

Lay of the Land

click to enlarge map

Lay of the Land

LayoftheLand

VIEW MONTEREY COUNTY MAP

County Map

VIEW DETAILED MAPS

Click on the links for high-resolution maps of Monterey County communities, suitable for printing: Monterey, Carmel and Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Sand City and Moss Landing.

WANT TO GET HERE FAST?

Fly direct from these five airports:
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
McCarran International Airport (LAS)
Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport (PHX)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)

x
Sign up for our eNewsletter!
Monterey County's monthly newsletter keeps you up-to-date with upcoming event information, itinerary ideas, occasional contests & more.

more

Free Travel Guide
Get your digital guide now!
Find out everything there is to see and do with the 2015 Official Travel Guide. more

 

Monterey Spotlight
 
 

Featured Events

Apr
5
2015

Easter Brunches in Monterey County

Apr. 5
Looking for a way to celebrate Easter weekend in Monterey County? Overwhelmed with…more
Apr
9
2015

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Apr. 9-Apr. 12
Pebble Beach Food & Wine is the premier epicurean lifestyle event on the West…more
Apr
11
2015

Pacific Grove Good Old Days

Apr. 11-Apr. 12
Come to "America's Last Hometown" for an old-fashioned celebration with…more
Apr
16
2015

Sea Otter Classic

Apr. 16-Apr. 19
A four-day "Celebration of Cycling," the Sea Otter Classic is regarded as…more
Apr
26
2015

Big Sur International Marathon

Apr. 26
The Big Sur Marathon is 26.2 miles of the most beautiful coastline in the world -…more
May
1
2015

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

May. 1-May. 3
This new series created by the merger between the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series…more
May
1
2015

Wildflower Triathlon

May. 1-May. 3
One of the premier triathlons nationally and internationally, this course will test…more
May
2
2015

The Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival

May. 2-May. 3
Held in the heart of Old Monterey, this inaugural "Language Capital of the…more
May
2
2015

Winemakers' Celebration

May. 2
Over 30 Monterey County wineries from 9 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) will…more
May
14
2015

Carmel Art Festival

May. 14-May. 17
Carmel-by-the-Sea highlights its artist colony origins with the Carmel Art Festival.…more
May
14
2015

Salinas Valley Fair

May. 14-May. 17
Enjoy the atmosphere of an old-fashioned county fair, complete with carnival,…more
May
22
2015

California Roots Music & Arts Festival

May. 22-May. 24
The 6th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival is a three-day event packed…more
May
23
2015

MayFest Monterey Bay

May. 23-May. 25
This FREE admission 3 DAY FESTIVAL created for the community at large will occur…more
All

Activities

Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card

Fisherman's Wharf Association
The “Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card and Special Offers Campaign includes a…

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …
Nov 18, 2014
- Apr 1, 2015

Surf and Turf Package

Tradewinds Carmel
Enjoy a relaxing night in a luxurious King or Queen/Queen room. Spend the Day…
Feb 25, 2015
- Mar 31, 2015

Free Sailing Tour of the Monterey Bay

Martine Inn
Book a two night stay at the Martine Inn and receive two free tickets for a one-hour…

FREE APPETIZER or 1 HR of POOL

Blue Fin Cafe & Billiards
Choose a FREE APP or 1Hr of Pool with any $20 purchase on selected items *Mention…
All