Sand City, California

Nestled in the sand dunes is a transformed warehouse district with a close-knit community of artists and creatives. Sand City has a flourishing public art gallery of dozens of street murals to be appreciated. Stop in to Post No Bills Craft Beer House before taking an inspiring self-guided art walk in the West End to see work created by local and visiting artists.

To totally immerse yourself in Sand City's vibrant art scene, attend the city's West End Celebration, a three-day block party in August, and Night Market 831 every first Friday of the month featuring local food & drink vendors, lively music, dancing and interactive art.

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Sand City is blessed with an abundance of, well, sand. But this isn’t your garden-variety beach sand. We’re referring to spectacular dunes formed during the Pleistocene era at the tail end of the last ice age somewhere in the neighborhood of 6,000 to 15,000 years ago. These dunes are the highest found on California's Central Coast.

Look above the dunes, and you'll see a sky full of paragliders. The same steady winds that lure hang gliders to Marina State Beach draw paragliders to its sister beach a little south. Sand City is one of the prime spots in the state for paragliding. The winds are perfect, the launch area ideal — and the view is incredible. The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail runs right through the sand dunes, north to Castroville and south all the way to Pebble Beach.

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