The bulk of this tongue-tripping beach (it's pronounced "mud-OW-ski," and the Z is silent) was donated to the state by Watsonville schoolteacher Mary Zmudowski in 1950. At the northwestern tip of Monterey County, Zmudowski State Beach is a popular spot for horseback riding, fishing and birding.

Please use the plank walkway to cross Zmudowski State Beach's dunes; they are currently under restoration.


If you're interested in catching perch, kingfish, sole, flounder, halibut, jacksmelt, lingcod, cabezon, salmon, steelhead, or rockfish, you've found your spot at Zmudowski State Beach. Be sure to check the California Department of Fish and Game website for information about sport fishing licenses.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is allowed on wet sand at Zmudowski State Beach, and you will often see riders along its shores. If you are interested in riding at Zmudowski State Beach and do not have a horse of your own, contact the Monterey Bay Equestrian Center.


White-faced ibises, little gulls, American bitterns, snowy egrets, night herons and unusual ducks have been sighted at the freshwater pond just before the end of Giberson. Many gulls, pelicans and terns are found at the mouth of the Pajaro River, at the northern end of Zmudowski State Beach.

Map and Directions

Don't be put off by the twisty, turny ride through agricultural fields. The deceptively windy two-mile road is the access point for Zmudowski State Beach.

From Highway One, take Struve Road west. Take your first left onto Giberson. Follow the road to the end.

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