Explore Monterey's beautiful, rugged, sandy Marina State Beach, beloved for hang-gliding, paragliding, flying kites, surfing, and simply lounging on the sand. Consider renting one of the nearby Marina State Beach cabins, so you can head here on a daily basis during your vacation. The beach has a designated parking lot.
Places to Stay Near to Marina State Beach
Best Hiking Trails in Marina State Beach
While most people visit Marina State Beach for the surf, sand, and sun, a few mostly very accessible hiking trails are also a draw. The main trail is quite short, so you can easily incorporate it into your days full of other activities, before heading back to the comfort of one of the many convenenient Marina State Beach hotels.
1. Dune Boardwalk Trail
Just over one-third of a mile long, this boardwalk trail allows visitors of all stripes to get a close-up view of the dunes, their wildlife, and a variety of plants, such as Monterey paintbrush. Interpretive signage along the way provides useful information on the local flora and fauna. Keep in mind that no dogs are permitted on the trail or at the beach.
2. Montery Bay Coastal Recreational Trail
This popular, paved, two-lane 18mi. trail passes right by Marina State Beach. Pick up the trail here and walk north or south for as long as you please, pack a picnic or stop at a restaurant along the way, and feel free to bring your pups, so long as they are leashed.
3. Locke-Paddon Community Park
You can easily walk to this pleasant, 17-acre park from Marina State Beach. Once there, explore the park's easy, well-marked walking paths with plenty of interpretive signage.
Best Family Activities in Marina State Beach
Though the Pacific Ocean here can be fairly hazardous for swimming, and there's no lifeguard on duty, there's still plenty to do for families vacationing at Marina State Beach cabins. On-site restrooms also make this a convenient beach option for those traveling with smaller children.
1. Bird watching
The beach is part of the Marina Dunes Preserve, which is home to at least 27 species of birds. Be sure to bring your binoculars, and perhaps a guide book to local wildlife!
2. Kite flying and hang-gliding
The fairly consistent sea breeze makes for enjoyable kite flying, and for the adventuresome, an intense hang-gliding experience.
There's a cafe at the beach, but you can also pack your own lunch and set up with a picnic. Even if you can't surf, watching the surfers do their thing, particularly in the mornings, makes for a pleasant pastime while you enjoy your al fresco meal.