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Asilomar State Beach

Wander amid the rock pools, sand dunes and forests of this special place and you’ll understand why its name translates to “refuge by the sea.” 

Asilomar State Beach is a narrow one-mile (1.6-kilometer) strip of petite beaches, tidal pools and flora-rich sand dunes on the Monterey Peninsula. Follow the Asilomar Coast Trail, which runs along the dog-friendly beach. Explore the pools at low tide, and look for seals and sea lions sunning on the rocks. 

A boardwalk takes visitors through the 25 acres (10 hectares) of natural sand dunes. Twenty-five native species of hardy coastal flora, such as sagewort and coyote bush, thrive in the sand and keep erosion in check. These dunes are a fragile and protected habitat, so stay on the boardwalk. 

Continue along the boardwalk to the Asilomar Conference Center. This stunning collection of buildings was constructed in 1913 and started life as a women’s summer camp. Today, the center is used for private conferences. Take the time to appreciate this National Historic Landmark, built in the Arts and Crafts style popular in California at the time.

Just inland from the beach is the Asilomar pine and oak forest. These tall, native trees have become under threat from development and disease over the past century. Download a guide from the California State Parks website and take the 45-minute self-guided tour, starting at Merrill Hall. This 3/4-mile (700-meter) trail gives detailed information on Monterey pines and coast live oaks, some of which are 100 years old and 100 feet (30 meters) high. It also explores some of the local wildlife, from mint bushes to raccoons, hawks and salamanders. Watch out for the poison oak, however, a common native plant that can leave you scratching.

Asilomar State Beach is on the Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove, a 15-minute drive northwest of downtown Monterey. Public buses run from Monterey to Pacific Grove.


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Lodging Near Asilomar State Beach

See all 301 Hotels near Asilomar State Beach
Asilomar Conference Grounds $125
Asilomar Conference Grounds

Asilomar Conference Grounds

800 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove
     
    3.7
    of 5, from 842 reviews
    2.0 out of 5.0

    This Pacific Grove hotel is set on the beach a short distance from Asilomar State Beach, Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Also nearby are Jameson's Classic Motorcycle Museum and Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.

    Sea Breeze Inn And Cottages $107
    Sea Breeze Inn And Cottages

    Sea Breeze Inn And Cottages

    1100 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove
       
      4.0
      of 5, from 1,261 reviews
      2.5 out of 5.0

      Situated near the airport, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of 17-Mile Drive and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Rosedale Inn
      Rosedale Inn

      Rosedale Inn

      775 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 686 reviews
        2.5 out of 5.0

        Situated near the beach in Pacific Grove, this hotel is close to Asilomar State Beach, Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Also nearby are Jameson's Classic Motorcycle Museum and Oceanview Boulevard.

        Best Western The Inn & Suites Pacific Grove
        Best Western The Inn & Suites Pacific Grove

        Best Western The Inn & Suites Pacific Grove

        660 Dennett St, Pacific Grove
           
          4.2
          of 5, from 821 reviews
          2.5 out of 5.0

          Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of 17-Mile Drive and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages
          Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages

          Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages

          1150 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove
             
            3.6
            of 5, from 1,898 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Adjacent to a golf course, this Pacific Grove hotel is less than 0.75 mile (1.2 kilometers) from Lovers Point Beach, Point Pinos Lighthouse, and Monarch Grove Sanctuary. Monterey Bay Aquarium is 2 miles (3.22 kilometers) away.

            Deer Haven Inn $140
            Deer Haven Inn

            Deer Haven Inn

            750 Crocker Avenue, Pacific Grove
               
              3.9
              of 5, from 1,363 reviews
              2.5 out of 5.0

              Situated by the ocean, this motel is close to Asilomar State Beach, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Also nearby are Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary and Jameson's Classic Motorcycle Museum.

              Pacific Gardens Inn
              Pacific Gardens Inn

              Pacific Gardens Inn

              701 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove
                 
                4.2
                of 5, from 56 reviews
                2.5 out of 5.0

                Situated near the airport, in Pacific Grove, this hotel is close to Asilomar State Beach, Presidio of Monterey, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Also nearby are Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary and Jameson's Classic Motorcycle Museum.

                Andril Fireplace Cottages
                Andril Fireplace Cottages

                Andril Fireplace Cottages

                569 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove
                   
                  4.8
                  of 5, from 31 reviews
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated near the beach in Pacific Grove, this motel is close to Asilomar State Beach, Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Also nearby are Pacific Grove Golf Links and Oceanview Boulevard.