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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 326 Properties near Asilomar State Beach
Asilomar Conference Grounds
Asilomar Conference Grounds

Asilomar Conference Grounds

800 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove
     
    3.7
    of 5, from 865 reviews
    2.0 out of 5.0

    Nestled on the beach, this Pacific Grove hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of 17-Mile Drive and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) away.

    Sea Breeze Inn And Cottages $134
    Sea Breeze Inn And Cottages

    Sea Breeze Inn And Cottages

    1100 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove
       
      4.0
      of 5, from 1,333 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 702 reviews
        2.5 out of 5.0

        Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of 17-Mile Drive and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) away.

        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 850 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 $161
          Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages

          Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages

          1150 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove
             
            3.6
            of 5, from 1,931 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
            Deer Haven Inn

            Deer Haven Inn

            750 Crocker Avenue, Pacific Grove
               
              3.9
              of 5, from 1,377 reviews
              2.5 out of 5.0

              Situated by the ocean, this motel 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).

              Pacific Gardens Inn
              Pacific Gardens Inn

              Pacific Gardens Inn

              701 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove
                 
                4.1
                of 5, from 61 reviews
                2.5 out of 5.0

                Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of 17-Mile Drive and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) away.

                Andril Fireplace Cottages
                Andril Fireplace Cottages

                Andril Fireplace Cottages

                569 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove
                   
                  4.8
                  of 5, from 40 reviews
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated near the beach, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of 17-Mile Drive and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium is 2.2 mi (3.5 km) away.