Important: This destination may have COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, including specific restrictions for lodging. Check any national, local, and health advisories for this destination before you book.

MarinaUnited States of America

Wander along the beaches and learn about U.S. military history in this intriguing town known for its huge sand dunes.

Marina is a pleasant coastal town with a picturesque state park overlooking Monterey Bay. It contains part of California State University and an old military complex with exhibits relaying its history. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and scenic ocean views in this quiet town far from the noise of big cities.

Stroll along the 1,500-foot (460-meter) trail meandering through the Fort Ord Dunes State Park. Appreciate the seclusion and tranquility in this 4-mile (6-kilometer) stretch of sand dunes covered by native vegetation. Snap photos of the birds, such as snowy plovers and red-tailed hawks, that nest in the dunes.

At the back of the beach is a boardwalk leading to a viewing platform atop a cliff. Climb to the summit and gaze at the ocean in the hope of spotting whales, visible year-round and more frequent from April to December.

Encounter the old buildings that were part of the Fort Ord complex from which the park takes its name. Today, exhibits chronicle the use of this site as a military base of the United States Army. Explore the exhibit with a downloadable guide on your cell phone.

North of the park is the Marina State Beach, which offers excellent views of the Monterey Bay coastline. Sunbathe and swim in the ocean to take advantage of the year-round pleasant weather. Watch hang gliders taking off from the highest of the sand dunes. Stay for the spectacular sunset, when the silhouettes of the cliffs darken against the red sky.

A little inland from the beach is Locke-Paddon Park. Explore its stunning wetland terrain and enjoy a picnic on one of the provided tables.

The town is in the northwestern corner of Monterey County in Central California. Find it 8 miles (13 kilometers) north of Monterey and 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Santa Cruz. Get around the town on foot or by bus. Visit Marina and its sand dune park for a scenic and serene vacation.

Top Hotels in Marina

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Best Western Marina State Beach
Best Western Marina State Beach
3 out of 5
3290 Dunes Road, Marina, CA
The price is $89 per night

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Marina Dunes Preserve and Monterey Bay. Marina State Beach and Fort Ord Dunes State Park are ...

3.6/5Good! (989 reviews)

"Great location right by the beach. No ocean view, but within walking distance to the water. Also a short drive 15-20 minutes to Cannery Row, 17 Mile Drive, and Fisherman's Wharf in downtown Carmel. Room was spacious and clean. In room amenities were good (microwave, fridge, coffee pot, etc). We would ..."…"

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2020

Best Western Marina State Beach
Sanctuary Beach Resort
Sanctuary Beach Resort
4 out of 5
3295 Dunes Rd, Marina, CA
The price is $429 per night

Located in Marina, this beachfront resort is in a regional park, 4.9 mi (7.9 km) from California State University Monterey Bay, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Fisherman's ...

4.4/5Excellent! (984 reviews)

"it is an excellent place i have never been in place"…"

Reviewed on Jul 4, 2020

Sanctuary Beach Resort
SpringHill Suites by Marriott The Dunes On Monterey Bay
SpringHill Suites by Marriott The Dunes On Monterey Bay
3 out of 5
215 10th Street, Marina, CA
Free Cancellation
The price is $179 per night

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fort Ord Dunes State Park and Monterey Bay. California State University Monterey Bay is 1.7 mi (2.7 ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (533 reviews)

"The property was clean and beautiful. It was close enough to everything, enough to keep our kids entertained. The only minus part I didn't like was breakfast. They didnt have too many options to choose from. Wish they had more selections so I ate elsewhere instead."…"

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2020

SpringHill Suites by Marriott The Dunes On Monterey Bay

Popular places to visit in Marina

Marina State Beach
Image for Marina State Beach

Marina State Beach

4.5/5(13 reviews)

If a restful vacation is part of your travel plans, Marina State Beach might be the perfect place to seek out during your trip to Monterey. Wander the marina or discover the area's sunsets.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Image for Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

4.5/5(1,731 reviews)

Perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find a spectacular window into life both above and below the waves.

Carmel Beach
Image for Carmel Beach

Carmel Beach

4.5/5(1,826 reviews)

Spot birds or catch waves, then spread out a picnic by a campfire and enjoy the views at this picturesque beach.

Cannery Row
Image for Cannery Row

Cannery Row

4.5/5(1,988 reviews)

Luxury, leisure and nature come together at this historic sardine-canning district, which is one of Monterey’s most acclaimed recreational areas.

17-Mile Drive
Image for 17-Mile Drive

17-Mile Drive

4.5/5(1,184 reviews)

Discover palatial mansions, lush golf courses and a wild stretch of coastline inhabited by sea lions on a road often dubbed one of the world’s most scenic drives.

Pebble Beach Golf Links
Image for Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach Golf Links

4.5/5(896 reviews)

Hit the links in Del Monte Forest at Pebble Beach Golf Links, a popular golf course. Wander the beautiful beaches and seaside in this family-friendly area.

Top things to do in Marina

4 Hour Summer Whale Watch - Sightings Guaranteed
Image for 4 Hour Summer Whale Watch - Sightings Guaranteed

4 Hour Summer Whale Watch - Sightings Guaranteed

$48
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)
Image for Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

$40
Per adult
Monterey & Carmel Tour with optional Monterey Bay Aquarium
Image for Monterey & Carmel Tour with optional Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey & Carmel Tour with optional Monterey Bay Aquarium

$105
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
2-Hour Sea Car Tour
Image for 2-Hour Sea Car Tour

2-Hour Sea Car Tour

$120
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Self-Drive Excursion in a Convertible California Roadster
Image for Self-Drive Excursion in a Convertible California Roadster

Self-Drive Excursion in a Convertible California Roadster

$70
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Carmel Small-Group Food and Wine Walking Tour
Image for Carmel Small-Group Food and Wine Walking Tour

Carmel Small-Group Food and Wine Walking Tour

$102
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Marina

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
170
5 - Excellent 32.69230769230769%
4 - Good
231
4 - Good 44.42307692307692%
3 - Okay
89
3 - Okay 17.115384615384617%
2 - Disappointing
22
2 - Disappointing 4.230769230769231%
1 - Terrible
8
1 - Terrible 1.5384615384615385%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

May 29, 2020

Excelente ubicación

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 19, 2020

Nice place to stay

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 14, 2020

Very good

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 22, 2020

Great town, lots of restaurants

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 21, 2020

Love the beach.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 2, 2020

Marina is a nice, little quiet town.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Marina

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Cities near Marina

Fort Ord Dunes State Park showing a beach

Seaside

National Steinbeck Center which includes interior views

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