Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. When you search for a beach last minute and discover a hidden gem like this, you almost don’t want to share it and ruin the magic of the place… but you need to visit! Riley and I spent a day here and every twist and turn of the path just got better and better. There is a $10 entrance fee per vehicle and this place was VERY tight to navigate with my crew cab F350, so if you have a minivan or larger be aware you may not find decent parking once in the park at some of the locations you want to stop. Dogs are not allowed in the park due to the sensitive nature of the vegetation and wildlife population. I highly recommend asking if there are any walking tours available as the guides were very knowledgeable on the local vegetation and wildlife, some of which is only found in this area of CA. So much to learn here! They also gave us scavenger hunts to find different plants and animals in the park. Stay on the paths as poison oak is everywhere. We hiked through a forest of Monterey Cypress on the Cypress Grove Trail. Riley called it a cemetery of “skeleton trees” they were so unique. This path took you to very scenic cliffs overlooking the pacific as well.
Next we stopped off the road where we saw several kids walking around along the shore line. It was worth the stop. There were amazing tide pools full of sea urchins, crabs and sea stars.
We also followed along the Bird Island Trail and saw several baby seals hanging out along the shoreline. If you keep an eye out in the distance you can also catch a glimpse of a whale tail or two if you are lucky!
Continue south and get a stunning view of China Cove. The water is turquoise blue in this little cove, it’s amazing! We got to watch a seal swimming around and playing in the cove while we walked the path around it up on the cliff.
Our last stop was what we were looking for, a gorgeous white sand beach. Not for the faint of heart, this required the steepest little stairway to get down the cliff to the actual beach, but for those that risk it, it’s worth it! We were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves.
We spent a good hour entertained by a curious seal bobbing along about 40ft off the shoreline seeing what we were up to as Riley ran around on the beach and made sand angels.
All in all, it was such an amazing stop to learn and play. I hope to make it back to the west coast to visit again one day.