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Marina Dunes State Beach

MARINA DUNES STATE BEACH: This beach is a wonderful place to hang glide, as it has full hang gliding facilities and a hang gliding shop operated in the Parks parking lot. The waters at this beach however are dangerous, and loaded with many rip currents. Due to the danger factors, this beach is not recommended for swimming, wading or other water recreation.

CLIMATE: As with most of the Monterey Peninsula and the Central coast, the weather is changeable, often susceptible to marine layers and somewhat unpredictable. Generally, the temperatures are moderate year round, with fog likely from June through mid-August. Layered clothing is advisable.

BEACH ACTIVITIES: Walking, some hiking, hang gliding, radio-controlled gliders and kite flying is very popular. There are tables for picnicking, fishing and the park is open to programs and exhibits. It is also has restrooms and is wheel chair accessible. Marina State Beach has a wonderful boardwalk winding through the Marina Dunes Natural Preserves.

LOCAL FLAVORS: Marina Dunes State Beach is actually only six miles from Monterey and most of the activity of the Peninsula is in Monterey, Pacific Grove or Carmel. A trip to downtown Old Monterey, the famous, “Alvarado Street,” Cannery Row, or Monterey’s owns fisherman’s wharf, and are all great points of interest and a guarantee for a good time. There are a slew of restaurants up and down the Wharf and Cannery Row, specialty shops, galleries, and even world famous San Francisco’s own, “Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, guaranteed to satisfy every chocolate fantasy!

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Point Pinos Lighthouse: The oldest active lighthouse on the West Coast.
  • Golfing: Pebble Beach, Spyglass, and Spanish Hill (to name a few)
  • The Mission Ranch Resort
  • Monterey Recreation Trail: On the waterfront
  • Cannery Row
  • Monarch Grove Sanctuary: Only during October through February, thousands of brightly colored monarch butterflies arrive to pass the winter. They can be seen gathering on the pines and eucalyptus trees indigenous to the Peninsula.
  • 17-Mile Drive: Famous for its amazing vistas and picturesque picnic spots set along a rocky, scenic coastline. Some highlights are the “Lone Cypress Tree” and “Cypress Point.”
  • Laguna Seca: The world known premiere racetrack that hosts NASCAR, grand prix, motorcycle and other historic auto races. Activities held usually during the summer months.
  • John Steinbeck’s in Cannery Row
  • Whale watching: Spring and winter months only.
  • Monterey Jazz Festival
  • Monterey Museum of Art
  • Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

by: Carla Iacovetti
©2006Carla Iacovetti