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Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

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San Francisco, Ca
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Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

I'm coming down to the Monterey area from SF next week, and want to visit some of the major natural sights that I've never had a chance to explore on foot (see list below). BUT, I'm not up for a long hike (1 to 2 miles should be fine) or anything with steep climbs. Which of the below has easiest access to an nice, unchallenging walk to see a beautiful spot?

Andrew Molera State Park - Headlands Trail?

Pfeiffer Beach

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for McWay Falls

Point Lobos State Reserve - shoreline trails?

One other consideration, I'm a solo female so nothing too remote or secluded, please!

Thanks in advance!

Edited: 24 October 2013, 23:13
Monterey, California
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1. Re: Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

Point Lobos would be the best for your request.

You can get a map on entering and drive all the way to the end of the road and park there and do a short coastal hike or down to beaches China or Hidden.... On the way out you could do some more if interested.

Monterey Peninsula...
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2. Re: Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

Point Lobos is just minutes away from Monterey. The other parks are 45 minutes to over an hour away. Point Lobos has a tremendous amount of beauty packed into a relatively small area. Only one trail (Whalers Knoll) involves any significant climbing. The North Shore trail has a few short but easy hills. The rest of the park is pretty flat, except for the long stairways to China Cove and Gibson Beach. There are some calming trails through the interior forests there as well.

Don't overlook the free beaches in Pacific Grove and Carmel, also mere minutes from Monterey. Asilomar Beach in PG has a wonderful trail that runs along the rugged shore between the lighthouse and the beach at Spanish Bay. It's a great area for exploring tide pools. The south end of Carmel River Beach has some great trails with wonderful views, and the lagoon is a great place to find a wide variety of waterfowl (several varieties of ducks, geese, pelicans, egrets, and sometimes great blue herons). Here's some detailed info from my website: www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/beaches.htm

-Mr. Toy

www.montereypeninsula.info

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

Another fan of Point Lobos. Take a good camera Susan

San Francisco, Ca
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4. Re: Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

Point Lobos it is!! I'll add Mr. Toy's directions to my luggage, as well as the alternate beach suggestions above. And yes, Belo, I have a really good camera, and I'm not afraid to use it!! ;)

Santa Clara...
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5. Re: Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

Another vote for Pt Lobos. You can pull off the side of the road or hike. Both will lead you to great views. I never tire of the North Coast Trail. I remember the first time I walked it, with every turn revealing a postcard perfect cove. Bring binoculars and polarized sunglasses to spot the birds and marine mammals. If you have time, stop by Moss Landing at the Jetty Road parking lot to see the sea otters. Best at high tide.

Edited: 25 October 2013, 03:46
Grover Beach...
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6. Re: Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

Another vote for the spectacular coastline of Pacific Grove. In addition to Point Lobos, of course. :-)

Pacific Grove...
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7. Re: Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

I love Point Lobos, and hate to disuade you, but it can be isolated if you choose to walk in. If not, you can drive in and walk from a small car parking lot, whereas Asilomar and Carmel have lots of people

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8. Re: Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

Point Lobos is beautiful! You will get some great photos there. Have fun! :)

San Francisco, Ca
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9. Re: Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

Ok, I spent a couple of hours at Point Lobos and loved it. I parked at Weston Beach, then walked north to the next cove, where the beach is all rocks and makes a lovely shushing sound when the waves recede. I can't find a name for it on a map... any ideas?

The "walking" is very easy on that portion of the trail, so it was perfect for me! Thanks for all the information. And I got some GREAT pictures!

10. Re: Easiest access to beaches/natural sights?

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