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Sand City, California

Sand City, California is a must-visit spot for outdoor adventures. One of the top attractions is the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. It's a scenic, paved path that stretches for 18 miles, providing ample opportunities for walking, jogging, and biking. For the more adventurous, the trail includes a challenging hiking route with a variety of terrain. Along the path, you'll find stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, unique rock formations, and the chance to spot local wildlife. Another must-visit is the Fort Ord Dunes State Park, a former military base turned into a state park. It offers a 4-mile stretch of beach, a boardwalk, and a scenic overlook of Monterey Bay. The best Trails and Outdoor Activities are all in and near Sand City, making it a top destination for outdoor activities.

Top Spots in and near Sand City

  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Catch a Sunset at Carmel Beach

    4.7
    It’s a dream of mine to live in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  You might recognize Carmel because Clint Eastwood was the mayor from 1986 to 1988.  An idiosyncrasy you may not know about Carmel is the fact that there are no street addresses on any house in Carmel.  Everyone gets their mail at the post office...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Hike to the Top of Inspiration Point

    5.0
    1.3 mi / 850 ft gain
    This magnificent trail was recently converted into part of the Monterey Regional Parks System. Walk through pastures of cows, through coast oaks, up a steep incline with vast views of Carmel Valley, Carmel and the Pacific Ocean up to the top where a picnic table awaits you at Inspiration Point. T...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Hike along the Carmel River Beach Trail

    1 mi / 100 ft gain
    Known as "Ribera Beach" by locals, this stretch of land nestled between Carmel River State Beach and Monastery Beach is not to be missed! The trails are easy to get to and can be accessed by 4 locations. The first entrance is on Highway 1 at the Bay School (between Ribera Road and Monastery Beach...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Surf Carmel River State Beach

    5.0
    Carmel State beach is located in Monterey county.  It's your typical beach break with both lefts and rights.  One thing that is super unique about Carmel is that the water is some of the clearest in all of California.  Depending on the sandbars, this can be a really fun wave!  It's also a great p...
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  • Del Monte Forest, California

    Explore Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur

    4.6
    Being from the Central Coast, every time I visit the area I like to do the same trip - Simply because it is amazing. The trip starts along 17 mile drive located in Carmel. From the road, you see the Central Coast icon, the Lone Cypress. Being one of the most photographed trees in North America, i...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Whalers Cove Loop

    4.3
    1.42 mi / 253 ft gain
    Point Lobos is one of the hidden gems of the California coast. Located just off of Route 1 right after Monterey, Point Lobos is a state park on the coast. The cost to explore inside is ten dollars, but so worth it. As you explore, be sure to hike around Whalers Cove, which is incredible at sunse...
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  • Carmel, California

    Point Lobos Natural Preserve Loop

    4.7
    7.14 mi / 640 ft gain
    Point Lobos contains headlands, coves and rolling meadows, and its offshore area forms one of the richest underwater habitats in the world, popular with divers. Wildlife includes seals, sea lions, sea otters, migrating gray whales (from December to May), and thousands of seabirds, who also make t...
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  • Salinas, California

    Hike or Trail Run around Toro Park

    Just a short drive from downtown Monterey you will find yourself amongst the rugged yet serene hills ofToro Park. For a $2 admission fee you will have access to 20+ miles of trails that climb through canyons and run along ridgelines to peaks with views of the ocean in the distance. While the map ...
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  • Salinas, California

    Mountain Bike at Fort Ord National Monument

    5.0
    Fort Ord National Monument is a fantastic place to cruise around on your mountain bike, whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider looking for flowy trails to cruise on. Access is easy from the highway and there is ample room in the parking lot even on busy days.  Dozens of trails wind th...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Cypress Grove Trail via South Shore Trail

    5.0
    1.72 mi / 121 ft gain
    Cypress Grove Trail via South Shore Trail is a family-friendly loop hiking trail located near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Along this hike in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, you'll get a chance to see beautiful coastal views with rugged cliffs, views across Monterey Bay, and Cypress trees as...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Soberanes Point

    1.82 mi / 295 ft gain
    Garrapata State Park is located along California's Highway 1, roughly 5 miles south of Carmel, California. The park is entirely free with multiple pull-outs and serves as one of the first grand views travelers encounter while heading south from the Monterey Peninsula to southern California. Garra...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Calla Lily Valley

    4.5
    Parking for Calla Lily Valley is available along the dirt pullout at Gate 19 for Garrapata State Park, near mile-marker 63. Signs are small and difficult to see. Follow the path between the guide wires and take the right fork, heading north to the bluff overlooking the beach. Continue north and f...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Secluded Beach Near Soberanes Point

    5.0
    0.2 mi / 40 ft gain
    When we stumbled upon this beach we were thrilled to have such great views with no crowds.  There is plenty of room to lay out in the sun, you can swim in the ocean to cool off, and the beach is surrounded by beautiful landscape.  If you decide to swim be very careful as the waves and currents ca...
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  • Moss Landing, California

    Whale Watching off Moss Landing

    The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is home to some of the most diverse and rich waters in our oceans, and you have the chance to see it up close and personal! The big prize is getting to see a whale, but these waters are teeming with other wildlife from dolphins to otters to sea lions.  F...
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  • Moss Landing, California

    Kayak with Humpback Whales in Monterey Bay

    5.0
    Disclaimer: Please keep a respectful distance from the whales and other sea wildlife for their protection and your own. Note, changing the animal's natural behavior is a violation of federal law.Every year, humpbacks whale migrate north from their winter and breeding grounds down in southern Mex...
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  • Moss Landing, California

    Kayak in Elkhorn Slough

    4.7
    Elkhorn Slough is located in Moss Landing, which is in the dead center of Monterey Bay, California. Elkhorn Slough is one of California's largest wetlands and part of a National Estuarine Reserve located in central Monterey Bay, California, just a short trip from the Monterey Peninsula and the Sa...
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