Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The fish are usually biting at Salinas River State Beach, and many fishermen come to capitalize on it. The Salinas River, along with many other Monterey Bay beaches, is in a network of unique beach dunes. These dunes are home to nesting birds and multitudes of flora and fauna. These are protected areas, so a lot of the beaches are off limits to dogs. 

Fishermen are not the only ones who come here for enjoyment, as you may see some of the equestrians who come to ride the miles of open sandy shoreline. The Salinas River is also a hotspot for local wildlife, so be sure to grab your camera or binoculars. Note that because the waters are rough and unpredictable and there is a half-sunken barge in the water, swimming and surfing are not advised.

There is plenty of free parking at Salinas River State Beach. This beach is close to both Santa Cruz and Monterey, so it is always a good option if you are looking to get away from the crowds of tourists.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

Not Required


Abundant wildlife. Fishing.


Not safe for swimming.


Whale watching
Bird watching


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