Asilomar State Park Office: M-F: 9:00-5:00
Asilomar State Beach
Asilomar State Beach & Conference Grounds, a Unit of California State Parks - where Every Day is a Walk in the Park!!
"Asilomar so Lovely, Down by the Edge of the Sea, Where the Pine Trees Tall and Stately,
And the Sand Dunes call to Me."
---Asilomar Camp Song
Phoebe Apperson Hearst Social Hall, designed by Julia Morgan for the YWCA in 1913. Copyright, CA State Parks
Located on the Monterey Peninsula in the city of Pacific Grove, Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds State Park provides visitors numerous opportunities for a variety of scenic walks along the State beach, Coast Trail, and through the Asilomar Dunes Natural Preserve, as well as the opportunity to stay on-site with a variety of overnight room lodging, dining and conference meeting room facilities available (click on "Reservations" button at top of page).
Asilomar had its start In 1913 as a young womens' summer camp and conference facility - an outgrowth of the inspired vision of the resourceful, socially-concerned and committed women of the YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association). The historic buildings which are still an integral part of the Asilomar grounds, were designed and built by renowned California architect Julia Morgan between 1913 and 1928.
Asilomar Campers, c. 1916. Copyright CA State Parks
Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds has been owned and operated by California State Parks since 1956. State Parks staff takes the lead in protecting and educating visitors about Asilomar's historic buildings, as well as the forest, dunes and beach habitats, providing information and oversight in monitoring the delicate balance between preservation and public access.
A FREE ASILOMAR State Beach & Conference Grounds VISITOR'S GUIDE is available by contacting the Asilomar State Parkoffice: 831-646-6443.
View the right-hand sidebar for links to weekly State Park-led tours and additional information you may be interested in regarding the Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds Park Unit.
About Asilomar State Beach
Asilomar State Beach is a narrow, one-mile strip of sandy beach and rocky coves. A ¾ mile coast walking trail - the Asilomar Coast Trail - is open to pedestrians. Dogs ARE permitted on the state beach and the coast trail, but must be leashed at all times and be in the immediate control of the handler. View the "In the Know" section below for more information on California State Parks' policy regarding pets at the park.
The coast trail is accessible and a beach wheelchair and beach walker are available upon request at the Registration Desk inside the Phoebe hearst Social Hall. Vehicle parking as well as a bicycle lane is adjacent to the beach and coast trail along Sunset Drive. Asilomar State Beach is within the boundary of the Asilomar Marine Reserve, is a Marine Protected Area. All marine resources, animals and features (including shells and rocks) are protected. No collecting or fishing is allowed - your help is needed to maintain this coastal area as a healthy habitat for future visitors to enjoy! Please Note: There are no restrooms or picnicking facilities on the State Beach. Restrooms open to the public are located at the Phoebe Hearst Social Hall inside the Conference Grounds.
About the Asilomar Dunes Natural Preserve
Across the street from Asilomar State Beach is Asilomar Dunes Natural Preserve, where a landmark stile stands at the gateway to this preserve and the Asilomar Conference Grounds. A ¼ mile boardwalk meanders through 25 acres of restored sand dune ecosystem where visitors can discover the native plant greenhouse where more than 450,000 plants, representing 25 species, have been grown and planted in the effort to preserve the dunes and coastal bluffs. Several boardwalk outlooks provide panoramic views of Asilomar State Beach and the blue Pacific Ocean.
Asilomar Coast Trail - A Mile of Precious Coastal Access Worth Preserving!
Asilomar Coast Trail Restoration Project Begins November, 2018
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. – California State Parks at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds announced today it will begin a Coast Trail Restoration Project along the Asilomar Rocky Shore, adjacent to Sunset Drive. The project is being undertaken to ensure public access along this beautiful stretch of coast, while minimizing impact on the rich natural and cultural resources of the region. The existing Asilomar Coast Trail and current rehabilitation project are part of the long-term dune restoration effort initiated by California State Parks in the mid-1980s.In recent years several sections of the trail have been damaged by coastal erosion. Erosion is expected to accelerate in the coming years due to sea level rise caused by climate change. California State Parks is employing a managed retreat strategy at Asilomar State Beach, moving trails and structures away from the intertidal zone rather than utilizing engineered “armoring” along the coast. This project will realign affected sections of trail inland on raised boardwalks. The abandoned trail sections will be planted with native vegetation.
The project will impact approximately 0.5 miles of the current Asilomar Coast Trail. The project will result in:
- Construction of 1,127 linear feet of new, raised boardwalk within new, re-routed trail alignments
- Construction of 165 linear feet of new decomposed granite trail that is part of the new alignment and will connect to the new, raised boardwalk trail
- Removal of, and in-kind replacement of 100 linear feet of existing boardwalk trail
- Installation of two drainage crossings
- Restoration of 1,220 linear feet of decommissioned trail.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Asilomar Coast Trail Restoration Project has been reviewed for CEQA compliance and has a Coastal Development Permit from the California Coastal Commission. The project is slated to begin November 6, 2018, and will be constructed by “in-house” California State Parks staff. The projected timeframe for completion is from 6 months to 1 year.
For more information about the Asilomar Coast Trail Restoration Project visit the Asilomar Coast Trail Information Section located on the right hand Related Pages at the top.
Be ''In The Know'' about Alcohol, Bonfires & Pets at Asilomar State Beach
Alcoholic beverage consumption is NOT allowed at Asilomar State Beach. Please check with local municipalities regarding alcohol consumption at other Monterey area beaches. Phoebe's Café, located in the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Social Hall on the Conference Grounds sells alcohol that can be enjoyed while watching the sunset from the outdoor terrace. The Asilomar Conference Grounds are part of the Asilomar State Park Unit and are open to the public daily between the hours of 8:00 AM and * PM. There is no entrance fee; parking is free in designated parking lots.
Dogs are allowed ON leash at Asilomar State Beach. Please consider families with infants and young children who frequent the beach when walking dogs by keeping them under control and picking up after your pet. Thank you for keeping our beach safe and clean for ALL! To learn about our Department's policy regarding dogs in CA State Parks visit: www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=21305
Asilomar Historic Photo Archives
Do you enjoy looking at historic photos? Does the level of historic information gleaned from perusing historic photographs make your heart beat faster?
Many of the historic photos on display at the Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds Park Unit have been gifts of family albums, or copies of family photos, donated to California State Parks.
Unlike private collections which use their photographs as a source of income, the photographic archives at Asilomar State Park are available to all - whether you are doing personal family research, research about the Asilomar Conference Grounds as a YWCA Summer Camp, or research on the Juilia Morgan Architecture on site.
We welcome donors who would be interested in adding their family photos or albums, as well as YWCA memorabilia to the State Park Archival collection. We store all archival material in a climate controlled facility and best practices for photographic storage are employed, with proper provenance credited to all archival donations.
For more information about donating, please contact the Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds Historian, Aubrie Morlet: Aubrie.Morlet@parks.ca.gov, or 831-646-6445.
Asilomar YWCA campers, circa 1924. Copyright CA State Parks
Asilomar State Beach & Conference Grounds is adjacent to Sunset Drive, Asilomar Avenue, and Crocker Avenue in the city of Pacific Grove. Asilomar State Beach encompasses 1 mile of walking trail along Sunset Drive and the first third of the Sandy Beach habitat, also adjacent to Sunset Drive. Free beach and walking trail parking is located along the beach side of Sunset Drive. See below for map information.
Directions to Asilomar from the North (Santa Cruz)
Take State Highway 1 south towards Monterey. Exit at Highway 68 West to Pacific Grove. Turn left on Sunset Drive in Pacific Grove. Follow Sunset Drive to Asilomar Avenue. Turn right and proceed one full block to the entrance - marked by 2 stone pillars - on your left.
Directions to Asilomar from the East (Salinas/Highway 101)
Take Monterey/Highway 68 West from Salinas. Turn south on Highway 1 (approximately 15 miles). From Highway 1 take 68 West to Pacific Grove. Turn left on Sunset Drive in Pacific Grove. Follow Sunset Drive to Asilomar Avenue. Turn right and proceed one full block to the entrance - marked by 2 stone pillars - on your left.
Map of the Area and Conference Grounds
Refer to the Brochures Link at the top of this page to view the Park Brochure which contains a driving map as well as a map of the Asilomar Conference Grounds - downloadable in pdf format.
Available Activities and Facilities at Asilomar State Beach
Exhibits and Programs
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Drinking Water Available