8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
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.
Asilomar State Beach
Asilomar State Beach is a narrow, one-mile strip of sandy beach and rocky coves. A ¾ mile coast walking 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. The trail is accessible and a beach wheelchair is available upon request at the Registration Desk. 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. 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! Dogs are permitted on the state beach but must be leashed. View the "Summer is Here" section below for more information on California State Parks' policy regarding pets at the park. 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.
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.
Be ''In The Know'' about Alcohol, Bonfires & Pets at Asilomar State Beach
ALCOHOL NOT ALLOWED 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 deck. Music from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Fridays during the Summer.
Bonfires are NOT allowed on Asilomar State Beach due to environmental and safety concerns. Portable camp stoves (such as Hibachi or Weber) are permitted for food preparation and consumption on site. Persons using approved devices for cooking must remove all unexpended fuel (coals, briquettes, etc.) from the beach. YOUR HELP is needed to keep our beautiful beach CLEAN and SAFE by packing out trash. Trash receptacles are located at the beach access points and along the coastal trail for your convenience.
PETS AT ASILOMAR STATE BEACH
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
WHALE TAIL Grant Beach Wheelchair and Beach Walker Debut May 14, 2017
People who use wheelchairs or walkers can now enjoy a day at the beach, going where conventional equipment can’t take them – to the water’s edge. A versatile, sand-friendly beach wheelchair, as well as a sand-friendly beach walker, will be available free-of-charge to visitors at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds beginning May 14, 2017.
The new equipment was acquired through the California Coastal Commission’s Whale Tail Grants Program, which distributes funds from the sales of California’s WHALE TAIL© Coastal Protection License Plate and donations to the “Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund” listed on the California state tax form.
Florida-based Deming Design, Inc.’s “DeBug” beach wheelchair incorporates Wheeleez wheels to navigate sand; the wheelchair’s rear suspension is designed to allow all four wheels to remain in contact with the ground when moving across uneven terrain, giving users a stable ride. Swing-away arm rests are easily removable for lateral transfers. The wheelchair requires an assistant to push the wheelchair occupant across deep sand to the ocean’s edge.
The Deming beach walker is constructed of lightweight aluminum, and is based on conventional walker design. It also has the Wheeleez wheels to easily navigate sand, and can be operated by an individual familiar with conventional equipment. Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds State Park Unit was selected by the California Coastal Commission to serve as the ‘test pilot’ site for the Deming beach walker in 2017.
There is no cost for visitors who want to use the beach wheelchair or beach walker, but advance reservations are recommended. The equipment is loaned out on a daily basis and is available to be used at Asilomar State Beach or other coastal parks in Monterey County. To reserve the wheelchair or walker, contact the Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds Front Desk: (831) 372-8016.
Historic Terrace Restoration at Asilomar
Restoration of the historic Phoebe A. Hearst Social Hall terrace, Fall/Winter 2016 through March, 2017
The Hearst Social Hall is the first building constructed for the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Conference Grounds at Asilomar. When it was completed in 1913, the front of the Social Hall (facing the ocean) exhibited a full-width concrete terrace with a tiered, half-circle concrete stairway in the center. As designed by Julia Morgan, the terrace allowed an unimpeded view of the landscape, bringing the outside into the interior of the building - an important concept in Arts and Crafts architecture. Morgan’s terrace blended into the rustic setting providing a visual platform for the building’s architecture.
The concrete terrace was demolished in 1973 and the current wood deck constructed. The wood deck was not in keeping with Morgan’s original design intent and it restricts the architectural and landscape view shed allowed by the original terrace. Restoration of the Hearst Social Hall concrete terrace returns the building to its original design, reestablishes the building's unique view shed, and strengthens the historical integrity and value of this National Historic Landmark property.
The restoration of the Hearst Social Hall terrace has been designed by California State Parks and Project Management will be provided under the joint direction of State Parks and Aramark. The terrace reconstruction began in mid-November, 2016 and was completed in March, 2017.
Your comments on the restoration project are welcome and we encourage you to share your thoughts with California State Parks by calling the Park Office 831-646-6440, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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