Walk the Boardwalk from Asilomar to Spanish Bay in Monterey


Spanish Bay Boardwalk

04.30.09

From the issue Movable Monterey Feast

Bay Boardwalk

Pebble Beach is best known for its world-class golf and romantic 17-Mile Drive, but it's also a coast-walker's haven. Paralleling 17-Mile Drive are an ocean-side boardwalk and maintained trail that pass through protected sand dunes to Point Joe, on the far south end of Spanish Bay. (Avoid the $9.25 Pebble Beach entrance fee by parking at Asilomar State Beach.) From the cypress tree-dotted landscape, watch the rugged coastal waves crest and crash, and intrepid local surfers test their skills. After the 1.5-mile walk to Point Joe, the trail continues another 1.3 miles along the rocky coast to raucous Bird Rock. The entire path is flat, the views uninterrupted. Flip it and return when the time feels right. Coasting!

OUTDOOR EATS: On your way back to Asilomar Beach, take an unsigned fork in the boardwalk to the Inn at Spanish Bay. The resort's enormous outdoor terrace has a full bar, light menu, and big views. Grab a bench near one of the five outdoor fire pits and enjoy a Fireside Mojito.

Boardwalk details: Driving from Hwy. 1 and Hwy. 68, take Hwy. 68 west toward Pacific Grove. After 3 miles turn left onto Sunset Dr. and go 1 mile to Asilomar State Beach. Park along the shoulder of the road at the very south end of Asilomar State Beach. The trailhead is on the south side of Sunset Dr. If you can't find it, just walk south along the beach and look left; the boardwalk is tucked behind the dunes. Follow it south as far as you like. The unsigned boardwalk turnoff for the Inn at Spanish Bay is about .75 mile in. Take it inland toward the golf course (don't worry—it's not just for guests!). It becomes a concrete golf path, then another boardwalk goes right. Take this all the way to the outdoor patio and bar.

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