Asilomar Coast Trail, located in Pacific Grove, might be the most spectacular family-friendly coastal hike in California. The trail is well-maintained and level, and for the most part it is actually a boardwalk. It is also right off the side of the road, so getting there is pretty easy. As for the views, well, they are truly spectacular. The hike leads along the rocky bluffs above rugged Asilomar Beach overlooking the Pacific ocean, the color of which here is just amazing. Sometimes it is deep blue, sometimes azure, sometimes turquoise. All of these colors contrast really well with almost-white sand of Asilomar Beach.
If you hike this trail during the right time of a day, you might be able to see some interesting animals and plants in the tide pools. And if you visit during spring, like we did, you will be rewarded with a carpet of wildflowers.
The hike is just 1.2 miles (each way), but likely it will take you at least 1 or 2 hours as you will be enjoying yourself so much that you will not like to leave. Access to the hike and the beach is free and the parking can be found on the side of Sunset Drive, in Pacific Grove, just opposite the historic conference center at Asilomar. Curiously, the Asilomar conerence center was designed by Julia Morgan, the same architect who later designed Hearst Castle.
Rugged Asilomar Beach:
Lunch on the rock:
Luis and friendly crow:
My love and I:
A seagull on a rock:
An amazing sand castle on a rock:
Della and Luis, our hiking companions: