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Bike to the Beach in Monterey County – and Care for What You Love

Lovers Point beach from trail - no filterBelow, learn about Monterey County’s beaches–where they are, tips for enjoying them, and how you can care for them. True Earth-care advocates are Oceans advocates too, and you’ll find many such advocacy groups listed here.

Oceans cover 72% of Earth.  As Arthur C. Clarke said,  “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean!”

Dad & Son trailabike Del Monte Beach - closeup - Mari

Notice that we say

“bike to the beach,”

not “bike on the beach.”

Be a good ambassador for bicycling! For regulations about bicycling on Monterey County’s various state, county, and city beaches, check with the Transportation Agency for Monterey County’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, or contact officials for each of those beach jurisdictions.

Also note regulations about fires, dogs, alcohol, glass, trash, camping, and more. Please help keep the beaches and their neighborhoods beautiful, healthy, and safe for everyone!


Below: The City of Monterey is recognizing that more people bike to the beach all the time, thus the addition of the bike-parking posts pictured here, near Tide Avenue and Surf Way.

(Can’t read the sign? Click image to enlarge.)

2015 Sept 17 Del Monte Beach bike racks

Where are some of the best

beaches to play on in Monterey County?

 Where’s the beach?

Some of many….

If you have general questions about local beaches–which are safest with young children, where to boogie board, where you can walk a long distance, and more, feel free to contact me. Pictured at the top of this post is Pacific Grove’s Lovers Point Beach, located directly along the coastal bike/multi-use path.

Misc tips for people who bike to the beach

California Coastal Commission info

Read this sample of the Monterey County section from the California Coastal Commission’s California Coastal Access Guide.

Read this intro from the Commission’s March 2012 book, Beaches and Parks from San Francisco to Monterey. It includes tips ranging from tide pool etiquette to dogs to stashing your trash.  The Commission also has an April 2007 book on Beaches and Parks from Monterey to Ventura.

The Coastal Commission website includes info for public education, including  why they are concerned about climate change and much more.


Local weather updates from National Weather Service  or on Twitter @NWSBayArea –

Bacteria-count alerts

Visit the Monterey County Health Department web page on beach water quality. There you can access charts for various local beaches:

You may also wish to check

Monterey County beaches rated well in Heal the Bay’s annual report card (pg 34 of 2011-2012 report released 5/24/12).  Weekly updates are available from Heal the Bay via iPhone, Android, or online.

Surf Up?

If you are a biker who’s heading off to surf and have surfing-related questions, contact On the Beach or Sunshine Freestyle in New Monterey, or Liquid Surf Shop in Carmel.

Below, Monterey Peninsula resident and bike advocate Tim Meehan, en route home to meet up with his wife and fellow bike advocate Mindy Surratt, to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

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If you found information on
the Bicycling Monterey website valuable…

Please consider making a contribution to help maintain and expand these resources. Thank you.

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Love the beach?  Read on….

Care for what you love

Beach-Lovers Alert: Marine Plastic Pollution

Why do the City of Monterey, Monterey Bay Aquarium, California Coastkeeper Alliance, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Save Our Shores, Surfrider Foundation, 5 Gyres Institute, and many more celebrate that California’s SB 270–statewide ban on single-use plastic bags passed in 2014? And why is there likewise enthusiasm about eliminating the use of non-biodegradable microbeads in consumer products? Learn why at the Monterey Bay Aquarium website, and join the Aquarium and Bicycling Monterey in sharing your selfie online, tagging it #MyBag or #MiBolsa. See #MyBag: Take a stand against single-use plastic bags.

Please help keep plastic out of the Monterey Bay–and as 5 Gyres and others point out–from waterways afar too!

Read more about plastic below. But first: a picture can be worth a thousand words, eh?


Pack it in, pack it out does help. Can’t assume trash overflowing those cans will be picked up by municipal clean-up crews before it gets blown into the bay.
Sadder still, some “beach lovers” don’t even walk their recycling/garbage to a can. 🙁

More about plastic

Not my kind of sea foam: polystyrene/styrofoam
  • Also found at sea:  polystyrene or styrofoam.  Monterey County cities of Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey, Del Rey Oaks, Salinas, Seaside, and the unincorporated county have all banned foam packaging in restaurants and at special events.
  • The Monterey County Weekly makes it easier to acknowledge restaurants that already use compostable or recyclable containers, and remind those that do not.  Alternatively, contact the restaurant manager directly.  Restauranteurs are busy people, with a lot to keep track of !  Don’t assume they don’t care if they still use styro; instead, trust that they want to do the right thing and will appreciate a polite reminder.
MIIS Students in Monterey, 8 January 2012

“Hmmm….shall we take a beach break or keep riding?”

Cool ways to learn–and play


Children and teens

Check the coastline on this unique map

The HER Helmet Thursdays clickable map!  You’ll find plenty of places where you can save money, just because you bike.  Like eating from the ocean? Bike to sustainable seafood–those HER Helmet Thursdays spots that also participate in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Beyond the coastline, you’ll find additional  HER Helmet Thursdays participants all over Monterey County.

Support these environmentally minded businesses and organizations en route to and from the beach, and on your other routes.  They are helping to keep the Monterey Bay beautiful.

Wherever you go….

Help them crank it up another notch!  Take that refuse disposable plastic pledge; and if, for example, you ask a server for a glass of water, just say “No straw, please.”  (If you have kids with you and they say, “Pluckfastic!” in response, remember not to nudge them under the table.  Instead, use the op to let the server know what the term–and the straw–are about.)

It seems a little thing, yet when you remember the gyres of swirling garbage–the vast majority being plastic–you can know that even declining a straw is a meaningful action.

When you press your lips against the rim of that glass, just think of it as giving the Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean a nice big kiss. 

Love your oceans!

It’s easy to take the access to beautiful beaches, and parks, for granted–until budget cuts that end such access loom.  Don’t overlook places like Zmudowski State Beach and Moss Landing State Beach (check Lucy D’Mot’s State Park Closures blog for a report on her 3/13/12 visit to Moss Landing State Beach).

This post was previously published May 9, 2011.

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