Best Family Beaches In Monterey

Ready for a perfect family beach holiday? Monterey on the West Coast is famous for its family-friendly beaches. Looking for the best child-friendly beaches in Monterey, look no further; we list them all here. Read on to find out!

We found several family-friendly beaches in Monterey for a great family holiday: Asilomar State Beach, Carmel Beach, Del Monte Beach, Dennis the Menace Park, Lovers Point Park, Monterey State Beach, Monterey Bay, Monterey Municipal Beach, Ribera Beach, San Carlos Beach and Seaside Beach.

Monterey offers many lovely beaches with family fun activities like swimming, boogie boarding, paddle boarding, picnicking, and hiking. Family-friendly Californian Beaches can be found up and down the coast and offer some of the best beaches in the Golden State. Let’s find out where they are!

11 Best Family-Friendly Beaches in Monterey

Families love to visit the beautiful beaches in the famous Monterey, Northern California. Monterey has several family-friendly beaches filled with fun-filled activities for the perfect family holiday.

There is much to do and many outdoor activities, like swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, hiking, or enjoying the beach.

With many lovely beaches to visit in Monterey, it might be challenging to choose only one; that’s why we’ve listed the top eleven family-friendly beaches to make it easier for you.

  • Asilomar State Beach
  • Carmel Beach
  • Del Monte Beach
  • Dennis the Menace Park
  • Lovers Point Park
  • Monterey State Beach
  • Monterey Bay
  • Monterey Municipal Beach
  • Ribera Beach
  • San Carlos Beach
  • Seaside Beach

Asilomar State Beach

Asilomar State Beach features rocky points, small coves, and several little sandy beaches along the shoreline. The Asilomar Coastal hiking trail winds along the grassy dunes between the road and the ocean, allowing easy access to all the points and coves.

The bike trail next to the road is perfect for families exploring the peninsula on bikes.

This famous beach with its scenic views is a favorite with kayakers, surfers, and families that love hiking. The lovely beach is part of the Asilomar Marine Reserve, where fishing is prohibited. To explore its rich ecosystem, take a walk on the ¾-mile Asilomar coast trail.

The Asilomar Dunes Natural Preserve-pedestrian boardwalk allows visitors to enjoy the 25 acres of dunes in natural form. Asilomar State Beach is perfect for families who love the outdoors and don’t mind exploring it.

Carmel Beach 

The lovely white sandy beach filled with beautiful cypress trees is popular with families because it offers the best sunset views and dogs off the leash. 

Carmel Beach is voted one of the most iconic beaches on the Californian coast. Carmel Beach attracts visitors year-round to its spectacular scenery and fun-filled outdoor activities.

You will find a scenic pathway at Carmel Beach that winds above the bluff overlooking the lovely beach through the gorgeous green Cypress trees.

Beach fires are allowed on Carmel Beach but make sure you follow the city fire rules to protect the environment safely. Even though Carmel Beach allows dogs off-leash, they should be controllable by their owners to ensure everyone’s safety. Carmel Beach is a perfect beach for families and pets alike.

Del Monte Beach 

The lovely Del Monte Beach is a little gem with its boardwalk that winds through the sandy dunes filled with picnic spots and benches to rest. Beach fires are allowed on Del Monte Beach if you use the provided fire rings. Families love Del Monte Beach because dogs are allowed off the leash, and the beach offers many outdoor activities like beach combing, kayaking, swimming, surfing, and scuba diving to enjoy.

Del Monte Beach is perfect for swimming, and the swim group, the Kelp Krawlers, regularly meets on the beach throughout the year. The water at Del Monte Beach is crystal clear but slightly colder than the other beaches. Explore this lovely beach with your family and pets, take in the spectacular scenery on offer, or enjoy beachcombing on the beach filled with sea glass.

Dennis the Menace Park 

Dennis, the Menace Park, is an excellent place for the whole family. It sits across the street from the beach. It features a skate park, playground, lake with paddle boats, slides, baseball field, rock climbing wall, merry-go-round, a suspension bridge, hedge maze, giant adventure ship, shaded picnic area with benches and tables, restrooms, and an old 1924 Southern Pacific steam engine.

Dennis, the Menace Park, was co-created by Hank Ketcham, creator of the Dennis the Menace comic strip, in 1956 when he was a resident of nearby Carmel Beach.

The Dennis, the Menace Park, has several unique attractions and play structures to entertain the family. A perfect stopover for the family right next to the Monterey Bay harbor and beach. 

This lovely park offers lots to enjoy a picnic lunch while watching the waterfowl and other families having a great time.

Lovers Point Park 

Lovers Point State Marine Reserve is a marine protected area in Monterey that is a favorite spot for surfing, swimming, and boating.

Lovers Point Park is popular with families because of its lovely picnic spots. The spectacular scenery at Pacific Grove is perfect for scenic photography, and because it faces east, it is ideal for watching the sun rise over the ocean.

Lovers Point Beach is popular with surfers because of its consistent waves, and kayakers love it because launching from Monterey Bay is easy. Lovers Point Beach offers spectacular views of the ocean and plenty of wildlife.

Most Scuba divers flock to Lovers Point Beach because of the rich marine life that frequents the waters.

Enjoy a game of beach volleyball or lounge on the grass at the park. Lovers Point Beach is where the “Kelp Crawl” Triathlon starts. 

Climb the rocks at the point to get a fantastic view of Monterey Bay, and make sure to visit at the end of July to enjoy the annual Feast of Lanterns Festival.

The convenient snack bar on the beach is perfect for grabbing a bite to eat if you are not carrying a picnic basket.

Monterey State Beach 

The protected Monterey State Beach extends from Monterey to Seaside and is popular with families because of its great outdoor activities. It is an excellent launch spot for paragliders, fishing, surfing, swimming, and kayaking.

Scuba divers love Monterey State Beach, and you will often see beachcombers looking for treasure on the beach constantly while families enjoy exploring the tide pools.

Monterey State Beach is also famous for kite flying, and sandcastle builders build the most exquisite sandcastles you can dream of on the golden sandy beach.

Monterey Bay 

The unique Monterey Bay is teeming with biological diversity and home to many unique marine inhabitants. Monterey Bay is one of the best marine ecosystems in the United States.

Monterey Bay is home to some of the tiniest nudibranchs, including the blue whale, the world’s largest mammal.  Monterey Bay is famous for its abundant wildlife; visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium to view humpback whales, sea otters, a kelp forest, giant Pacific octopus, and penguins.

Book a whale-watching tour from the Bay for more excitement guided by biologists that reveal several marine animals in the natural habitats like dolphins, seabirds, orcas, and sea lions. Monterey Bay has lots to offer for families that love the outdoors and adventure.

Monterey Municipal Beach 

Monterey Municipal Beach is a busy beach because of its watersport activities and calm swimming waters, excellent pier with great eateries where you can grab a bite to eat while enjoying the sunset.

The pier protects this beach, so it is ideal for children swimming in its calm waters. The Monterey Bay Waterfront Park is popular with families that like to picnic on the grassy spots and play a volleyball match on one of the many courts.

The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Hiking Trail is perfect for families that like to walk, jog or ride a bike along the beach. There are many pubs and restaurants on the pier for drinks and food.  Monterey, The Bay Kayaks, is headquartered here, where you can rent kayaks or book a boat tour.

Ribera Beach

Ribera Beach is nestled between Monastery Beach and Carmel River State Beach, popular with families, free divers, and spearfishers. The long-sloped beach is beautiful, with great ocean views and a healthy, thriving kelp forest. 

Many hiking trails with scenic views of Carmel Point, Point Lobos, and the Pacific Ocean connect Carmel to Monastery North and Carmel River State Beach for easy access. 

Take your dogs on leash for a walk on the hiking trail or if you enjoy paddle boarding or kayaking, gain easy access to the Carmel River from this hiking trail.

Relax on Ribera beach with your family, enjoy a picnic or gaze up at the Milky Way at night. Ribera Beach should not be missed; it’s a perfect holiday spot for family and friends.

San Carlos Beach  

San Carlos Beach is also known as Reeside Beach because it’s near Reeside Avenue. The lovely San Carlos Beach is popular with scuba divers, a great place to enjoy outdoor activities with the family, and a great beach to spot sea otters on a sunny day. It is located near Cannery Row and the Coast Guard Pier, where you can walk along the ocean for miles.

San Carlos Beach has many great picnic spots on the grass lawns, with tables and benches to enjoy with the family. Behind San Carlos Beach Park, you can find the paved Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail excellent for joggers, bikers, and hikers. San Carlos Beach is a favorite place for groups of scuba divers to gather. Families love San Carlos Beach, where they can play in the surf and enjoy the spectacular views of Monterey Bay.

Seaside Beach 

Seaside Beach lies just a few minutes from Monterey and is a family’s favorite holiday destination. On sunny days you can enjoy the fantastic views from Pacific Grove down the Bay to Santa Cruz. This lovely sandy beach is almost a mile and a half long, with room to spare for many.

Seaside Beach is lined with dunes full of beautiful vegetation and is off-limits to protect them. There is an abundance of wildlife to see and plenty of seagulls waiting around for any snack that might fall to the ground.

The waves at Seaside Beach can be unpredictable, and care should be taken when swimming activities are undertaken. Seaside Beach is excellent for kite flying, watching paragliders, hiking, biking, kayaking, or beachcombing for treasures. There is a lifeguard on duty during the summer at Seaside Beach, but swimming is not typically recommended because of strong rip currents.

The hotel next to the beach has an excellent restaurant if you would instead enjoy the views from the hotel while enjoying a bite to eat.

The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail is just behind Seaside beach and winds to downtown Monterey for the best scenic views from your bike or on foot.

Seaside Beach is conveniently located near all the amenities Monterey Peninsula feature, from wine tasting to whale watching.

Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed at Seaside Beach because it is an endangered species protected area.

The world-class golf courses like Blackhorse and Bayonet Golf Course, the abundance of fine restaurants, and shopping offer great entertainment for everyone after a day on the beach.

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Monterey has several excellent family-friendly beaches filled with fun activities and great entertainment like surfing, hiking, swimming, picnicking, scuba diving, kayaking, kite surfing, sunbathing, boogie boarding, paddle boarding, beach volleyball, or strolling along the many scenic hiking trails with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Monterey is the best family beach destination in California, with something for everyone’s taste. Monterey’s beachfront restaurants, Big Sur’s redwood groves, championship golf courses, Carmel’s art, music festivals, and Salinas Valley’s hillside vineyards provide the best holiday experience for the whole family.

Make sure to book enough holiday time to explore this fantastic area because Monterey County has so much to see and do.

We hope this ultimate guide to family-friendly beaches in Monterey will help you choose the best one to visit on your next family beach holiday.