The rewards of the trek include the solitude of long stretches of untracked beaches, sightings of birds, marine mammals and wildflowers of rare dune habitats. Local Expert Guide available by phone throughout the trip.
Fabulous Lodging at: The Dream Inn, Santa Cruz, Seascape Beach Resort, Aptos, Captain’s Inn B&B, Moss Landing, Sanctuary Beach Resort, Marina, and The Monterey Bay Inn, Monterey. Enjoy the adventure of crossing a postcard-perfect string of over 15 State Parks and Sanctuary Beaches fronting the heart of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Day 1: Arrive in Santa Cruz. Enjoy your beachfront room with views of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary and take an optional walk along the waterfront to various sights through Santa Cruz’s world-famous surf playground and the historic Boardwalk and Wharf.
Day 2: Santa Cruz to Aptos. Depart through the Santa Cruz harbor, through cliff-side neighborhoods where the inventor of the wetsuit, Jack O’Neill built his house to watch the break at Pleasure Point, then on to historic Capitola Village and its popular strand. Finally, you’ll skirt beaches that only locals find. A beach bonfire at sunset brings the day to a close. Level of difficulty: Easy - Moderate. Walking today: 10 miles (16 km), primarily paths with beach walking options.
Day 3: Aptos to Moss Landing. As the Capitola Wharf recedes on the horizon behind you, so does the hustle and bustle of beach towns as you are immersed in natural beauty on the way to the village charms of Moss Landing and Elkhorn Slough’s outstanding habitat for birds and marine mammals. Level of difficulty: Moderate - Difficult. Walking today: 12 miles (19 km), primarily beaches with some path options.
Day 4: Moss Landing to Marina. Today, it is easy to think that this is how the Bay has always looked. For the entire day the dunes and sea yield to just one beachfront housing development and you only see a couple of other traces of civilization. Instead, shore birds are your companions on miles of stunning, windswept beaches that few access even today. Level of difficulty: Difficult. Walking today: 7.5 miles (12 km), all on the beach.
Day 5: Marina to Monterey. Monterey’s glistening white sand beckons to you as you navigate the sands between the ocean and the high dunes. You’ll also spend several miles on paved trails exploring California’s newest State Park, Fort Ord Dunes and the scenic Monterey Bay Recreational Trail. Level of difficulty: Moderate - Difficult. Walking today: 10.5 miles (17 km) (beach/paved trails options).
Day 6: Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and choose from many exciting excursions in Monterey. Or, continue your walk into Pacfic Grove and Pebble Beach.
Also see tour packages in:
USA California Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking Ecotourism
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