About Sand Dollar Beach in Big Sur, California
Sand Dollar Day-Use Picnic Area is along the southern Big Sur coast about half-way between Cambria and Big Sur Station. The picnic area and Sand Dollar Beach are popular in the summer months as this is a scenic spot and the beach is wonderful for walking and beachcombing. Surfers often ride the waves here as this is one of the few worthy surf spots in all of Big Sur.
Plaskett Creek Campground is across Highway 1 so in addition to day-use visitors the beach gets campers walking from their camp spots as well (no camping at the beach). Luckily it’s a long sandy beach with lots of elbow room for everyone. Note that at high tide this gradually sloping beach will be much smaller and most of the sand will be wet.
Despite the name, the beach is not littered with sand dollars most of the time. Your best bet is to go at at low tides during the winter months when waves can push lightweight sand dollars ashore. Any time of year is still worth walking the beach to look for them and other beachcombing items left behind by the highest tides.
Beautiful jade stones and other rounded sea rocks can also be found along the back of the Sand Dollar Beach. Nearby Jade Cove has more of these lovely green rocks, but the largest and most valuable ones have been hauled out already. The path down to Jade Cove is steep and not for everyone. The path to Sand Dollar Beach is much safer with a long wooden staircase providing access down the high bluff.
From the parking lot at the picnic area there is a footpath that leads to the stairway. Once at the beach you can venture in either direction. The south end of the beach has several picturesque sea stacks and the far north end has sea caves to explore.
- 69232 Cabrillo Hwy
Big Sur, CA 93920
- Park Name
- Sand Dollar Picnic Area, Los Padres National Forest
- Other Names
- Plaskett Creek, Sand Dollars
- National Forest
- Pet Details
- Dogs allowed on leash
- Fees for day-use parking and camping
- Beach Walking, Fishing, Picnicking, Beachcombing, Rockhounding, Camping, Surfing, Hiking
- Campground, Restrooms, Picnic Tables, BBQs, Toilets, Sea Stacks, Caves, Trails
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