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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
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
Map of Sand Dollar Beach
Monterey, US
1:00 pm, March 4, 2024
temperature icon 56°F
L: 48° H: 56°
Feels like 54.3 °F overcast clouds
Wind gusts: 5 m/s
UV Index: 3.03
Precipitation: 0.01 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 6:31 am
Sunset: 6:03 pm
Humidity 64 %
Pressure1021 mb
Wind 5 m/s

Nearby Beaches

North Jade Cove

0.4 miles away

North Jade Cove is between Jade Cove and Sand Dollar Beach in the Big Sur area of Monterey County....

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Jade Cove

0.6 miles away

Jade Cove is a rocky cove south of Sand Dollar Picnic Area on the southern Big Sur Coast. Jade...

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Pacific Valley Beaches

1.4 miles away

Near the Pacific Valley Station in Los Padres National Forest there are several unnamed beaches below steep bluffs. Some...

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Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


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