Monterey State Beach has two separate units with three beaches along the southern shores of Monterey Bay. Starting at the Number 2 City Pier in Monterey it is possible to walk north on the sand and visit each of these beaches. Conversely, it’s a delightful beach walk from the northern beach to Monterey and back. This walk is about 2 miles each way.
Seaside Beach is the northernmost beach in the state park. The parking lot for Seaside Beach is on the north side of the Monterey Tides Hotel. Walking north from this parking lot leads out of the state park on the way to Sand City Beach and The Crater (a hidden spot with high dunes to explore).
Houghton M. Roberts Beach is the name of the beach access on the south side of this same hotel and it has a separate parking area.
Bridging the gap between the northern and southern units is Del Monte Beach which is a locals spot below a housing community on the bluff (it’s a great beach!).
The closer you get to the city beach at Municipal Wharf #2 in Monterey, the safer it is for swimming. Strong rip currents can exist all along the bay shoreline, but Municipal Beach and Window on the Bay Beach are usually pretty safe places to enter the water from although the water will be cold. This is also a good area to put in for kayaking the Monterey waterfront. Kayak rentals are available behind Municipal Beach.