Point Lobos State Reserve is a nature reserve with stunning ocean vistas, craggy rocks, marine mammals, trails, beaches, and tidepools.
In addition to over 500 acres of protected land, it is a large marine reserve. With 750 protected underwater acres, it was designated America’s first underwater reserve in 1973.
Located at the north end of the Big Sur coast, it is a 20-30 minute drive south of Monterey on Highway 1.
It’s another story of a hero behind the scenes.
By the late 1800s, Point Lobos had already been a livestock pasture, whaling station, abalone cannery, granite quarry, and a shipping point for mined coal.
Then it had been subdivided into 1,000 residential lots, when a man with a vision took action.
Alexander Allan bought the parcel and began to buy back the lots. The Save the Redwoods League also engaged in the effort, and by 1933 Point Lobos became part of the state park program; later expanding more acreage.
Here you can see sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters frolicking among the splashing waves and barnacled rocks.
In winter, migrating gray whales can be seen, blue and humpback whales also pass by. Birds abound.
Extensive kelp forests sway in the ocean waves, adding nutrients and wildlife protection to these deep blue waters. Star fish, sea urchins, and colorful algae are easily observed when the tide ebbs.
Monterey cypress trees can also be found here, one of only two places in the world where this wind-sculpted tree exists.
Point Lobos Foundation website and more information.
I go to Monterey every few years. Sometimes I don’t have time for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but I never skip Point Lobos.
Every visit is glorious at this nature-filled wonderland by the sea.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander