The headlands, coves and lush vegetation of Point Lobos inspired landscape artist Francis McComas to declare the marine protected area "the greatest meeting of land and water in the world."
Five miles of trails, ranging from gentle to challenging, take you through verdant forest, past scenic lookout points and along a dramatically rocky coastline that offers excellent conditions for tide pools teeming with life.
Wildlife common to the area include sea lions, harbor seals and herons and from December through April you can see migrating gray whales. The quality of scuba diving in the rich underwater habitats of Whalers and Bluefish Coves is unmatched in California, or the country.
The area used to be the center of the whaling and abalone industry and a small cabin used by nineteenth century Chinese and Japanese fishermen remains at Whalers Cove where it now functions as a cultural history museum. Other highlights include the waves crashing against the rocks of Devil’s Cauldron and the perfect white sands of China Cove.
To beat the crowds, try to arrive early in the morning, especially on weekends. Parking is limited and, when it is full, operates on a one in, one out basis.
No pets are allowed in the park and if you want to dive, you need to show proof of certification. If you are planning to dive at the weekend or on a holiday, it is a good idea to make a reservation in advance.