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Central California Life Magazine

4 Hidden Beaches in Central California to Discover

Apr 20, 2017 04:49PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Carmel Meadows Beach. Courtesy of

Central California has plenty of delightful beaches to explore. Now that the weather is heating up, making an effort to go to the beach is becoming more and more appealing.

Unfortunately some beaches can get crowded during peak season, and it can be difficult to enjoy the calming nature of the ocean. Luckily there are quiet a few "hidden," lesser-known beaches that are not only gorgeous, but not as jam packed. 

We put together a few beaches that aren't too far away to consider visiting. 

Arroyo De La Cruz Beach, San Simeon, CA

Courtesy of

Location: Cabrillo Hwy, San Simeon, CA 93452

The Arroyo De La Cruz Beach Access is a state-owned propery included in Hearst San Simeon State Park. This is a sandy beach at the mouth of the creek in Arroyo de la Cruz just south of Point Sierra Nevada. There is a pull-out along Highway 1 south of the bridge over Arroyo de la Cruz about three miles from the entrance to Piedras Blancas Light Station Natural Area.

Learn more here

San Carpoforo Creek Beach, San Simeon, CA

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Location: 18550 Cabrillo Hwy, San Simeon, CA 93452

The San Carpoforo Creek Beach Access is the northernmost portion of the state-owned properties in Hearst San Simeon State Park. A portion of this beach is also in Los Padres National Forest and it’s signed that way at the trailhead. On the north side of the Highway 1 bridge over San Carpoforo Creek there is a small pull-out parking area with a fence and a gate. It’s about eight miles north of the Piedras Blancas Light Station and across from a house at the address 18550 Cabrillo Hwy, San Simeon, CA. 

Learn more 

Point Sal State Beach, Guadalupe, CA

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Location: Brown Rd and Point Sal Rd, Guadalupe, CA 93455

Point Sal State Beach is a remote public beach that has become quite difficult to access. The trail to the beach is an old road that has eroded over time and was eventually closed and gated by Vandenberg Air Force Base. The trailhead is outside of base property, but it passes through the base before ending at a state park property. Access to the beach now requires a strenuous ten mile long round trip hike that climbs up and over Point Sal Ridge each direction for a total of nearly 2000 feet of elevation gain (most on the way back).

That said, if you make the effort to get here it will be a fun place to walk the beach for some beachcombing.

Learn more 

Carmel Meadows Beach, Carmel, CA

Courtesy of
Location: 2575 Ribera Rd, Carmel, CA 93923

Carmel Meadows Beach is the nickname for the portion of Carmel River State Beach that is adjacent to the Carmel Meadows housing community. It’s a wide sandy west-facing beach with rocky areas at each end. This beach tends to be less crowded than nearby Monastery Beach and the main Carmel River Beach. A wide trail follows the base of the bluff in both directions. 

Learn more here.  

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Happy Reading,

Karen Maroot