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Gray Whale Cove State Beach

Highway 1, Half Moon Bay, CA
650-728-5336
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81%
Ranked #14 of 19 Attractions in Half Moon Bay
Type: Beaches, State Parks, Outdoors
Owner description: Gray whales can often be spotted close to the shore of this scenic beach. Surrounded by high...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Beaches, State Parks, Outdoors
Owner description: Gray whales can often be spotted close to the shore of this scenic beach. Surrounded by high cliffs, it features a clothing-optional section during the spring.
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16 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    9
    4
    1
    1
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany
Top Contributor
485 reviews 485 reviews
117 attraction reviews
250 helpful votes 250 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2014

Meh. Small beach, not really swimmable due to the waves. A small parking lot is available as are a couple of disgusting portapotties. The stairs down/up are in good condition so it’s easily accessible. This beach just didn’t have any allure for me. The naked dudes aren’t a distraction – they seem to keep to themselves (they don’t bother me... More 

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Livermore, CA
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

I was enjoying my time with the family at this beautiful beach until I had to use the bathroom. There are two porta-potties at the top of the hill. When I entered the porta-potty that was slightly farther back I noticed a square hole cut out of the back wall, It looked like someone had previously tried to plug it... More 

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Marina
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
30 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014

We stayed in Half Moon Bay but on the morning of our departure we drove north to Monterra to the McNee Ranch State Park and the Gray Whale Cove trail. It is before the beach, and there is a tiny parking area off HWY One to the right. The trail is considered "moderate". There are some beautiful trees when you... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Reno, Nevada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

Visited this past week. Great beach with spectacular views. I was able to arrive around Noon and easily found a parking spot. I had read that the nude section was the north end of the beach. However, I stripped down south of the stairs (more towards the south end) I found the water to be easier to go in on... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Davenport, Iowa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

As a newlywed nudist couple, we decided to give this beach a try. Highlights include free parking at the top of the cliffs, and the fact that you are separated very well by a large pile of cliff rocks. That made it hard to access the north side (nudist tolerated) area of the beach, but it provides a good amount... More 

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
20 attraction reviews
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

Just be aware that there is a long stairway down from road to the beach. Don't plan on carrying a lot of gear. Lots of parking.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Half Moon Bay, California
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

Some of the "Natives" are not very friendly at this place. Most of them keep to themselves but a few old timers love to yell at surfers for using the beach. Apparently we're all perverts that love to watch and film old fat men with tiny junk walk up and down the beach. You're standing on a public beach naked,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
Lincoln, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

If you are looking for a quiet place to go and sit or walk on the beach, then this is the place for you. Not crowded, plenty of space to sit and ponder. Dolphins observed close by. Stairs take you down to the beach, though some people hike down the steep terrain. I enjoyed a few hours here. Too rough... More 

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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
54 attraction reviews
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

This is one of the prettiest beaches on the coast and for a long while (before they built the parking lots), it was easy enough to find a good spot to plant yourself and enjoy the sun, view and sound of the waves. The beach can be accessed via a steep flight of stairs, and for the most part, it... More 

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Madison, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
284 reviews 284 reviews
127 attraction reviews
165 helpful votes 165 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

What is great about this beach is that 1. there is free parking on top of the cliff 2. very few crowds. Other beaches down the highway by Pescadero and further down Half Moon Bay have parking fees. They also ironically have more crowds. The beach itself is lovely, with a few surfers and nice sand and waves. The one... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 4

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