We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Gray Whale Cove State Beach

Address: Highway 1, Half Moon Bay, CA
Phone Number: 650-728-5336
Website
Improve this listing
83%
Type: Beaches, State Parks, Outdoor Activities, Nature & Parks
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, Outdoor Activities, Nature & Parks
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.

Hotels near Gray Whale Cove State Beach

Write a Review

19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    5
    1
    1
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Lincoln, CA
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2015

When you are trying to find your way down the hill to the beach, go to your right instead of to your left. There are stairs that take you down to the beach. It is a beautiful and quiet beach!

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Chicago
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

It's just absolutely lovely here. I've been here at least 6 times, alone, with my husband, with my son, and with friends. Depending when you go, there will be a couple or quite a few others here, but everyone will feel like it's their own private space- the seclusive nature of the beach creates this kind of atmosphere. Stay for... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany
Top Contributor
490 reviews 490 reviews
117 attraction reviews
257 helpful votes 257 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Livermore, CA
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Marina
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
36 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
20 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed Gray Whale Cove State Beach also viewed

 
 

Been to Gray Whale Cove State Beach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Gray Whale Cove State Beach staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?