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Gray Whale Cove State Beach

Highway 1, Half Moon Bay, CA
650-728-5336
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Ranked #11 of 22 attractions in Half Moon Bay
Type: Beaches, State 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... more » 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. « less
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14 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Marina
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
28 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

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

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Santa Rosa, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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

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Geneseo, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 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 1
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
21 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
84 reviews 84 reviews
44 attraction reviews
64 helpful votes 64 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
273 reviews 273 reviews
125 attraction reviews
156 helpful votes 156 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
Sacramento, California
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
72 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

Was here a couple weeks ago with the Sacramento Traveler's Group on a day trip. We actually got to see several Gray whales on a whale watching boat tour we took. Loved spending the day here! Great seafood stops & shopping nearby. We had a great time!

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Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
29 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We sat here in the late afternoon and had sparkling wine...great time! Part of the beach is supposedly nude but we didn't see any.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3

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