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“Practically deserted, clean and beautiful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gray Whale Cove State Beach

Gray Whale Cove State Beach
Highway 1, Half Moon Bay, CA
650-728-5336
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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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Practically deserted, clean and beautiful”
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.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    13
    5
    1
    1
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Half Moon Bay, California
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Love old angry naked men?! Then this is the beach for you!”
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, walk up to me and call me a pervert?! Why don't you go home, put some clothes on and check out your profile on Meganslaw.ca.gov ?

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Relaxation and tranquility”
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 an area to swim for most people.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
58 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
“Wish it stayed a secret”
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 is hidden from view from Hwy. 1. Perhaps it is for this reason that it is a clothing-optional beach, so be warned when bringing children with you.

Having lived on the coast for >14 years, I kind of wish this beach stayed a secret because now we have to jostle for a spot with way too many tourists and parking is a nightmare when the weather is nice.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
295 reviews 295 reviews
132 attraction reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
172 helpful votes 172 helpful votes
“Free parking, few people”
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 downside is there was a man who was nude on the beach while there were children playing a few steps away... so beware if you come with family.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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