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Point lobos picnic

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Fort Lauderdale...
Level Contributor
121 posts
19 reviews
Point lobos picnic

Is it possible to picnic anywhere in Point Lobos Reserve? If we are confined to an area with the usual tables, etc., is the location particularly pretty or is it like most picnic areas? Absent something fabulous, i would rather lunch in town.

San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
13,292 posts
95 reviews
1. Re: Point lobos picnic

You can picnic anywhere you want. Take a blanket or something to put down. Just be careful not to get into the poison oak or trample any plants. And guard your food against squirrels - they can be very persistent at times.

And I think you will find that in CA, we put our picnic tables in pretty nice places anyway.

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
18,185 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: Point lobos picnic

Point Lobos is only two miles south of Carmel, so if you would prefer to lunch in Carmel, you won't have too far of a drive to get back to do so. Just get an early start in Point Lobos so you can get the most out of your visit before returning for lunch.

Danville, California
Level Contributor
1,092 posts
141 reviews
3. Re: Point lobos picnic

Point Lobos does not offer a real "attractive" formal picnic area. Piney Woods has several picnic tables surrounding the parking area situated under tall Pine Trees. Nothing special. The tables at China Cove are nothing special either!

For lunch in Carmel, we constantly find ourselves on the patio at Casanova's!

For a picnic, we bring beach umbrella's and beach folding chairs to Carmel Beach (parking end of Ocean Avenue). We setup near the foliage on the right "dune" below the beach volleyball courts. This is a real special spot!


Edited: 6:01 pm, August 15, 2012
Stanford, California
Level Contributor
58 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Point lobos picnic

Nothing special is in the mind of the beholder - we've gathered our picnic goods and enjoyed the views of the ocean and the trees and the great outdoors on a number of occasions.

If we have not packed our lunch in advance, we often times just stop at The Crossroads Shopping Center on highway 1 (just before we get to Pt. Lobos)


So cannot tell you if you think this is special enough - as the picnic tables are your standard state park picnic table - but enjoying some cheese; a warm bagette; fresh fruit salad; and whatever else we have a hankering for that day....usually makes our day in the great outdoors.

So its totally up to you if you want to picnic there or eat at a restaurant - as both are fun.

Carmel, California
Level Contributor
3,078 posts
11 reviews
5. Re: Point lobos picnic

Compared to the beauty of the rest of the reserve, I would say that the 2 picnic areas are located in rather "unscenic" spots. Also you're not supposed to picnic anywhere else. However I don't know if they actually enforce that rule.

Monterey Peninsula...
Level Contributor
2,227 posts
6. Re: Point lobos picnic

The official rules:

"Lunches: Eating is allowed only at picnic tables (Whalers Cove, Piney Woods, Bird Island parking). No food or drinks may be taken on the trails. Restrooms are located at the picnic areas."

Note, the first and last locations have ocean views. Whalers Cove is the first right turn off the main road after you enter the park. Piney Woods is in the middle of the forest just off the main road on the south shore. It has the advantage of being very quiet, and is a great place to see a native Monterey Pine Forest. It's a good spot for bird watching. The Bird Island parking area is at the very end of the main road. None of these are "bad" spots, but they are all very different.

I recall in past years eating at tables along the south shore, but maybe they're gone now.

-Mr. Toy


Carmel, California
Level Contributor
3,078 posts
11 reviews
7. Re: Point lobos picnic

I forgot Bird Island reopened.

Fort Lauderdale...
Level Contributor
121 posts
19 reviews
8. Re: Point lobos picnic

Many sincere thanks for all the detailed comments.

Level Contributor
32,298 posts
848 reviews
9. Re: Point lobos picnic

If you want to lunch in Carmel, nearby Pt. Lobos is The Highalnd's Inn. They have a very nice restaurant there called California Market which has an outdoor patio with spectacular views of the ocean and coastline. Have fun! :)

Edited: 12:53 pm, September 10, 2012
10. Re: Point lobos picnic

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