Visit This Underrated Central California Beach For A Laid Back Vacation

California is famous for its coastline of beautiful beaches. However, with 15 beach counties and over 420 public beaches, it's natural that not of all its shores get the love and attention they deserve. Celebrity-clad beaches like Santa Monica or Malibu get a whole lot of limelight, and surf spots like Newport Beach and La Jolla get their fair share of praise. But one beach park that gets way less credit than it deserves is Lovers Point Park and Beach. For many people, it's likely one of the best destinations they've never heard of.

While this stunning Central California spot goes under the radar for most out-of-state tourists, anyone would regret missing out on this seaside gem. Just a 2-hour drive South of San Francisco, the beach sits on a peninsula protruding from the rugged coastline of Monterey County. Not only does Lovers Point Park and Beach offer unbelievable natural beauty, but it also is home to a handful of well-kept amenities.

Water sports at Lovers Point Park and Beach

Lovers Point Park and Beach stretches across 4.4 acres of the picture-perfect beach escape. For anyone interested in water activities, this seaside destination provides the perfect conditions for practically anything you're looking for. Scuba divers and snorkelers set off from the beach to observe some of the coast's most magnificent kelp forests and marine life. Along the beach's coastline, you'll find three points — aptly named Lovers 1, Lovers 2, and Lovers 3 — where you can embark on your ocean expedition. Note that if you're hoping to go diving, this activity is only permitted from April to September.

If you prefer exploring the water's surface rather than delving beneath it, Lovers Point Park and Beach is a beloved spot among kayakers and surfers. Past the surf zone, you'll find that the waters offer tranquil conditions for beginner kayakers. If you don't have your kayaking gear, Pacific Grove Adventures leases rentals beside the beach's shore. For anyone sticking closer to the shoreline, you'll find a consistent flow of strong and speedy waves. That said, Lovers Point Park and Beach is a dream come true for surfers. As you plan your trip, take into consideration that the best surfing conditions are most common in the winter.  

Land activities at Lovers Point Park and Beach

The city of Pacific Grove has laid out Lovers Point Park and Beach as the perfect recreational playground for visitors. Start your day early by taking in the natural beauty of sunrise. As Lovers Point faces east, it is one of California's rare areas where you can observe the sun rise over the water. Not to mention, getting there early will get you a great spot on the sand. As the day goes on, you can sit by the water, hop on the volleyball court, and start a game when you get bored of tanning. If you're with young kids, take them to the Stillwell Children's Pool, where you'll feel at ease as they swim and play in the pool's 2- to 3-foot-deep-heated water. 

The park portion of the beach is a fantastic grassy space to lay out and picnic after a day in the sun and water. Pack a lunch or grab a bite from the beach's on-site snack bar. If you're looking for a sit-down restaurant, Lovers Point offers that, too. Beach House Restaurant is a convenient, casual spot to grab a meal while looking out over the beach. Once the sun sets and you need more nightlife, dining, and shopping options, drive less than 10 minutes to Cannery Row. There, you'll find the neighborhood's best recreational stomping grounds.