- Beaches, Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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A great option for those who don't want to work up a sweat on the trails but want to experience Big Sur's beauty from outside the car is Sand Dollar Beach. Located about 7 miles south of Limekiln State Park, Sand Dollar Beach is the largest unbroken stretch of sand in Big Sur. Along with the beach at Andrew Molera State Park, this crescent-shaped shoreline is considered to be one of the best surfing spots in Big Sur, and is also a hot spot for fishing. The most popular activity, however, is beachcombing. This shoreline gets its name for a reason, as its often graced with washed-up sand dollars. There are also a plethora of rocks located at the southern end of the beach, which are known to contain minerals like serpentine and jade.
Visitors said Sand Dollar Beach is a beautiful and relaxing spot to lay out or have a picnic, adding they appreciated its captivating geological features. It is seldom crowded, but even when there are lots of people, the beach is so big that it doesn't feel jam-packed. Some travelers also mention being able to spot migrating whales from the shore, while others suggest taking the short trail to the lookout point over the beach bluffs.
Sand Dollar Beach is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and it costs $10 to park your car. If you're driving south on Highway 1, turn right when you see the "Los Padres National Forest Picnic Area and Beach: Sand Dollar" sign on the left side of the highway. Keep in mind that swimming at Sand Dollar Beach is considered dangerous and if you plan on searching for jade, mind the regulations. For more information, visit the Sand Dollar Beach website.