Many times we have walked near Asilomar, but never knew we could visit without signing up for a conference.
This time we had online information, found brochures at the Social Hall and tried to get the phone tour scanner to work. There’s a beach walk, woods walk and architecture walk – not very far, but plenty of reading material. Asilomar initially was a summer camp for young women and conference center. Between 1912 and 1922, buildings designed by Julia Morgan were built. Since 1956 the California State Parks has run the conference center.
We headed out the ocean side of the Social Hall to follow the ‘Coast Trail’ – brochures near the information desk.
In a short distance we were at white sand dunes and a boardwalk trail.
Then it’s straight to the ocean or a turn right.
We took the walk to the right admiring the view and the sturdy plants growing low to the ground. There is a bench near the high spot.
We completed the loop back to the main buildings, but there is also a boardwalk to another section of Asilomar.
We tried following “Nature’s Forest” but various construction projects interrupted. There are Monterey Pines, Coast Live Oaks and bushes and plants in the understory. Near the entrance is a swamp – you’d hardly notice, so pay attention.
Either walking through Asilomar or on “Nature’s Forest” trail, you will notice many fine buildings. The YWCA contracted with Julia Morgan to design their buildings. The Social Hall was completed in 1913. As the YWCA raised money, more buildings were designed and built. They are still beautiful today. The design and use of wood and stone fit well with the landscape.
Directions: 804 Crocker Ave. Pacific Grove, CA Map We parked on Crocker and walked in through the stone pillars on Sinex Ave.
Cell Phone Tours: 831-998-9458 follow prompts. Different tours from 801-890. Good luck. – Link to Self-Guided Tour information.
See you on the trail!
Words and pictures by Lynn Millar.
Across the Sunset Dr. from Asilomar is the beach with more packed dirt/sand trails. There’s a beach, rocks and tidepools – leave things where you find it.
Bathrooms: In the buildings at Asilomar.
Camping: No camping or RVs. at the conference center or at the beach.