Scuba Dive, Snorkel, & Surf at Lover’s Point Park, Monterey
Monterey is a gorgeous town on the coast of California, with some amazing places to explore! At Lover’s Point Park, you can walk along the stunning shoreline, relax on the beach, and see the rocks peeking through the sea, but some of the best adventures are found in the water.
This guide is all about exploring Lover’s Point Park in Monterey, whether you decide to scuba dive, snorkel, surf, or just enjoy the view!
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Getting to Lover’s Point Park in Monterey
If you need to fly in, I recommend using Expedia to get the best deals on flights, hotels, and rental cars. The closest airport to is the Monterey Regional Airport – but if you plan to stop at a few other places in California, you may choose to fly into SFO in San Francisco, which is bigger and has more options. It is a 2 hour drive from there to Monterey, so be sure to check out these other things to see on a California Coast road trip!
You can rent cars through Expedia, but a super fun, unique way to see Lover’s Point Park, Monterey, and the surrounding area is in a camper van! With Escape Campervans, you get a car and a place to stay all in one.
Lover’s Point Park Parking Lot
Parking is pretty easy! Lover’s Point Park has two small parking lots, and there is plenty of free street parking along Ocean View Boulevard. There is a two hour limit for parking from 9 am to 6pm!
The best Time to Visit Lover’s Point Park
The weather in Monterey is pretty great – there’s no bad time to go!
Summers are typically more foggy along the coast, so if you visit this time of year, it may be a little overcast – but the fog usually burns off in time for some amazing sunsets! Spring and fall offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds than summer, while winter is sunny and great for travelers coming from colder parts of the world.
No matter when you go, I recommend bringing a windbreaker! The ocean breeze can be surprisingly chilly, so it’s best to bring an extra layer. The best time of day to see the coastal bluffs and rocky formations is sunrise and sunset, which is usually a little colder than midday as well.
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The best time to visit Lover’s Point Park can also depend on what you want to do!
For scuba diving and snorkeling, the best time is early winter. The air may be a little chillier, but winter is when you’ll get the best visibility. There are fewer people in the water, and the waves are a bit calmer most days – so if you go on a clear, sunny day, you can often have up to 40 feet of visibility (though the norm is around 25).
For surfing, you want more waves! Summer is usually warm and sunny, but September and October bring the best surf conditions. The weather is great, and the offshore winds coming from the mountains makes fall the best time for surfing at Lover’s Point Park.
Things to Do at Lover’s Point Park
When you visit Lover’s Point Park, here are some fun things to do!
Enjoy the Views!
First, you can just relax and enjoy the scenery! Lover’s Point Park offers some gorgeous views of the rocks poking through the water, the waves crashing against the shore, and you can often see the adorable sea otters in the water if you look closely.
You can walk a trail along the cliffs over the ocean – the trail seems to be unnamed, but head west from Lover’s Point towards Perkins Park, and you’ll be rewarded with some stunning views. The area is especially beautiful at sunset, so pack a picnic, enjoy the beach, or walk along the bluffs!
One of the best ways to explore the sea is by diving in! You’ll need to get certified to dive, but it’s such an amazing experience. Monterey Bay is known for being one of the best places in the country to scuba dive – so if you’re interested in getting underwater, this is the place to be.
The water is pretty cold in Monterey, so you’ll definitely need a thick wetsuit, and a hood, boots, and gloves are recommended.
A great way to see the marine life without scuba diving is to snorkel! Snorkeling at Lover’s Point Park means you can see kelp, harbor seals, otters, jellyfish, and more. For both scuba diving and snorkeling, there are three different entry points, called Lovers 1, 2, and 3.
Each one has stairs going down, so Lovers 1 is the southernmost beach, close to the Beach House Restaurant & Bar. This is usually the easiest place to enter, with few waves in the cove and not so many rocks. Lovers 2 is pretty easy as well, but if there are a lot of waves it gets a little tough!
Lovers 3 is to the west of the park, and it’s the most scenic, so I’d recommend coming down here for the view – but the entry is more difficult if you dive or snorkel, with waves and rocks!
Here’s a map of the entry points at Lover’s Point Park.
For snorkeling at Lover’s Point Park in Monterey, you’ll definitely need a wetsuit – it’s chilly! In the summer, a 3/2 mm wetsuit is enough to keep you warm. In the winter, I definitely recommend a 5mm suit – I snorkeled in my 2mm in January, and I was freezing! A wetsuit hood also makes a big difference in keeping you warm, especially for the winter.
A mask and snorkel are required to see and breathe, and while you can technically snorkel without fins, it’s definitely not recommended. You’ll go much faster with fins, and it’ll be significantly easier to swim! It’s usually easiest to get these as a set.
The Aqua Lung Sport set is a great set of snorkeling equipment, perfect for anyone getting in the water. Some people prefer a full face mask like this one, with the snorkel attached – this has the advantage of wide angle views and fewer moving parts! For kids, check out the Aqua Lung Jr Snorkel Set.
Another fun way to get in the water is to surf at Lover’s Point Park! The best spot to get in the water is at Lovers 2 (see the map above), or at the calmer Lovers 1 if you want to paddle out to the waves. If you don’t have much experience, you can take a surfing lesson in Monterey.
Here’s what you need for surfing at Lover’s Point Park!
In the summer, a 3/2 mm suit will do the trick and keep you warm. For the colder months, I recommend a 5/4 mm suit with a hood. Even though it’s usually pretty warm in Monterey, the water does get pretty cold. This suit offers full coverage and is great for cold weather surfing!
Probably the most important thing for surfing at Lover’s Point Park – a surf board.
I’m pretty new to surfing, and if you are too, I recommend a foam board like this one. They’re easy for beginner surfers, more budget friendly, and won’t knock you out when you inevitably get hit with it on the water.
Plenty of more advanced surfers use foam boards, or you can try out a sleeker board like this fish board designed for fun on the waves, or this hybrid board!
If you aren’t a surfer, you can still have fun in the waves! Try out a boogie board or a body board.
Those are the must haves for surfing at Lover’s Point Park in Monterey, but here are a few more things you might want to pack!
Surf Wax – make sure your board is waxed so you aren’t slipping off.
Beach Towel – getting out of the water will be cold. A towel can help you dry off and warm up!
Surf Cap – keep your head warm if you surf in the winter.
Surf Boots – if you surf in the winter, these will help a ton with staying warm.
Water Bottle – don’t underestimate the dehydrating effect of salt water! You may not notice while you’re surfing, but it’s important to hydrate after.
Another amazing experience you can have in Monterey is whale watching! You’ll need to be away from the shore to spot whales, so take a tour to see some marine life.
Where to Stay Near Lover’s Point Park
If you need a place to stay while you’re in Monterey, you have plenty of options! The cite beach town has plenty of accomodations with views of the ocean.
Check out this map, and click around to see the best places to stay near Lover’s Point Park!
More to See Near Lover’s Point Park, Monterey
Have you been to Lover’s Point Park, or have recommendations for things to see nearby? Let me know in a comment below!
Here are some other adventures to have while you’re in California:
- hike the Land’s End Trail in San Francisco
- road trip the Lost Coast
- stunning ocean views at Dinosaur Caves Park
- see leopard sharks at La Jolla Cove
- surfing & hiking at Sunset Cliffs
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