Walkabout California

Hiking Inn to Inn

Walkabout the Monterey Bay from Inn to Inn

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
~ Gandhi

Who has stood on a beach that stretches all the way to the horizon and not felt a primal longing to walk, perhaps all day, to see how far it goes, to explore that region where sea meets shore? Satisfy that yearning on this 37 mile, four day hike on the edge of the Monterey Bay. The protected waters of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary teem with ocean and bird life. You’ll hike pristine beaches and have miles all to yourself. Enjoy unique inns and great dining. Stop for an extra day in Moss Landing and kayak in Elkhorn Slough for some of the most spectacular wildlife viewing on California’s coast. You may want to hike only part of this trek or break it into two 2-day journeys. It is easy to return to Capitola at the end of any day along the route. Enjoy the great beauty and power of the Pacific by hiking its shoreline along the Monterey Bay.


“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike."
~ John Muir


Visit the Walkabout California store to purchase inn to inn hiking guides, which include route information, places to stay and stories about the places and people along the journey.

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Comment by Tom Courtney on May 19, 2012 at 1:27pm


This should be a great time to hike Monterey Bay.  This stretch of the coast is protected by the National Marine Sanctuary, and wildlife viewing should be spectacular.  You'll enjoy pristine beaches, unique inns, and sumptuous dining.  Leaving Capitola, we parked our car on Park Ave., a safe street where there were plenty of places to park and no restrictions. It runs adjacent to the trail along the railroad tracks between Capitola and New Brighton State Beach.

I don't know of a good place to park in Monterey near the waterfront.  I think you may need to pay or walk inland.  Check with your Monterey innkeeper.  They may have parking or be able to suggest some.  Anyone else have any suggestions?

Have a great walkabout.  Let us know how it went.

Tom Courtney

Hiker and Author
Walkabout California

Comment by Denise Shermer on May 17, 2012 at 3:03pm

I am heading to the Monterey Walk about over Memorial. Can anyone recommend where to park a car in Monterey and in Capitola close to trail?



Comment by Tom Courtney on July 24, 2009 at 5:12pm

That is great that you are going to hike the Monterey Bay from inn to inn. My wife, Heidi, and I did it in two legs, first from Capitola to Moss Landing in the fall, and then from Moss Landing to Monterey in the spring. It was fantastic. We have never seen such an abundance of coastal wildlife. There is something wonderful about walking multiple days on an endless beach.

It is not easy to park in “downtown” Capitola. We left our car on the road that parallels the railroad tracks. This is along the trail as you start heading south.

There are a few options for returning from Monterey. Monterey Salinas Transit provides bus service from Monterey to Capitola with stops along the way. You can get schedules from them at www.mst.org or 888-678-2871. Monterey, Salinas and Santa Cruz all have taxi services. That will be a bit more expensive, but quicker.

We have always had remarkable luck with people being very generous about offering rides. I think that is because they are fascinated with the idea of inn-to-inn hiking. Innkeepers have been very helpful. I think there is a good chance your innkeeper can connect you with someone who is driving north when you want to return.

Have a great trip. Please share your experience on the Walkabout California website when you return.

Happy trails,

Tom Courtney
Hiker and Author
Walkabout California
Comment by Lisa Levine on July 23, 2009 at 9:59am
I am interested in doing the Monterey walkabout - I will be hiking alone. What is the best option for handling the car? Can I leave my car parked at the first Inn (for 4 days) and ask the the final Inn to drive me back to my car? Thanks for your feedback!

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