Moss Landing State Beach is a seaside community located north of Seaside on Highway 1 and a two-hour drive south of San Francisco. To the west of the beach is Moss Landing Harbor, filled with boats, a rock jetty leading out to the Pacific and a very cute, minuscule town, encompassing a post office, antique shops, and restaurants. It is a superb spot for birding, horseback riding, and offshore fishing or just enjoying a sunny beach picnic.
Some surfing and windsurfing can also be enjoyed, but with caution due to the strong rip currents.There are sand dunes that help offer protection from the wind, which makes picnicking a popular pastime. Moss Landing Beach is also a stop along the Pacific for birds, so bird watching is another popular activity.
SURF, TIDES, CLIMATE, WATER TEMPS : The waters in this spot are full of powerful rip currents. It is recommended that visitors do not swim or wade in these waters. The climate in the Central Coast varies greatly and the Central Coast experiences moderate temperatures year round with fog likely from June through mid-August. Plan your coastal visit in the late summer or fall to guarantee the best conditions for enjoyment. Also, occasional clear days between winter and spring storms are incomparable. Areas further inland experience greater temperature intensity, with relatively cooler winters and hot summers.
BEACH ACTIVITIES : As previously mentioned, wading or swimming is prohibited and surfing and windsurfing should be done with caution. Moss Landing Beach is well-liked for fishing excursions, surfing, bird watching with boat tours through the Elkhorn Slough (Whisper Charters, 831-372-7616), kayaking, dining and antique hunting, the small town provides a nice side trip, however, it does not offer much in the way of overnight accommodations. For that, you will need to check into nearby Monterey, Seaside or stay north in Santa Cruz 30 minutes away.
LOCAL FLAVORS : Due to the extremely small town, there is not much of a local scene, so for other activities, you will need to go south into Monterey or North to Santa Cruz.