At the end of the stretch of coast known as Big Sur, you reach the beautiful town of Piedras Blancas where there is a beautiful - and loud! - colony of elephant seals weighing up to two tons who spend most of their time soaking up the sun or occasionally clashing with one another for a dominant position (a real feast for tourists' eyes!). In total there are nearly 2000 of the animals here, but it's difficult to get a precise count. It is estimated, however, that the population is growing and could reach 8000 by the end of the century. The breeding season begins in December, with the arrival of the males and then the females, but the beach is pretty busy throughout the year. A parking area is located along the main road: From here you get to the part behind the beach through a path closed by a wire mesh for the safety of the animals. Walking on the beach is absolutely forbidden. The beach is a few kilometers from the town of San Simeon, along the scenic Coast Highway One.
Check out this typically uncrowded beach in Cambria on California’s Central Coast. But more than being sparsely populated, what makes Moonstone Beach a worthwhile visit is because it’s a unique one where you can find colorful moonstone rocks scattered across the sand! Apart from that, it’s nice to watch and listen to the waves crashing on the shore. There’s also a one-mile boardwalk for a nice stroll. Another plus here is that parking is free! It’s worth noting that the air is a little saltier than other beaches, so if you’re out there for a good amount of time, the smell will stick until you can wash up. (It’s not an odorous smell, though.)