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Marina
Travel Guide

Wander along the beaches and learn about U.S. military history in this intriguing town known for its huge sand dunes.

Marina is a pleasant coastal town with a picturesque state park overlooking Monterey Bay. It contains part of California State University and an old military complex with exhibits relaying its history. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and scenic ocean views in this quiet town far from the noise of big cities.

Stroll along the 1,500-foot (460-meter) trail meandering through the Fort Ord Dunes State Park. Appreciate the seclusion and tranquility in this 4-mile (6-kilometer) stretch of sand dunes covered by native vegetation. Snap photos of the birds, such as snowy plovers and red-tailed hawks, that nest in the dunes.

At the back of the beach is a boardwalk leading to a viewing platform atop a cliff. Climb to the summit and gaze at the ocean in the hope of spotting whales, visible year-round and more frequent from April to December.

Encounter the old buildings that were part of the Fort Ord complex from which the park takes its name. Today, exhibits chronicle the use of this site as a military base of the United States Army. Explore the exhibit with a downloadable guide on your cell phone.

North of the park is the Marina State Beach, which offers excellent views of the Monterey Bay coastline. Sunbathe and swim in the ocean to take advantage of the year-round pleasant weather. Watch hang gliders taking off from the highest of the sand dunes. Stay for the spectacular sunset, when the silhouettes of the cliffs darken against the red sky.

A little inland from the beach is Locke-Paddon Park. Explore its stunning wetland terrain and enjoy a picnic on one of the provided tables.

The town is in the northwestern corner of Monterey County in Central California. Find it 8 miles (13 kilometers) north of Monterey and 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Santa Cruz. Get around the town on foot or by bus. Visit Marina and its sand dune park for a scenic and serene vacation.

Top hotels in Marina

Motel 6 Marina, CA - Monterey
Motel 6 Marina, CA - Monterey
2 out of 5
100 Reservation Rd, Marina, CA
The price is £39 per night from 9 Mar to 10 Mar

Located in the heart of Marina, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Marina State Beach and Monterey Bay. Marina Dunes Preserve and Fort Ord Dunes State ...

3.6/5Good! (986 reviews)

"The room doesn't have Microway either Minifridge."…"

Reviewed on 8 Feb 2021

Motel 6 Marina, CA - Monterey
Best Western Marina State Beach
Best Western Marina State Beach
3 out of 5
3290 Dunes Road, Marina, CA
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £73 per night from 11 Mar to 12 Mar

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Marina State Beach and Monterey Bay. Marina Dunes Preserve and Fort Ord Dunes State Park are ...

3.8/5Good! (983 reviews)

"Nice & comfortable stay and it’s near the beach! Staff were awesome.I’ll definitely come back to stay in this hotel ."…"

Reviewed on 24 Nov 2020

Best Western Marina State Beach
Sanctuary Beach Resort
Sanctuary Beach Resort
4 out of 5
3295 Dunes Rd, Marina, CA
The price is £240 per night from 16 Mar to 17 Mar

Located in Marina, this beachfront resort is in a regional park, 4.9 mi (7.9 km) from California State University Monterey Bay, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Fisherman's ...

4.3/5Excellent! (986 reviews)

"It appeared phone, light switches and other things were not properly cleaned. Amenities they use to have gone, but price did not go down."…"

Reviewed on 3 Mar 2021

Sanctuary Beach Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Marina

  Charming vacation home near the ocean. Private and gated.
Charming vacation home near the ocean. Private and gated.
475 Lewis Pl, Marina, CA

This family-friendly Marina holiday home is located by the ocean, within 3 mi (5 km) of Fort Ord Dunes State Park, Monterey Bay and California State University ...

5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
Perfect for our Family

"Everything was great, the beds are comfortable, the location was great, easy to get anywhere we wanted to go. The neighborhood is quiet. The Home is super clean and Griselda is wonderful, easy to work with, she went out of her way to help make our vacation great. We would stay here again when we ..."…"

Reviewed on 10 Jun 2020

Charming vacation home near the ocean. Private and gated.
Cottage on the dunes!!!
Cottage on the dunes!!!
3330 Dunes Dr, Marina, CA

Nestled on the beach, this Marina cottage is within a 10-minute walk of Marina State Beach and Monterey Bay. Marina Dunes Preserve and Fort Ord Dunes State Park ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (42 reviews)
Great location, close proximity to lots of outdoor adventures

"The house was just as described. There were only two of us but I could see that it was plenty big for a family or two couples. Very clean and private."…"

Reviewed on 9 Nov 2020

Cottage on the dunes!!!
Renovated Family Friendly Beach House with a big patio deck and aquarium passes
Renovated Family Friendly Beach House with a big patio deck and aquarium passes
326 Carmel Ave, Apt # 1, Marina, CA

Situated by the ocean, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Marina State Beach and Monterey Bay. California State University Monterey Bay is 2.8 mi (4.5 ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Lovely escape in Monterey

"We had such a great time! House is exactly advertised, beautiful and very clean. Check-in process was a breeze. The amenities were excellent - Netflix, WiFi, hair dryer, toiletries, and coffee and creamer! The host was so responsive and provided great recommendations for restaurants and things to ..."…"

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2021

Renovated Family Friendly Beach House with a big patio deck and aquarium passes
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Marina

Top things to do in Marina

Cities near Marina