A narrow two-mile long band of pretty light sand creates the beach at Garrapata State Park (Hwy. 1, gate 18 or 19, 831/624-4909, www.parks.ca.gov ), north of the Point Sur Light Station  Stroll along the beach, scramble up the cliffs for a better view of the ocean, or check out the seals, sea otters, and sea lions near Soberanes Point.
In the wintertime, grab a pair of binoculars to look for migrating gray whales passing quite close to shore here.
The Soberanes Canyon Trail to the east of the highway is one of the more challenging and fun hikes to tackle at Garrapata.
Expect little in the way of facilities here—you’ll park in a wide spot on Highway 1, and if you’re lucky you might find a pit toilet open for use.