Hidden Gems of Pacific Grove

      1. Rip Van Winkle Open Space

  • Dog Walkers at Rip Van Winkle Open Space

Although you won’t find the fabled Dutch villager or his dog, Wolf, in Rip Van Winkle Open Space, what you will find is plenty of room for you and your furry friend to explore a quieter side of Pacific Grove. As one of the city’s largest natural spaces, Rip Van Winkle offers active locals and intrepid visitors a peek at 20 acres of old growth forest with the chance to let your adventurous pup roam around off-leash. The terrain is rugged and heavily forested with several creeks and plenty of room to explore. The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is a popular spot to soak in the solitude of nature not too far from home. Don’t forget to bring your camera! White-tailed deer, squirrels, and dozens of bird species make Rip Van Winkle Open Space a natural haven for wildlife.

  • Railroad Running Trail












Del Monte Railroad Running Trail

Looking to make your morning, afternoon or evening run a bit different? Switch it up and soak up some history by running on the old Del Monte Railroad running trail. The railroad ran from Castroville to Pacific Grove, ending at Asilomar. The tracks gradually fell into disuse and were completely shut down in the 1990s. It has since become a popular spot amongst Pacific Grove locals, offering a safer, quieter and more tranquil alternative to the often busy Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. The trail winds through a quiet, heavily forested section of Pacific Grove and intrepid runners can take it from Asilomar, around the edge of the Pacific Grove Golf Links and onto the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, turn around here or continue for great views of the coast or a quick rest at Lovers Point.

  1. Esplanade Park 












Pacific Grove Kissing Rock        

So you’re looking for the sort of natural rock wonders you might find in Big Sur or Santa Cruz but aren’t feeling up to the drive? No worries, Pacific Grove has you covered! This little geologic wonder is easy to miss, it sits just above the tide on Ocean View Boulevard and Esplanade Street in front of Esplanade Park. This spot is a great place for tide-pooling and spotting sea-life away from the crowds, and if you’re up for a round of golf or some lunch, the Point Pinos Grill is a brief 10-minute walk along the water, turn left at Asilomar boulevard and you’re there!