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Beach Use and Permits

The City of Monterey manages several miles of coastline, including Monterey State Beach. City of Monterey beaches are open to the public daily.

Groups and Special Events

Alcohol is prohibited on public beaches, except by a valid written permit (Per MCC, Chapter 23, Section 23-4). For most organized activities and intermediate size gatherings of 10 or more we ask that you obtain a Group Beach Permit. Based on the activities you have planned and the number of participants you expect, an event permit may be required. Group Beach permits can be found by downloading the permit from the link in this page or by emailing Monterey Recreation at and requesting a permit be emailed or mailed to you. 

If you are interested in hosting an event in a City of Monterey park, beach area, or the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail a special event permit, fee and liability insurance are required. Requests for special event permits should be submitted in writing, four months in advance of the event date, to:

Monterey Recreation
Shannon Leon, Recreation Manager
546 Dutra Street
Monterey, CA 93940

If you are interested in using a nearby hall, the El Estero Park Center is located across the street next to Lake El Estero. Please call (831) 646-3873 for availability and rate information.

City Code Regulations

City Ordinance prohibits bonfires on the beach that are not contained in a City-provided fire ring or fully contained within a portable barbecue; charcoal, coals, embers or other residue from a barbecue or other fire may only be disposed of in a City-provided fire ring. . No fires of any kind shall be permitted on the beach between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. In no case shall any fire larger than 2’ x 2’ be permitted, nor shall any fire be allowed less than 100’ from Wharf 2.

Chairs, arches, tents, musicians, floral arrangements, etc. are not permitted on the beach unless a wedding or special event permit has been issued by the Monterey Recreation Division. Beaches are open to the public, therefore, the public may walk through or occupy any and all areas of the beach – you may not cordon off the area you intend to use. The only privilege associated with a Beach Permit is the right for a "group" to assemble.

Beach Weddings

Visit our Beach Weddings page for information about locations, permits, rules, nearby halls and other resources to help you plan a wedding on one of our beautiful city beaches.