Moss Landing

Moss Landing is a little burg with a lot of personality. It's a hard-working fishing village, a major marine research center, an antique lover's treasure, and a naturalist's delight.  Tourists enjoy its many recreational activities, fresh seafood restaurants and relaxed atmosphere. Located right on Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Monterey, it's easy to find and well worth a visit.

Moss Landing Harbor

It all started back in 1866, when Charles Moss, a wealthy ship captain from Texas, built a 200 foot wharf. Today, Moss Landing Harbor is a busy commercial fishing center, as well as a place for recreational boaters and research vessels from the two major facilities in the area -- Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

You'll find a variety of recreational activities at the harbor. Sanctuary Cruises offers year-round whale watching cruises, and Tom's Sportfishing provides fishing charters.

At the north end of the harbor, you'll find Monterey Bay Kayaks, where you can rent a kayak or take a guided tour to explore Elkhorn Slough. You can also take a tour of the slough via pontoon boats with Elkhorn Slough Safari.

Elkhorn Slough

Elkorn Slough, located east of the harbor, is one of California's largest tracts of tidal salt marsh. The Reserve encompasses 1,400 acres, with five miles of trails and a wheelchair accessible path that leads to an overlook.

You'll find plentiful wildlife here, including sharks, sea otters, harbor seals, peregrine falcons, brown pelicans, golden eagles, and a whole lot more.

Art and Antiques

Antique lovers will find a gold mine in the downtown area, with over 20 antique and collectible shops, one housed in an old caboose. Offerings vary from the funky and the junky to fine furniture and jewelry.

The annual Antique Street Fair is held during the last Sunday in July, and features hundreds of booths and thousands of treasures, and, of course, lots of food.

Moss Landing is also home to a number of artists, craftsmen and galleries, featuring such diverse creations as photographs, paintings, handbags, home furnishings, fountains, mobiles, and who knows what else....


You'll find three state beaches in the area:

  • At Zmudowski State Beach, take the boardwalk through the dunes to the sandy beach.
  • Moss Landing State Beach features 55 acres of dunes and seashore.
  • At Salinas River State Beach, you'll have 246 acres of dunes and beach to enjoy. A boardwalk and steep dunes trails lead you to the beach, and just to the south you'll find the 367 acre Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge.

Popular beach activities include hiking, surfing, wind surfing, shore fishing, clamming, horseback riding, bird watching and nature study.