© Sheila Haddad/Danita Delimont
Fantasizing about warm, sandy beaches with gently lapping waves? Well, we decided you could use a shake-up—so here we are on California"s Monterey Peninsula for a glimpse at the ocean"s raw, unadulterated power. Asilomar State Beach"s mile-long coastline trail offers views like this one of seas crashing on jagged shores. Below the frothy surface swim innumerable ocean organisms protected by the massive Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the largest marine preserve in the contiguous United States. Behind us, a rich dune habitat supporting its own delicate flora and fauna can be explored via a boardwalk trail.