The park is popular with hang-gliders, paragliders, and kite flyers. It is also a popular spot from which to watch the sun set. Surfers frequent Marina State Beach due to its reliable waves. The 170-acre (69 ha) park was established in 1977.
The dunes are some of the highest on the Central California coast, and provide homes to unique wildlife. A short interpretive trail (0.6 miles) provides visitors with information about the habitat and inhabitants of the dunes.