Carmel River State Beach, Carmel

#1 of 10 in Beaches in Monterey County
Beach · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
With two of Monterey's most pristine seaside locations, Carmel River State Beach offers white sands, blue ocean, and a classic panorama of the California coast. With more than 1.6 km (1 mi) of beachfront near the Carmel River and a significant stretch right at the edge of the city itself, the sand and surf are ideal for picnicking, walking, jogging, or simply relaxing. Both areas are vital parts of the rich peninsular ecosystem and teem with sea life, including whales, sea lions, kelp forests, and a wide variety of fish. Try kayaking to get an up-close view of the aquatic residents. Despite the beaches' tranquil appearance, the water's strong currents and steep drop-off from the shore can make swimming dangerous. Before you head to Carmel, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Carmel trip itinerary builder site, to make sure you see all that Carmel has to offer, including Carmel River State Beach.
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Carmel River State Beach reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,462 reviews
  • Great beach to see sea life in the distance. Quite rough seas on some days though. Smaller beach than I'm used to in Florida, but great view of cliffs, homes, and beauty  more »
  • This was an expansive and fine sandy beach we discovered at the end of the Scenic Road drive. A small parking lot and restrooms were available. No lifeguard station anywhere. It was a good break...  more »
  • Gorgeous beach! We went around 9 am on a Monday and there were plenty of spots for parking and basically we had the beach to ourselves. The wind and sun were cooperative but the surf was a bit too much for swimming. Which was fine as we were really just there to watch. Dogs (on leash) are welcome too. Bathrooms on site but no other facilities. Views are free as is this State Beach!
  • I wouldn't have known about this place, without Google telling me to go there. It seemed as though we were being guided to a residential-only access spot, but surprisingly, it was open to the public. Easy access to the ocean. Nice little parking lot with clean restrooms, with soap, water, and paper towels!

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