February 20, 2018

The best Carmel beaches; things to do

1 South


Carmel Beach  At foot of Ocean Ave., (831) 626-2522.  Free.  Dogs ok. 

Known for its white powdery sand and spectacular sunsets, this world-famous arc of a beach is a choice spot for a refreshing walk, a picnic, or flying a kite.  Swimming is unsafe.  New restrooms are award-winning and exceptional in design. 

The Great Sand Castle Contest is held here each September or October, depending on the tides.  This year it is scheduled for September 15, 2018.  Contestants are encouraged to bribe judges with food and drink.

Carmel River State Beach  At end of Scenic Rd./Carmelo St., 1 mi. S of Ocean Ave., (831) 649-2836.  Daily 9-dusk.  Free. 

Very popular with families and divers, this beach features a fresh-water lagoon that is safe for wading and has an adjoining bird sanctuary.  It is located behind the Carmel Mission, where the Carmel River flows into Carmel Bay, and offers beautiful views of Point Lobos.  Locals refer to it as Oliver’s Cove; the southern end known as Monastery Beach is particularly gorgeous and has an entrance off Highway 1.  Swimming is dangerous.  Picnic facilities are available.

More things to do in Carmel.

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

video ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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