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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Carmel Beach

Spot birds or catch waves, then spread out a picnic by a campfire and enjoy the views at this picturesque beach.

Carmel Beach is a long stretch of soft, white sand in Carmel, a picture-perfect town just 15 minutes’ drive south from Monterey. Steady swells make this a popular destination with surfers, swimmers and kayakers. Rent a kayak and paddle out across the kelp beds. Bring a wetsuit, as the water is often cold except in the heat of summer. 

Pack some binoculars as this is a great place to spot Monterey County’s diverse birdlife. Native birds such as herons, hawks and finches circle the beach and often perch in the trees near Scenic Road. Download a bird list from the California State Parks website. 

The town’s easy-going attitude toward dogs makes the beach perfect for strolling with man’s best friend. Dogs are allowed to run off-leash in some areas. 

Sit by the water or in the dunes under one of the many windswept cypress trees. Bring a picnic blanket, some local cheese, a bottle of wine, and watch the sun set over the ocean. Alcohol is permitted, and small fires are allowed on the beach before 10 p.m. 

Carmel Beach shares the coastline with some illustrious neighbors. Just to the north, and clearly visible from the beach, are the greens of the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and Resort. To the South, harmoniously tucked into the rocky outcrop at the end of the beach, is the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Walker Residence. 

Extremely popular with families on the weekends, Carmel Beach is quietest on weekdays. There’s a parking lot on Ocean Avenue and some free street parking on Scenic Road. There are no showers or bathrooms on the beach, but you’ll find amenities nearby at the Ocean Avenue parking lot. Once the midday sun gets too hot, follow Ocean Avenue for cafés, bars, restaurants and people-watching.


Guide to Exploring Carmel Beach


Top Carmel Beach Hotel Deals

See all 952 Properties near Carmel Beach
La Playa Carmel RM1,159
La Playa Carmel

La Playa Carmel

     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Golden Rectangle, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Golden Bough Playhouse, Sunset Center and Scheid Vineyards Tasting Room. Galante Vineyards and Blair Estate Tasting Room are also within 10 minutes.

    Normandy Inn RM544
    Normandy Inn

    Normandy Inn

       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Northwest Carmel, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Galante Vineyards, Carmel Beach and 17-Mile Drive. Pebble Beach Golf Links and Carmel Mission Basilica are also within 3 miles (5 km).

      Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea RM769
      Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea

      Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea

         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Golden Rectangle, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Carmel Beach and Carmel Mission Basilica. 17-Mile Drive and Pebble Beach Golf Links are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        Carmel Bay View Inn RM420
        Carmel Bay View Inn

        Carmel Bay View Inn

           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Northwest Carmel, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Carmel Plaza and Carmel Beach. 17-Mile Drive and Carmel Mission Basilica are also within 1 mile (2 km).

          Hotel Carmel RM744
          Hotel Carmel

          Hotel Carmel

             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Northwest Carmel, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Carmel Plaza and Carmel Beach. 17-Mile Drive and Carmel Mission Basilica are also within 1 mile (2 km).

            Carmel Green Lantern Inn RM562
            Carmel Green Lantern Inn

            Carmel Green Lantern Inn

            Casanova & 7th Avenue, Carmel, CA
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Golden Rectangle, this beach bed & breakfast is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Carmel Beach and 6.6 mi (10.7 km) from Monterey Bay Aquarium. Galante Vineyards is 22.9 mi (36.8 km) away.

              Pine Inn RM744
              Pine Inn

              Pine Inn

                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Golden Rectangle, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Galante Vineyards, Carmel Beach and 17-Mile Drive. Pebble Beach Golf Links and Carmel Mission Basilica are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                Monte Verde Inn RM536
                Monte Verde Inn

                Monte Verde Inn

                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Golden Rectangle, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Galante Vineyards, Carmel Beach and 17-Mile Drive. Pebble Beach Golf Links and Carmel Mission Basilica are also within 3 miles (5 km).