Carmel beaches are some of the most beautiful along the California coast - if not the world. These beaches are wonderful for romantic walks, kite flying, sunbathing, picnicking... and contemplating the wonders of the universe. Just don't try to swim here. Even if it were safe (which it isn't) the water's too darn cold. But you won't mind one bit, because the weather's on the cool side, so you won't feel the need to take a dip. And there's so much more to see and do.
Carmel Beach (sometimes called Del Mar Beach) is one of California's most celebrated beaches, and deservedly so. The pristine fine white sand is irresistible. You just have to kick of your shoes and let your tootsies dig in.
The view is spectacular, framed by the Pebble Beach Golf Course on one side, and rugged Point Lobos on the other. Picturesque Cypress trees and coastal bluffs complete the picture.
A very romantic spot indeed - the sunsets are spectacular and fires are allowed on the beach south of 10th Avenue. You can also enjoy a lovely bluff-top trail along Scenic Road. It's less than a mile long, extending from 8th Avenue to Martin Way.
And if you're a dog lover, you'll love this beach. Dogs are permitted off the leash, under voice control. Mutt Mitts are provided at strategic points, because you're expected to pick up after your dog.
Volleyball courts are located on the back beach.
You can access this beach in many places. There are eight stairways and a ramp. But Ocean Avenue is most popular with visitors. You'll find wheelchair accessible restrooms and a public telephone at the Ocean Avenue end of the beach. Portable toilets are available elsewhere. Be sure to use the stairways or designated access points, staying off the delicate bluffs.
Naturally, a beach this lovely is very popular, and it can get crowded. Although there are 120 parking spaces at the end of Ocean Avenue, you may have trouble finding a place to park on weekends and holidays. Street parking is also available.
This mile-long beach is quieter and less crowded than Carmel Beach. No dogs or power boats are allowed here. The Carmel River empties into the sea at the north end, and there's a bird sanctuary lagoon with a wide variety of song birds and waterfowl.
The surf is extremely dangerous here, but the shallow lagoon and river provide a good place for children to wade. But take care in the winter and spring, because the river flows more rapidly then.
You'll find parking and wheelchair-accessible restrooms at the south end of Scenic Road. There's also an access stairway at Isabella and Scenic Road.
For more information see Carmel River State Beach.
This beach, also known as San Jose Creek Beach, is part of Carmel River State Beach. You'll find the access south of Carmel off Highway 1.
There's plenty of parking on the side of the road. This is a popular area for scuba divers, who come to explore the Carmel Bay Ecological Reserve.
You'll find Carmel Beaches around the city of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Explore the wonders of 17 Mile Drive, Point Lobos, and Garrapata State Park.
See for yourself! Virtual Guidebooks provides panoramic views of the Carmel coast.