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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.


Map

Lodging Near Carmel Beach

See all 187 Hotels near Carmel Beach
$299
La Playa Carmel

La Playa Carmel

Camino Real at Eighth Ave., Carmel
4.4
of 5, from 207 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, 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.

Carmel Resort Inn

Carmel Resort Inn

Carpenter Street and Second Ave, Carmel
3.4
of 5, from 235 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this motel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Cherry Center for the Arts and within 3 mi (5 km) of Carmel Beach and Pebble Beach Golf Links. Forest Theater Guild and Carmel Chamber of Commerce are also within 15 minutes.

$140
Carmel Green Lantern Inn

Carmel Green Lantern Inn

Casanova & 7th Avenue, Carmel
3.7
of 5, from 54 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in a garden setting, this property is 4 blocks to Carmel Beach and 1 block to historic downtown Carmel. Also nearby are Monterey Bay Aquarium, the historic Carmel Mission, and Galante Vineyards.

$159
Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea

Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea

13th and San Antonio, Carmel
4.0
of 5, from 142 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Golden Bough Playhouse and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.8 mi (4.6 km) away.

$189
Normandy Inn

Normandy Inn

Ocean Ave., Carmel
4.1
of 5, from 77 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Galante Vineyards and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) away.

$199
Monte Verde Inn

Monte Verde Inn

Monte Verde Street, Carmel
4.3
of 5, from 38 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Golden Bough Playhouse and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.5 mi (4 km) away.

$169
Hotel Carmel

Hotel Carmel

Corner Of 4th And San Carlos, Carmel
4.6
of 5, from 31 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in a shopping district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Carmel Chamber of Commerce and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) away.

$339
L Auberge Carmel

L Auberge Carmel

Monte Verde at Seventh, Carmel
4.6
of 5, from 85 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Golden Bough Playhouse and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) away.