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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.


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Lodging Near Carmel Beach

See all 474 Properties near Carmel Beach
La Playa Carmel $149
Reviewed on May 8, 2019
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La Playa Carmel

La Playa Carmel

Camino Real at Eighth Ave., Carmel, CA
     
    4.4 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Great Location-nice staff-great breakfast-nice wine hour and milk and cookies at night

    Carmel Bay View Inn $152
    Reviewed on May 18, 2019
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    Carmel Bay View Inn

    Carmel Bay View Inn

    Junipero Street Between 5th And 6th St, Carmel, CA
       
      4.2 of 5
      2.5 out of 5.0

      Great location, very close to Ocean Ave where all the restaurants and shops are. Also a short walk to the beach.

      Carmel Wayfarer Inn $95
      Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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      Carmel Wayfarer Inn

      Carmel Wayfarer Inn

      4th Ave And Mission Ave, Carmel, CA
         
        3.2 of 5
        3.0 out of 5.0

        Clean,quiet fair price. Staff were pleasant and the rooms were quaint.

        Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea $179
        Reviewed on May 15, 2019
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        Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea

        Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea

        13th and San Antonio, Carmel, CA
           
          4.3 of 5
          3.5 out of 5.0

          Amazing location with a very short walk to the beautiful beach. Quaint and charming cottage type rooms, gardens with exterior tables and chairs located throughout the lovely landscaped grounds. Helpful and friendly staff, clean and nicely appointed rooms of many different sizes. Highly ...

          Pine Inn $199
          Reviewed on Apr 24, 2019
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          Pine Inn

          Pine Inn

          Ocean Ave At Monte Verde, Carmel, CA
             
            4.0 of 5
            3.5 out of 5.0

            Our room was lovely but a bit noisy. We were a bit dismayed that the so called parking was very limited

            Carmel Green Lantern Inn $191
            Reviewed on Apr 27, 2019
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            Carmel Green Lantern Inn

            Carmel Green Lantern Inn

            Casanova & 7th Avenue, Carmel, CA
               
              4.0 of 5
              3.0 out of 5.0

              The staff was so freindly and the property was so incredibly quaint that we will stay there again! Just a block from downtown restaurants, shops and art galleries. This Kentucky couple had a great time!

              Normandy Inn $159
              Reviewed on May 18, 2019
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              Normandy Inn

              Normandy Inn

              Ocean Ave., btwn Monte Verde St. & Casanova St., Carmel, CA
                 
                4.4 of 5
                2.5 out of 5.0

                The flowers on property were beautiful. Coffee and snacks were available in the reception area and even Sherry and cookies at latr afternoon. Perfect location for walking Carmel with stores and restaurants nearby. Parking was a bit tight, however. Friendly and helpful staff made us feel valued.

                Monte Verde Inn $179
                Reviewed on Apr 29, 2019
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                Monte Verde Inn

                Monte Verde Inn

                Monte Verde Street, Between Ocean and 7th Avenues, Carmel, CA
                   
                  4.3 of 5
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  Love the charming character and location. Staff was very accommodating.