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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 329 Hotels near Carmel Beach
Carmel Wayfarer Inn $70
Carmel Wayfarer Inn

Carmel Wayfarer Inn

4th Ave And Mission Ave, Carmel
     
    3.1
    of 5, from 1,108 reviews
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Located in the heart of Carmel, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Carmel Chamber of Commerce and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.

    Hotel Carmel $209
    Hotel Carmel

    Hotel Carmel

    Corner Of 4th And San Carlos, Carmel
       
      4.6
      of 5, from 166 reviews
      3.5 out of 5.0

      Situated in a shopping district, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Carmel Chamber of Commerce and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) away.

      Carmel Green Lantern Inn $137
      Carmel Green Lantern Inn

      Carmel Green Lantern Inn

      Casanova & 7th Avenue, Carmel
         
        3.9
        of 5, from 149 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.

        Candle Light Inn $175
        Candle Light Inn

        Candle Light Inn

        San Carlos Street, Carmel
           
          4.3
          of 5, from 649 reviews
          2.5 out of 5.0

          Located in the heart of Carmel, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Carmel Chamber of Commerce and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) away.

          Monte Verde Inn $129
          Monte Verde Inn

          Monte Verde Inn

          Monte Verde Street, Carmel
             
            4.3
            of 5, from 110 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.

            La Playa Carmel $329
            La Playa Carmel

            La Playa Carmel

            Camino Real at Eighth Ave., Carmel
               
              4.4
              of 5, from 604 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 Carmel Plaza are also within 15 minutes.

              Carmel Fireplace Inn $115
              Carmel Fireplace Inn

              Carmel Fireplace Inn

              San Carlos Street, Carmel
                 
                4.2
                of 5, from 100 reviews
                2.5 out of 5.0

                Situated in Carmel, this bed & breakfast is within a 15-minute walk of Carmel Chamber of Commerce and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) away.

                Wayside Inn $202
                Wayside Inn

                Wayside Inn

                7th Avenue & Mission Street, Carmel
                   
                  4.5
                  of 5, from 501 reviews
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in the heart of Carmel, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Scheid Vineyards Tasting Room and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.8 mi (4.4 km) away.