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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 313 Hotels near Carmel Beach
$85
Carmel Wayfarer Inn

Carmel Wayfarer Inn

4th Ave And Mission Ave, Carmel
3.1
of 5, from 1,086 reviews
3.5 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.

$199
Hotel Carmel

Hotel Carmel

Corner Of 4th And San Carlos, Carmel
4.6
of 5, from 136 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.

$129
Carmel Green Lantern Inn

Carmel Green Lantern Inn

Casanova & 7th Avenue, Carmel
3.9
of 5, from 142 reviews
3.5 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.

$299
La Playa Carmel

La Playa Carmel

Camino Real at Eighth Ave., Carmel
4.4
of 5, from 588 reviews
4.5 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.

$174
Candle Light Inn

Candle Light Inn

San Carlos Street, Carmel
4.3
of 5, from 616 reviews
3.0 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.

$159
Monte Verde Inn

Monte Verde Inn

Monte Verde Street, Carmel
4.3
of 5, from 103 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.

$118
Carmel Fireplace Inn

Carmel Fireplace Inn

San Carlos Street, Carmel
4.2
of 5, from 89 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.

$202
Wayside Inn

Wayside Inn

7th Avenue & Mission Street, Carmel
4.5
of 5, from 485 reviews
3.5 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.