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Garrapata Beach
Vacation Travel Guide

Search for wildlife in the abundant rock pools and be at one with nature at this wild and untamed stretch of perfect white sand.

Garrapata Beach is the only sandy stretch along the rugged coastline of the Garrapata State Park. Relax for a day here poking around rock pools, spotting wildlife and picnicking on the sand.

Located at the southern end of the spectacular Garrapata State Park in California’s Big Sur, Garrapata Beach is the jewel in the park’s crown. While the surf here is considered highly dangerous, and even wading is hazardous due to the cold water and strong rip tides, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the beach outside of the water. When the tide is right, stroll along the sand and discover little caves, coves and nooks in the rocks.

Doud Creek tumbles over the bluff and winds through the middle of the beach to the ocean, while Garrapata Creek weaves through the southern end of the 0.5-mile-long (1-kilometer) beach. Paddle in the creek and enjoy the blossoming of the spring and summer wildflowers. The white calla lilies lining the fertile edges of the streams are particularly pretty.

The state park is home to an abundance of wildlife, which you might spot from the beach. Whales pass during the winter months along their migration routes. Otters are regular residents; look for them in the kelp beds. Sea lions also gather here in big noisy colonies and may pass by on their way to the offshore Lobos Rocks. Turn to the skies to see over 100 species of coastal birds, including brown pelicans.

Garrapata Beach is 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Carmel-by-the-Sea and 2 miles (3 kilometers) south of Soberanes Point, a popular lookout from where you might spy whales. Find free parking lots off Highway 1, each with a trail leading down to the beach. From the central parking lot, several trails lead along Doud Creek, down steps to the beach or along the top of the bluff. Some parts of the beach are popular with nudists though it is not considered an official nudist beach.

Top things to do in Garrapata Beach

Top Hotels Close to Garrapata Beach

New! Craftsman Bungalow w/ Fire Pit & Ocean Views!
New! Craftsman Bungalow w/ Fire Pit & Ocean Views!
Carmel, CA
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Situated in Carmel, this cottage is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Garrapata State Park and 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Gravity Garden and ...

3/5 (1 review)
Nice Location Close to State Nature Reserves

"Could use some updating of kitchen pots and pans and media equipment in the living room. Also, the kitchen appliances like the refrigerator had problems that should have been fixed before renting to guests. We liked the close location to the coast though so we did our best to overlook these issues. ..."…"

Reviewed on Apr 10, 2020

New! Craftsman Bungalow w/ Fire Pit & Ocean Views!
3794 Forever Views II ~ New Vacation Rental!  Expansive Ocean Views!
3794 Forever Views II ~ New Vacation Rental! Expansive Ocean Views!
Carmel, CA
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Situated in Carmel, this historic vacation home is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Garrapata State Park and 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Gravity ...

3794 Forever Views II ~ New Vacation Rental! Expansive Ocean Views!
Ocean & Sunset view  retreat with hot tub
Ocean & Sunset view retreat with hot tub
Carmel, CA
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Situated in Carmel, this romantic vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park, and Gravity Garden. Monastery ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (84 reviews)
Ocean view paradise

"This was a girl’s weekend getaway trip. I agree with another reviewer that the online pictures do not do the property justice. The ocean views are incredible! The homeowner was there to welcome us and even made us a fire the first night. If you’re looking for a peaceful base to relax and take in ..."…"

Reviewed on Dec 23, 2020

Ocean & Sunset view retreat with hot tub
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Garrapata Beach Flight + Hotel Deals

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Garrapata Beach

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Best Lodging Options Near Garrapata Beach

New! Craftsman Bungalow w/ Fire Pit & Ocean Views!
New! Craftsman Bungalow w/ Fire Pit & Ocean Views!
Carmel, CA
New! Craftsman Bungalow w/ Fire Pit & Ocean Views!
3794 Forever Views II ~ New Vacation Rental!  Expansive Ocean Views!
3794 Forever Views II ~ New Vacation Rental! Expansive Ocean Views!
Carmel, CA
3794 Forever Views II ~ New Vacation Rental! Expansive Ocean Views!
Ocean & Sunset view  retreat with hot tub
Ocean & Sunset view retreat with hot tub
Carmel, CA
Ocean & Sunset view retreat with hot tub
Sanctuary Retreat Offering Luxurious Social Distancing
Sanctuary Retreat Offering Luxurious Social Distancing
Carmel, CA
Sanctuary Retreat Offering Luxurious Social Distancing
Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Overlooking Big Sur Coast
Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Overlooking Big Sur Coast
4 out of 5
120 Highland Dr, Carmel, CA
The price is $279 per night from Mar 10 to Mar 11
Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Overlooking Big Sur Coast
Ocean View Historic Seven Bedroom Villa: Lx41
Ocean View Historic Seven Bedroom Villa: Lx41
Carmel, CA
Ocean View Historic Seven Bedroom Villa: Lx41
Lx41: Ocean View Historic Villa
Lx41: Ocean View Historic Villa
4 out of 5
151 Highlands Drive, Carmel, CA
Lx41: Ocean View Historic Villa
Carmel Highlands Inn - One bedroom Suite, Ocean View
Carmel Highlands Inn - One bedroom Suite, Ocean View
Carmel, CA
Carmel Highlands Inn - One bedroom Suite, Ocean View
Luxury Vacation Overlooking the Pacific Ocean
Luxury Vacation Overlooking the Pacific Ocean
Carmel, CA
Luxury Vacation Overlooking the Pacific Ocean
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.