At the foot of Ocean Avenue, spreading out like a white blanket of fine crystalline sand, Carmel Beach invites locals and visitors alike to while away a leisurely day. Renowned for off leash dog walking, surfing, beach bonfires, and wine on the beach, Carmel Beach schedules breathtaking sunsets. With its easygoing style and family vibe, Carmel Beach remains in the top 10 of beaches to visit year after year. Nestled along the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary the beach provides tide pools and kelp forests at the South end and wildlife including sea lions, sea otters, dolphins, and humpback whales, which can often be seen just off the beach.
For surfers, the view from the water is stunning; Point Lobos to the South and Pebble Beach to the north with crystal clear water which adds to the ambiance of an incredible ride. The beach to surf is significantly affected by tide, wave duration, sand bar formation and swell direction. The wave and water conditions can change rapidly so check often for when to jump in. Carmel Beach is surfed by locals and visitors alike, but please remember proper surf etiquette, don’t jump the line and hang on the outside until the feel and mood has been established then jump in, the water’s fine —(cold) but fine. A wet suit if a must if you plan to remain in the water for any length of time as the…
Playing near the surf line, or wading, along Carmel Beach is allowed, but as always, visitors to the beach should be aware of rip currents and rogue or sleeper waves which can be unpredictable. There is no lifeguard service at Carmel Beach. Please be aware that conditions may change quickly along the coastline. When in doubt—don’t go out!
The famous Carmel Beach, with white sands and gentle cove at the foot of Ocean Avenue, allows dogs off-leash, however they must be under the voice control of their owners. Canine visitors at Carmel Beach provide exultant entertainment as they romp along the surf and frolic with one another on the sand and provide a highlight to most trips to Carmel-by-the-Sea.
The Scenic Bluff Path is a well-maintained gravel pathway that parallels Scenic Road just above Carmel Beach. There are eight stairways accessing the white sand beach below. The trail meanders through the shade of Monterey cypress and landscaped gardens to Carmel Point. Walk along the jagged coastline from Carmel Beach to Carmel River Beach with views from famed Pebble Beach to Point Lobos.
Parking & Restrooms
Carmel Beach provides a free modest parking lot on Ocean Avenue as well as free, on-street parking on Camino Real and a along Scenic Road which parallels Carmel Beach. There are time limits to street parking, so be sure to check the time before leaving the car. Restrooms are located in the parking at the foot of Ocean Avenue only, current plans for additional public restrooms along Scenic Avenue are in the works.
With magically soft, clean, white sand on a knoll overlooking Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Pebble Beach and Point Lobos, volleyball is a staple on Carmel Beach. Thought there are no stationary posts for hanging nets, there are organized games almost every weekend throughout the year for beach goers to bump, set and spike to their hearts content.
A unique feature of Carmel Beach beside the white sands and cerulean blue ocean is the ability to snuggle up next to a cozy beach bonfire while watching the sunset and even enjoying an evening cocktail. A few rules worth mentioning before you light up the night, bonfires are only permitted South of 10th Avenue, and cannot be larger than 3x3x3.
With soft, white sand and cerulean blue ocean, Monterey pines promenading over rocky bluffs, Pebble Beach and Point Lobos as the backdrop landscape for your wedding, not much could compare. For small gatherings, no reservations or permits are necessary. However, if the intended plan on having fifty or more people, catered food, and/or music then a Special Event Permit, and other documents are required through the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea.