Carmel River State Beach, Carmel

4.8
#5 of 7 in Beaches in Monterey County
Carmel River State Beach is a state park unit of California, USA, featuring a 1mi protected beach with a lagoon formed by the Carmel River. The lagoon attracts a large number of migratory birds. The state beach includes Monastery Beach, (also called San Jose Creek Beach) which is popular with scuba divers. Sea kayakers also frequent the beach, which has easy access to the natural reserves of Point Lobos. The 297acre park was established in 1953.HistoryIn 1602 Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno landed at this beach. Gaspar de Portolà, during the Portola expedition, was encamped on this beach and rested here before deciding to return to San Diego because of low supplies and having failed to rendezvous with the Spanish supply ships. A cross commemorating that marker can be found at the beach today.Recreational activitiesCarmel River State Beach is a popular spot for divers and kayakers, who can access the notable kelp forests in the area. It is also popular with birders, and is a stop on the Central Coast Birding Trail. The best seasons for birdwatching at Carmel River State Beach are fall and winter.Swimming on this section of the coast can be extremely dangerous because of the strong currents. Carmel River State Beach is considered especially dangerous for swimming, as the steep drop-off from shore can minimize turbulent waves, giving the mistaken impression of a calm sea.
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Carmel River State Beach Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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  • Beautiful beach next to Carmel Beach. Great place for relaxing & picnics. Frequently see dolphins & whales in the distance.  more »
  • Absolutely beautiful scenery. Pack some good shoes to walk down from the street and some others to swamp into for the beach. Parking is probably the only difficult part of the entire experience. Every...  more »
  • Hardly any people around when there. Easy access for the majority. For you camera buffs be sure yours is handy. You, I am sure will end up with some beautiful pictures.  more »

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Where to stay in Carmel

Most accommodations in Carmel sit inland, around the historical center. Most of these line the town's two major streets--Ocean Avenue and San Carlos Street--where you can choose from a range of independent inns, whose decor and ambiance captures the artistic reputation that has long been associated with Carmel. You can expect complimentary breakfast at most options in this area, from which you can reach the town's iconic beach on foot.
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