Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  Monterey County  /  Carmel  /  Beaches  /  Carmel River State Beach
Carmel River State Beach, Carmel
(4.8/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
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.
Plan to see Carmel River State Beach and other attractions that appeal to you using our Carmel vacation generator.
Source
map
Create a full Carmel itinerary

Plan your trip to Carmel

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Carmel by other users

11 days in California BY A USER FROM MEXICO December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in California BY A USER FROM SLOVENIA July, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in California BY A USER FROM CANADA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, kids, relaxing, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in California BY A USER FROM CAYMAN ISLANDS August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in California, Las Vegas & Salt Lake City BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in California BY A USER FROM CANADA July, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: July, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 35 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 26 days in United States BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA July, kids, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: June, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • There's a reason the town of Carmel is where it is. The beach is lovely with soft white sand and lots of friendly dogs. I love the fire pits the city provides for s'mores. 
  • Very charming and picturesque with good parking and restroom but you will need to bring water and food 
  • Depending on the time of year, this beach will either be fully walkable down to Ribera Beach (when the Carmel River is low, like it was in August) or only walkable to the Carmel River which is connect...  more »