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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.
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TripAdvisor
  • Carmel River beach is a gorgeous example of a specialized ecosytem that is becoming more rare in California. It is also a beuatiful swath of beach with fantastic views up towards Carmel Valley and tow...  more »
  • The Carmel River State Beach is a nice stop on your drive into or out of Carmel. If you want to enjoy the quaint small town atmosphere of Carmel then park downtown but if you want to enjoy the coastli...  more »
  • It is a very wide, soft, with rock formations and cliffs, very nice sandy beach. In September it was cold to get to sea but equal were well, it is nice to walk. To the download you have a mini rambla of wood and then already is all sand. The beautiful thing is that you see all the hills and trees, from the shore there are many pines and the sea is super super blue, resembling the Mediterranean.
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