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Carmel River State Beach, Carmel

Categories: Beaches, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
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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  • 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...  read more »
  • This beach is nestled between Carmel by the Sea beach and the more dangerous Carmel Beach. Plenty of white sands, a fresh water estuary with sea birds where the Carmel River meets the sea and a more g...  read more »
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