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Carmel River State Beach, Carmel

4.8
#5 of 7 in Beaches in Monterey County
Beach Nature / Park
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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  • Driving down to this spot you wouldn't think you'll get to a large beach spot like we found. The road leading to it is narrow, residential and hilly. If I wasn't looking at my GPS map, I would have ne...  more »
  • This is a beach area that underwent some improvements in a recent years. Parking remains small, but waterline moved farther away. You will need to walk on the sand may be 1/4 mile (or less) before rea...  more »
  • A lovely state beach park popular with locals and tourists. This beach is not recommended for swimming, rip tide currents can be dangerous here. The park sits along the central coast bird trail, so bi...  more »