Carmel Beach is the city beach for strangely long and hyphenated "Carmel-by-the-Sea". Lots of rich people here, most famously, the former mayor Clint Eastwood. The sand
is described in one guidebook as having the "look and feel of cocaine". It is very white and it is so fine it squeaks beneath your feet
. The water is clear
, like a tropical beach...but with cold water. I think it is one of the prettiest beaches in California.
At about a half-mile long it's not a huge beach, but it's not pocket sized either. It's easily accessible down some steps in several places but parking can be a problem. There is limited parking along the road that runs along the beach as well as a tiny parking lot at the end of Ocean Avenue. Go early to get a spot on a nice weekend, or try for parking a few blocks next to a rich persons house.
I have only surfed Carmel Beach a few times, ranging in size from 2-5ft in conditions ranging from fun/glassy to grey/junk. It's decent beachbreak but what really makes the place is the natural setting. There were definately other surfers in the water but it wasn't overwhelming, with most on a peak at the south end.
There are lots of pricey restaurants and art shops here. Lodging is expensive but if you want something cheap I would recommend the Saddle Mountain Recreation Park. Is is about 5 miles inland and has both RV spots and tent sites. The tent sites wind their way up the mountain and some near the end are quite large and well seperated. You could probably party pretty hard at some of these spots without disturbing nearby guests.
Nearby Surf Shops
On The Beach Surf Shop, 693 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey CA 93940 (831) 646-9283
Liquid Surf Shop, 156 Fountain Ave, Pacific Grove CA 93950 (831) 647-9283
Questions/Comments about Carmel Beach?
Do you have a great story about Carmel Beach? Share it! To see what other visitors have said click on the links below form.
What Other Visitors Have Said
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Dazza Not rated yet
Yeah just came in from a one hour surf man the water is cold but hey I'm from Australia! Surf was ok make sure you get it on the higher tide I just missed …
Sunshine Surf Shop Not rated yet
There is another local surf shop in the carmel/monterey area.
Sunshine Surf Shop
443 Lighthouse Ave
Monterey, CA 93940
I go in there if I have …
My exp at Carmel Beach Not rated yet
My name is Justin T, Im 22 and love surfing, unfortunately I was born in the great white north of Canada, I live in a small town in Northern Ontario. …
Click here to write your own.
Return from Carmel Beach to Popular Surf Spots