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About Carmel River State Beach in Carmel, California

Carmel River State Beach is a large sandy beach just south of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. This state park protects a large chunk of land mostly made up of wetlands at the mouth of the Carmel River known as the Carmel River Lagoon and Wetlands Natural Preserve. The lagoon changes shape over time, but is usually a big body of water behind the beach that has birds of many species hanging out.

When it’s warm out this is a popular beach for sunbathing. At other times, it’s still popular with birdwatchers and hikers who can walk the bluff top trail south in front of the Carmel Meadows neighborhood all the way to Monastery Beach which is also part of the state park. The main beach at the lagoon has lots of space to spread out on.

This is a popular scuba diving location, but do not swim at Carmel River State Beach without fins as the undertow is very dangerous.

Parking is the biggest limitation at Carmel River State Beach as the parking lot is small, but there are overflow spaces along the streets nearby. To get there from downtown Carmel, simply drive south on Carmelo Street to the very end.

Carmelo St & Scenic Rd
Carmel, CA 93923
Park Name
Carmel River State Beach, Carmel River Lagoon and Wetlands Natural Reserve
Other Names
Mara Beach Carmel
State Park
Pet Details
Dogs allowed on leash
Free parking
Hiking, Birdwatching, Sunbathing, Fishing, Walking, Scuba Diving
Restrooms, Lagoon, Wetlands, Trails, Dunes
Map of Carmel River State Beach
Carmel-by-the-Sea, US
2:00 pm, June 17, 2024
temperature icon 67°F
L: 52° H: 67°
Feels like 66.74 °F scattered clouds
Wind gusts: 4 m/s
UV Index: 8.08
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:49 am
Sunset: 8:28 pm
Humidity 62 %
Pressure1012 mb
Wind 4 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Carmel Meadows Beach

0.5 miles away

Carmel Meadows Beach is the nickname for the portion of Carmel River State Beach that is adjacent to the...

View beach

Monastery Beach

1 miles away

Monastery Beach gets its name from the Carmelite Monastery Mission across Highway 1 from the beach. The monastery is...

View beach

Carmel City Beach

1 miles away

Carmel Beach is a long, white sand beach that is hard to beat anywhere on the California Central Coast....

View beach

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


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