We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Carmel River State Beach

Address: Carmelo St, Carmel, CA
Improve this listing
Ranked #8 of 92 things to do in Carmel
Attraction details

Hotels near Carmel River State Beach

Write a Review

124 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Half Moon Bay, California
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

Nice little cove beach with public parking and restrooms. Not as overcrowded as the bottom of Ocean St. / main Carmel beach. Backs onto the marsh so if the waves are rough, you can also sightsee in the marshes and backwaters. Great rocks for family climbing exploring if the tide is out and you bring your tide tables!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Carmel, California
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

The River Beach is less popular than Carmel's City Beach but it has some great surf, a lagoon with hundreds of birds and looks across at Point Lobos. We have often seen dolphin fishing in the cove. Lovely spot. The downside is very limited parking and bathrooms that are sometimes out of order.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
196 reviews 196 reviews
92 attraction reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

This very wide beach is just beautiful. First walking out onto it, I needed a moment to take it all in. It really is just beautiful. Nestled in a cove, it has cliffs on either side and goes for a couple of miles I believe. Really great beach to go to if in the area. I highly recommend it.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Fremont, California
Top Contributor
2,096 reviews 2,096 reviews
1,281 attraction reviews
1,222 helpful votes 1,222 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

Since I was there mid week it was easy to find a parking spot to enjoy the Carmel River State Beach. First, there is the delightful river area and lagoon area which is fun to watch the birds at. I then took a short walk down the sand hill to get to the beach area. It is a delightful place... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Storm Lake
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2015

With the mouth of Carmel river terminating before it breaks the sand wall to reach the ocean this sandy domain offers evening views of frolicking dolphins, the sea otters and magnificent sunsets. At the time of heavy rainfalls the river joins the ocean and bars any further walk, but watching Carmel River rip the sand dunes is awesome!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
26 attraction reviews
290 helpful votes 290 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

This is a beautiful beach. Most tourists go to the beach accessed through the heart of Carmel village. Although beautiful, there are crowds and parking can be hard to find. Access to beach is down the sand hill. Carmel River State Beach is located close by Carmel Mission. The parking lot is maybe 18 slots but well worth a try.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Carmel Valley, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2014

This little neighborhood beach has it all happening. Access by Carmelo Road leads to a small and crowded parking lot. Good rest room facilities. The combination of freshwater lagoon and beautiful beach with pounding shore break and great views to Point Lobos. My wife and I walked here one day and actually saw a small pod of humpback whales creating... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Carmel Valley, California
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
21 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2014

I like this beach because it is not as overrun with dogs as the city beach, and the dogs there are supposed to be on leashes. It is a nice long sandy beach, with beautiful rock formations, wildlife, and on stormy days some amazing crashing waves. But this is not a beach where you can go safely in the water.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
13 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2014

This stretch of beach is just beyond Scenic Ave, and has a parking lot and restroom. Most tourists seem to never discover this beach, so it tends to be less crowded. It's the same sand, the same ocean... you do the math.

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
30 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

When I was there, the waves were huge! There was no one surfing or playing near the water because I think it was a bit too dangerous. There were many people walking on the beach and taking photos since the views were beautiful, especially around sunset time. There is only a small parking lot.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Carmel River State Beach also viewed

Carmel, Monterey Peninsula

Been to Carmel River State Beach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Carmel River State Beach staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?