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“Beautiful beach but treacherous and dangerous” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Monastery Beach

Monastery Beach
Carmel, CA
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Ranked #13 of 25 Attractions in Carmel
Type: Beaches, Outdoors
Attraction details
Carmel, California
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Beautiful beach but treacherous and dangerous”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

A beautiful beach just south of Carmel and across Highway 1 from the Carmelite Monastery, the beach is attractive to tourists driving on Highway 1. While it's a beautiful sandy beach, the tides and undertow is dangerous with the ocean bottom dropping off deeply. Known to locals as mortuary beach due to the high incidences of drownings of tourists stopping to enjoy the beach and getting caught unawares. The signs warning tourists are there for a reason - and despite those warnings people continue to test the waters.

Visited February 2013
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55 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Reno, Nevada
1 review
“Deceptively Beautiful”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Monastery Beach is a deceptive beach. It is beautiful in it's half moon shape, white almost pebble sand, roaring waves and scenic looks out of a postcard. Growing up in Monterey, C.A. fourth generation now living near Reno, N.V. I have been to all of the central coast beaches as far down as Pismo Beach C.A.I only touch the shore now when visiting this Monastery beach. My mother used to take me there all the time growing up never letting me go into swim. One time I did by the second step passed the sand berm I was practically chest deep and luckily it was a low tide day I ended up crawling back on to the shore. The only other beach like that in my opinion is Marina beach slightly north of Monterey on highway one, about four miles has almost the same drop, but more sandy. Monastery I feel is for experienced divers only and even at that it's risky.Even in Reno, I have clients that ask me about that particular beach because they want to dive I warn them and say at your risk. I mention to them to go to Del Monte Beach or Santa Cruz. There is an interesting Monastery across the street on highway one where the beach must have gotten it's name. Beautiful, but taking your chances for sure.

Visited August 2012
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Pacific Grove, CA
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful view; dangerous ocean”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

This beach is a favorite of locals (us) and visitors. The sand is fine and the view is spectacular. The beach is rarely crowded; HOWEVER, please observe the warning signs and do not venture into the ocean. Not even up to your ankles. The rip current here is a killer - literally. Too often there have been tragic losses at this beach.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great for dogs, but ON LEASH only!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

It's a very small beach, but it's beautiful! Your dog must remain leashed, but you'll want to keep them leashed due to the proximity to the highway and the dangerous water conditions. Even so, it was perfect! I took my pup there twice. Once we had it to ourselves. The other time there were only 3 other people. The best part? It's not sand! It's tiny little pebbles! When the dog rolled, and dug, and rolled... she just shook off all the pebbles! No dirty dog to clean! Yay! If I come back to Carmel, this will be our first stop! Take the water conditions/warning signs seriously though. This is not a beach for surf-play, but it's great for doggie digging!

Visited November 2012
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Salinas, California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Pebbles Not Sand”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

My husband and I stopped by Monastery Beach during our drive down South on Highway 1. The beach is covered with small pebbles! Great beach! I hate sand in my car! Great place to have lunch and relax!!

Visited October 2012
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