This was truly one of my favorite stops on our California vacation. You should really make this a part of your trip if you are anywhere near Carmel. Parking seems to fill up fast on the weekend (we were there on a Saturday) so people start parking along the highway. Fortunately, we arrived an hour or so before noon so we managed to get one of the last available spots by Allen Memorial Grove. I don't know if there is a fee for walk-ins (there didn't appear to be), but there is a fee if you drive in. However, the views are well worth the fee. (Don't remember the exact price, but I know it was $10 or under.)
You could spend an entire day here or just hike a portion of the park in an hour or two. We hiked from Cypress Cove down to China Cove and got some really great pictures. I would consider it a relatively easy hike and I'm not an avid hiker. You could make the hike slightly more challenging by going down to the water's edge at Sea Lion Point.
There are bathrooms at the park entrance and by Allen Memorial Grove. There are no picnic facilities by the Grove or Sea Lion Point, but there were picnic tables at China Cove.
You can view the Pacific from the atop one of the cliffs or go down to the water's edge at Sea Lion Point. The beautiful cypress grove, the gorgeous water, and the sunning sea lions all make this stop a nature lover's delight. I would definitely stop here again should I have the chance to return to Carmel.
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