Arriving at one of the powdery Carmel Beaches you feel that you found that perfect place to stay, and have settled in. And now it's time to visit the best of the best Carmel beaches that lie along this gorgeous California coastline.
These powdery soft, and brilliantly white sand beaches however, are not all the same.
Whether it's the sound of waves rolling in, the crisp sea breeze, or the sounds of seagulls... walking on the beach can be a therapeutic event. Sometimes an early morning or late sunset walk on a long beach where there are no crowds can put all thing sin perspective.
Carmel Beach lies downhill, and at the foot of the tiny bohemian town of Carmel by the Sea, and is probably the most visited beach along this stretch of the California coast since it has everything all in one spot.
I have walked many beaches in California, Oregon, Washington and in the Caribbean, and this is one I consider a jewel. The setting is gorgeous and you have proximity to a charming town, all of the terrific restaurants and lodging opportunities of Carmel. The sand is powdery fine white sand that is easy to walk on and the beach is pristine and clean.
Restrooms are right by the beach and the beach is broad so you access the water or pull back and relax against the breakwater.
Parking is OK at the foot of Ocean avenue but there is a better access point. Take the Scenic Drive along the edge of the beach , marvel at the homes built on this section of the beach and you'll eventually see this sign:
Park near this Eighth Avenue and Scenic Drive intersection and then take the steps down to a more secluded part of the beach. As you walk through the neighboorhoods, notice the variety of unique homes and think back to the 1920's when these lots sold for less than $500.
Or...Park your car in town, checkout the boutiques, art galleries and then grab a deli picnic lunch or some croissants at the Carmel Bakery, maybe a little drink of some kind, and walk downhill to the beach.
Asilomar Beach is another great Carmel Beach where you can walk and walk and walk.It's located at in Pacific Grove, and right on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula.
There is a beautiful one mile walking beach and a board walk that takes you through sand dunes that are being restored. This is part of the Asilomar Conference Center and sits on 107 acres. You might stop by the front desk and ask for some hiking trail maps if you have time.
As you travel from Monterey to Big Sur, there are some other Carmel beaches that don't get the crowds. Some are a little challenging to get to and others are tiny little coves that are right under your traveling nose. McAbee beach is a perfect example and it's right off Cannery Row in Monterey. Take a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine and listen to the unrelenting sounds of rolling wave
Pfeiffer Beach is another, this time in Big Sur country...and there's a waterfall. In fact the waterfall is among the most professionally photographed spot in the entire "Big Sur". It's a pain to get to, and there is a rumor that the locals often remove the directional signs, but it is a stunning sight.
You should go at least once!
If you happen to be at Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, pick up a snack instead of having an expensive meal at the wharf, and walk out to the beach that parallels Del Monte Blvd.
If the weather is cooperative, and you have a lot of energy, you can take the trail just off the beach that goes all the way up to Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
If you still have energy, rent a kayak and paddle around at the base of the Monterey Aquarium for a delightful tour of the coastline and a unique glimpse of travelers from a waterfront perspective.
As the day ends, watch the sunset set over this unspoiled coastline.