Carmel River State Beach
Carmel River State Beach
4.5
About
The water is brisk and the surf is hazardous, but the amazing views from the shore will draw you like a magnet to these striking white sand beaches for a leisurely stroll or picnic.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,469 reviews
Excellent
1,871
Very good
517
Average
62
Poor
13
Terrible
6

Amy E
Sarasota, FL84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Couples
Great beach to see sea life in the distance. Quite rough seas on some days though. Smaller beach than I'm used to in Florida, but great view of cliffs, homes, and beauty
Written 21 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bart C
Foster City, CA473 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Broad sandy beach overlooking the Point Lobos Peninsula and right at the edge of the housing sections of Carmel. Not enough parking when busy, however. There was a lifeguard station and bathrooms, yet I don't know when they actually have a lifeguard.
Written 9 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheLeongOhana
United States7,517 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 • Family
This was an expansive and fine sandy beach we discovered at the end of the Scenic Road drive. A small parking lot and restrooms were available. No lifeguard station anywhere.

It was a good break to get out and stretch our legs after the short drive. Views of the Pacific Ocean on one side, Carmel homes and the wetlands at the mouth of the Carmel River on the other. The sand was quite cold but soft to walk on. Waves did have a tendency to break over the top of the beach and roll towards the mouth of the river so being here at high tide meant making sure we sat down in the right spot. It was a lesson learned after the first wave swamped our poor dog.

What stood out the most was the huge flocks of birds (many varieties) that were spread out on the beach and in the wetlands. When disturbed they blanketed the sky and we had to walk away to avoid any potential bird droppings.

If it wasn’t so cold then we would have enjoyed visiting longer.

Written 9 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

California girl
Westlake Village, CA2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
In August of 2019, my friend and I spent time in Carmel and were drawn to Carmel River Beach by its beauty and the fact that it had significantly fewer people than the main beach.

The day we were there was gloriously warm, enough so that I went in the water for a brief swim. I grew up in California, swimming in the ocean. The waves were small and the water looked calm.

As I came to shore, I was pulled down by the undertow, then pulled out past the drop off near the shoreline. Unable to touch bottom or break the surface of the water, I drowned. My friend saw me, floating face down in the water and summoned help.

I was pulled from the water by two men, no pulse, full cardiac and pulmonary arrest. Fortunately, a nurse was on the beach that day. She performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. I came to on the beach, with the paramedics working on me.

I spent 4 days in the hospital, the first two in the ICU. Unfortunately on Christmas Eve 2019, a man trying to get his daughter out of the water drowned and did not survive.

I was incredibly lucky to have been successfully resuscitated and am still amazed that I survived.

Community Hospital of Monterey County gave me phenomenal care. I cannot say enough about the doctors and staff and the excellent care I received.

Carmel is one of the most beautiful, charming towns you will ever visit. I look forward to returning sometime. When you go, please enjoy this beautiful beach, but beware of the treacherous conditions in the water.
Written 4 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NYU62
Tucson, AZ18,248 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Couples
We walked down the hill from our hotel, and were instantly mesmerized. What an incredible view! It was close to sunset, and there were many people in the area, most of them snapping photos. The parking lot and side streets were packed with cars, so we were so happy that we had walked. (Although, going back uphill was not that easy.)

You can either go on the beach, or there is a wooden walkway on the right side. This leads to a small platform, with some seating. Surprisingly, not that many people were on the platform, so we were not cramped there, and had a gorgeous breathtaking view of the sun sinking into the ocean.

It's worth going out of your way to see such beauty.
Written 4 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tyler N
12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2016 • Family
It is a beautiful beach. 5 stars due to its beauty. It is not a swimming beach. It is very dangerous because of the rip tides. Do an internet search of the beach drownings and near death experiences. You will find plenty. We visited with small children and were letting our girls get their feet wet (not swim). A local stopped by and polite warning. So, I decided to look into it more. Believe, you will find plenty of scary stories. This review is more trying to be educational than a review. It is an extraordinary beach!
Written 12 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

shayzied
Carmel, CA37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Family
Carmel Beach is a fabulous place to spend the day. River Beach is not. The walk path along the beach downtown is so beautiful and a wonderful place for a stroll if you don't want to get into the sand or to get wet. There are beautiful views of the point and Pebble Beach here. The beach itself has a gentle slope, perfect for wading, swimming, boogie boarding or surfing. The beach is pristine and the sand is soft and lovely to walk in. The best way to access the beach is to avoid the crowds at the bottom of Ocean Avenue and park near 15th St. at the bottom. This end of the beach is also more quiet, without many people on most days. River beach is not great. Locals avoid it because it has sand "burrs" which are uncomfortable to walk on. It's odd how one beach is so wonderful and the other not, when they are only a few blocks apart. We live in Carmel and spend lots of time at the beach or walking above. Sunsets are amazing at Carmel Beach. Also, our grandchildren have all taken surf lessons from Noah, the most prominent instructor in the area, and he teaches at Carmel Beach. We love to watch them when they are in class with Noah.
Written 15 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BrentET
Redwood City, CA37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Couples
Carmel river beach is really three beaches. There's the north part off of Scenic Road in the main part of town and there's the southern beach accessible directly from the highway. There's also a middle section of the beach that has rocky promontories on each side dividing it from the other two areas. It's very scenic, it has tide-pools and there were only four people on it when we visited on a warm Sunday afternoon in May. To get to this beach you drive south from town, go over the Carmel River Bridge and turn right on Ribera Road. Follow Ribera road through the Carmel Meadows housing area until it dead-ends. There are stairs here that go down about 100 steps to the beach (it is a bit of a climb back up). I believe you can also access this section via a path from the southern section.
Written 10 May 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thainá M
Santo Andre, SP37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
The perfect place to visit with family, friends or all together. If you’re on road trip by the sea you must go there.
Written 28 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sunilj1000
SFO10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
We had a good time, the beach had very less crowd and it was really calm and relaxing. Also the beach was pretty clean.
Written 11 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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