Carmel Beach, California is located west of California's Coastal Highway, (HWY 1), at the end of Ocean Avenue in Monterrey County's town of Carmel. There is a beach parking lot although Scenic Rd provides additional street parking spaces. The beach is just a few blocks from the downtown Carmel area.
On summer weekends the beach gets crowded with both tourists and town residents. The big surf here makes surfing popular. The water is generally quite strong and dangerous for swimmers. Even shallow waders must exercise caution due to the extremely strong undertow and currents here.
The beach itself is curving and stretches out for a mile in length.
There are no fees for beach entry or parking. Public restrooms are found at the beach.
Dogs are allowed off leash at this beach. Alcohol is also allowed here (although it is prohibited in public places off of the beach). These lax beach regulations are in line with the casual atmosphere felt among local residents on the beach and in town.
On the beach to the south of 10th Avenue bonfires are permitted until 10 PM as long as they do no exceed 3x3x3 ft in dimensions.
Carmel Beach, California is near several highly rated golf courses. There are nearby accommodations for visitors that range in price and in amenities available.
There is no snack bar on the beach but nearby downtown provides a wide range of dining options from gourmet to deli style eateries adjusting to all budgets. Surf shops and other beach accessories like kites can be obtained within a few blocks of the beach.
There are also more than a dozen art galleries in town, most of them just a short walk from the beach. This provides and important alternative if the beach is covered in fog, which has been known to happen.
On a clear day at this beach one should be equipped with binoculars in case of whale migrations which are visible from here.
There is a sandcastle building contest held on this beach every September as well as a June surfing competition.
Celebrities like Doris Day, Clint Eastwood and others may be run into when walking along the beach. Numerous film stars have second homes in the town where this beach is located.
Carmel Beach, California is in a town that is populated by roughly 16,000 people, of whom more than 90% are white. The median household income for people living in the area of this beach is roughly 30% higher than the median income in the state. The median home value is 3 times that of California on the whole.
Local residents participate in a volunteer clean up and gardening effort once a month in order to maintain Carmel Beach and the Beach Walkway. This beach keeping program is organized by the Carmel Residents Association.