Our central coast beaches can be loads of fun, but please be safe. Water currents change quickly and can be dangerous.
Also, remember to slather on the sunscreen even on foggy days!
Pfeiffer Beach is approximately 30 miles south from Carmel on Sycamore Canyon Road off Highway 1 in Big Sur. It is fun as a day trip, but there are also camp sites available. The iconic Rock Arch and Purple Sand are a must-see for all Big Sur visitors. There is a $12 Day Use Entry fee that can be paid by cash or with a credit card when Kiosk is open. It is best to get there early as the parking lot fills up quickly.
Carmel Beach is a great beach to bring the family. The white sandy beach stretches out and is neighbor to the famous Pebble Beach Golf links. There’s plenty of places to set up for the day. Dogs are allowed to run the beach. There are also bathrooms and parking at the end of Ocean Avenue.
Carmel River Beach can be found by driving South/West along Scenic Drive in Carmel. The currents are strong and swimming is not suggested, but you can take a dip in the adjacent lagoon. It’s fun to walk and find treasures on this stretch of beach. Dogs must be on a leash. There are bathrooms and parking.
Gibson & Hidden Beaches located in Point Lobos State Park are absolutely spectacular. Point Lobos Park is beautiful and offers many easy hiking trails with fun rewards. Be sure to bring lots of food and drink as there are picnic tables. The views are amazing. Learn more about Point Lobos at the website below.
Marina State Beach is a beautiful sandy beach off of Highway 1 on Reservation Road and is 10 miles north of Monterey. It’s a popular location for windsurfing and surfing. Limited parking to the public is available.
Monterey State Beach is a popular beach for locals & visitors. This beach stretches along Del Monte Avenue from Monterey to Seaside. There’s plenty of room to set up a picnic for the day & enjoy flying a kite. There’s parking at Monterey’s Municipal Wharf or along Del Monte Avenue.
Asilomar State Beach is a perfect beach to bring the kids. There’s plenty to enjoy. Long strolls on the beach, kite flying, rock and sea shell hunting. Kids can wade in the waters and enjoy the beautiful views.
Lovers Point Beach on a sunny day looks straight out of a movie. The small beach is in an enclosed cove. You can enjoy a picnic above the beach on a grassy bluff. This beach is the place to be in the summer when the Feast of Lanterns occurs in late July. Fireworks, picnics, and endless entertainment are in order every year. Learn more about Feast of Lanterns at the website below.