I was very fortunate to have grown up in Carmel on California’s central coast, the amount of bio diversity and natural beauty in such a small location is amazing. I know there is a lot to do and places to see but one of my favorite little secrets is Carmel River State Beach (the river mouth) and Stewart’s Cove. As beeches go this is another must see when visiting the area and its close proximity to everything else makes for an easy drive by or a day at the beach.
We spent a lot of time here as kids, Carmel River School my elementary school is right around the corner basically and you can see it, the Carmel Mission Ranch and the Carmel Mission from there. The parking lot while small is ample on slow weekends and has trash cans and a bathroom there too. When you walk out of your car the sand meets the parking lot and the views are amazing, the local lagoon and the river feeding into the brackish areas full of sea birds. To the East the mountains and Carmel Valley, when you walk up onto the sand you get a commanding view of a small bay, Stewart’s Cove to your right, Monastery Beach to your left and Point Lobos directly across the way.
When I was there in the beginning of May the river had already broken through the sand and was flowing quite well into the ocean, other times of the year when the sand builds back up you can cross over to the hiking trails that hug the coast all the way to Monastery Beach. If you don’t mind a little hike along the highway you can actually walk all the way to Point Lobos! Not going to lie it’s a bit of a trek but well worth it if you are feeling like a real hike. If not you can definitely take your time exploring the river mouth and enjoying a day at the beach.
This area can be a little treacherous ocean wise and you really need to pay attention to the conditions and you friends and family. The sand walls along the river will collapse into to the quickly moving current at the mouth and the waves can come down really hard with the steep incline of the beech its self. The water can be cold so if you are not used to the area just be aware and read the posted signs and maybe talk to a local or two. I’m not trying to scare anyone from visiting but nature isn’t an amusement park and if we know the dangers we can keep it safe and fun.
And fun it is, and beautiful, I can’t say that enough, hell we took our wedding photos there that’s how much I love it there. If you are visiting the central coast and feel like a great get away with less people and some amazing views (great place for a date) this is your spot. Local trick if the parking lot is full park up in the streets and walk a block, the local cottages and coastal leaving is pretty neat and this is an old neighborhood with some real charm. I’m writing all of this full of inspiration having just been up there visiting my mom for her retirement, sometimes I forget how awesome this place is and when I come back I have to share it with all of you. Speaking of sharing it… My mom is VBROing her house now so if you want to stay three miles from here and explore the central coast for yourself check out Sunny Side of the Street, and Get the Fox Out There!