Carmel dog beach is hands down our ultimate 5 star, “must see in Carmel” experience.
No list of things to do in Carmel could be complete without a visit to Carmel dog beach. While there are a number of area beaches accessing the ocean, including Monastery Beach further south along Highway 1 and the Carmel River inlet beach, “the” beach to visit is for a 5 star experience is just a few blocks west of downtown. The mile long white sand playground extends from just below the ninth hole of famed Pebble Beach Golf Course (which sits up on a bluff), south, until it reaches an outcropping separating it from the Carmel River outlet beach. It is spectacular, and this Carmel dog beach has to make your list of “must see in Carmel.”
Here, there’s a connection with the majesty of nature — the endless ocean, the hardy cypress with their wind-blasted contours, the rugged backdrop of “Big Sur” jagged rock bluffs — all calling you to let go and surrender just this moment to true awe. And when you think it can’t get any better than this, you feel the whoosh of a dog (or multiples thereof), whizzing by with that wide-eyed, near-delirious look of “I must be dreaming this is so awesome!” (For the record, the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea requires that all dogs be under voice control of the owners. It is a premier dog friendly trail, but, anecdotally, we’ve been told you can be cited if your dog is more than 25 yards from you, ostensibly because outside of that range you might miss your “duty call” to pick up the poop.)
And now that you’re convinced nothing will beat this experience, you pull out a carefully chosen, ice-cold or otherwise perfect for the occasion adult beverage, and indulge all five senses in a most excellent 5 star experience. (Yes, alcoholic beverages are allowed on the beach — not on the scenic trail on the bluffs above, or in your car if the weather turns chilly, just on the beach, and only between the hours of 7:00 am and 10:00 pm. We can live with that!)