Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Looking for the best chillin in Carmel-by-the-Sea? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Carmel-by-the-Sea. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Chillin Spots in and near Carmel-by-the-Sea

  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Secluded Beach Near Soberanes Point

    5.0
    0.2 mi / 40 ft gain
    When we stumbled upon this beach we were thrilled to have such great views with no crowds.  There is plenty of room to lay out in the sun, you can swim in the ocean to cool off, and the beach is surrounded by beautiful landscape.  If you decide to swim be very careful as the waves and currents ca...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Calla Lily Valley

    4.5
    0.31 mi / 46 ft gain
    Parking for Calla Lily Valley is available along the dirt pullout at Gate 19 for Garrapata State Park, near mile-marker 63. Signs are small and difficult to see. Follow the path between the guide wires and take the right fork, heading north to the bluff overlooking the beach. Continue north and f...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Garrapata Beach

    4.6
    A wonderful roadside beach and state park. Easy parking on both sides of Hwy. 1 with short access trails. There are almost 2 miles of coastline trails heading north and south from the parking area. The north end of the beach is great for swimming and surfing when the sea is calm and the south ...
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  • Marina, California

    Explore Fort Ord Dunes State Park

    5.0
    One of the best parts of Monterey is the beaches – but their popularity is also their weakness, so if you want seclusion head to the lesser-known Fort Ord Dunes for solitude and beautiful views of Monterey Bay and the Pacific Coast. Historically, this location was chosen as the location for Fort ...
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  • Moss Landing, California

    Whale Watching off Moss Landing

    The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is home to some of the most diverse and rich waters in our oceans, and you have the chance to see it up close and personal! The big prize is getting to see a whale, but these waters are teeming with other wildlife from dolphins to otters to sea lions.  F...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camp at Andrew Molera State Park

    4.5
    1 mi
    Andrew Molera is about 27 miles south of Carmel and one of the first State Parks you'll hit heading down the coast. There will be signs for the Park as you approach and the main parking lot is only a couple hundred yards from Hwy 1. There are a number of hiking trails and activities to do around ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Hike the Creamery Meadow Trail to Molera Beach

    2 mi
    Entrance to the parking lot is $10 per car, and once you get in be sure to use the restroom before you head for the trail, since you will likely spend a good amount of time out there.Look for the sign that says Creamery Meadow Trail. You'll know it's right when the very first thing you'll need to...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Hike the Andrew Molera State Park Loop

    4.5
    8.8 mi / 1100 ft gain
    The loops starts at the Andrew Molera State Park parking lot (4.5 miles north of the entrance to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park along Highway 1). Begin by crossing the Big Sur River using the seasonal bridge. If the bridge has been removed, you will need to cross the water by foot. Usually the water...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camp at Ventana Campground, Big Sur

    4.6
    This campground is a gem when it comes to Big Sur camping, book here. Each site includes a parking spot, a campfire ring with grill, a picnic table, and plenty of space for 1-2 tents. There are multiple immaculate restroom facilities with showers, clean trash enclosures (emptied and sanitized dai...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Pfeiffer Beach

    4.0
    0.81 mi / 75 ft gain
    Pfeiffer Beach located in Big Sur may truly be one of the most awesome beaches in California...if you can find it. I lived within 40 miles of this beach for over 20 years and just discovered it recently. This beach is located on an unmarked road called Sycamore Canyon Road. On Highway 1, this roa...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Big Sur River Gorge

    4.7
    0.36 mi / 56 ft gain
    If you are in the Big Sur area during the summer, exploring the Big Sur River Gorge is a must! The gorge is located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and your closest parking will be day use parking lot 3. The trailhead to the gorge can be found at the northeast end of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park C...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Beach Day at Lighthouse Field State Beach

    4.0
    This beach is less crowded compared to other beaches in Santa Cruz.  I got there early on a Saturday and found easy street parking.  There was plenty of space to spread out on the soft sand.  Later in the day I saw dolphins several times!  This is close to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.  It’s als...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Surf at Natural Bridges State Beach

    4.5
    Natural Bridges is off of West Cliff Drive to the north of popular Santa Cruz break, Steamer Lane. The break is a right point break, which breaks on a rocky shelf and reef. The break is best during sizable swells (NW, SW, and West) and a low tide. Be sure to check the wind, this break gets blown ...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    A Beach Bonfire in Santa Cruz at Twin Lakes SB

    This one-mile stretch of beach is the perfect option for those looking for a peaceful Santa Cruz experience, but without the crowds. The beach features soft sand, playful surf, an awesome view of Walton Lighthouse, and a handful of fire pits to choose from. It's a great spot to spend the entire d...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Bonfire at Seabright State Beach

    5.0
    This is a wide, beautiful beach that's an amazing spot to spend the day and enjoy a bonfire at night. Seabright is probably the most popular spot in Santa Cruz for a bonfire, due to its convenient proximity to the Beach Boardwalk. But luckily, this beach is tucked in between the San Lorenzo River...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Hike to Big Sur's Tin House

    4.0
    When it comes to the beauty of Big Sur, a half day on Tanbark Trail to the Tin House captures it all. From the redwood forest along Partinton Creek, to the abandoned Tin House, to Highway 1 and coastal views, you can't ask for much more.The hike starts on the east side of Highway 1 - the northern...
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