Carmel City Beach is a spectacular white-sand beach fronting the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea, known for hand-crafted cottages from its days as an early artists’ colony, for its galleries, shops, and restaurants, and also for its hospitality to off-leash dogs. An elevated shoreline trail runs behind the beach for less than a mile, from 8th Avenue south to Martin Way, affording close-up views of the surf. A small landscaped park has sloping lawns studded with cypress trees and picnic tables.

Beach Promenade
see access criteria for definitions
Trailhead: Foot of 8th Avenue at Scenic Road
Length: 1-2 total miles
Typical Width: 30 in. to 4 ft.
Typical Grade: Gentle
Terrain: Firm


This short stretch of trail hugs the coast along residential Scenic Road and offers broad ocean vistas. It is heavily used by walkers and joggers, and at times two people may find it difficult to walk side by side. There are benches along the way. You can extend your walk another .8 mile to Carmel River State Beach by traveling on pedestrian- and dog-friendly Scenic Road. Cars move slowly, the street is one-way, and it is commonly used by pedestrians.

Accessibility Details
The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Accessible ParkingYes
At foot of Ocean Street, close to the limited-access restrooms; along Scenic Road about .2 mile from Ocean Street; and at Carmel River State Beach
Accessible RestroomLimited Accessibility
Near Ocean Street parking lot, up a gentle slope greater than 1:12; the stall is narrow and it may not be possible to close the door, and toilet height is less than 17 inches
Accessible RestroomYes
At Carmel River State Beach and about a half-mile from Ocean Avenue

Avatar photo Bonnie Lewkowicz (59 Posts)

I has worked for more than 30 years advocating for, and educating about access to outdoor recreation and tourism for people with disabilities. I hold a degree in Recreation Therapy and was a travel agent specializing in accessible travel for many years. In this capacity, and now as Associate Director at Wheelchair Traveling, I consult with the travel industry about accessibility, conducts disability awareness trainings and writes about travel and outdoor recreation. I also authored a book titled, A Wheelchair Rider's Guide: San Francisco Bay and the Nearby Coast, about accessible trails and has produced several access guides to San Francisco. My most current project is a website of accessible trails along the entire California Coast ( My extensive experience as a wheelchair rider combined with her professional experience has provided me with in-depth knowledge about inclusive tourism and outdoor recreation.

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