I’ve finally found it– my favorite beach. I’ve visited some beautiful beaches from the Bahamas to Miami and Los Angeles, and thought I’d identified my favorite. But this beach tops them all. It’s small, but gorgeous, and located in Carmel-By-The-Sea. It’s Garrapata Beach.
I’m a stickler for clean, inviting beachscapes, and won’t step foot on a beach that has been turned into a filthy ashtray. So I was so excited to discover this beach. It remains the cleanest beach I’ve ever been on. I did not notice one cigarette butt in the sand. Thank the lord.
Garrapata Beach is just a few miles south of Monterey, and is part of the larger Garrapata State Park. The water is a bit frosty, and waves temperamental, but the tides roll in bright blue; it’s very picturesque. It’s not really a beach for swimming, wading or surfing. But it is a great beach for getting your feet wet and laying out on the sand.
In addition to the gorgeous water, it’s dotted with beautiful rock formations and a vegetative cliff side, which break up the monotony and the flat sand. Needless to say, the beach is no stranger to photographs looking to capture interesting landscapes.
One drawback for some is the beach’s accessibility, it’s a bit tricky. First, Google Maps determined the location was about a mile before the actual beach. Luckily, my intuition told me to keep driving. Eventually, I noticed a small stretch of unmarked (meaning no sign) beach, and decided to stop. It just so happened to be what I was looking for– Garrapata.
The next hiccup is getting down to the beach. You have to follow a narrow footpath down a small hill. It’s a beautiful walk, full of gorgeous wildflowers, and it only takes about five minutes to get to the bottom. But if you have physical handicaps, you will have a difficult time. The footpath is steep in parts and narrow, and doesn’t contain any stairs. If you need a gentler path, keep driving to the other side of the beach, there are stairs there. But even those stairs aren’t an easy to climb for someone with physical handicaps.
If you have bee allergies, avoid the footpath– there are tons of bees pollinating the wildflowers there.
Also there are no lifeguards on this beach. Although, most would not dare swim through tides that strong, some may be tempted. Don’t. There are also no porta-potties at this beach or parking lot, so keep that in mind. You also won’t find any eateries nearby, so bring snacks, just don’t litter.
When I visited Garrapata, it was about 70-something degrees, and wasn’t at all overcast. According to locals, the sun burns off any clouds before they get to this particular beach. So even when it’s cloudy in nearby Monterey and Sand City, it’s often nice at Garrapata.
In addition to the beauty. Garrapata only two houses sit staggered near the beach, so it’s not overcrowded with property owners. And it is also pet-friendly. I saw quite a few pooches running around, and they even got to soak in their own beachside pool.
Garrapata is definitely worth a visit, and is one of the nicest beaches in the Monterey area.