, restaurants, art galleries, wine tasting...maybe even a visit to Carmel Beach at the end of Ocean Avenue.  I would suggest that many people who come to Carmel don't venture more than two or three blocks from the main drag.  For me, it was (and still is) a great pleasure to dig as deeply as possible into this magic place...continuing around the point...from Tor House, to the Mission and Mission Ranch and, for sure, to Carmel River Beach and wetlands. It is here that many locals spend their beach time when Carmel Beach itslef is populated by visitors.  It's usually easy parking at the west end to go down the stairs.  I loved the sound of the waves hitting the rocks there...sounds that we included on our CD/MP3, Sounds of the Monterey Peninsula.  There is usually adequare parking on the east end parking lot...and there's water and bathrooms there as well.  Picnic on the beach is a great idea with beautiful of Point Lobos.  
  What you might not know is, if you drained all the water out, you would be sitting on the edge of what looks very much like the Grand Canyon with depths in the hundreds of feet.  That's Carmel Canyon, a part of the Monterey Canyon which begins at Moss Landing to the north.
    Here, also is where the Carmel River enters into the Pacific Ocean.  The 41 mile long river begins in the Ventana Wilderness of the Santa Lucia Mountains, 4100 feet up.  Here is the Carmel River Lagoon and Wetlands, which is worldwide known for its amazing number of birds...over 350 species spotted here.  It's worth siting here just to watch the beauty of the brown pelicans in formation and the sound of hundreds of seagulls taking off. There is a mile and a half walking path from here to beautiful Monastary beach in the south.
    River Beach is tucked around the point which means many people who visit or even live in Carmel never visit.  We've had many people tells us, "we've lived in Carmel for years and never knew about some of the thing you showed us on your VoiceMap Driving tour of Carmel." Our VoiceMap tour will take you through Carmel, off the usual tourist path and lead you around the poiint to Kuster, Tor, Mission Ranch and, here to River Beach.  Go to to learn more about Carmel and Monterey tours as well, then download the app and the tours.  We spent years researching the Peninsula and put our heart and soul into making sure you had a wonderful tour.

For more on the story of the birds at the Lagoon check out this great story from the Audobon Society at Story at

Thank you
Bob Hamilton

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