Sand Dab

A family enjoys San Carlos Beach despite the rain.

Few small strips of sand are as well-situated as San Carlos Beach and its adjacent park. And few city-owned recreation areas receive so little in the way of love. Oh, city staff keep the area tidy. But if you seek out information on the park from the city of Monterey’s website, you find this: “Information coming soon about this fun and unique park!” (Yes, there’s an exclamation point.) Yes, San Carlos Beach and Park is fun and unique, and among the most adored seaside spots by visitors and locals alike. It’s an iconic destination for scuba diving, particularly for novices receiving instruction. Weekend mornings, the park is filled with tents and divers donning gear. The neatly trimmed grassy park makes for a great staging area. And there are four scuba outfitters nearby. Physical trainers set up workout stations during the week. When all of that commotion ends, people can be seen picnicking (the nearby PigWizard sandwich shop is handy), playing with their dogs, reading the historic markers (a cannery occupied the space until it burned in 1956, but skeletal remains are there) or gazing at the bay. The location is also convenient. Cannery Row starts there. You can stroll the Breakwater Pier or take a short walk on the Rec Trail to Fisherman’s Wharf. The shops of Lighthouse Avenue are just a couple blocks away. And there is a ton of parking. The city may have nothing to say, but it’s got 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor. [DF]

San Carlos Beach and Park is located next to the Coast Guard Pier at Cannery Row, Reeside Avenue and Foam Street, Monterey.

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