Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea
Mora Chapel Gallery was constructed between 1921 and1924 over a portion of the original convento in order to house the life-size memorial cenotaph dedicated to the founding Padre Presidente of the Alta California missions, Fray Junípero Serra.
Working at the invitation of Father Ramón Mestres, sculptor Jo Mora also designed this building and the rectory across the courtyard. His model was reportedly the Serra Chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano, the only remaining structure in Alta California where it could be proven that Father Serra had celebrated Mass.
The final grouping was comprised of Father Serra reclining on his bier surrounded by Fathers Crespi, Lasuen and López, companions in life who are interred beside him under the altar of the Basilica. The three missionaries keep vigil around Father Serra, who lies on a renaissance-style travertine casket featuring scenes in cast bronze from the conquest of Alta California as well as likenesses of the reigning Pope and the King of Spain at the time of Serra’s death. Jo Mora even inscribed a life history of Father Serra on a bevel of bronze atop the bier. (The stone portions of the monument were carved directly from Mora’s clay maquettes by the Italian sculptor Thomas Corsini.)
The Mora placed a cast-bronze bear cut under Father Serra’s feet, an emblem of California that lightens this sad tableau with a tender stroke of whimsy. The altar table and large gilded cross – adorned with the stylized figures of Saint Francis of Asisi, San Carlos Borromeo, and Saint Anthony of Padua – were also created by Jo Mora for this chapel [photo], where for several years a special mass was celebrated on San Carlos Day.
On September 24th, 1924, as part of a week-long Serra Pageant promoted throughout the state, hundreds witnessed the dedication ceremony, among them the Spanish Ambassador, who traveled from Washington, D.C. for the occasion.
Master craftsman Harry Downie, who dedicated nearly half a century to restoring the 1797 stone church and recreating the mission complex as it appeared in its 1820s heyday, added cabinets to the Mora Chapel for the display of liturgical vestments. In 2006, the vestments were relocated in order to provide space for rotating art-and-history exhibitions of six-month duration.
Carmel Beach is surrounded by a Monterrey Pine Forest & twisted Cypress trees crown the pristine beach. Walk, play, frolic on the beach and sink your toes in the soft white sand. Its crystal blue water is so clean and beautiful, but is colder than the beaches of Southern California. In fact this was the first time I actually saw anyone in the water at Carmel Beach.
Like most beaches in Central California,Carmel Beach is often socked in with low coastal fog. Native Monterrey Pines and Cypress love and thrive in it, And tho heavy fog is quite common in the summer when many people vacation. the best bet for clear sunny weather is to visit in the Fall.
Going to visit Carmel-by-the-Sea, one thinks of the quaint town architecture with it's many Victorian style boutique shops, restaurants, and homes. What ever you do, do not forget the "Sea" part of Carmel-by-the- Sea. Walk or drive down to the seashore and walk the path that allows you to not only enjoy the view of the wide expanse of beach and the waves crashing on rocks but a chance to sink your toes into the sand and dip them into the Pacific Ocean and feel like a 4 year old, all over again. Quite exhilarating.
Oh, you will also view some wonderful plants, flowers, and trees while on your walk. Benches are also along the path to rest and take it all in. If not mesmerized by the ocean, look to the other side of the street and see some of the most magnificent homes that most only dream about. One more thing, the cars may be a little exotic as well.
Most tourists follow the crowd down the sandy hill to the beach. Instead go past the restrooms and follow the locals who use the stairs to get to the beach. Its much easier than walking in loose sand up the steep hill to get back to your car.
Locally known as the best place in Monterey County to watch the sunset, the Carmel Beach is a beautiful stretch of sandy-white along the Pacific Ocean in Carmel. The beach stretches a little over a mile Pebble Beach to Carmel Point.
While Carmel has a bit of a reputation for being a prim and proper town full of stuffy old people, but the beach breaks down many of these images of the town. First of all, the beach is often full of young, long haired surfers who park all along Scenic Drive. Second, the beach has few rules that I know of... it is very dog-friendly without even leash laws, it allows bon fires until around 10 pm, and it even allows alcohol on the beach.
From central Carmel, take Ocean Ave to the cliffs above the water. Turn left on Scenic Drive and you can follow the beach until you hit Carmel River State Beach to the south. The the north of the beach is Pebble Beach.
Carmel Beach stretches for a little over a mile along the Carmel’s shoreline. It is centered at the end of Ocean Avenue. Ocean Avenue is Carmel’s main downtown street. My last visit was in November of 2009. Although the winter temperature was somewhat cool, we enjoyed a nice stroll along the beach.
Carmel beach offers visitors and locals alike a chance to take a pleasant walk, sit by the water’s edge, or simple watch the waves roll in. It is a nice sandy beach and can be a welcome relief to the downtown shopping experience. Best of all it is free.
Carmel beach is also dog heaven! Dogs appear to be allowed to enjoy the beach off leash. When I visited, the off leach dog’s owners were fairly well behaved and seemed to have their four legged companions under as much control as you can have over a dog enjoying the ocean. It was fun to watch the dogs run around and play. They were actually fairly entertaining.
Regularly selected by locals as the best place to watch the sunset...Carmel Beach. With plenty of parking, and a quick walk from town, you could make quite an evening of a fancy dinner and a stunning sunset! Sure to impress even the most picky of your lady friends. One thing I don't think you can find here or in Pacific Grove is a restaurant with a view of the sunset from the dining area...maybe the Pebble Beach Lodge.
This beautiful spot is also frequented by local surfers who are always trying to find the perfect wave.
One of the most popular activities in Carmel is watching the sunset on Carmel Beach.
This large, sandy expanse is the perfect setting for watching the sun slip under the horizon with Pebble Beach to your right and Pt. Lobos to your left.
This is really one of Carmel's must sees!
We French people are fussy about the beach : quality of the sand, cleanliness, temperature of the water, sun....
We have no reproche to make to this beach. It would deserve to be in France.
Yes Carmel desserves to be named "by the Sea".
We wanted to visit this beach area, but there was absolutely no parking. The parking area is so small and your not allow to park along the road because it is so narrow. Looks lovely though.
Get up early in the morning and enjoy a beautiful drive down the California coast, taking in the crashing waves along the shore and the roar of the Pacific.......no so pacific.
Walking on the beach in Carmel is so beautiful and so much fun that it doesn't even feel like exercise. It's more like a nature block party.