Top Ten Beaches in the United States

Best Wildlife: Point Lobos State Reserve (California)
  |  Gorp.com
Sand with waves in Point Lobos State Reserve, California
Point Lobos State Reserve, California (iStockphoto)

Adventure types, take note: It's not easy to find beaches along the trails of Point Lobos State Reserve, south of Carmel. You'll have to scramble down through rocks and twisted Monterey pines to actually get your feet sandy. But then, it's the diversity of terrain that makes this shoreline so attractive to the hordes of wildlife that gather here.

Point Lobos is an exceptionally rare and beautiful land and sea preserve: It's no wonder that creatures of every kind have found a home here. Stroll rugged trails and keep an eye out for whales, orcas, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and sea otters. Bobcats and mountain lions make their home in the hills, but you're more likely to come across black-tailed deer and badgers. Look up in the trees for kestrels and hawks.

Tip: Come in October, when the monarch butterfly starts to show up.


Best Hotels in Carmel

$228
Average/night*
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#1
Pine Inn
$157
Average/night*
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#3
Carmel River Inn

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