20 Best Things to Do in Carmel by the Sea, California

20 Best Things to Do in Carmel by the Sea, California


Carmel by the Sea is a playground for the wealthy and well-known. This coastal city has been attracting celebrities and artists for many years making its considered one of the most unique communities in the United States. In truth, Clint Eastwood was the mayor of this lovely seaside city. It’s no surprise, Carmel California is a dream with charming cottages, gorgeous seashores, and a vibrant arts scene. This coastal gem has captivated the hearts of vacationers for many years, and now we have loved this little slice of California heaven as nicely. While we will not be in a position to afford considered one of its mansions, we are able to go to and these are the finest issues to do in Carmel by the Sea to embrace in your Big Sur highway journey.

Top things to do in Carmel By The Sea California

Best Things to Do in Carmel by the Sea

This charming village is just one sq. mile nevertheless it packs an enormous punch. With fairy story cottages, artwork galleries, and lovely ocean views, Carmel, California really does really feel like a storybook. When taking a highway journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Carmel California must be at the prime of your checklist.

There are so many issues to do in Carmel by the Sea from exploring the city heart to taking day journeys to discover the Pacific Ocean coast there’s one thing right here for everybody. So let’s take a journey to this picturesque paradise and discover all of the finest issues to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

1. Learn to Surf at Carmel Beach

things to do in carmel by the sea Learn to Surf at Carmel by the Beach California

When in California, how will you not give it a go? One of the finest issues we did in Carmel by the Sea was to take a browsing lesson at lovely Carmel Beach. Carmel Surf Lessons provides programs, leases, or only a enjoyable day with an teacher to enable you to get on the board.

Become a real Californian and be taught to surf on the sandy seaside with simple waves. Your teacher gives you hands-on assist to trip the waves and arise on the board. We’ve tried browsing a couple of instances round the world, and this was an important place for rookies.

2. Stroll Along Carmel Beach

things to do in carmel by the sea Stroll along Carmel Beach

If browsing isn’t your factor, no worries, Carmel Beach is situated simply steps from downtown Carmel and is a superb place to hang around and luxuriate in the solar and sand. For a downtown seaside, it is a massive horseshoe seaside with rocky outcrops and exquisite views of Pebble Beach and Point Lobos.

Carmel Beach is the place we took our browsing lesson, however there have been loads of individuals merely taking a stroll with their canines alongside this 1-mile dog-friendly crescent-shaped seaside.

3. Carmel River State Beach

carmel river state beach carmel california things to do

Another seaside situated simply south of Carmel by the Sea is Carmel River State Beach. It is thought for its lengthy, sandy expanse and picturesque views of the Carmel River Lagoon. If you’re a chook watcher, it is a good seaside to head to.

Located at the Carmel River Lagoon and Wetlands Natural Preserve hikers could spy Great Blue Herons and brown pelicans amongst different gulls and terns flying over the lagoon. If you stroll upstream you’ll come throughout the Carmel River Bird Sanctuary and will hear or see different birds like the Downy Woodpecker.

Swimming shouldn’t be beneficial at Carmel River State Beach due to robust currents, however guests can get pleasure from the tranquil great thing about the seaside and the surrounding landscapes.

4. Mission Ranch

Mission Ranch things to do in Carmel By The Sea California

One of the coolest locations we visited in Carmel by the Sea was the Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant. Thanks to the efforts of Clint Eastwood, this historic property was preserved. This previous dairy farm dates again to the 1850s. It is likely to be out of attain to keep at, however you possibly can dine at the Mission Ranch restaurant for dinner or head to it for Sunday brunch. And a scorching tip is that the terrace of the Mission Ranch restaurant is one other good spot to watch the sundown.

5. Carmel Mission Basilica Museum

thigns to do in carmel by the sea

When you might be out at Mission Ranch, cease by the Carmel Mission. This historic Spanish Mission is considered one of the extra well-liked points of interest in Carmel by the Sea. A nationwide historic landmark, the Carmel Mission performed an essential function in the early historical past of California and is a shocking instance of Spanish colonial structure, that includes a bell tower, arched home windows and doorways, and an attractive courtyard with a fountain.

Visitors can even discover the mission’s lovely gardens, which embrace a rose backyard, a vegetable backyard, and a cemetery the place a lot of the mission’s early leaders are buried.

The Basilica of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission (Carmel Mission) was based in 1770 and is taken into account the most authentically restored Franciscan mission. You can go to the Carmel Mission Museum to be taught all about considered one of the most essential historic websites in California.

6. 17 Mile Drive by means of Pebble Beach

things to do in carmel by the sea 17 mile drive

One of the prime issues to do in Carmel by the Sea and Monterey is to drive the well-known 17 Mile Drive. This stretch of highway spans a stunning coast from Pacific Grove to Carmel and goes by means of the unique neighborhood of Pebble Beach Resort and Pacific Grove.

There are loads of sights to see together with world-class golf programs, loads of seashores, and scenic views. Our favourite cease was undoubtedly the Ghost Tree and don’t neglect the well-known Lone Cypress. Spend the whole day having fun with the views as you watch wildlife in their pure habitat at the likes of Bird Rock, Seal Rock and China Rock. Yep, there are a number of rocks. Read extra: 17 Mile Drive – Complete Scenic Drive Itinerary

There are eating places and inns alongside the manner together with Pebble Beach Resort. We took an e-biking tour which was a superb manner to discover it. Book your tour with Big Sur Adventures

7. Pebble Beach

Walking along Pebble Beach at 17 Mile Drive
Walking alongside Pebble Beach at 17 Mile Drive

The Pebble Beach neighborhood is price visiting simply to see the mansions alone. The founding father of Pebble Beach Samuel F.B. Morse made certain to protect the space and its Monterey cypress Trees creating this unique neighborhood. The drive goes by means of 5300 acres together with the Del Monte Forest.Many individuals pay $11.25 to enter the gates automobile, however in the event you trip a bicycle or stroll alongside the 17-mile stretch, it’s free!

8. Pebble Beach Golf Courses

Carmel by the Sea attracts many avid golfers and no journey to Carmel can be full with out at the very least seeing considered one of its world-class golf programs. The Pebble Beach Golf Links is considered one of the most prestigious golf programs in the world. It is usually rated as considered one of the finest golf programs in the United States.

Pebble Beach Golf Links is a public course that has hosted quite a few skilled golf tournaments, together with the U.S. Open, and has been performed by a few of the best golfers in historical past. The course options gorgeous ocean views, rolling hills, and difficult holes that require precision and talent.

Another well-liked Pebble Beach golf course is The Links at Spanish Bay. It was the first Scottish Style golf course in America and was designed by five-time British Open champion Tom Watson. He famous that “Spanish Bay looked so much like Scotland, you could almost hear the bagpipe piping.” Ever because it has had pipers play at sundown whereas the final golfers end up on the course.

Del Monte Golf Course, the oldest golf course in steady operation in the western United States, is a basic course with a extra conventional design.

Best Things to do in Carmel California Ocean Avenue

Ocean Avenue is the essential road of downtown Carmel by the Sea and is a superb place to do some purchasing or sip a espresso as you people-watch. The road leads from downtown to the seaside and there are many issues to see alongside the manner. You’ll cross historic inns and cottages and hideaways.

Grab a espresso at the Carmel Valley Roasting firm and luxuriate in the sunshine as you discover picture and artwork galleries that includes native artwork and artist, charming courtyards, and hidden paths. Be certain to cease in at Carmel Plaza situated at Ocean Avenue and Mission Street the place you’ll discover boutique designers, tasting rooms and gourmand retailers.

The Carmel Visitor Center is situated on Ocean Avenue, so pop in to see what’s on or choose up a map of the space. Or you possibly can choose up this Audio Guide of Carmel to tour the Hugh Comstock Fairy Tale cottages of Carmel by the Sea. This self guided tour easy-to-follow map provides highlights and the historical past of the cottages.

10. Carmel Art Galleries

Carmel by the Sea has at all times been a haven for artists. Writer Jack London was considered one of the founders of the artist’s colony right here in 1906 and Ansel Adams reside in Carmel in 1961. There are greater than 100 artwork galleries round Carmel you possibly can spend a day perusing as you discover the city.

With wealthy patrons residing in Carmel, you may be certain to discover some one-of-a-kind artwork. Gallery by the Sea showcases native artists depicting scenes from Carmel, Pebble Beach, and Big Sur. Dawson Cole Fine Art Gallery has sculptures and prints and Dennis Rae Fine Art Gallery has approved reproductions of Dr. Seuss.

If you occur to be in Carmel in May, The Carmel Art Festival is a juried artwork competition that options works by extra 120 artists working in quite a lot of media, together with portray, sculpture, and pictures.

11. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Point Lobos state natural reserve things to do in Carmel By The Sea California

Heading a bit of farther south is a well-liked cease outdoors of Carmel at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. This lovely state park is considered one of the prime points of interest close to Carmel by the Sea recognized for its pure magnificence.

There are a number of mountain climbing trails to take in the beautiful cliff views. Don’t miss mountain climbing on Bird Island Trail to take in views of the picturesque China Cove. This is the hottest path that may take you out to Pelican Point, China Cove, and Gibson Beach.

Point Lobos State Reserve (Punta de los Lobos Marinos) was named for all the sea lions that hang around on the rocks by Spanish explorers. Translated to Point of the Sea Wolves, you’ll have likelihood of spying on some harbor seals.

Hiking at Point Lobos

The park is thought for its scenic mountain climbing trails. Here are a few of the finest hikes at Point Lobos State Park. Cypress Grove Trail is a simple 0.8-mile path that takes you thru a grove of cypress timber and alongside the rocky shoreline, with views of Carmel Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

The Bird Island Trail is a average 0.7-mile path that takes you to a small rocky outrcope that’s residence to quite a lot of seabirds, together with pelicans, cormorants, and gulls. The Whalers Cove Trail is one other simple 0.5-mile path takes you to Whalers Cove, a sheltered cove that was as soon as used by whalers. Today, it’s a well-liked spot for scuba diving and snorkeling.

If you might be on the lookout for a bit of extra out of your hike, the South Shore Trail is a average 1.8-mile path that takes you alongside the south shore of the park, with views of China Cove and Gibson Beach.

12. Day Trip to Big Sur

Big Sur Day Trip from Carmel By the Sea

If you might be on the lookout for an epic day journey and scenic drive, take a cruise out to Big Sur alongside California Highway 1 hugging the Pacific coast. It is only a 38-mile stretch of highway however it’s considered one of the finest ocean-view drives in the world. You’ll cross well-known landmarks and picture ops like the Bixby Creek Bridge, the sea stacks of Garrapta State Park, and Point Lobos.

Make certain to hire a automobile (in the event you aren’t self-driving) to get pleasure from the lovely ocean views. There are loads of pull-offs so take your time and provides your self a day. Or you possibly can keep over in Big Sur, here’s a information to The Best Campgrounds in Big Sur

13. Garrapata State Park

things to do in Carmel ca garrapata hiking

Located simply quarter-hour from Carmel, Garrapata State Park is an attractive cease providing and unimaginable scene of rock formations off the coast of the Pacific Ocean. One of the essential points of interest is its lovely shoreline, which options rugged cliffs, sandy seashores, and secluded coves.

Visitors can hike alongside the Bluff Trail, which provides gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and the Big Sur shoreline, or discover considered one of the park’s many seashores, corresponding to Garrapata Beach or Soberanes Beach.

There are quite a few trails to discover the park’s scenic canyons and forests. One well-liked path is the Soberanes Canyon Trail, which takes hikers by means of an attractive redwood forest and alongside a creek, with views of waterfalls and plush vegetation.

14. Monterey

Monterey Day Trip Carmel By The Sea

Monterey is a vacation spot unto itself and we’ve written about all the issues you are able to do in Monterey right here. But to offer you a fast overview, Monterey is just some minutes’ drive from Carmel and in order for you to simply pop over for day journeys it’s simple to do.

You will certainly need to spend a while exploring the seaside of Carmel. Stop in at the Monterey Aquarium to view marine life that resides in the kelp forest, discover the eating places, artwork galleries, and retailers alongside Cannery Row, and discover 17 Mile Drive from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach. We really rode e-bikes all the manner from Pacific Grove to Carmel by the Sea. Check it out right here.

15. Kayak the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

things to do in carmel california kayaking

Most individuals will say to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in close by Monterey and that is considered one of the finest aquariums in the world for conservation, however we are saying head out onto the bay to see the marine life for itself.

Seeing the coast from the water is considered one of the extra distinctive experiences. But getting up shut and private with marine life corresponding to the endangered sea otters, sea lions, and chook lifetime of is what makes it so particular.

The cute sea otters have been as soon as nearly extinct, however thanks to the Monterey Bay Aquarium efforts, they helped to be sure that these little guys thrives. Now they there are teams of them floating atop kelp forests enjoyable in the bay.

16. Whaler’s Cabin Museum

things to do in carmel by the sea

Point Lobos has an extended historical past and was at one time it was a whaling station and there was a coal mine in the space. Luckily, it was put aside as a protected space for the Monterey cypresses, however there’s a museum in an previous Whalers Cabin that’s now a cultural historical past museum to be taught all about the space’s historical past.

Located on the web site of a former whaling station that operated from 1911 to 1926, the museum provides a glimpse into the space’s whaling previous and its affect on native communities.

The museum incorporates a assortment of artifacts and displays that showcase the whaling trade, together with harpoons, scrimshaw, and a restored blubber pot. Visitors can even study the historical past of the whaling station and the means of rendering whale oil.

17. Sunset at Carmel Waterfront Scenic Road Walkway

Sunset at Carmel by the Sea California

Scenic Road is a two-mile one-way stretch of highway on the waterfront of Carmel. It has lovely views of the ocean and you’ll drive it, however strolling it’s even higher.

As you drive alongside Scenic Road, you’ll discover a walkway that leads from the bluffs of Carmel Beach. Take the stairs up right here and loosen up on considered one of the park benches to get pleasure from the sundown view. If you might be driving there may be parking on Scenic Road and Ocean Avenue.

Best Places for Sunset in Carmel, Ca

sunset in carmel ca

Carmel has a few of the most lovely sunsets in order for you to loosen up and take in the views over the ocean, listed here are a couple of recommendations for sundown in Carmel.

Carmel Beach is inside strolling distance from Ocean Avenue and the lengthy sandy seaside makes for the good simple spot to watch the sundown.

Point Lobos State Reserve can be an important spot to watch the sundown from considered one of the park’s many trails. Carmel River State Beach is the good place to set out a picnic and watch the sundown from its large open expanse of sand and crashing waves.

Take a drive down the scenic 17-Mile Drive which provides gorgeous views of the shoreline and several other designated spots to pull over and luxuriate in the sundown. Our favourite is at the Ghost Tree or Lone Cypress.

Tor House and Hawk Tower is another choice situated on a rocky outcropping above Carmel Beach.

18. Wine Tours

Wine Tours in Carmel California

If you’re a wine lover, considered one of the finest issues to do in Carmel is to take a wine tour. You don’t even have to go away the village! Carmel has a dozen tasting rooms for wine tastings. Because we stayed in the village, we might get pleasure from the nice Californian wines from the Carmel Valley wine area that we picked up to take with us for evenings throughout our highway journey by means of central California.

Take a stroll by means of the village in search of considered one of many secret passageways in Carmel to discover your favourite Pinot Noir or California Zinfandel. My favourite white is a California Chardonnay and so they have that too!

Some wine-tasting rooms to take a look at are: Albatross Ridge Tasting Room on Dolores Street Wrath Wines on Ocean Avenue Blair Estate Tasting Room on Mission Street at the Carmel Plaza

Another nice product produced in the Carmel Valley is olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar so ensure to choose some up as you might be searching the retailers in the village.

19. Take a Tour of Tor House

Tor House Carmel California

One of the extra distinctive issues to do in Carmel is to take a tour of the residence of California poet Robinson Jeffers. In 1914, Jeffers started constructing Tor House and Hawk Tower after falling in love with the Carmel-Big Sur coast.

His household resided there and it was right here that he wrote a lot of his works. He then constructed Hawk Tower – a stone tower that he constructed himself as a retreat for his spouse. You can tour Tor House which is open to protect the legacy of Robinson Jeffers.

The home is called after the rocky outcroppings on the close by shoreline, that are generally known as “torrs.” The surrounding gardens have been additionally designed by Jeffers and have quite a lot of native vegetation and timber, in addition to sculptures and different artwork items created by Jeffers himself.

Today, Tor House is open to the public for guided excursions and is taken into account an essential cultural and historic landmark in the Carmel-by-the-Sea neighborhood.

20. Garland Ranch Regional Park

If you might be on the lookout for extra outside issues to do in Carmel by the sea, Garland Ranch Regional Park is a well-liked outside leisure space situated in Carmel Valley. the park is canine pleasant, so you will notice many locos out for a stroll with their furry good friend.

With 4, 000 acres of trails, Garland Ranch Regional Park is ideal for mountain climbing. It can be residence to an abundance of wildlife, together with deer, coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. Birders will love maintaining an eye fixed out for hawks, eagles, and owls.

One of the extra distinctive issues you are able to do right here is to e book a guided horseback tour of the park. Horseback using is allowed on most of the trails. If you need to do some mountain biking in the Carmel Valley, it’s allowed on the Cooper Ranch Loop path.

About Carmel by The Sea, California

Things to do in Carmel By the Sea

With its small village ambiance and gorgeous surroundings, Carmel California has attracted artists for many years. It first caught the eye of Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo when he spied its white-sand seashores.

The Spaniards sailed previous it for a century earlier than Father Junipero Serra based the second California mission in 1771 which nonetheless stands right now. At the flip of the twentieth century, artists have been drawn to the shores of Carmel to create an artist’s oasis and after the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, it actually took maintain as individuals made Carmel by the Sea their everlasting residence.

Carmel California – Fun Facts

Cool things to do in Carmel By the Sea California

Old traditions nonetheless maintain on a century later and to this present day there are not any road addresses outdoors of the downtown core of Carmel. No chain eating places have arrange store in Carmel by the Sea choosing extra boutique and nice eating eating places, wine-tasting rooms, and family-owned companies.

You additionally received’t see any parking meters or road lights in Carmel.

And only for enjoyable, do you know it’s unlawful to put on excessive heels in Carmel? While it’s not enforced, in order for you to put on heels, you’ll need to get a allow to achieve this. (Free of cost at the city corridor) This regulation was arrange in the Sixties to guarantee the forest and pure setting of Carmel stayed intact with out anybody suing for tripping over the roots and timber are strewn all through city.

Frank Lloyd Wright even constructed a cabin in Carmel CA. in 1949. The cabin is situated on a secluded wooded property in the Carmel Highlands at Carmel Point, simply south of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

It was constructed as a trip residence for an area resident and is taken into account a superb instance of Wright’s Usonian fashion. The cabin is privately owned and isn’t open to the public nevertheless it simply goes to present how influential this a part of California has been for artists over the years.

While Carmel touts Doris Day, Jack London, and Clint Eastwood as its well-known residents, celebrities nonetheless personal property in Pebble Beach with this unique neighborhood having actual property attain up to 15 million {dollars}.

Where to Stay in Carmel, California

The Hideaway in Carmel By the Sea California

There are loads of inns to select from in Carmel by the Sea from the resorts at Pebble Beach to downtown Carmel inns, there isn’t a scarcity of lodging.

We stayed at The Hideaway which had beautiful rooms and was situated simply half a mile from the seaside and a 3 minute stroll from Ocean Avenue. It was centrally situated in downtown Carmel so we might stroll to eating places at night time making it an important base. Rooms begin at over $200 USD per night time, however it’s price it. TripAdvisor / Booking.com

Another charming resort in Carmel is Cypress Inn – This legendary resort was owned by actress Doris Day and is billed the most pet-friendly resort in the nation. This luxurious boutique resort is situated in the coronary heart of downtown. Check costs on TripAdvisor / Booking.com

The Lodge at Pebble Beach – Pebble Beach is a neighborhood simply minutes away from Carmel by the Sea. Stay at this unique resort with ocean entrance and ocean-view rooms in full luxurious. This historic resort dates again to 1919 and is shut to a number of locations to see together with Seal Rock Creek Beach and the Lone Cypress. Check availability on TripAdvisor

Vacation Rentals in Carmel

Vacation rentals in Carmel By the Sea California

A good way to get monetary savings in Carmel is to keep in a trip rental and share the worth with different {couples} or households. This ocean entrance property sleeps 8 and is situated at the seaside. It is a 30 minute stroll into the village or a 5 minute drive.

For two individuals a keep in this quiet cottage is an efficient reasonably priced possibility. It is a bit of out from every points of interest, however it’s in the heart of all of it at lower than 4 miles from Cannery Row, 1.2 miles from Carmel Beach, and 1.8 miles from 17 Mile Drive and the Delmonte Forest.

For one thing extra central, take a look at this cozy one bed room only a brief stroll to each the seaside and shut to downtown.

Where to Eat in Carmel, California

Where to Eat in Carmel CA

One of the finest eating places in Carmel is La Belana Cucina Toscana. It takes you straight to the coronary heart of Tuscany with a standard setting, contemporary native olive oil, native nice wines and chees . Sit outdoors on the heated patio and luxuriate in a contemporary farm to desk menu drizzled in olive oil and truffles.

Pescadero is considered one of the finest eating places in Carmel for Mexican delicacies with a Baja impressed menu.

If you might be on the lookout for pub meals with a hipster vibe, Brophy’s Tavern is considered one of the hottest eating places in Carmel.

For espresso lovers, one other place to seize a specialty espresso is cafe Carmel. But don’t fear, there are many espresso retailers in Carmel by the Sea to get your caffeine repair. For a full checklist of eating places go to the Carmel official web site.

How to Get to Carmel by The Sea, California

Carmel Ca Views

The village of Carmel by the Sea is situated on California’s central coast in Monterey County. It is roughly 120 miles (2 hours) south of the San Francisco Bay space and 350 miles (5 hours) north of Los Angeles. We counsel renting a automobile and you’ll examine automobile rental costs at RentalCars.com.

You can drive to Carmel-by-the-Sea from San Francisco or Los Angeles on the scenic California Highway 1. From San Francisco, take the 101 South to Monterey after which head south on Highway 1. From Los Angeles, take the 101 North to Salinas after which head west on Highway 68.

The nearest airports to Carmel-by-the-Sea are Monterey Regional Airport, situated simply 10 miles away, and San Jose International Airport, situated about 75 miles away. From there, you possibly can hire a automobile or take a shuttle service to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Several bus firms function companies to Carmel-by-the-Sea, together with Greyhound and Monterey-Salinas Transit. These buses cease at the Carmel-by-the-Sea bus station, situated in the coronary heart of city.

Carmel by the Sea is simply 10 minutes from Monterey and it’s simple to discover Carmel village by both making a base there, Pebble Beach, or Carmel by the Sea.

When to go to Carmel, California

When to visit Carmel by the Sea California

Being situated in Central California, there may be actually no dangerous time to go to Carmel by the Sea however summer time is clearly the finest time for seaside climate as the temperatures are the warmest. But it’s crowded.

We have been in Carmel throughout late Spring and liked the climate. It was nice throughout the day with cool evenings.

Fall nonetheless has heat climate and is much less crowded than summer time.

Whale Watching in Monterey County

You’ll give you the chance to spot whales year-round in the ocean waters of Carmel California.

Humpback whales migrate from March – November Grey whales migrate from December-May Blue whales from May to October

And these are the finest issues to do in Carmel, California with a couple of enjoyable info and places close to Carmel by the Sea. Have we made you need to go to Carmel?

Tor House picture courtesy of McGhiever, CC BY-SA 4.0 through Wikimedia Commons

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