Carmel-by-the-Sea, as it's officially now known, is as quaint as it is exclusive. Famous for upscale folks buying art or getting in a round of golf at one of the nearby courses or at the even more exclusive Pebble Beach, Carmel's secret is that anyone can enjoy the village. The seaside vacation town is laid out in a grid of art galleries, high-end ... Read more
shops and storybook cottages. From singing at former mayor Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch piano bar with Dirty Harry himself to witnessing history at the 1771 Carmel Mission, the town delights in breaking its own stereotype. Mild but a bit chilly most of the year, especially the foggy summers, seaside pursuits include more hiking and bicycling than sunbathing. From May to December, nearby Point Lobos State Reserve offers a grounded whale-watching vantage point. Hotels range from good value in-town motels to spa and golf resorts in the vineyard-strewn Carmel Valley. Hundreds of local and chain shops feature antiques, jewelry, books, crafts, candy and clothes.

Carmel places to stay and top hotels

Carmel things to do and experiences

  • 17-Mile Drive
    9.4111 reviews
    Outdoors, Scenic Lookout, Transportation, Road or Highway
    Popular withOutdoorsyFamilies
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
    9.887 reviews
    Outdoors, Beaches and Watersports, Hiking and Nature, Park, Beach
    Popular withOutdoorsyFamilies
  • Carmel River State Beach
    9.374 reviews
    Outdoors, Park, Beach
    Popular withOutdoorsyFamilies
  • Carmel Mission
    9.031 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Historic Site, Church
    Popular withHistorySpiritual




Monterey Bay enjoys mild weather year-round. You’ll bump elbows with the most tourists in the summertime, when kids are out of school and everyone is seeking a view of the Pacific. However, summer in Monterey ... Read more
Bay isn’t always perfect beach weather: be sure to have a windbreaker handy for the cool breezes and fog that often roll in off of the ocean. If you postpone your trip by a few months and visit during the off-season (November through April), you’ll have more space to take in the stunning scenery. January and February tend to be the rainiest months of the year in this region, so pack an umbrella and waterproof jacket just in case.

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Average precipitation (mm)

Top Carmel restaurants


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Carmel reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 8.7
    Luxury Travelers
  • 7.4
  • 7.1
    Family Travelers
  • 6.9
    Art & Design Lovers

Member Reviews(114)

Write a review

My family had a wonderful time exploring the coastline. We rented a 4-seater surrey at Adventures by the Sea and rolled up and down the bike path that extends from Pacific Grove to Fisherman’s Wharf.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFamily TravelersAdventure Travelers
Sunnyvale, California

Quint seaside town, a fairy tale place. Sophisticated boutique shops, coffee houses and breeze from ocean, makes a stroll there a real treat

Recommended for:Family TravelersFoodiesLuxury TravelersArt & Design Lovers
Seattle, Washington, USA

For the sheer beauty of the California coastline you should spend time in Carmel. Take the scenic walk along the ocean, especially in the morning when you greet the locals, see the dolphins playing, and be charmed by the architectural styles of the lucky ones who live there. So much to do, eat, drink, shop, golf, and hike. Put it on your list!

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFoodiesLuxury TravelersTrendsters
Edinburgh, UK

Beautiful little town with upscale restaurants, art galleries, and plenty of scenery.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFoodiesLuxury TravelersSolo Female Travelers
Foster City, California, USA

I love a weekend getaway to Monterey / Carmel area. Usually stay in Monterey town itself or in Carmel to relax on a summer weekend.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFamily TravelersGreen TravelersLuxury Travelers
San Diego

A lovely sleepy little region with gentle rolling hills, wineries, and the start of the "Slow Coast" - perfect for camping in the hills and frolicking on the beach during the day. Plus, it's only about an hour's drive to Santa Cruz.

Recommended for:Outdoor Enthusiasts

Carmel is the best area for Golf Pebble Beach. The Beach Carmel white Sand Beaches and World Class Food and Service


Art lovers & shoppers love to stroll down Ocean Avenue and at the end is four beautiful beach!! Great restaurants & coffee shops as well.

New Delhi, India

cute town to walk around if you need to stretch your legs. not much to do really with many of the restaurants over hyped and over priced

Recommended for:Family Travelers
Nipomo, California

From shopping to trendsetting restaurants, Carmel is a one of kind town - just a short drive away.

Recommended for:Family TravelersFoodiesVegetarianTrendsters