Carmel, CA

Travel Guide
Carmel featuring a house and autumn leaves
This charming oceanfront town is a perfect day-trip for art, food and relaxation.

Carmel-by-the-Sea offers eclectic architecture, streets rich in bohemian history, and a laid-back lifestyle. Spanish explorers and missionaries first claimed the area around Carmel in the 17th and 18th centuries. It wasn’t until the after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that the sleepy hamlet began to develop into a charming and ecclectic town that continues to draw art lovers and romantics.

Carmel’s heady bohemian days may have long passed, but the city is still fully engaged in the arts and determined to preserve the small community’s characteristic atmosphere and aesthetic. Several artists have served as mayor, including actor and director Clint Eastwood. Historic theaters, including the Sunset Theater and Forest Theater, are still thriving. Check local guides for current productions. There are over 80 art galleries dotted throughout the downtown area, which is impressive for a town with a population of less than 4,000. Pick up a Carmel Gallery Guide or simply take a wander.

Architecture is one of Carmel’s main attractions. Don’t miss Tor House on Carmel Point. Once the home of renowned American poet Robinson Jeffers, the house was built by Jeffers himself with stones collected from the beach below. This extraordinary home features a 40-foot (12-meter) tower embedded with stones from around the world, including the Great Wall of China. Walker Residence is another of the city’s architectural marvels. This modern stone building sits just above the beach and was designed byarchitect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Ocean Avenue is the old town’s busy hub and is perfect for people-watching. There are over 500 boutiques to explore, and plenty of excellent cafés and restaurants. Monterey County’s reputation as a commercial fishing hub means the seafood is fresh and abundant. Carmel is also close to the California wine region, resulting in wine lists that are long and impressive.The city is renowned for its relaxed attitude towards dogs, and that includes the beach and many restaurants.

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a 15-minute drive from Monterey and is accessible by bus from downtown Monterey. Once you arrive, it’s best to sightsee on foot. Pick up a self-guided tour map or join one of the fascinating two-hour Carmel Walks.

Where to stay in Carmel

Carmel Mission Inn
Carmel Mission Inn
3.5 out of 5
3665 Rio Rd, Carmel, CA, 93923
The price is $239 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
Stay at this 3.5-star hotel in Carmel. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the clean rooms in our reviews. Popular ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (984 reviews)
"Excellent stay with our pup and looking forward to our next stay!"

Reviewed on Jul 5, 2022

Carmel Mission Inn
Carmel Bay View Inn
Carmel Bay View Inn
2.5 out of 5
Junipero Street Between 5th And 6th St, Carmel, CA, 93921
The price is $280 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
Stay at this hotel in Carmel. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our reviews. Popular ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (967 reviews)
"The rooms (one king bedroon) were very clean, the bathroom was large, and the bed was very comfortable. The fireplace was a very nice feature in the room and kept heat in much better than the heater that was in the room (no gas smell). Breakfast is a grab and go breakfast in light of pandemic conditions ..."

Reviewed on Jul 5, 2022

Carmel Bay View Inn
Quail Lodge & Golf Club
Quail Lodge & Golf Club
5 out of 5
8205 VALLEY GREENS DRIVE, Carmel, CA, 93923
The price is $420 per night from Jul 14 to Jul 15
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Carmel. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in our ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (989 reviews)
"Away from town. Good location."

Reviewed on Jun 28, 2022

Quail Lodge & Golf Club
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
 Downtown Carmel - Walk To Everything! - 1BR/2BA  Exec Suite "A"
Downtown Carmel - Walk To Everything! - 1BR/2BA Exec Suite "A"
Carmel, CA
Stay at this condo in Carmel. Enjoy WiFi, onsite parking, and barbecue grills. Popular attractions Carmel Beach and Cannery Row are located nearby. Discover ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (93 reviews)
Great location and well appointed
"It was nice to have everything within walking distance. The unit was well stocked, clean, updated and had a nice outdoor patio. Enjoyable trip!"

Reviewed on Jul 1, 2022

Downtown Carmel - Walk To Everything! - 1BR/2BA Exec Suite "A"
Ocean & Sunset view  retreat with hot tub
Ocean & Sunset view retreat with hot tub
Carmel, CA
Stay at this family-friendly vacation home in Carmel. Enjoy free WiFi, a spa tub, and onsite parking. Our guests praise the comfy rooms and the family amenities ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (108 reviews)
Amazing
"This was one of the best mini vacays ever! Everything about the property was great. Location was perfect with easy access to surrounding areas. The home is beautiful with amazing views to enjoy the sunset. This is the most well appointed homes I’ve stayed in…everything you could possibly need. We ..."

Reviewed on Jul 2, 2022

Ocean & Sunset view retreat with hot tub
Charming Carmel House - Short Walk To 2 Beaches
Charming Carmel House - Short Walk To 2 Beaches
Carmel, CA
Stay at this vacation home in Carmel. Enjoy onsite parking, a garden, and a patio. Our guests praise the quiet rooms and the overall value in our reviews. Popular ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (30 reviews)
Carmel sister trip
"This was the perfect location and space for me and my sisters to enjoy a few days in Carmel!"

Reviewed on Jun 28, 2022

Charming Carmel House - Short Walk To 2 Beaches
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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