Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, is a small beach city that’s known for its quaint city center and beautiful coastline.
Top things to do include walking or biking down the Scenic Bluff Path, which offers stunning coastal views, sunbathing on the Carmel River State Beach, and visiting the historic Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo church, which was built in the 18th century. The basilica is now a National Historic Landmark and was the home of Saint Junípero Serra, the Franciscan friar that founded the Californian missions, until his death.
Carmel-by-the-Sea experiences warm and sunny weather through most of the year. The best time to visit is during the spring months of April and May or the fall months of September and October, which is when the days are warm and sunny but the summer vacation crowds are yet to descend on the city.
The charming town of Carmel by the Sea rewards visitors with some of America’s most stunning scenery, as well as numerous cultural attractions like historic sites and art galleries. No road trip along the West Coast would be complete without a stop-off in Carmel, just a short drive away from Monterey Bay.
The rugged coastline draws artists to the area from all over the world, all eager to see the sandy beaches, impressive sunsets, and rocky outcrops. A mile south of the main town, visitors can find the Carmel River State Beach, a popular spot for a range of activities such as diving, kayaking, surfing, and bird watching. Carmel Beach, which basically is the end of many streets in town, like Ocean Avenue, is a great place to play beach volleyball or surf when the swells are breaking well.
Today, Carmel village has nearly 100 art galleries in just one square mile of space. Some of the most popular galleries include Travis Hall Fine Art, Classic Art Gallery, Gallery Sur, Exposed, Gallery by the Sea Carmel, and many others. For live art and entertainment, be sure to check out the Sunset Center’s list of events.
Along with the many art galleries in downtown Carmel, CA, the town is packed with wine-tasting rooms and wine bars, meaning guests can fully appreciate the Central Coast Wine Country location. While walking through the European-style village, venture into one the buildings and get to know the local winemakers, and of course, taste some of the region’s premium wines.
For a great day trip, take a drive down the coast to impressive Big Sur, over the iconic Bixby Bridge. The area has majestic hiking trails and hilltop restaurants offering ocean views. Big Sur is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the United States. Its many stunning vistas have inspired artists for years, including Jack Kerouac who expressed his appreciation for the place in his novel Big Sur. In addition to Bixby Bridge, McWay Falls is the most recognizable place in Big Sur. Often photographed it is a beautiful of collision of land and sea as an 80 foot waterfall descends from the cliff side forests onto the sandy shore below. Another day trip option could be to Point Lobos State Reserve, which is arguably the crown jewel of the state park system. Thick groves of Cypress forests beckon explorers into their cool interiors, perfect for wildlife-lovers and those that are always on the lookout for a scenic vista. Built in a rustic building just inland from one of the shoreline trails is the Point Lobos Whaling Museum. The small exhibit highlights the area’s whaling past, which thankfully ended. Outside the museum those with an untrained eye may think there are some old tree stumps, when really they are the weathered vertebrae of the world’s largest creature.
Be sure to also pay a visit to the top-quality golf courses located around Carmel. Two of the best are Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill, both of which feature impressive holes, bordered by the Pacific Ocean, that challenge even the most skilled golfer. Golf Digest named Pebble Beach, in 2001, “No. 1 Golf Course in America”. This was the first ever time that a public course received that honor. The course at Pebble Beach has hosted 6 major championships for the men’s Professional Golf Association Tour, including five U.S. Opens and one PGA Championship. Many of these courses, like Pebble Beach and Spyglass, are connected by the famous 17-Mile Drive, a road that some would say is the most beautiful in California. The scenic route that winds around the Monterey Peninsula eventually reaches its end just outside of Carmel by the Sea.
When it comes to looking for a place to stay, there are few big chains here. Each and every hotel or inn is unique, and provides a fantastic base for fully exploring what Carmel and Carmel Valley has to offer. Another option is hiring one of the many Carmel vacation rentals. Guests can choose between one of the town center vacation rentals or a property by the white sand beaches. Some rentals may even be pet-friendly, meaning your four-legged friend doesn't need to miss out.
This climate histogram shows you the weather patterns in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The warmest months in Carmel-by-the-Sea are March and May, when temperatures reach 83 ˚F. The coolest month is January, when temperatures drop to 38 ˚F. The wettest month in Carmel-by-the-Sea is October with 5.65 inches of rain, while the driest month is March with 0.01 inches of rain.
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Choose the perfect rental for your trip at AllTheRooms.com. We compare Airbnb, Priceline, Bed and Breakfast and more. AllTheRooms has 1,149 vacation rentals, hotels and other great places to stay during your time in Carmel-by-the-Sea, with everything from cheap hostels and homestays to extravagant Airbnbs and hotels. When traveling on a budget, the cheapest place to stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea is available at $50 per night. A typical vacation rental in Carmel-by-the-Sea costs on average $1,024 per night.
Those needing to get some work done during their trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea can choose from 291 places to stay that provide WiFi. 42 of our accommodations include a breakfast in the price. You can keep up with your workout routine by staying at one of 26 accommodations that provide gym facilities. If you're planning on arriving in Carmel-by-the-Sea by car, be sure to choose from 270 accommodations that provide parking. We track 30 places to stay that have a pool or jacuzzi.
Those traveling with a cat, dog or some other animal can stay in any of 94 accommodations that are designated as pet-friendly.
In Carmel-by-the-Sea AllTheRooms currently compares hotels, vacation rentals, hostels from more than 4 providers, including 250 places to stay from Airbnb, 5 accommodations from Priceline and 5 places to stay from Bed and Breakfast.
610 of the rentals in Carmel-by-the-Sea have been rated by previous guests. They rated 59% as excellent or good. 279 accommodations allow instant booking.