Carmel

Carmel is a quirky little town right on the water with great opportunities for wandering and lots of great stuff within short driving distance.


Sightseeing

17 Mile Drive

Never done this but apparently gorgeous

Sightseeing

Carmel Beach

Walk down from ocean ave to put your feet in the [probably freezing] ocean and walk the beach. Very fun, dog friendly, and places to build bonfires.

Sightseeing

Carmel City Hall

Make sure to drive/walk by just to see how absurd the sign and building look. Very representative of Carmel.

Eating

Cottage of Sweets

Adorable candy shop. Looks like a hobbit home.

Eating
Favorite

La Bicyclette Restaurant

My favorite restaurant in town. It’s a small French bistro with excellent food (pizza, salads are excellent). You need to call to make a reservation, which I’d recommend.

Eating

Mission Ranch Restaurant

They have an amazing, outdoor deck overlooking a huge green wetland / field. Fun, lively bar and good food. A great place for dinner (if you can't get into La Bicyclette).

Sightseeing

Monastery Beach

Really nice beach right outside of town. A short drive but a bit more private than Carmel beach

Sightseeing
Favorite

Monterey Bay Aquarium

One of the best aquariums in the world, right on the coast of Monterey bay, which has some of the best marine life in the US. If you love animals, this is a must do. If you love sea otters, this is an “you’ll have deep regret if you don’t do this”. They lead a lot of sea otter conservation efforts. There’s an inexpensive sea otter tour you can do as well.

Shopping

Ocean Avenue

This is the main shopping / walking / eating / drinking street. Spend some time wander and people watching.

Sightseeing

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

High on my todo list, if you want to go for a hike, look up photos and you’ll probably want to go too

Other
Favorite

Refuge

This place is magic. It’s an outdoor, coed, day spa with tons of high and cold pools, fire pits, multiple saunas and steam rooms. No electronics allowed and silence or quiet whispering is recommended. So it’s a great place to take a book and relax. If you book a massage you get free entry, otherwise it’s ~$50 for the day. It’s great. Go early or call to see if they’re full.

17 Mile Drive

Never done this but apparently gorgeous

Carmel Beach

Walk down from ocean ave to put your feet in the [probably freezing] ocean and walk the beach. Very fun, dog friendly, and places to build bonfires.

Carmel City Hall

Make sure to drive/walk by just to see how absurd the sign and building look. Very representative of Carmel.

Cottage of Sweets

Adorable candy shop. Looks like a hobbit home.

La Bicyclette Restaurant

My favorite restaurant in town. It’s a small French bistro with excellent food (pizza, salads are excellent). You need to call to make a reservation, which I’d recommend.

Mission Ranch Restaurant

They have an amazing, outdoor deck overlooking a huge green wetland / field. Fun, lively bar and good food. A great place for dinner (if you can't get into La Bicyclette).

Monastery Beach

Really nice beach right outside of town. A short drive but a bit more private than Carmel beach

Monterey Bay Aquarium

One of the best aquariums in the world, right on the coast of Monterey bay, which has some of the best marine life in the US. If you love animals, this is a must do. If you love sea otters, this is an “you’ll have deep regret if you don’t do this”. They lead a lot of sea otter conservation efforts. There’s an inexpensive sea otter tour you can do as well.

Ocean Avenue

This is the main shopping / walking / eating / drinking street. Spend some time wander and people watching.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

High on my todo list, if you want to go for a hike, look up photos and you’ll probably want to go too

Refuge

This place is magic. It’s an outdoor, coed, day spa with tons of high and cold pools, fire pits, multiple saunas and steam rooms. No electronics allowed and silence or quiet whispering is recommended. So it’s a great place to take a book and relax. If you book a massage you get free entry, otherwise it’s ~$50 for the day. It’s great. Go early or call to see if they’re full.