Things to Do in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Things to Do in Carmel-by-the-Sea
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, a quaint beach town just south of Monterey, is home to breathtaking natural wonders as well as dozens of galleries, shops and restaurants. It's a dog-friendly city, with water bowls and dog beds outside many establishments. The people are friendly too, and happy to help you enjoy their piece of paradise.


Carmel is famous for its galleries, for good reason. There are dozens, offering the entire spectrum of art in a range of prices.


Antiques, unique wearables, lingerie, jewelry, shoes, one-of-a-kind gifts, challenging and interactive toys, mouthwatering baked goods, you name it, Carmel's got a shop that carries it. Not in a spending mood? Window-shopping in Carmel is always popular and fun.

Parks and Beaches

Carmel is blessed with numerous nearby beaches and parks, all of which are spectacular. One that should not be missed is Point Lobos State Reserve, which features hiking trails, sea bird and seal colonies, cruising sea otters, and some of the most awe-inspiring vistas anywhere on earth.

Historical Sites

The Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo is an important California heritage site. Founded in 1771, it is still an active parish. Self-guided and docent-led tours are offered. In addition to the Basilica Church, there are four museums and a store selling religious artifacts and jewelry.

Farms and Wineries

Earthbound Farm in Carmel Valley offers fresh locally grown organic produce, baked goods, smoothies, and other healthful treats at the farm stand. During the growing season (June to October), special Saturday events include farm walks, workshops, and cooking demonstrations. Nearby Bernardus Lodge and Winery offers tastings, spa treatments, fine dining and luxurious accommodations.

Theater and Concerts

Carmel has two great venues for theater and concerts. Sunset Center regularly presents big-name performers, while Pacific Repertory Theatre offers a variety of productions.


Carmel has many fine restaurants, and as you might expect many of them feature seafood specialties. There's a wide variety of foods and prices.

Local Scenery

Nearby 17 mile drive features mile after mile of rugged cliffs, wind-bent cypress trees, opulent and amazing homes, and jaw-dropping scenery. The Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove is home to overwintering butterflies from late fall to early spring, an impressive sight.

Article Written By Peggy Hansen

Peggy Hansen holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from UC San Diego, Doctor of Medicine from UCLA, and completed postgraduate training at Stanford, Duke and Harvard. An award-winning writer and photographer, her work has been featured in Catnip, Herbalgram, Porter Gulch Review, and many online pieces. She's also a commentator for KQED-FM

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This is a agreeable & interesting State Park & hike. The ocean has flooded a clef along the San Andreas Fault to...
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