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.
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.
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.