A trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea is an opportunity to unplug and restore on one of the most iconic beaches in the world. This charming one-square-mile village is consistently ranked as one of the top places to visit due to its famous white sand beach, inviting accommodations, world-class dining, and luxurious amenities. Home to more than 100 galleries, guests can enjoy hands-on art immersion, docent-led art walking tours, and interact with local working artists—all amid the village’s quaint storybook architecture. Discover pure inspiration in Carmel and let your adventures begin when you fly direct from DFW to MRY (Carmel-Monterey) Airport.
Eat & Drink
This small coastal village accounts for the most restaurants per capita than any other small city in the U.S. Within one walkable square mile, there are more than 60 coffeehouses, bakeries, pubs, bistros, and restaurants that utilize locally-grown produce from nearby Salinas Valley, and fresh seafood from Monterey Bay. Local Chefs extend Carmel’s vibrant art culture through thoughtful culinary experiences. Try The Forge, known for its outdoor dining ambiance and extensive menu options. Or Dametra Cafe, where music and dancing break out spontaneously and menu offerings are inspired by flavors from Mediterranean locales like Greece and Italy. Monterey County’s finest winemakers offer their vintages at numerous boutique tasting rooms. Let the new Carmel-by-the-Sea Wine Walk be your guide as you stroll through this wine-lover’s paradise and download a free, mobile guide that will take you on a walkable wine tasting journey. Don’t miss Manzoni Cellars, Talbott Vineyards, or Kori Wines!
One of the most popular things to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea is explore and wander around the hidden nooks and crannies of this European-style village. At just one square mile, Carmel is one of the most easily explored and friendly coastal California towns. And while iconic Carmel-by-the-Sea is known for its many hidden gems, perhaps none is more splendid than its famous white sand beach. Whether you love to surf, take long walks, or experience a majestic sunset, there is something for everyone in this quaint seaside town. Discover awe-inspiring views from nearby Point Lobos and Pebble Beach; both offer remarkable coastlines to explore. Stop by Mad Dogs & Englishmen Bike Shop and check out their uniquely curated lineup of bikes, both standard and electric. Looking for something more eclectic? Rent a classic or vintage car from Monterey Touring Vehicles and drive in style along iconic Highway 1 through Big Sur or 17-Mile Drive at neighboring Pebble Beach. Their privately owned fleet boasts a car for everyone, and from almost every decade.
For a more restorative approach to your coastal California getaway, look no further than the Mindful-by-the-Sea Guide (found exclusively at Carmel-by-the-Sea hotels), where a map and tips for unplugging and finding everyday mindfulness is at your fingertips. A carefully curated Locals Guide to Scenic Runs, Hikes & Walks is also available upon check-in at your Carmel inn. Options for the more active sightseer include everything from a quick jog to the 18-mile recreational trail along Monterey Bay. Carmel-by-the-Sea is also your home base for playing world-class golf courses at nearby Pebble Beach and the surrounding area. Whether you have five days or ten, find a variety of itinerary ideas at CarmelCalifornia.com.
Carmel hotels and inns are noteworthy for what they are not. You’ll find no neon or national chains, but instead a variety of quaint lodging options—from casual and comfortable to elegant and refined—all with characteristic warmth and charm that has become a village trademark. Sitting as they do amidst oceans of flowers and Cypress trees, and bathed in Pacific breezes, the village’s hotels and inns provide an unparalleled sense of discovery. Many lodging properties throughout Carmel-by-the-Sea include breakfast with a room booking, from continental buffet, to room-delivered, to full dining. Many offer special amenities, such as ocean views or secluded courtyards and fireplaces, and most greet guests upon arrival with freshly baked cookies. Book direct on the Visit Carmel website, which allows travelers to quickly and conveniently make reservations, at special rates, directly with the lodging establishments.
Let your feet take you on an unforgettable journey through this magical village and discover delightful surprises at every turn. From secret passageways to clandestine courtyards, a theater in the forest or a working art gallery tucked down a sidestreet, you never know where a trip to Carmel will take you.