Welcome to Carmel/Carmel-by-the-Sea
With soft, white sand beaches and the turquoise blue Pacific lining the coast, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a stunning haven on the Monterrey Peninsula. This is a charming village boasting pristine beauty, fairytale cottages, and rich cultural history.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is an artist’s colony at its core, with deep roots linked to a bohemian past filled with poets and artists who called this whimsical village home. The town still maintains a vibrant cultural scene today with art galleries and festivals for locals to enjoy.
Praised by Travel + Leisure as one of the “11 Best Small Towns in America,” Carmel-by-the-Sea is a romantic little enclave with the ideal combination of sweeping natural beauty and abundant charm.
What to Love
- Quaint, whimsical vibes and small-town charm
- Romantic Europen-inspired architecture
- Wide, sweeping beaches and fabulous sea views
- Art, food, and wine festivals throughout the year
- Lots of dog-friendly beaches and eateries
Carmel is an idyllic corner of the Monterrey Peninsula, offering the best of coastal California living. This is a great community for dog lovers, with plenty of trails and beaches for walks. In addition, many of the eateries in this town welcome dogs and diners in their spacious patio areas. And there is even a dog parade through Carmel each year. Carmel is home to nearly 100 art galleries, showcasing amazing historical pieces and works by local artists in a variety of mediums. Weekly farmers’ markets and charming, upscale eateries make Carmel a great place for food and wine aficionados.
The community of Carmel is made up of several smaller micro-communities, each with a distinctive flair. Carmel’s Golden Rectangle is one of the most desirable spots in this region and among the most luxurious neighborhoods in the nation. Those looking for beach access points can find beautiful homes in Carmel Point and Carmel Meadows.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
The Treehouse Café is a cozy terrace restaurant in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea. This charming eatery has a warm indoor dining space and a beautiful, dog-friendly veranda area. The menu showcases a heavy international flair with dishes inspired by Mediterranean, Thai, and Greek fare.
Mission Ranch Restaurant offers some of the best views along the Monterrey Peninsula, greeting diners with rolling sheep pastures, the Santa Lucia Mountains, and a sightline to Point Lobos. The wine list at Mission Ranch Restaurant is extensive, focusing on fine, local wines. Enjoy a weekend brunch, an elegant dinner, or a glass of wine on the stone patio overlooking the ranch lands.
Terry’s Lounge at Cypress Inn gives off big Golden Age of Hollywood vibes with its sleek, glamorous interior. The sophisticated atmosphere pairs perfectly with the upscale menu, which features old-school favorites with an innovative twist. Terry’s also boasts an extensive bar menu and regular live music performances. With its mural-lined walls and quirky decor, The Little Swiss Café is a charming, fun eatery with a vibrant ambiance. The menu at this eatery features delectable blintzes and crepes as well as freshly-squeezed juices.
Things to Do
Carmel holds several community events throughout the year, celebrating the music, art, and food that are such an important part of life on the Monterrey Peninsula. The Carmel Bach Festival has been celebrating the works of John Sebastian Bach since 1935. Each summer, Carmel hosts two weeks of concerts, lectures, open rehearsals, and master classes focused on honoring Bach’s contributions to the musical world.
Each spring, the Carmel Art Festival honors the artist colony roots of the community with a weekend focused on the stunning visual arts of the region. Displays and demonstrations by artists, children’s activities, and live musical performances bring the streets of Carmel to life. Carmel Culinary Week features immersive food experiences, special chef events, and prix fixe menus at fine local eateries. A Carmel-by-the-Sea Culinary Week Passport gives diners access to special meals and experiences throughout the community during this annual special event.
The Carmel Mission Basilica Museum is a beautiful historic site and worship center that is nearly 300 years old. This mission has an art museum, a beautiful courtyard, and regular mass offerings. Carmel is home to plentiful white sand beaches, like those found at Carmel Beach and Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. These pristine natural spots are perfect for hiking, wildlife viewing, and enjoying the warm Pacific waters.