Tastefully upscale, Carmel weaves tranquil forest, stone cottages, white sand beach and walkable shopping district together into surrealistic charm. A stroll through downtown leads through quality galleries that transcend the seascape art more common in touristic areas. Carmel beach will impress with its cypress trees and emerald water. Here dog owners can bring their companions to socialize and run off leash. Much of the area’s finest food and wine is found in Carmel. Consistently captivating sunsets spell a return visit to the beach at dusk. The south side of town off Highway 1 hides a secluded beach hike and the easily accessible Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. East of the highway, Carmel Valley Road leads to some country style restaurants, fine dining, wine tasting and several golf and spa resorts.
You’ve probably Heard…
Carmel Beach – Popular with dog lovers, surfers, or anyone looking for a gorgeous sunset, Carmel beach will win anyone over with its white sand, cypress trees and turquoise water. See “Beaches” section for detailed information on this and more local beaches.
Ocean Avenue & Downtown– The epicenter strip of downtown Carmel features an upscale shopping mall, countless boutiques, wine tasting, fine dining, coffee shops and a couple quaint parks with public restrooms. The surrounding blocks in either direction are just as rewarding. A rejuvenating retreat is the Pilgrim’s Way bookstore and Secret Garden on Dolores at 5th.
Carmel Mission- Shortly after the Spanish navy and Franciscan Missionaries constructed the San Carlos Cathedral in Monterey in 1770, Catholic Father Junipero Serra moved the mission to Carmel in 1771. Junipero Serra died there and is buried below the sanctuary.
You Probably Haven’t Heard…
Point Lobos State Preserve
A few miles of easily accessible trail segments lead visitors to several top notch scenic coves and geological formations. Point Lobos is the most rewarding very short hike in the area, making it possible to take in the best scenery, spot deer, sea otters and seabirds, all during a day trip to Carmel.
In Carmel Valley, the trails of Garland Ranch lead across the Carmel River and a pasture. From there, the trails wind up the steep mountainsides in the shade of oak and buckeye trees. The summit offers panoramic views of the Santa Lucia Range, Carmel Valley and the Pacific. This is a good place to work up an appetite amid the country ambiance, golf resorts and wineries of Carmel Valley.
Carmel Plaza Mall- This upscale mall features an excellent cheese shop, a gourmet burger restaurant, a French bistro, and many shops including Louis Vuitton, Anthropologie, Tiffany & Co., J Crew, J Jill, Kate Spade, Georgiou, Cole Haan, etc. It’s located on Ocean Ave at the uphill end of the commercial zone.