Just being in Carmel is a treat in itself.  Natural beauty all around with the gorgeous cypress trees, beautiful architeture and sandy beaches.  Shopping at the Carmel Plaza and the downtown shops is also a place where you will find unique treasures.  The many fine art galleries and restaurants are a really nice way to spend time here. And the abundance of theatre, dance and music is amazing for such a small community.

The Golden Bough Playhouse, the Forest Theater and Sunset Cultural Center offer hundreds of performances ranging from world class artists to talented community groups. And the only profesisonal theatre in the county, Pacific Repertory Theatre, has made Carmel its home base.

The Carmel Mission is a very educational experience and is worth a stop.  A $5 fee will gain you admission to this striking piece of California History.  The Carmel Mission Ranch, next door is a nice place to stop for a meal, especially the Jazz Brunch which takes place  from about 9-1:30 each Sunday.  No reservations are accepted, just show up!

The 17 Mile Drive is also a must-see in this area.  Your gate fee ($8) will be waived if you have a meal at Roy’s.  The bagpiper which plays at sunset each night is a real treat that many enjoy.

The Carmel Highland’s area is also a very nice place to visit.  Pt. Lobos State Reserve is a great way to spend a few hours,  Bring your binoculars  to view the marine life out in the water. 

One of the most popular activities in Carmel is watching the sunset on Carmel Beach. This large, sandy expanse is the perfect setting for watching the sun slip under the horizon with Pebble Beach to your right and Pt. Lobos to your left. You can build a bonfire south of 10th street or hire a company like Romantic Room Designs to do it for you (plus flowers, food etc..). 

There are many quaint inns and hotels located in the area from which to choose for lodging.  La Playa is a Historic Hotel on the National Register where you will find beautiful grounds full of lush landscapes and flowers. Other fine properties include the historic Pine Inn on Ocean Avenue, Normandy Inn and Carriage House Inn.

Restaurants such as Casanova, Little Napoli, Bouchee, the Village Corner and Grasings are all favorites of Carmel locals and tourists alike. There are also several quaint cafes in which to enjoy an espresso including Cardinale and the Carmel Coffee Roasting Company.

One of the main draws to Carmel are the over 100 art galleries featuring every type of art imaginable.  

Carmel is the northern gateway to the Big Sur coast, one of the most beautiful and dramatic coastlines in the world.  A drive down Highway 1 is well rewarded.



Pt. Lobos as Seen From the Highland’s Inn Lobby

Carmel Mission

The Beautiful Historic La Playa Hotel in Carmel