Carmel-by-the-Sea Travel Guide

  • Cottage of Sweets
    Cottage of Sweets
    by sue_stone
  • 17 Mile Drive cove
    17 Mile Drive cove
    by sue_stone
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea
    by CervantesPete

Carmel-by-the-Sea Highlights

  • Pro
    atufft profile photo

    atufft says…

     Wonderful landscapes mixed with quaint residential architecture 

  • Con
    shivan profile photo

    shivan says…

     absurdly expensive 

  • In a nutshell
    SteveOSF profile photo

    SteveOSF says…

     A nice spot to see while visiting the Monterey Bay area. 

Carmel-by-the-Sea Things to Do

  • Pebble Beach

    the 17 mile drive is one of the most wonderful attractions in Monterey County. This is a private enclave straddling the Pacific Grove, Monterey and Carmel Towns and is where the world famous pebble beach golf course, home of the US Open, is located. It also has the less expensive Spy Glass Hill Golf Course plus other assorted areas of Interest like...

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  • Downtown Carmel

    Like what I've said in my previous tips, Carmel By The Sea Became Famous in the early 1900's as artists started flocking here to make their works of art among the romantic beaches and the view of the famed Monterey Cypress Trees and at present, It has more than 100 art galleries located in the one square mile area that caters to all kinds of art...

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  • 17 Mile Drive

    the 17 mile drive is one of the most wonderful attractions in Monterey County. This is a private enclave straddling the Pacific Grove, Monterey and Carmel Towns and is where the world famous pebble beach golf course, home of the US Open, is located. It also has the less expensive Spy Glass Hill Golf Course plus other assorted areas of Interest like...

    more

Carmel-by-the-Sea Hotels

Carmel-by-the-Sea Restaurants

  • Great experience!

    What an experience this place is. We walked by in the afternoon and saw wait staff dancing and singing and everyone having a good time so we checked out the menu and tried to make reservation for that evening. They only had a 9pm seating available. So we gave our name but the host didn't write it down. I was sceptical whether we would actually have...

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  • GOURMET CARMEL BY THE SEA

    The moment you see the front door, you are aware that this restaurant is going to be a gourmet experience. The ambience is upscale and the service is impeccable. Yes, I know this is a beach town, but I still wore a jacket. It fits the mood of the interior. Dinning at Anton & Michel is a true gourmet delight and I was not disappointed with the...

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  • Holy Cannoli!

    I really like this place and it seemed so many others do as well. The lines can be long. Very good coffee. But what I like was the Cannoli I had. First it was delicious and big! But more impotant it was filled all the way through, not like some places where they only fill the ends and you don't find out until you leave and bite into it.They also...

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Nightlife

  • Big Dog's Sports Bar--Closed/replaced by...

    Big Dog's closed in summer 2008, but was replaced by Bently's British Pub... the 6th British pub in the Monterey area by my count (London Bridge, Crown and Anchor, Britannia Arms, Mucky Duck, and Bulldogs plus Penny Farthing in Salinas). They have two happy hours a night (5-7 pm and 10 pm- midnight) and big 20 ounce pints, but the kitchen closes at...

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  • Hogs Breath Inn

    Clint Eastwood's former restaurant, the Hog's Breath Inn, is a nice place in downtown Carmel to spend an evening with friends. The outdoor atmosphere is perfect in the summer, and is warm even on cooler nights due to the five or six natural gas fireplaces plus a handful of electric heaters. Beers are around $5 each and options include Carmel Wheat,...

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  • Brophy's Sports Bar

    Brophy's is a small but very clean and modern sports bar in the heart of Carmel (it used to be called Kinger's Sports Bar and before that the Fourth Avenue Pasta House). It features a nice L-shaped bar with a wide variety of liquors, 3 or 4 flat-screen TVs, and is decorated with numerous golf photographs from courses around the world. Food is the...

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Transportation

  • Drive to Carmel By The Sea

    If you are from the bay area, Driving to the Monterey Bay area, particularly to Carmel By the Sea is a 1 1/2 hour drive if you would not have a restroom break via US 101 South then to CA 156 and finally to the Cabrillo Highway (CA Highway 1). it is located 125 miles south of san francisco, just after monterey and pacific grove and if you want to...

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  • Parking

    There are only a few parking lots in town. So, you will have to park on the street. The curbs that are painted green are limited up to 30 minutes or less. The unpainted curbs have signs posted for a maximum amount of time of 2 hours. Be careful to pay attention to your time because you will get a ticket. Parking patrol is everywhere and put a...

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  • Map of my roundtrip

    Carmel is along the coast on highway 1. It is about 200 km (124 miles) south from San Francisco. My trip went further along the coast to San Simeon. From Carmel to San Simeon is another 160 km (100 miles).

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Shopping

  • Luxe Store in Carmel Plaza

    Carmel By The Sea Is really a Luxe town! where else can you see a Louis Vuitton Store in a seemingly small hamlet if the area is not that famous or expensive! Louis Vuitton, the Most Copied Brand (and most sought after brand after Hermes') in the World was Founded by Malletier Louis Vuitton in 1854, never would he realize that it would become a...

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  • Luxe Shopping Area of Carmel By The Sea

    Carmel By The Sea has three strip malls located in the township and this strip mall called Carmel Plaza is the most luxe of them all. It is located at the Ocean Avenue and Mission St at the Downtown Carmel Area. The strip mall is small by other strip mall standards in major suburban centers but what it lacks in size, it pretty compensates for it on...

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  • CERAMIC GUINEA HENS GALORE

    The shops in Carmel-by-the-Sea are all gingerbread styles and Victorian fantasy. That's what makes shopping up and down Ocean Ave so much more enjoyable, especially for the non-shopper like me. My wife, Sue, could shop till she dropped (which she has done) and the ambiance on the streets of Carmel invigorate her to a shopping frenzy pitch.So, wham,...

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Local Customs

  • Canine Friendly

    Carmel is an extremely dog-friendly town. Almost everyone we passed was walking a dog; I felt kind of deprived because we didn't have one! One shop had dishes of water and dog treats outside the door for the benefit of its canine customers.We even saw what seemed to be a German Shepherd (Alsatian) club: I counted nine dogs in the group. Yo,...

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  • No Numbers

    There are no house numbers in Carmel, which sometimes makes it difficult to find a place. Addresses are given as intersections, e.g. Ocean and Monteverde.On our latest trip to Carmel, we were driving a rental car with a GPS. I was stymied by the first step: Enter destination address. There's probably a way to enter an intersection into a GPS, but I...

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  • Little known laws

    It is against the law to wear high heeled shoes in Carmel. This isn't really enforced, but just one of the querks.It is against the law to cut down trees in Carmel.

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Warnings and Dangers

  • Take notice please

    See the lady? Right nearby was a sign clearly stating - "Please do not feed the animals". It seems like a challenge to many people, dare I say those who rarely get out and experience nature, to do just the opposite.There is a reason for this sign, it's because animals not only become human dependent, but get aggressive as well. Many people don't...

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  • Be Careful Out There

    The sign says it all. There is a very strong undertow here. Anyone venturing into the water should be aware of this. Even if your children are only wading in the water, it's best to hold their hands and keep them close to shore. Big waves have been known to smack people into deep water.

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  • Monastery Beach

    This beach, on Highway 1 south of Carmel–by-the-Sea and near Pt. Lobos State Reserve, is part of Carmel River State Beach and takes its name from the Carmelite Monastery across the highway.It is know locally as "Mortuary Beach", due to the very high death rate. HEED THE SIGNS!!! It's even worse than they depict.Though beautiful, the currents are...

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Tourist Traps

  • Carmel Plaza

    I've Included The Luxe Carmel Plaza in the tourist traps too and it can be considered a tourist trap if you are an el cheapo hehehe. Carmel By The Sea has three strip malls located in the township and this strip mall called Carmel Plaza is the most luxe of them all. It is located at the Ocean Avenue and Mission St at the Downtown Carmel Area. The...

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  • Beautiful White Sand, Dangerous Surf

    The white sands of Carmel attract tourists but the surf is particularly dangerous along the Carmel coastline. Take a walk along the beach, try to avoid the fly trap piles of seaweed tossed up by the tide, but stay out of the water. The turbulent surf tosses up beautiful sand, but the descent is rapid into the undertoe currrents. Like most places...

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  • Another photo of the beautiful coastline

    Another beautiful view of the coast. This is certainly a tourist trap.... when you are here, you don't want to go. It is breathtaking beautiful this part of the coast. The rest of your travelplans are all mixed up, after you have been here. Because you probably want to stay here much longer than you planned for.

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Carmel-by-the-Sea What to Pack

  • Bing a Jacket or Sweater

    unless you would check in at a local inn or motel, then you don't a big luggage, a messenger bag for the boys will do. weather in Carmel and the Nearby Monterey, Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove Area can change one minute after another. Although it almost never rains in California, there can be an occasional slight drizzle occuring so have your...

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  • Layers and a Light

    Bring layers and a warm jacket, as the weather is changeable. It can be sunny and warm midday and turn cold and windy by dinnertime. I'm almost always cold when I go to Carmel, but this time I was prepared -- sweater, scarf, thick hooded jacket -- and I was fine. If you're planning to walk around at night, bring a small pocket flashlight. Some...

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  • Travel light!

    * Map and guidebook;* Crackers;* 2 Liter of water;* Fruit / power bars. * Hiking boots;* Shorts with many pockets;* Sunglasses;* Fleece type jacket. * Lip balm;* Band-aids. * Camera and lots of films!* Filter;* Extra batteries;* Lens 210 mm.

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Off The Beaten Path

  • Rocky Creek Bridge

    The Rocky Creek bridge is the less famous of the CA Highway 1 arched bridged in the California Central Coast. This bridge is nearer to the Monterey Peninsula by a few miles but if you are driving along the CA Route 1 route, you will pass both the Rocky Creek Bridge and Bixby Bridge. Bothe these bridges were made in 1932 but the Bixby Bridge has a...

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  • Bixby Bridge

    The Bixby bridge is just one of the Many Bridges you cross to and from Monterey Going to the Central Coasts of California to Hearst Castle, San Simeon, Lucia, Pismo Beach, Cambria, etc along the Historic CA Route One. The Bixby Bridge and the Rocky Creek bridge are two of the more famous Arched Bridges here in the romantic California Pacific Coasts...

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  • Go to Hearst Castle

    Driving up to the Highway 1 for 95 miles from CARMEL will lead you to Hearst Castle, It is a 2/12 hour drive along the scenic and winding roads of CA Route One where you can do several photo stops along the many points of Interests along the Route (like Bixby Bridge, Rocky Creek Bridge, Point Sur, Ragged Point, etc). In the Hearst Castle, there is...

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Sports & Outdoors

  • bugalugs's Profile Photo

    by bugalugs Written Dec 1, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Golf is plentiful in this area, with quite a few courses. Enjoying spectacular views of the pacific coastline and amongst the forests, where deer roam free.

    One famous golf club is the Pebble Beach, the nearest we got to it was Wayne buying a sweat shirt from a shop in Carmel!

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Favorites

  • Art & Film Festivals

    Since the early 1900's, Carmel By The Sea was known as a center for Arts since there are many artists and art galleries located along the area and hence the cost of living in the place is high and the houses are expensive. Since Carmel has many art galleries, rich people come to Carmel to buy these exquisite pieces of art made by local artisans and...

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  • Carmel

    Just being in Carmel is a delight. As I strolled the streets of this community I came to love it more. All the boutique shops, all those things to spend your money on, all the stuff you've never seen before.Personally, I couldn't get enough of it. The Normandy or Tudor style architecture is eye candy for someone like me.

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  • Whalers Cove at Point Lobos

    Point Lobos State Reserve at Carmel’s shore was one of my favorite things about Carmel. It is operated by the California State Park Service. When we arrived at the park, the ranger at the gate suggested three hikes that would help us best explore the reserve in the limited amount of time we had before sunset. The recommended walks would reveal the...

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