Charming downtown with quaint shops, galleries, and delicious restaurants. Parking is an issue we had to worry about feeding meters. But, we left our car and walked up and down to the left and right of Ocean Avenue down to the Beach and back. There was a park with public bathrooms near the library. People were friendly, shops were crafty, beautiful and interesting and the restaurants had beautiful gardens and creative menus.
Carmel By The Sea is just a few miles south of Monterey and while driving along the 17 mile drive, you can take the Carmel exit of the 17 mile drive to go to this quaint artistic and luxe shopping town. I will do separate tips on Carmel at my Carmel pages.
Carmel By the Sea is a quaint town in the Monterey Peninsula, located about 90 miles north of Hearst Castle and is a quaint destination in itself where you can go high end shopping in it's upscale and stylish strip malls and the assorted art galleries that made the town famous where you can buy expensive art pieces. plus it is one of the original 21 Spanish Missions in California and where the Iconic Spanish Friar Junipero Serra is Buried. Thanks a lot to old Clint Eastwood to Make the Town a big blip in the Map of California. A Side to to Monterey and 17 Mile Drive in Pacific Grove which are nearby can be done.
Carmel beach is absolutely beautiful and the sunsets are magical. If you look to your right you can see part of the Pebble Beach Golf Course. If you look to your left, you can see part of Pt. Lobos. The sun sets right over the ocean and slips fast so make sure you get there in plenty of time to relax and watch it. During the high season, there can be quite a few people on the beach but it is still not very crowded. And in the September-November time frame, it is Indian Summer with gorgeous weather, little fog and almost no people on the beach.
Some great experiences at sunset are just holding hands and walking along the shore, taking down a picnic dinner or building a bonfire on the beach. You can do it yourself or use a company called Romantic Room Designs to do it for you. There have been quite a few proposals on the beach.
The beach does not close until 10 PM so you can stay and relax well after the sun has set. It does get to be quite dark, so just remember to bring a flashlight and some extra blankets/light jacket. If you head out of there just after sunset, you can walk (or short drive) in to town and find some great restaurants in which to enjoy dinner.
Point Lobos gets its name from the offshore rocks at Punta de los Lobos Marinos, Point of the Sea Wolves, where the sound of the sea lions carries inland. TheReserve has often been called "the crown jewel of the State Park System."
Point Lobos offers many things to a wide variety of people. There are extensive hiking trails all over the park. There are also a number of campsites on the coast that look out to sea. It is also possible to go SCUBA diving in the marine reserve by reservation only. They only allow 20 divers per day and you need to book well in advance. Due to the diver restictions such as: no fishing there are copius amounts of fish in the reserve which are not seen at other dive sites.
The Reserve opens daily at 8 A.M and closes a half an hour after sunset.
The entrance fee is charged per car and is $10 per car.
Unlike the 17-mile-drive, this one is free (minus the cost of gas). Drive down Rt 1 and detour through Carmel-By-The-Sea (a right off of Rt. 1 onto Ocean Avenue and you'll end up right in the middle of town). After driving through the narrow roads and along the water-adjacent Scenic Drive, you can continue down Rt.1 to Big Sur.
The beaches and cliffs are gorgeous and the houses, despite being tiny and having no backyard, are cute and some even look like they belong in DisneyWorld.
Carmel has some beautiful beaches bordering small cliffs and steep hills, much of it in view from Highway 1. The town features the Carmel Mission as the main historic site, while downtown offers a wide variety of upscale shops and restaurants in a small village atmosphere. Carmel is about 15 miles from picturesque Bixby Bridge and just down the road from posh Pebble Beach and its array of golf courses along the beach. Clint Eastwood was mayor of Carmel back in the 70s, and you can stop into Hogsbreath Saloon which he used to own and still occasionally visits.
Note...if you want a tee time at Pebble beach, you have to stay at a Pebble Beach resort which costs a minimum of $525 a night, plus greens fees.
The Monterey County Weekly "Best Of 2006 Readers' Picks" named Carmel Beach as the best Beach and the best Place to Watch the Sunset in Monterey County!
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a step into another world, unlike any city along the California coast. The cobbled sidewalks, quaint cottages, breath-taking seascapes, tucked away shops and incredible art galleries are a few of the attractions that draw travelers from around the globe to experience a part of California unique unto itself. Romantic, inspiring and usually bustling with activity, Carmel should not be missed.
Theres more info about Carmel on my Carmel page. Basically if you go to Monterey you have to go to Carmel. I really liked this town, it was clean, cozy has great shopping, and has alot of places to eat. The weather is alittle warmer here than in Monterey and not as overcast.
The first thing you need to accomplish when visiting Carmel is to find a parking place.
Nestled beween Pebble Beach golf course to the North and the spectacular Big Sur Coast to the South it is an area for artists, shopping, small elegant inns and fine dining. Here you will feel the relaxed pace of a European style retreat.
Carmel is a rather tony place, a really nice town. It's got several blocks of shops, galleries and restaurants. A quiet place to spend some time, get that shopping done if that's your thing. I enjoyed having all those services, yet being miles away from any strip malls.
And no, I didn't see Clint Eastwood there!
Visit the beach at Carmel.
A nice looking beach, with some picturesque houses just behind it. It's a bit off the beaten track, and parking for non-residents seemed extremely limited. Unfortunately I was in a hurry and didn't get to spend more than 15 minutes there!
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a quaint artists'/touristy village you should spend some time at. Drive down the main street (Ocean Ave) and spend some time at the Carmel Beach City Park, or turn left and take a leisurely drive/walk along Scenic Rd (there's a good reason it's named that!) until you get to Carmel River State Beach. Parking's troublesome in town, but it's worth it.