A Weekend Guide to Carmel by the Sea, California.
An artistic, storybook coastal town that sits atop a hill overlooking the Pacific. That my friends is a little place called Carmel by the Sea and it’s the most charming fairytale town that is unlike any other. Did you know that the houses aren’t numbered and instead each home has its own name? It’s reasons like this that make Carmel by the Sea so charming.
Carmel by the Sea Hotels
Because of the proximity to Pebble Beach Golf Course, there are a handful of higher-end properties in Carmel to stay in. Here are my top picks:
We personally choose to stay here and loved every minute of our stay. It is reminiscent of an Italian Hotel on the Meditteranean so we fell in love the second we stepped foot on the property. It’s a short walk to the town and only steps to the beach. Breakfast was included in our stay and the pool and property was very secluded.
Another European style luxury hotel, L’Auberge Carmel is a great option since it’s located directly in town, within a block from the main street. Not only that, but their storybook facade has all the charm that Carmel offers.
A small boutique inn that is located in a prime location. Just steps away from the beach and the main street in Carmel town.
Things to do in Carmel by the Sea
17 Mile Drive
One of our favorite parts of staying in Carmel by the Sea was the 17 Mile Drive. It costs $10.50 to enter the road and about an hour or two to complete depending on how many places you want to stop. Don’t miss out on the Lone Cypress or Fan Shell Beach. Those we’re our two favorite stops on the 17-mile drive!
Immediately south of Carmel, Point Lobos State Park is one of the most scenic parts of the Pacific Coast Highway. With many easy hiking trails, beautiful flora, wildlife, and views for days! Get here early to avoid the crowds and have the entire park to yourself.
The Carmel Mission was built in 1797 and is one of the most authentic Missions in California. The stunning Spanish Architecture alone is reason enough for a visit. Finally, it’s functioning today so if you would like to attend a mass here, you can!
Carmel by the Sea beach
One of the most picturesque beaches we have ever seen. The sand was exceptionally soft and it was not that crowded. Make sure to stay for sunset because as you can see pictured above, it’s pretty magical!
Pebble Beach Golf Course
Voted the number one golf course in the country, Pebble Beach is a must-see for any golfer in your life. However, a round of golf runs $550. It’s definitely a splurge but a once in a lifetime experience.
Carmel is known for its storybook cottages most of which can be best enjoyed by a nice bike ride. Carmel is extremely hilly so be prepared when planning your bike route. It’s best to keep your route following the ocean.
Day Trip to Big Sur
Big Sur is roughly an hour away from Big Sur. It’s well worth the scenic drive when staying in Carmel by the Sea. I’ve written a Complete Guide to Visiting Big Sur that you can check out here!
What to Pack for Carmel by the SeaCarmel by the Sea has warm temperatures during the summer but from February-May can have lows as low as 45 degrees. Here is what to pack if you’re traveling from May-December:
- Bathing Suits: Being that Carmel is a coastal destination you want to always be prepared by bringing bathing suits. I always find quality suits that last for a few seasons at everythingbutwater, revolve, and cupshe.
- Sunscreen: Being that you’ll mostly be outdoors for California adventures, you’ll want to be prepared to protect that skin of yours. Tula has the best SPF products. Use my code LETRAVELSTYLE for 15% off your Tula products.
- Sandals: Nordstrom always carries the best sandals. Not only do they last longer but they’re nice and supportive. Check out the styles here. I always find that Olukai has the most comfortable sandals and even when I am walking in them all day my feet never bothered me. Check them out click here.
- A light jacket
- Shorts: Abercrombie has the best shorts for all sizes and shapes. Check their styles out here.
- Basics: I always find the best basics at either HM & Abercrombie. It’s nice to have some neutral tees and tanks handy during your stay.