Carmel Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Carmel - Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey County, California - CA, USA)

Beachfront pictureThe town of Carmel has successfully managed to retain the character and appeal of a small Californian village, and this is reflected in its tourist attractions. One of the very best ways to learn about the history of Carmel and tourists will be able to enjoy a surprising array of attractions when joining a guided tour.

The natural beauty of the coastline and the Monterey Peninsula is another good reason why so many people choose to spend their summer holiday here, hanging out on the Carmel Beach City Park or the acclaimed Pebble Beach. Tourist attractions also include a number of vineyards, wineries and theaters, with the pine forest setting of the town's Forest Theater and its outdoor amphitheater being unmissable, particularly during the summer performances and open-air movie screenings.

Central view

Guided Walking Tours

Address: Carmel Walks, Pine Inn Courtyard, Lincoln Street, Carmel, US-93923, Monterey County, California CA, USA
Tel: +1 831 642 2700
Guided walking tours of Carmel last around two hours and are led by experienced local guided, who take you through the various back streets and tourist hot spots around the town, telling the stories of the various celebrities who have been spotted here over the years. Guided tours of the town come very highly recommended and are worth considering as soon as you arrive, so that you can be sure to make the most of your time and quickly find your way around.
Open hours: daily - seasonal variations
Admission: free for self-guided tours, charge for guided tours

View of the Beach City Park

Carmel Beach City Park

Address: Scenic Road, Carmel, Monterey County, California CA, USA
The Carmel Beach City Park is overlooked by a number of very popular hotels and is just a short walk away from the shops, restaurants and similar attractions, being bordered by the aptly named Scenic Road. Many locals tend to hang out on the beach in the evening, often building small bonfires and playing music. The oceanfront itself is beautiful ideal for swimming, although it is never very warm, so do bring a blanket or thick towel to wrap yourself in afterwards. Surfing is also possible here at times, although is generally best left to the more experienced surfers.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Image of Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach

Address: Pebble Beach, Monterey County, California CA, USA
Pebble Beach is a small community surrounded by the Del Monte Forest and just a couple of miles to the north of Carmel, where is has become a leading coastal resort in its own right. The coastline of Pebble Beach is widely considered to amongst the very best on offer around the Monterey Peninsula, with its famous golf course, the Pebble Beach Golf Links, taking full advantage of the coastal scenery. Other attractions include the landmark 'Lone Cypress', an ancient Monterey cypress tree which stands alone, atop a rocky outcrop, and have become nothing short of an iconic symbol of the whole peninsula. Pebble Beach has strong connections with movie star Clint Eastwood, who has regularly stayed here over the years and invested in the actual links golf club.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Carmel River State Beach picture

Carmel River State Beach

Address: 26599 Scenic Road, Carmel, US-93921, Monterey County, California CA, USA
The Carmel River State Beach is a tranquil spot, located alongside a winding estuary, where local wildlife is plentiful. Tourists generally come here to walk along the acclaimed Carmel River Beach Trail, which is easily reached from Highway 1 and leads towards Monastery Beach (San Jose Creek Beach), passing countless windswept Monterey cypress along the way. Look out for the wooden cross next to the lagoon, which marks the spot where a historic port was once based. The beachfront itself is very attractive, although the current is strong and therefore not generally suitable for swimming.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Photo of Point Lobos State Reserve

Point Lobos State Reserve

Address: Carmel, Monterey County, California CA, USA
Tel: +1 831 624 4909
Officially known as the Point Lobos State Reserve and generally abbreviated to simply Point Lobos, this spreading state park is home to a wealth of acclaimed hiking trails, along with a number of charming sandy beaches. The Point Lobos State Reserve contains countless appealing natural attractions and around half of the total park is actually beneath water, meaning that this spot is much favored by scuba divers from Carmel, who enjoy exploring the endless kelp forests and seeing the inquisitive harbor seals and timid leopard sharks close up. Also of interest is a fascinating local history museum, which can be found within the former Whalers Cabin. The waters tends to be only the chilly side all through the year, although many locals choose to come here in the summer for a swim.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free


Address: Forest Theater, Mountain View / Santa Rita Street, Carmel, US-93921 California CA, USA
Address: Golden Bough Playhouse, Casanova Street/ 8th Avenue, Carmel, US-93921 California (CA), USA
Address: Pacific Repertory Theater, Monte Verde Street, Between 8th Avenue and 9th Avenue, Carmel, US-93921 California (CA), USA
Tel: (group booking office) +1 831 622 0100
Address: Sunset Center, San Carlos Street, Carmel, Carmel, US-93921 California CA, USA
Tel: +1 831 620 2048
There are a number of different theaters within Carmel, each offering their own range of shows, performances, concerts and musical attractions. Of particular note, the Pacific Repertory Theater hosts some 150 shows each year and accommodates audiences of up to 400 people. Close by, the Golden Bough Playhouse is a particularly historical theater and dates back more than 100 years. Established as far back as 1910, the Forest Theater is located on the corner of Mountain View and Santa Rita, and is known for its Shakespeare seasons. For live entertainment, museum displays, exhibitions and other annual attractions, check out the Sunset Center, a leading arts complex where the acclaimed Monterey County Symphony orchestra regularly play.
Open hours: daily - hours vary according to performance
Admission: charge

Photograph of Scenic Road

Scenic Road

Address: Scenic Road, Carmel, Monterey County, California CA, USA
The Scenic Road offers the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or jog, and takes in some breathtaking coastal scenery around the Carmel Beach City Park. Starting just above 8th Avenue and on the far side of the Ocean Avenue, the Scenic Road winds along the shoreline for around 1 mile / 1.5 km. Various benches are scattered along the route, so that you can sit back, relax and soak in the endless views of the ocean and surrounding Monterey cypress trees.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Vineyard picture

Vineyards and Wineries

Address: Bernardus Vineyards and Winery, 415 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, US-93924, Monterey County, California CA, USA
Tel: +1 800 223 2533
Address: Château Julien Wine, 8940 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel, US-93923, Monterey County, California CA, USA
Tel: +1 831 624 2600
Address: Durney Vineyards, Heller Estate, 69 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, US-93924, Monterey County, California CA, USA
Tel: +1 831 659 6220
Address: Galante Vineyards, 18181 Cachagua Road, Carmel Valley, US-93924, Monterey County, California CA, USA
Tel: +1 800 425 2683
The Californian sunshine and well-draining soil of the Carmel Valley results in bountiful harvests at the surrounding vineyards, and a very delicious selection of locally produced wines. There are a number of excellent, award-winning vineyards and wineries close by, which are well worth investigating if you have the time, where you are often able to taste wines such as Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc. Many wines from Carmel vineyards have a very distinctive Californian flavor, which is often compared to Italian wines. Wine tasting is available at the Durney Vineyards, along with further attractions, such as pleasant sculpture gardens and even a doll museum. Worth noting, guided tours and tastings at the other vineyards do generally need to be arranged in advance.
Open hours: daily - seasonal variations
Admission: charge