I’m so excited to finally share my 2021 Carmel by-the-sea travel guide! I also included a vlog this year as well 🙂 Read on to see what to do in Carmel By-The-Sea! Hope you enjoy!
What to Do in Carmel By-The-Sea
Our first stop was the Carmel Mission. This the second oldest California mission and it was founded in 1770. We’ve been to Carmel once before but we didn’t have time to stop at the mission and we’ve been to other missions in California but this is the first time for this one. It was absolutely breathtaking! The architecture is just incredible and honestly, I am blown away by how beautiful it was. There were a couple of fountains, a beautiful church, a little museum area and my favorite part, a courtyard that had so many different types of colorful flowers and plants. I believe admission was $10 per person and we really enjoyed ourselves so I highly recommend.
Chicwish Floral Dress c/o (similar here) | Chicwish Faux Fur Collar Coat c/o | Dolce and Gabbana Pink Handbag | Lele Sadoughi Pearl Headband | Pink Sunglasses | Sequin Jewelry Pearl Sunglass Chain c/o
The hotel we stayed at was very close to the downtown area and Carmel as a city is quite small so it’s very walkable (read my full reviews here and here). There’s so much see including a ton of incredible art galleries, boutiques, wine tasting areas and unique restaurants. There are also a lot of secret passageways so I highly recommend just making a day out of it if you visit downtown. I honestly think it’s better if you don’t really have a plan and you just walk around and explore. The main shopping street is Ocean Ave but I also recommend checking out the side streets for unique shops, eateries and a even a peek at some of the beautiful cottages that line the streets. And definitely have your camera ready because every single place is super photogenic. And if you prefer big name stores, I recommend checking out the outdoor mall. They have a Kate Spade and Anthropologie among other things. The Anthropologie is massive and they have so many good things. We always get candles to bring back home 🙂
Another area to check out outside of downtown is The Barnyard. There are a ton of shops and restaurants over there. My personal favorite is From Scratch and I recommend them for breakfast. There’s also a really good chocolate shop called Pieces of Heaven. We spent pretty much all day walking around downtown and decided to end our journey at Carmel Beach. The view from Carmel beach is seriously stunning. I’ve been to a million beaches in California and Carmel is just really special. It has the most beautiful pastel blue water and it’s especially gorgeous at Sunset.
River Island Blue Gingham Dress | Kate Spade White Handbag (similar here) | Asos Boater Hat (old – love this one!) | Lack of Color Scalloped Hat | Another Sole White Sneakers c/o | Kendra Scott Pearl Bracelet c/o | Angara Aquamarine Ring
Pebble beach is seriously so stunning! I personally think it’s one of the most beautiful areas in California. Neither one of us golf but we love exploring the area via 17 mile drive. The entrance fee was $10.75 per vehicle. They give you a map with different stops that include the hist0ry the area and significance of each spot. Some of my favorites are Spanish Bay, Point Joe, China Rock, Cypress Point, Ghost Trees at Pescadero Point and the most famous stop of all, The Lone Cypress. And you certainly don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate it all. There are so many different areas for hiking, picnicking, and just lounging on the beach.
Also, another area I should mention is Point Lobos. We didn’t go this time because we ran out of time but it’s absolutely breathtaking! You can see the seals, check out some incredible views and hike along some of the most beautiful coastline in the state. well, actually probably the country. The water color is absolutely unreal. It includes various shades including an incredible bright aqua color.
Where to Eat
- Brophy’s Tavern – a laid back, relaxed bar with the most amazing burgers! Highly recommend. Plus it’s right across the street from the Hofsas House Hotel.
- Cafe Carmel – a cute little cafe with sandwiches, sweet treats and smoothes. We had a BLT sandwich and a delicious fruit smoothie!
- Hog’s Breath – a rustic restaurant with a rustic menu 😉 It used to be owned by Clint Eastwood. We got sliders and fries. It was so good that we ordered seconds.
- Mission Ranch – the most gorgeous restaurant with a decadent menu. This is a hotel and restaurant owned by Clint Eastwood and it’s set against a stunning ranch backdrop with views of the ocean and mountains. I had a cranberry arnold palmer and a chicken sandwich. It was so delicious!
- 5th Ave Deli – They have literally everything! Perfect for a quick bite or a picnic lunch.
- Lula’s – they have the most decadent chocolates. I personally love their sea salted dark chocolate <3
- It’s All About The Chocolate – they have every single candy you can you think of. It’s Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Check out my Carmel by-the-sea travel vlog below for a firsthand look at our trip and everything we did!
I hope this gave you some amazing ideas on what to do in Carmel by-the-sea!
Where are you traveling to next?