Best Things To Do in Carmel-by-the-sea, California

Are you looking for what to do in Carmel-by-the-sea?

From pristine beaches to stunning coastal views to gorgeous parks, Carmel by the sea has a varied mix of attractions and things to do. Head to the Point Lobos state reserve that is wonderful with its scenic views, enchanting trees, and recreational activities. Point Lobos also has plenty of hiking trails. Connect with the divine at the historical gem of Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo church that has a peaceful garden to walk around and relax. Take a leisurely stroll across the sandy and beautiful Carmel River State beach. The beach is dog-friendly and is less crowded most of the times. Go on a coastal drive along the 17-mile that offers some of the amazing views of the coastal scenery and on your drive make sure you stop at the locations of Lone Cypress and Pebble beach. Take a tour to the poetic Tor House and Hawk Tower that is lovely and one of the underrated places in Carmel. Explore the stunning Garrapata State Park that offers picturesque views of the jagged cliffs and provides a chance for coastal hiking. Soak yourself in the Sunset Cultural center that is a fabulous venue for music concerts with great acoustics and comfortable seating. To get a hold of the place, a minimum of 3 days stay is recommended.

Below we have a list of things to do in Carmel-by-the-sea and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Carmel-by-the-sea getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Carmel-by-the-sea with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Carmel-by-the-sea

Here is the list of things to do in Carmel-by-the-sea and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Point Lobos State Reserve And China Cove Gibson Beach

    Outdoors, Beach, Nature

    Considered as the crown jewel of the State Park System, The Point Lobos State Reserve is a perfect place if you want to watch vistas and animals of different species. A visit to the state park is mandatory for those who want to embrace the nature in the best possible way. The park boasts of some rare plants and also different but unique geological formations, which make it more visit worthy. Th...Read more
  2. Ocean Avenue

    Restaurant, Market, Street Market, Streets

    Whenever you’re taking a trip somewhere, it is very important to visit shopping streets of that particular place. And Ocean Avenue is just the right kind of place for anyone who loves shopping. Moreover, this lane has everything from wineries to restaurants to shopping centres. After spending hours at beach, relaxing, if you’re in the mood to pamper yourself, then a visit to Ocean A...Read more
  3. Tor House

    4.6 (44 Votes)
    Tor House


    Constructed by Robinson Jeffers, a poet builder from the 1920s, the Tor House was initially a dream house for him and his family. Entirely built by himself, the Tor House is a stark example of how far one can go to achieve his dreams. Jeffers made use of wooden planks to pull up the stones and place them perfectly. Almost 80 years after this, the house is converted into a museum and is a promin...Read more
  4. Sunset Cultural Center

    4.7 (57 Votes)
    Sunset Cultural Center

    Entertainment, Performance, Concert

    What started as a public school, today the Sunset Cultural Center is a place for promoting art forms of different kind and every art lover in the world. Started in 2003, the center is a great place to witness some really fine world class performances performed by great artists across the globe. The center is a prime location for the celebration of arts, music, dance for the people of Carmel by ...Read more
  5. Monastery Beach

    4.6 (44 Votes)
    Monastery Beach


    Another popular beach in the beach town that Carmel is, the Monastery Beach is pristine, beautiful and can be every soul searcher’s fantasy. If you’re done with exploring the already crowded downtown or the bustling parks, then a visit to the Monastery Beach will help you to be at peace. You can take strolls on the sandy beach, sunbathe or play some interesting beach games here. If ...Read more
  6. Carmel Plaza

    4.4 (20 Votes)
    Carmel Plaza

    Plaza, Specialty Shop

    Bring out the avid shopper in you, shop some high end souvenirs for yourself, your friends, relatives or your colleagues, on your way back home and spend some relaxed time at Carmel Plaza, a architecturally beautiful mall of Carmel. There are about 40 shops and restaurants which belong to prominent brands like Cole Hahn, J Crew, and Kate Spade. If you want to enjoy some laid back time and binge...Read more
  7. Golden Bough Playhouse

    5 (15 Votes)
    Golden Bough Playhouse

    Entertainment, Theatre

    Originally started in 1920s but then destroyed in fire in 1949, the Golden Bough Playhouse is an iconic theatre in Carmel by the Sea which has been attracting tourists or art lovers across the globe since decades. After the fire, two new theatres were constructed in the Golden Bough Playhouse building in 1952. In 1994, the Pacific Repertory Theatre took charge of Golden Bough Playhouse and the ...Read more
  8. Weston Gallery

    4.6 (8 Votes)
    Weston Gallery

    Photo Gallery

    The Weston Gallery in Carmel by the Sea is considered to be one of the oldest galleries in the world dedicated to photography, as it was established in 1975. If you want to witness a perfect amalgamation of vintage and contemporary photographs, then visiting Weston Gallery can be a good idea.  The gallery features some fantastic works of renowned photographers like Ansel Adams, Edward West...Read more
  9. Forest Theater, Carmel

    4.9 (81 Votes)
    Forest Theater, Carmel

    Entertainment, Amphitheater

    The Forest Theatre in Carmel was constructed in 1910, and since then it has been entertaining the kids and adults alike. Located perfectly at the Mountain View Avenue and Santa Rita Street, the Carmel’s Forest Theatre is a 540 seat amphitheatre. The theatre’s stage is its main attraction and the set is truly world class. The pines, fireplaces and an extravagant setting make for a pe...Read more
  10. Steven Whytes Sculpture Studio And Gallery

    Art Gallery, Sculpture

    Steven Whyte is a well-known sculpture whose creations were world famous. And just to enlighten the current and coming generations about his contribution to the art of sculpting, the Steven Whyte’s Sculpture Studio and Gallery was established. Moreover, the gallery not only displays Steven’s creations, but there is a live studio too! The completed as well as in progress sculptures a...Read more
  11. Gravity Garden

    4 (5 Votes)
    Gravity Garden


    A comparatively small garden when taken other parks in Carmel into consideration, the Gravity Garden can be explored within minutes. What sets this garden apart from others is the uniquely kept rocks. The stacked rocks are placed in a different manner by renowned rockstacker Jim Needham. If you have still some time to explore Carmel, then  a quick visit to the Gravity Garden will not cause...Read more
  12. Small Sea Image
    The Small Sea Museum in Carmel-by-the-Sea, United States was started in 1983 by local artist and collector, Doris Day. Day, who was a well-known actress and singer, had a deep love for the ocean and marine life. She wanted to share her passion with others and preserve the history and beauty of the sea.The museum was originally called the "Doris Day Museum" and was located in the basement of Day...Read more
  13. Whaler's Cabin Museum At Pt. Lobos Image
    The Whaler's Cabin Museum at Pt. Lobos, Carmel-by-the-sea, United States was started in 1853 by the Pacific Whaling Company. The company was founded by Captain Charles D. Bolton, who was a prominent figure in the whaling industry at the time.The museum was originally built as a cabin for the whalers who worked in the area. It was used as a place for them to rest and store their equipment while ...Read more
  14. Big Sur Gallery & Warehouse Image
    The Big Sur Gallery & Warehouse in Carmel-by-the-Sea, United States was founded in 1975 by the late artist and gallery owner, Robert W. Miller. Miller was a renowned painter and sculptor who had a passion for the beauty of the Big Sur region. He wanted to create a space where he could showcase his own work as well as the work of other local artists. The gallery has since become a hub for the lo...Read more
  15. Rocky Point Restaurant

    4.4 (6 Votes)
    Rocky Point Restaurant
    Rocky Point Restaurant in California provides the best view that any restaurant can hold. They also allow a direct access to the rocks and trails from the restaurant. They are famous for serving a brilliant lunch as well as dinner. They also serve extravagant hot chocolate syrup which will definitely be liked by kids. The crab sliders along with the burgers are the special items served by this...Read more