by Ketki Hanamshet Updated on 15 Oct 2018
Image Source: wikipedia.org
Carmel-by-the-sea is actually quite a handful. It offers visitors everything from historical sites to cultural attractions. So here are 15 things to do for maximum entertainment when you’re visiting the place.
Let's explore these 15 best things to do in Carmel-by-the-sea:
1. Discover nature afresh at Point Lobos State Reserve And China Cove Gibson Beach, Carmel-by-the-sea
Considered the State Park System’s crown jewel, Point Lobos State Reserve is the right place for animal watchers. Known for its natural beauty and rare plants and also some unique geological rock formations, this place is truly worth a visit. Visit China Cove or stroll down Gibson Beach, which are close to the Reserve. Rest assured, it’s a visit you’ll never forget!
2. Visit Tor House, Carmel-by-the-sea
Robinson Jeffers, a builder and poet constructed this stone building sometime in the 1920s as his dream house. Jeffers built this completely by himself and this is a classic example of how one can realize his dreams if he truly wishes to. Built from wooden planks and stones placed perfectly, this 80-year old building has been converted now into a museum and attracts hordes of visitors every year. Read Jeffers’ poems on display while also enjoying this artistic and architectural marvel. Photography however, is disallowed inside Tor House.
3. Get arty at the Sunset Cultural Center, Carmel-by-the-sea
What was once a public school, is now a center for promoting various art forms. Functional since 2003, the center attracts some of the greatest living performers from the world over every year and you could be lucky to witness some really world class performances here. Be it fine arts, music or dance, the center offers it all. Watch plays and musicals or listen to live concerts which happen throughout the year. The ideal place to chill out for the arts-loving fraternity.
4. Shop away at Ocean Avenue, Carmel-by-the-sea
This is Carmel-by-the-Sea's most notable shopping street. Moreover, it also has wineries and some great restaurants. Offers a welcome break from the area’s beaches to unwind and relax as you pamper yourself with some good food and drink. Marvel at its brightness during evenings as the bright lights come on and take a walk as you window shop.
5. Relax at Carmel Plaza, Carmel-by-the-sea
Here’s the place to either shop or relax as you wish. Its high end souvenir shops offer some quality mementos to take back home for friends, colleagues or relatives. This mall is also an architectural beauty with around 40 shops and branded restaurants like Cole Hahn, Kate Spade and J Crew. Enjoy its fast food on offer also and don’t forget to visit the famous cheese shop. You’ll be amazed at its cheese collection with multiple flavors also available for a quick tasting session.
6. Go beachcombing at Monastery Beach, Carmel-by-the-sea
One of Carmel-by-the-Sea's most popular beaches, the Monastery Beach is beautiful, pristine and the fantasy of every soul searcher. When you tire of the crowded downtown areas or bustling parks, Monastery Beach could offer you some much desired peace. Just stroll on its golden sands, play beach games or sunbathe. If luck favors, you might even spot some whales, sea otters, seals or maybe even dolphins. Hence, carry your camera to capture those great moments.
7. Taste the performing and fine arts at Golden Bough Playhouse, Carmel-by-the-sea
This iconic theater was commissioned in the 1920s and attracts both art lovers and tourists from all over the world every year. It was burnt down in a fire in 1949, after which two new auditoriums were constructed in 1952 at the Golden Bough Playhouse building. Since 1994, it is managed by the Pacific Repertory Theatre and regularly hosts plays, live events and musicals. Overall, a must visit for every art fascinator.
8. Watch plays at the Forest Theater, Carmel, Carmel-by-the-sea
Constructed in 1910, Carmel’s Forest Theatre is a 540-seater amphitheatre. It’s stage is truly state-of-the-art as are its great onstage sets. The fireplaces, pines and plush interiors make it a truly enjoyable experience for theater lovers. Visit it during its annual festival for some mind-blowing performances.
9. Experience the unique Weston Gallery, Carmel-by-the-sea
One of the world’s oldest art galleries, the Weston Gallery, started in 1975 is completely dedicated to the art form of photography. This is one place that perfectly amalgamates contemporary and vintage photographs with a collection rarely seen elsewhere. You get to see some great works by iconic photographers like Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Harry Callahan, Michael Kenna, Yousuf Karsh, Maggie Taylor, Chip Hooper and Brett Weston. Truly a photography enthusiast’s delight.
10. Hike to Palo Corona Regional Park, Carmel-by-the-sea
One of Carmel’s most scenic and beautiful sites overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Palo Corona Regional Park has some great ocean views to offer. If hiking’s your passion, you could hike your way to this well maintained park which is close to the Point Lobos State Park. Carry your own water and food. Prior permission is required for hiking and you need to apply in advance.
11. Watch painting and photography mix at the Gallery By The Sea, Carmel-by-the-sea
Yet another photography museum that displays Carmel’s pristine beaches, shades of daily life and lively atmosphere by way of snapshots taken using mixed techniques. You might even think that some photographs are paintings. The fact is that Gallery by the Sea displays photographs that also combine painting. Incredible, wouldn’t you say?
12. Go rare plant hunting at Point Lobos Ranch, Carmel-by-the-sea
This ranch spreads over 200 acres of land and is known for its large Monterey Pines as also rare chaparral plants. The ranch’s main aim is to preserve the scenic area which runs along the northern Big Sur Coast. A must visit on your next visit to California.
13. Explore the Gravity Garden, Carmel-by-the-sea
A relatively smaller park, the gravity Garden can be toured in minutes. However, its uniqueness is in the way rocks here are kept. Jim Needham, the famous rock stacker has done the designing which is rarely seen elsewhere. A good place to click a few pictures to preserve Needham’s great art form for posterity.
14. Experience the bewitching flora and fauna of Mission Trail Park, Carmel-by-the-sea
This 33-acre nature preserve has an astonishing collection of various types of flora and fauna. Great for kids as you can teach them all about nature. Hike in its trail along the redwood and pine forest to enjoy the park’s great natural beauty and shoot some great photographs of plants, trees and birds. The peace it offers is unparalleled.
15. Gorge on some great seafood at Flaherty's Seafood Grill And Oyster Bar, Carmel-by-the-sea
This restaurant has been offering some world-class seafood for over 40 years. The ingredients are sea fresh or naturally grown and you get some delectable platters. Just gorge on some of its signature dishes like pacific fried oysters, crab cakes, seafood cob, lobster bisque and omelet with smoked salmon stuffing. Enjoy the oyster platters at its oyster bar while sipping some great cocktails as well.