Carmel, a gorgeous beach city in the state of California, is the most underrated place when it comes to natural beauty and exploration. There are other major cities in California where tourists swarm to visit throughout the year. But Carmel is that hidden gem that can bring more peaceful and relaxing Californian summer vacation vibes than any other upbeat location. Stunning beaches, wondrous hiking trails and charming architecture are bound to keep you allured here. If you are already wondering about the magic that this small city contains, then read on and you would be delighted.
1. The road to paradise: Scenic Road Walkway
Scenic road and Carmel Beach are the two most famous and unique places in Carmel and are must-visits. Considering Scenic Road as the way to Carmel Beach, you can simply not miss out walking through this route. People living near or around Carmel prefer to take this route for their regular walks and runs.
It might be a regular neighborhood for them but it is every visitor’s favorite. Since the picturesque views around it are what casts its magic on the people, you too can spend some quality time here while in Carmel.
The place remains open from 8 AM to half an hour after sunset. Both the sunrise and the sunset are the most magical times for you to click some pictures that would be memorable.
2. Visit the very famous Carmel Beach
Carmel is America’s top beach town, thanks to Carmel beach which is heavenly in all the ways possible. If you are in California you are meant to explore some beaches and Carmel beach is the perfect beach that offers numerous activities.
Apart from having Scenic Road Walkway beside it, it is also known for swimming, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, stand-up paddle boarding and surfing.
For more leisure time, you can reject all the adventurous bits and simply resort to sunbathing and sandy walks on the beach. You would love the twilight on this beach when you will feel the salty breeze and sand between your toes. You are going to fall in love with the picturesque views here. With the right beach essentials, fun activities lined up and the pleasant coastline views, your day in Carmel Beach would certainly be very memorable.
3. Get yourself entertained at The Sunset Cultural Center
A night of entertainment and fun is what you can expect when you hear the name Sunset Cultural Center at Carmel. The center is going to offer you the most magnificent experience as an audience. The structurally arched ceilings make for a cozy environment to watch performances.
The lit walls around the centralized stage offer the perfect viewing experience. And if you are thinking about whether you would find your preferred performances on the stage or not? Do not worry, there is a rainbow of performances including comedians, concerts, theatrical, music and dance performances.
You can always check the website of the center and plan out your favorite evening that you are going to spend here. You can also book your seats on the same website for the shows.
4. Dive deep into nature at Point Lobos State Reserve
Carmel is the hidden gem in California when it comes to natural beauty. Witnessing this beauty in its natural habitat is an experience on its own. To enjoy it at its best, you can head over to Point Lobos State Reserve, where you can find the wildlife, sea animals and other natural beauty on its own.
Have you ever wondered about a place where all of your fictional fantasies come true? The likes of middle-earth, Rivendell or the fairy tale beauty coming alive. You can feel the same way while you explore the gorgeous landscapes of Point Lobos State Reserve.
Entering the reserve is free of cost but parking inside the reserve might cost you $10. You can also park your vehicle on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway which won’t cost you a single dime. So, take a deep sigh, relax and enjoy nature.
5. Music, Car and 17 Mile Drive
You know that feeling when you want to simply put on the good music in your car and drive through the lonely, smooth roads because that act is the best way to bring peace to your heart and mind. And if you have been wanting to have that feeling lately then 17 Mile drive is the perfect place for you near Carmel. It is one of the most scenic locations in this area.
The entire strip of the drive as well as the beach views with token Californian palm trees lining the way is the perfect thing for your driving pleasure or even if you simply want to spend a quiet time here. It is a three-hour drive but since this piece of land is privately owned there is a minor fee of $10.50 to take a drive through it with an hour-wheeler.
However, if you are planning to go to the place on a bicycle then it would be free of cost. Be sure to make the most of every moment that you are going to spend here.
6. Get some peace at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
A peaceful time closer to yourself, to nature and closer to the almighty from time to time. What else are vacations for? Even if you are not religious, you must be the person who believes in silencing your mind and meditating for a while. No matter what kind of belief system you have, Carmel offers you the perfect place to be a part of the most pious and calming retreat.
Carmel Mission Basilica Museum is not just a museum with huge Yellowstone blocks containing precious artefacts and historical documents. It is the oldest mission and has now been considered a place to sit and meditate on the verses that are discussed during the service. The long gallery that ends with the magnificent altar is filled with wooden benches where you can meditate and make your mind align with your soul.
7. Visit the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts
All your creative juices would be triggered and would start giving you several ideas as soon as you step foot in the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts. The best thing about the center is that given the day you decide to visit the place, you would be in for a treat as new artists, performers and writers keep showcasing their talent in the center. You will swoon over the ideas already hung on the walls or you will seek out the philosophical meaning behind the abstract art paintings or modern art pieces. They are all going to be here.
There is a regular newsletter available for you that you can subscribe to and there are several exhibits that keep happening in the Arts Center that you can attend. All you need to do is to check the calendar and plan your visit accordingly.
8. Feel the rustle of leaves at the Treehouse Café
A few feet above the ground but accurately placed under the shade of trees surrounding the place, Treehouse café is another photogenic destination for many who visit this place. The soft breeze, rustling through the leaves of the trees would be the perfect music for you, if you are planning to dine here in the daytime.
But if you choose to dine here at evenings or dusk, this place being showered with golden lights would not only offer you a lot of peace but you would want to take a deep sigh just to take in the ambience around you. This place offers the perfect combination of food and fine wine.
Though there are a lot of things on the menu here, a special recommendation would be Coconut Prawn Soup and Salmon. The wine available here is top-notch. And don’t forget the dessert at the end of your meal. You are going to love it.
9. Have an organic meal at La Balena
Have you been one of those people recently who have completely changed their diets to organic ingredients? You must have been thinking of living a more substantial future. If you have not but still pondered over that thought, then you must head towards La Balena Restaurant while visiting Carmel.
It is hidden among the beautiful plants and trees and would already give you the feeling of being in nature. The aesthetic of this place would not only make you feel at home but also would make a great background for Insta-worthy pictures.
Moving on to the list of organic food that you are going to find on the menu, you are going to be surprised by the number of dishes and cuisines possible from organic ingredients.
10. Catch a show at the Forest Theatre
Plays were more like street shows in the medieval period. Nowadays, there is an entire cost of production and a significant venue attached to the place where the play would be conducted. So, how long has it been since you have watched a show on Broadway? If you want a perfect mix of quality performances but set up more in a medieval style of showcasing to the audience, then you must head to the Forest Theatre in Carmel. It is adored by everyone who visits here.
Watching a show in the middle of nature seated on wooden seats is going to be a unique experience that you are going to have. One of the most notable things here is that you can bring your food and drinks to the show and enjoy them while you watch some of the most endearing stories played in front of your eyes. You can check the shows on their website.