Tours Travel

How to have a good time in Carmel, California

It is your vacation time. She makes plans to travel to Carmel, California with her partner for some rest and relaxation. But where do you start?

Carmel, California is a little piece of heaven located on the central coast of California. Tucked along the ocean and between Monterey and Big Sur, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a small town consisting of just a square mile of hotels, restaurants, shops, cafes, and a beautiful beach. Although it is quite small in square footage, there is a lot to see and do while in town.

Where do you start? Finding a hotel would be the best idea. Especially during the weekends from May to September, the whole city can get sold out (yes, even in this economy). There are many Carmel inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts to choose from. You can research your stay using typical online channels (eg,, etc.) or contact your local Carmel Chamber of Commerce for one of the friendly hotel reservation services in town.

Once you have a place to stay, it is time to plan your visit. Depending on what your tastes are and who you are traveling with, here are some ideas to consider:

  • Wine tasting. Downtown Carmel now houses more than half a dozen wine tasting rooms. You can taste great wines in the late morning, stop for lunch at one of the more than 60 restaurants in the city center, and then finish in the early afternoon. Best of all, you don’t need to get into a car and drive (just leave it parked at your hotel).
  • Carmel Beach. This is such a beautiful, white, and soft sand beach that it should rank as one of the top 10 places to relax in all of California. The sunsets are simply magical as you take in views of the Pacific, Pebble Beach Golf Course on your right and Pt. Lobos State Park on your left. This is a popular spot for a picnic or a sunset beach bonfire (you can build your own or hire a company like Romantic Room Designs to build it for you)
  • Spa day. There are also more than half a dozen day spas located in downtown Carmel that offer a full range of services including couples massages. Most hotels can also help you find a massage team to come to your room for a massage treatment.
  • Food. As mentioned above, there are a wide variety of restaurants in downtown Carmel, from Greek to Italian to Mexican and everything in between. L’Aubergine, one of the best restaurants in the country, offers a six-course dining experience paired with specialty wines that is a true dining experience (lasting approximately 4 hours).
  • Purchases. Aside from a few touristy T-shirt shops, much of Carmel is made up of really unique little boutiques. It’s a great place to shop when you are looking for something special for someone who is hard to buy (maybe even you!)
  • Art and photography galleries. Carmel was founded as an artists’ colony and they continue to celebrate that tradition with more than 100 art galleries.

The next time you travel to Carmel, be sure to find the perfect Carmel Inn or Carmel Hotel first, and then plan your stay with the tools above.