Best Time to Visit Carmel

Pacific Coast Highway Travel picks the best time to visit Carmel, with a monthly summary of the weather, plus hotel prices, to help plan a visit.

Carmel, or Carmel-by-the-Sea to give it its full title, is a picturesque small city on California's Monterey Peninsula. It boasts a climate quite similar to the Mediterranean, with moderate, damp winters and dry summers, making it a fine destination to visit all year round.

But when, exactly, is the best time to visit Carmel? Why don't we take a month-by-month journey to discuss what this stunning corner of California has to offer throughout the year?

carmel-by-the-sea-aerial-view-pixabay.jpgAerial View of Carmel

Best Month to Visit Carmel

We kickstart the year in January, which is the peak of Carmel's rainy season with around 4 inches (101.6mm) of rainfall. The average temperature hovers between 41°F (5°C) and 58°F (14.4°C). Hotel prices tend to be lower in January. Consider bundling up a bit, as chances of snowfall, while rare, can occur!

Rolling into February we see similar weather conditions to January, with average temperatures between 42°F (5.5°C) and 59°F (15°C). Rainfall average is around 3.4 inches (86.4mm) and hotel prices continue to be affordable.

As we step into March, Carmel starts warming up slightly with temperatures ranging from 44°F (6.7°C) to 61°F (16.1°C). Rainfall decreases a bit to an average about 3 inches (76.2mm). As Spring Break rolls in, you may notice a slight upturn in the hotel rates.

Best Guide to Carmel and Monterey

Moon-Monterey-and-Carmel.png

April brings a noticeable drop in rainfall to 1.4 inches (35.6mm), and temperatures inching up between the range of 46°F (7.7°C) to 63°F (17.2°C). With weather becoming more pleasant, hotel prices do tend to climb up a bit.

May brings delightful weather with temperatures fluctuating between 49°F (9.4°C) and 65°F (18.3°C) and the rainfall drops significantly to less than an inch, around 0.5 inches (12.7mm) on average. This is a wonderful time to visit Carmel and as a result, the hotel rates increase.

As Carmel steps into summer in June, the average temperature hovers between 52°F (11.1°C) to 67°F (19.4°C) with bare minimum rainfall. This leads to an increase in the number of visitors, and thus, higher hotel prices.

Carmel-beach.jpgFamily on the Beach in Carmel

July, one of the warmest months in Carmel, provides average temperatures from 54°F (12.2°C) to 67°F (19.4°C). Rain is essentially non-existent at this time of the year and the hotel prices are at their peak due to the influx of summer vacationers.

August carries on the warm, dry trend from June and July, with temperatures ranging between 54°F (12.2°C) to 69°F (20.5°C) and almost no rainfall. This is a popular time to visit Carmel, so expect to pay a premium for hotel accommodations.

In September, while the temperatures between 53°F (11.6°C) to 69°F (20.5°C) remain quite comfortable, there is a slight increase in rainfall up to 0.3 inches (7.6mm). Hotel prices begin to drop, making it a good time for budget-conscious travelers.

October brings cooler temperatures, ranging from 49°F (9.4°C) to 65°F (18.3°C), and rainfall commences to increase to an average of 1.4 inches (35.6mm). Hotel prices continue to dip as the peak tourist season subsides.

November typically sees an uptick in rain averaging about 2.4 inches (60.9mm) and cooler temperatures ranging from 43°F (6.1°C) to 61°F (16.1°C). As we get deeper into the off-season, hotel prices can be found at reductions compared to the summer months.

In December, expect temperatures between 40°F (4.4°C) and 58°F (14.4°C) and an average rainfall of 3.9 inches (99 mm). This is generally the low season in Carmel, which means you may score some great deals on accommodation.

sunset-carmel-beach.jpgCarmel Sunset

Best Time to Visit Carmel: Summary

So, when is the best time to visit Carmel? Well, if you are a budget traveler, winter months provide the most affordable accommodations.

If you prefer warmer weather and don't mind the crowd or higher hotel prices, summer months, particularly July and August, are ideal for a visit thanks to their warm, dry climate.

For those who enjoy a balance of decent weather and moderate hotel prices, spring and fall are the best options. With rainfall at a comparative minimum and a pleasant temperature range, these seasons offer a great time to experience Carmel.

Other Carmel pages

  •  Pacific Coast Highway Travel takes the 17-Mile Drive from Carmel to Pacific Grove and Monterey, stopping to see the Lone Cypress and beautiful coastline views.

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    Pacific Coast Highway Travel takes the 17-Mile Drive from Carmel to Pacific Grove and Monterey, stopping to see the Lone Cypress and beautiful coastline views.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel's guide to where to eat in Carmel with Italian, French, Mexican and American places, from inexpensive to Michelin-star fine dining.

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    Pacific Coast Highway Travel's guide to where to eat in Carmel with Italian, French, Mexican and American places, from inexpensive to Michelin-star fine dining.

  • Where to Stay in Carmel include reviews of the Mission Ranch, Sea View Inn, The Cypress Inn, Lamp Lighter Inn and Vagabond's House Inn.

    Where to Stay in Carmel

    Where to Stay in Carmel include reviews of the Mission Ranch, Sea View Inn, The Cypress Inn, Lamp Lighter Inn and Vagabond's House Inn.

  • If you want a Carmel-by-the-Sea Inn that is close to the ocean then the Lamp Lighter Inn is as near as you can get if staying downtown.

    Carmel-by-the-Sea Inn

    If you want a Carmel-by-the-Sea Inn that is close to the ocean then the Lamp Lighter Inn is as near as you can get if staying downtown.

  • Carmel on the Monterey coast is known for artists and celebrity residents, but there's also a mission, beaches, historic houses, and abundant wildlife.

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    Carmel on the Monterey coast is known for artists and celebrity residents, but there's also a mission, beaches, historic houses, and abundant wildlife.

  • This Carmel dog-friendly hotel, the historic Cypress Inn, is co-owned by movie legend Doris Day and offers luxury lodgings for travelers in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

    Carmel Dog-Friendly Hotel

    This Carmel dog-friendly hotel, the historic Cypress Inn, is co-owned by movie legend Doris Day and offers luxury lodgings for travelers in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

  •  Historic and romantic Vagabond's House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Carmel is a great place to stay with free wine and cheese and generous breakfast.

    Vagabond's House Inn

    Historic and romantic Vagabond's House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Carmel is a great place to stay with free wine and cheese and generous breakfast.

  • The best things to do in Carmel include visiting Carmel Mission, enjoying the beaches, Point Lobos State Reserve, 17-Mile Drive, and Tor House.

    Best Things to Do in Carmel

    The best things to do in Carmel include visiting Carmel Mission, enjoying the beaches, Point Lobos State Reserve, 17-Mile Drive, and Tor House.

  • A walk around the Point Lobos State Reserve near Monterey and Carmel provides lots of photo opportunities, especially of the Harbor Seal Birthing Area.

    Point Lobos State Reserve near Carmel and Monterey, with photos

    A walk around the Point Lobos State Reserve near Monterey and Carmel provides lots of photo opportunities, especially of the Harbor Seal Birthing Area.



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