Carmel-by-the-Sea

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

Shop sign in Carmel-by-the-SeaShopping is Excellent in Carmel-by-the-Sea

All Photos (c) Donna Dailey

Carmel-by-the-Sea, more commonly known as simply Carmel, is one of the most famous and beautiful spots in Monterey County. It's on the Pacific Coast Highway about 120 miles south of San Francisco, 5 miles south of Monterey and a 330-mile drive north from Los Angeles.

Sign in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea is very much an artistic community, going way back before famous resident Clint Eastwood really put it on the world map when he became the mayor from 1986-88.

Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson was one early visitor who lived in Carmel for a while, as did the acclaimed landscape photographer Ansel Adams.

More recent celebrity residents have included actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, and crime writer James Ellroy. It's a very popular tourist spot, a little like a California version of Aspen in Colorado.

One thing Carmel-by-the-Sea is famous for is that its buildings carry no street numbers. That goes way back, when residents decided they didn't want such modern creations as house numbers and street lights. And they've resisted them ever since.

If you're trying to find a restaurant or one of the many fine inns that you can stay at in Carmel, you'll need to know the cross streets. If you're thinking of living there you'll have to collect your mail from the post office like everyone else.

Hotel balcony in CarmelBalcony in Carmel

There isn't actually a great deal to do in Carmel, as it has remained largely a village whose residents find it charming enough as it is. You won't find museums to visit – galleries, yes, for artists are still attracted to the place. There are fine, white sand beaches, a mission, some historic houses, and... well, that's about it.

The Beach at Carmel-by-the-SeaThe Beach at Carmel-by-the-Sea

Fine dining as well, and some luxurious accommodation – but there are budget choices too, comparatively speaking, if you want to stay and get the night-time atmosphere rather than just pass through.

The Hog's Breath Inn in Carmel was Once Owned by Clint EastwoodThe Hog's Breath Inn in Carmel was Once Owned by Clint Eastwood

More Information
For further information about Carmel visit the
Carmel Business Association website

The Best Things to Do in Carmel
For what to do in Carmel, see our
Best Things to Do in Carmel page.

Where to Stay in 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.

    The 17-Mile Drive between Carmel, Pacific Grove, and Monterey

    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.

  •  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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.



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