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.

Aerial shot of Carmel in CaliforniaCarmel

Carmel is one of our highly-recommended places to spend the night when you're driving the Pacific Coast Highway.

In fact 2-3 nights would be better, as it's a relaxing spot and we just love strolling the streets to look into the best shops and find somewhere to eat for the night - and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from.

Best Guide to Carmel and Monterey

Moon-Monterey-and-Carmel.png

If you're traveling with family then you might want to consider Monterey instead. It's only a few miles away but bigger and busier, with more things to do and see. But if you're driving PCH as a couple and want a romantic place to stay then Carmel is always our choice. 

Driving from San Francisco to Carmel
Carmel is only 2-3 hours south of San Francisco, depending which way you go. Take Highway 101 and it's nearer two hours from the center of San Francisco. Take the prettier PCH coastal route on Highway 1 and it's closer to three hours.


Where to Stay in Carmel

The best places we’ve stayed at in Carmel and can therefore personally recommend are:
The Cypress Inn
The Lamp Lighter Inn 
The Vagabond’s House Inn

Click on the links above for lengthy reviews and lots of photos.

Other Places to Stay in Carmel

Here are two other suggestions for where to stay in Carmel, which appear in our PCH Hotels guide. Both are in the Moderate price range of roughly $100-200 a night:

Mission Ranch
26270 Dolores Street
831/624-6436
800/538-8221
If you're planning a short stay in Carmel, the Mission Ranch has to be one of the accommodation options you consider. It's not just that it's owned by Clint Eastwood, but because it's a relaxing place set in 22 acres and centered on an 1850s farmhouse that has a charm all its own.

There are 31 rooms, many with ocean views, and facilities include the six championship-standard tennis courts, a health club, a piano bar with nightly music, a Sunday jazz brunch, a restaurant with great views, and a friendly, intimate atmosphere. The prices are reasonable too, given Carmel's general standards. The rooms in the farmhouse are the least expensive. 

Mission Ranch, CarmelMission Ranch, Carmel

Sea View Inn
El Camino Real between 11th and 12th
831/624-8778
The Sea View is a characterful Moderate/Expensive option a few minutes’ walk from the center of Carmel and close to the beach. The house itself was built at the turn of the century and the owners have tried to keep that historic atmosphere.

There are eight rooms, with the two most inexpensive rooms sharing a bathroom. The others all have private baths. There's free wi-fi, but this is definitely a getaway place and there are no TVs or phones in the rooms. Non-smoking, no children under-12.

Sea View Inn, CarmelSea View Inn, Carmel

HOTEL LOCATIONS

Map of where to stay in CarmelWhere to Stay in Carmel
Map (c) Google Maps

Other Carmel pages

  • 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 Eat in Carmel

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  •  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.

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

    Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Pacific Coast Highway in California

    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.

  •  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.

  • 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.

    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.

  • 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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