Travel Guide to Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming little sea-side town perfect for a weekend getaway. It’s filled with swoon-worthy vibes, incredible food, and unique architecture. The walkable town center, with its secret passageways and hidden gems, is a quiet little escape from the fast city life. This travel guide to Carmel-by-the-Sea will show some of the must-visit insta-worthy attractions.

⭐ I’m linking my entire Carmel stories on my Instagram highlights so follow the adventures there!

Where To Stay

La Playa Carmel embodies the essence of Carmel-by-the-Sea and echoes of upscale beach vibes. It’s located at the heart of Carmel and offers a view of Carmel Bay and Pebble Beach. You can read about my full stay in my La Playa blog post. If you book, you can use promo code SHWAY for 15% off your booking!

Top Attractions in Carmel-by-the-Sea

P.S. If you’re looking for more inspiration for Northern California weekend getaways, I have complete guides on Napa and Sonoma! Give them a look to help you plan!

1. Carmel Mission Basilica Museum

Carmel Mission Basilica is one of the most authentically restored Roman Catholic mission churches in California. It was first built in 1797 and walking around the grounds really transports you back in time. It is still used today for active worship but it also hosts concerts, art exhibits, and other community events.

Influencer at Carmel Mission Basilica Museum
Exploring the historic grounds
Carmel Mission Basilica Musuem
Classic architecture frozen in time
Church at Carmel Mission Basilica Museum

2. Hugh Comstock’s Fairytale Cottages

Hugh Comstock constructed several fairytale-inspired buildings, many of which are still maintained by their current owners. How cute are these houses? They look like they’re straight out of a storybook. There’s even one named Hansel and another named Gretel.

Pink Hugh Comstock's Storybook Cottage House
Pink Hugh Comstock's Storybook Cottage House
Region cards keep track of your spend on the wine machines

3. Hugh Comstock‘s Tuck Box

The Tuck Box was first constructed by designer-builder Hugh Comstock in 1927. It was named the Tuck Box by two sisters from England who used the house as a tea room. Many of the recipes from the 1940’s are still used today!

Hugh Comstock's Tuck Box Storybook Cottage

4. Spanish Architecture

Catch glimpses of Spanish architecture sprinkled throughout the town.

Influencer in Spanish architecture setting

5. Court of the Golden Bough

Court of the Golden Bough is a storybook village with whimsical architectural and cobblestone walkways.

Court of the Golden Bough
Court of the Golden Bough

6. Hidden Passageways

The village’s cobblestone streets are sprinkled with dozens of passageways and courtyards just waiting to be explored. I recommend being a little adventurous and roam around, you never know what hidden gems you may find!

Influencer walking around Carmel-by-the-Sea town
Influencer walking around Carmel-by-the-Sea town

7. Carmel-by-the-Sea Mural

This is a beautiful mural was designed by Marie-Clare Treseder Gorham, a Carmel-based folk artist. It’s a symbol that serves to honor a sense of place, artistic heritage, and history.

Carmel-by-the-Sea wall mural

8. Art Galleries

There are numerous and unique art galleries spread throughout the town! Art lovers will appreciate the variety of art available.

9. Carmel Beach

This iconic white sand beach is the perfect place to relax and soak up some sun. It’s also dog friendly!

Carmel-by-the-Sea beach

10. Stationæry Restaurant

Stationæry is one of the best restaurants we tried in Carmel-by-the Sea. All of the dishes were delicious, the quality of the fresh ingredients really come through. We love that they primarily source from Monterey & Santa Cruz County farms and ranches, according to what is fresh and in season.

We came for lunch and all the dishes on the menu sounded amazing, so we didn’t stop ourselves from ordering more than we can eat. Look at the beautiful spread we got.

Food at Stationaery restaurant
Food at Stationaery restaurant
Beautiful food spread at Stationaery restaurant

Hope this travel guide to Carmel-by-the-Sea inspires you to visit this beautiful town. For more resources to help you plan your Carmel-by-the-Sea getaway, be sure to stop by Carmel-by-the-Sea Tourism Board! They have a comprehensive collection of itineraries and activities for you.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below or message me on Instagram @croissantsandcaviar!

Thanks for stopping by!


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