With its beautiful beaches and majestic scenery, Carmel-by-the-Sea has been dubbed one of the best seaside cities in all of the United States. Known commonly as Carmel, living in this Californian community has even been compared to living in heaven on Earth.
So what makes this coastal village so enchanting? Carmel’s whimsical downtown is full of trendy boutiques and art galleries. It’s extremely walkable too, making it easy to soak up the year-round California sun. Carmel also boasts fresh seafood, premium wines, superb outdoor recreation, and world-class golf.
If you’re contemplating moving to this quaint village, here are eight perks about the Carmel Coast that just might help you make up your mind.
Some of California’s finest views are off the Carmel Coast. Admire dramatic cliffs, sugar-white beaches, glorious forests, and impressive golf courses as you make your way through California’s Monterey Peninsula.
The 17-Mile Drive has become one of the most traveled routes in the world for its picturesque scenery. This iconic coastal drive will take you through natural landmarks including The Lone Cypress, Stillwater Cove Regional Park, Spanish Bay Beach, and Del Monte Forest. You’ll also catch glimpses of luxurious estates and the world-class Pebble Beach Resorts.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve offers sensational views as well. Rocky bluffs and coves surround turquoise water, and marine animals can be seen throughout. Watch barking sea lions relax on the shore’s rocks or playful otters frolicking through the calm waters.
The Carmel Coast is full of majestic scenery that will take your breath away.
Carmel’s culinary scene features a wide range of local, regional, and international cuisines. Due to its location on the coast, Carmel has some of the freshest, most sustainable seafood in California. The surrounding areas are home to many local farms that supply organic meats and produce to Carmel’s eateries. And for those who believe the setting is the best seasoning, Carmel offers a perfect outdoor seating culture, with lovely views and fine weather.
Some of Carmel's best spots for fresh fish are Toro, which offers all kinds of sushi and sashimi, and Pescadero, whose Baja-style cuisine is a California staple. Other eateries that serve standout food from both land and sea include the award-winning restaurant Aubergine and sophisticated steakhouse Seventh & Dolores.
Regardless of whatever kind of cuisine you fancy, the Carmel Coast is bursting with delicious and refined restaurants.
Credit: Seventh & Dolores
The charming and walkable town
The charming city of Carmel is reminiscent of a European fairytale. Elegant Spanish-style buildings, adorable country cottages, and exquisite Victorian homes all dot its streets.
Walking through Carmel is one of the best ways to experience this quaint community. Let yourself get lost through hidden streets and peaceful courtyards lined with lush trees. The Carmel Heritage Society even offers a self-guided tour where you can visit the city’s whimsical cottages and historic buildings.
Carmel’s main street — Ocean Avenue — is full of artisan shops, art galleries, and local restaurants, cafes, and bars. There are many unique boutiques on Ocean Avenue that sell specialty items such as antiques, jewelry, furniture, and clothing. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love all of the chocolate and candy shops that sell handcrafted sweets. Art experiences are also abundant on Ocean Avenue - Carmel is a hub for talented artists, photographers, and writers. Whether it be galleries, events, tours, or workshops, there’s no shortage of artistic inspiration in Carmel.
The romantic atmosphere permeating Carmel’s downtown can truly be compared to a wonderland.
Superb outdoor recreation
The Carmel Coast is an ideal spot for enjoying the great outdoors. There are an abundance of scenic runs, hikes, and walks around Carmel that are suitable for all skill levels.
Apart from walking through hip Ocean Avenue and Carmel’s secret town passages, there are plenty of outdoorsy hikes to try out. Scenic Bluff Path is a well-kept gravel pathway that runs along Carmel Beach. Make your way through cypress trees and manicured gardens to Carmel Point. If you’d like a challenge, you can walk directly onto the rugged ocean coastlines and catch awesome views of Point Lobos and Pebble Beach.
Carmel’s beaches boast superb outdoor recreation as well. Surfing is a favorite pastime in California, and Carmel’s clear waters are an idyllic place to do so.
There are also several pristine golf courses in Carmel. The most famous are the courses at the renowned Pebble Beach Resorts, but all of Carmel’s courses tout spectacular greens and facilities.
Whether you’re an avid runner, hiker, or surf enthusiast, the Carmel Coast is full of outdoor activities to take part in.
The beaches in Carmel are breathtaking with their golden sands and blue waters. From morning until night, you’ll see people relishing in all that the Carmel Coast has to offer. During the day, many locals prefer playing beach sports or tanning in the warm sunshine. At night, beach bonfires beneath the moonlight are common.
Carmel Beach is a quintessential locale along California’s Central Coast. Not only is it a prime location for amateur and professional surfers alike, but it’s also perfect for walking along the soft sand. Carmel Beach is even dog-friendly, so bring along your leashed pets!
You can be sure that you’ll have plenty of quality beach time while living on the Carmel Coast.
Carmel is full of world-class golf courses that you won’t find anywhere else in the country. The Carmel Valley Ranch Resort, Preserve Golf Club, Tehama Golf Club, and the Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club all have astounding facilities and greens.
The most esteemed golf course in the area, of course, is the legendary Pebble Beach Resorts. Acclaimed as the number-one golf course and resort in all of America, Pebble Beach has hosted the U.S. Open Championship six times. This premier destination features three distinguished courses and four lauded resorts. The most famous course is the Pebble Beach Golf Links, which surrounds California’s Monterey Peninsula. Prepare to be awestruck on the immaculate fairway as waves crash against the large sweeping cliffs.
You’ll take your golf game to another level when playing 18 rounds at one of Carmel’s top-tier courses.
Credit: Pebble Beach Resorts
Premium wine tastings
Wine tastings in Carmel feature some of the most exemplary and diverse wines. In the village of Carmel, you will stumble upon chic wine bars, tasting rooms, and bottle shops. Many grand vineyards are also situated throughout Carmel.
There are many tasting rooms around the Carmel Coast, but some are an absolute must-try. Albatross Ridge has a luxury wine tasting room in the town of Carmel, as well as a 25-acre chardonnay and pinot noir vineyard out in the California countryside. Beloved by wine enthusiasts, Talbott Vineyards also has a wine tasting room in the heart of Carmel. Talbott is famous for earning a rare 100-point score by Wine Spectator for their 1990 Sleepy Hollow chardonnay.
Whether you prefer red, white, or sparkling, Carmel’s wine tasting experiences are sure to delight.
Carmel possesses the most stunning sunsets along the entire Central California Coast. Vibrant hues paint the sky and glisten off the clear ocean water.
Spend an evening on the sandy shore as you watch the sun go down, nuzzled up with a loved one by a beach bonfire. Sunsets are often a reoccurring gathering on Carmel Beach - locals and tourists alike gather to admire the alluring sights and socialize.
The dazzling sunsets on the Carmel Coast evoke a magical feeling like no other.
Carmel Real Estate
If you’re ready to live in the whimsical town of Carmel, contact Carmel Coast Realty! This team of exceptional real estate agents are dedicated to helping people on their home search. Whether you’re looking for a Carmel condo, beach house, or an entire estate, the talented team at Carmel Coast Realty will help you find the perfect property.