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Things to Do in Carmel: The insider's guide

Explore the Central Coast

Our Carmel-by-the-Sea hotel is surrounded by pure natural splendor, a world-renowned arts and entertainment scene, and award-winning restaurants featuring regional ingredients and specialties. Our team at The Hideaway divulge their favorite ways to soak it all up. 

Beaches

From the white sands of Carmel City Beach to the rocky shore of Garrapata State Beach, get to know California’s Central Coast with our recommendations. We’ll see you on the sand.

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Eat & Drink

Carmel-by-the-Sea’s culinary scene is defined by elegant Mediterranean fare and new-age California cuisine. Snag a highly sought-out table at these iconic dining hotspots.

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Attractions

Charming communities, unparalleled natural beauty, and entertainment options are the makeup of the region. Connect with the Central Coast’s best loved attractions.

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Recreation

From a leisurely drive down Highway 1 to a windswept bike ride through town, here are our favorite ways to explore Carmel-by-the-Sea and beyond.

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interactive map

Things to see & do in Carmel & surrounds
The Hideaway
Junipero St & 8th Ave CA Carmel, 93923
Sunset Center
Sunset Center
  • Performing arts venue
Attractions

The Central Coast’s premier performing arts organization presents world-class live events including global music, comedy, rock shows, theatre, and dance. The state-of-the-art locale with stunning gothic architecture and incredible acoustics stands only a few steps from The Hideaway.

San Carlos St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Attractions

The Monterey Bay is one of the best places in the world to catch sight of several types of whale—and it is truly awe-inspiring. From January through March, you'll see gray and killer whales. Taking their turn from April through December are blues, orcas, and humpbacks. Dolphins are spotted year-round as well.

Monterey Bay, California, USA
Affina Food & Wine
Affina Food & Wine
  • New American classics in a chic bistro
Eat & Drink

With a chic bistro vibe, Affina Food & Wine offers a simple menu of New American classics. Rustic wooden decor, a contemporary open kitchen, and live piano music are complemented by an eclectic farm-to-table menu and esoteric wine selection.

6th Ave & San Carlos St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
17-Mile Drive
17-Mile Drive
  • one of the world's most beautiful coastlines
Attractions

Passing through the gated community of Pebble Beach, 17-Mile Drive is one of the most popular drives in the world. The famous sites of the Lone Cypress Tree, Seal Rock, and the 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links are among the 20 stops along the well-marked route.

17 Mile Dr, Del Monte Forest, CA, USA
Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach
  • See where golf masters play and enjoy the scenery
Attractions

The small residential community to our north is well known for its legendary golf links, 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach Food and Wine celebration, and Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance classic car event. Drive to the natural beauty and elegance of Pebble Beach in minutes from our Carmel-by-the-Sea hotel.

Carmel Beach, California, USA
Vesuvio
Vesuvio
  • A must for its rooftop terrace, exceptional cocktails and wine, and southern Italian cuisine
Eat & Drink

From the freshest local ingredients to the finest wines of Southern Italy, Vesuvio’s Italian cuisine menu takes the Mediterranean Diet to the next level. The romantic eatery features an authentic Italian wood-burning oven, rooftop terrace, and two bars serving signature cocktails with house-infused spirits.

6th Ave & Junipero St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Carmel City Beach
Carmel City Beach
  • White sand beach just a short walk from The Hideaway
Beaches

Monterey cypress-lined trails and rocky bluffs form the backdrop of this pristine white sand beach, just steps away from our Carmel hotel. From cozy beach bonfires to scenic strolls, there is never a shortage of seaside fun at this iconic Central Coast destination.

Ocean Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Electric Bike Rentals
Electric Bike Rentals
  • Electric bike rentals just a few blocks from The Hideaway
Recreation

Carmel-by-the-Sea’s first and only bike shop specializes in unique electric bike rentals to cruise the street in style. Pick up your retro ride at Mad Dogs & Englishmen’s downtown shop, only blocks from The Hideaway.

SW Corner of Ocean Ave and, Mission St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921, USA
Attractions

Carmel insider favorite: A pioneer and now an icon in the world of fine art photography, the Weston Gallery was opened in 1975. Specializing in 19th- and 20th-century vintage photography, Weston also has regular shows by current fine art photographers and offers curatorial expertise for collectors.

6th Ave & Dolores St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Monterey Touring Vehicles
Monterey Touring Vehicles
  • A unique way to see this picturesque area
Recreation

From a 1965 Ford Shelby Cobra to a 1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III, take to the road with a classic car rental. Let Monterey Touring Vehicles transform your Big Sur or 17-Mile Drive tour into something truly special with their vast collection of vintage, luxury, and exotic classic cars.

2228 Del Monte Ave, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
Carmel River Beach
Carmel River Beach
  • A beautiful lagoon and sandy beach
Beaches

With towering cliffs, soft sand, and a picturesque lagoon formed by the Carmel River, Carmel River Beach is one of the most striking beaches along the California coast. Only minutes from The Hideaway, the jagged coastline of this 1-mile-long beach and adjacent lagoon is a common destination for migratory birds and birding enthusiasts.

Carmel River, California, USA
La Balena
La Balena
  • Tuscan cuisine in a lively setting
Eat & Drink

La Balena brings authentic Tuscan cuisine to Carmel-by-the-Sea, creating a casually urbane and fun atmosphere complemented by a menu that is both modern and classic. Chef Emanuele Bartolini’s changing menu of artisanal Italian dishes continues to inspire and delight.

Junipero St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Big Sur
Big Sur
  • Experience this stirring natural wonder on Hwy. 1
Recreation

The rugged stretch of coastline to our south is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the world. A drive along Highway 1 gives you glimpses of the pristine beauty, complete with seaside cliffs, waterfalls spilling into the ocean, and gorgeous hiking trails leading down to the rocky shore.

Big Sur, CA, USA
Adventures by the Sea
Adventures by the Sea
  • Book kayaking, biking, and other excursions
Recreation

Discover the Monterey Peninsula by land and by sea with kayak, paddleboard, and bike riding adventures. Book your memorable day excursion with Adventures by the Sea, the region’s premier recreational company for over three decades.

299 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
  • Explore hiking trails, coves, and majestic headlands in this nature reserve
Attractions

A quick 10-minute drive from Carmel brings you to the scenic coastal area featuring a variety of wildlife, hiking trails, and the Whalers Cabin cultural history museum. The unparalleled beauty of the headlands, coves, rolling meadows, and underwater habitats are perfect for sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, diving, and guided walks.

62 CA-1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923-9725, USA
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Famed research and conservation institute with stunning displays on sea life
Attractions

Known for its research and conservation efforts and regional focus on the local marine habitat, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Explore habitat by habitat exhibitions, help feed the fish, touch a moon jelly, and enjoy daily shows featuring the incredible creatures that call the ocean home.

886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
Garrapata State Beach
Garrapata State Beach
  • A good place to spot otters, whales, and sea lions
Beaches

The sandy stretch of shoreline at the northern end of Big Sur is an ideal location for beach-goers to catch a glimpse of whales, otters, sea lions, and brown pelicans amidst the roaring surf. Caves, coves, wading pools, and spring wildflowers line the shore, as a breathtaking creek spills over the ridge, finding its way to the azure blue ocean.

26432-, 26472 Cabrillo Hwy, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Il Tegamino
Il Tegamino
  • Italian cuisine with a cozy dining room and patio
Eat & Drink

Housemade pastas and Italian comfort food make up Chef Giuseppe Panzuto’s Napoli-inspired menu at Il Tegamino. Nestled within the charming Court of the Golden Bough on Ocean Avenue, the rustic Italian bistro has a cozy interior and romantic outdoor courtyard.

South side of Ocean Avenue between Lincoln and Monte Verde We are tucked in the Courtyard behind Cottage of Sweets, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921, USA
Grasing’s
Grasing’s
  • Famed restaurant in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea
Eat & Drink

Chef Kurt Grasing’s award-winning menu has been a Carmel-by-the-Sea staple for over two decades. Using locally sourced ingredients to create intense combinations of textures and flavors, Grasing’s California coastal cuisine, wines, and cocktails are served within a warm, contemporary dining room and inviting outdoor patio in the heart of downtown.

NW Corner of Mission and 6th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921, USA
  • Beaches
  • Eat & Drink
  • Attractions
  • Recreation
Stay Longer, Save More

Stay Longer, Save More

Extend your time in Carmel and save up to 50% on every third night when you book two nights or more.

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