Carmel is the place to be… it has it all! It’s beaches, downtown, and cultural offering are simply unbeatable. The charming yet lively downtown is filled with many boutique shops, great restaurants, and art galleries. The downtown is formed along Ocean Avenue and this street connects to Carmel Beach. Carmel Beach, Scenic Road, and Carmel State Beach are absolutely stunning and are regularly visited by residents and visitors alike (even Steph Curry was seen on Scenic Road above Carmel Beach a few months ago!). Carmel Beach is perfect to visit because it is great for walking, running, playing sports, swimming, and surfing … the list goes on and on! It also has breathtaking 180-degree views of Carmel Point and Pebble Beach. The beach has vast amounts of soft sand, there are not many obstacles such as rocks in the water, and the waves are great; therefore, it is a must do when in Carmel. The beach is also dog friendly and great for families! Scenic Drive is the road above Carmel Beach, and it includes many remarkable homes and a convenient path for walking. At the end of Scenic Drive, you can find Carmel State Beach and this beach has dazzling views as well, but visitors should not go into the water at this beach. The list goes on and on of activities offered in Carmel, but these are some of the most important and iconic.
Aside from beaches, shopping, and its culinary offerings, Carmel is also conveniently located near Carmel Valley, Monterey, Pebble Beach, Point Lobos, and Big Sur. Carmel Valley, Big Sur, and Point Lobos boast undoubtedly the best hikes in the area and offer many other experiences as well. Carmel is somewhat secluded, but is close to other towns, which makes it the perfect place to live. Carmel also has a fantastic school district with amazing teachers and excellent sports programs. The town somehow manages to be the perfect combination of elegant, laid-back, and charming.
Creating the perfect 24 hours in Carmel is difficult because there are so many activities to engage in. I would recommend visitors visit Carmel for at least 48 hours so that they can experience everything the town has to offer without being in a rush. However, the perfect day in Carmel would start off with a lovely breakfast at a local restaurant such as Stationaery. Then it would consist of walking down Ocean Avenue and exploring all the stores and galleries. At this point you would make the decision to continue walking 10 to 15 minutes to Carmel Beach or to drive to the beach. I personally love to walk but Ocean Avenue goes downhill so once you are at the beach you would have to walk everything back up hill to get back into downtown Carmel later. Once you are at the beach you can then walk onto the beach or along Scenic Road to take in all the views. In addition, you could go into the water, play sports, or just relax on the beach. I would recommend bringing a lunch with you so that you do not need to head back into town for lunch. After this beach adventure you would then head back into town to relax, have some drinks (or go wine tasting), and enjoy an amazing dinner. Depending on the time of year you could even go back down to Carmel Beach or Carmel State Beach to enjoy a breathtaking sunset after dinner. This is the perfect 24 hours in Carmel, but to really enjoy the town and experience everything you need to stay for more than 24 hours. However, be wary that Carmel is colder than Southern California so you might need to layer up!