5 Destinations in Carmel, From the Valley to the Sea

The flowers outside the Carmel Mission Basilica.

Thanks to dramatic terrain on the Central Coast, it takes only a few minutes to drive from hot-climate mountains to the foggy sea. This is especially true around Carmel, where an afternoon horseback ride can segue into gallery hopping and alfresco dining in the oceanside village.

Big Sur Road Closure: Highway One is closed at Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, which is being replaced after damage from California’s winter storms. The new bridge is expected to open in late September 2017. For updates, see Caltrans.

Carmel Road Map

Map of Monterey

5 Carmel Destinations

  1. Photo courtesy Pebble Beach Golf Links

    17-Mile Drive

    Get out the camera to capture crashing waves, rocky shoreline, iconic cypress trees and the rolling fairways at Pebble Beach Golf Links, which has hosted the U.S. Open five times.

  2. Shutterstock


    This charming town is packed with art galleries, tasting rooms and bistros that sit beneath towering trees. The white sand of Carmel Beach is a favorite of dog walkers and joggers.

  3. Shutterstock

    Carmel Mission Basilica

    This church, with its distinctive star-shaped window, is one of California’s finest. Junípero Serra, the Franciscan friar who founded nine of the 21 Spanish missions in California, is buried here.

  4. Photo courtesy Carmel Valley Ranch

    Carmel Valley Ranch

    You won’t get bored at this 500-acre resort that offers everything you’ll need. Ride horses in the morning, hit the clay tennis courts after lunch and splash into the saltwater pool at sunset.

  5. Joyce Vineyards / Photo courtesy Joyce Vineyards

    Wine Tasting

    Wineries abound, but hit Joyce Vineyards for its art-filled, urban-chic vibe, or enjoy a picnic on the large patio outside of Boekenoogen Vineyards & Winery.

  6. Getty

    See the Rest of our Guide to California

    Make sure to check out the rest of our comprehensive guide to California travel!

Published on July 6, 2017
Topics: Monterey, Travel