activities & attractions

Carmel and Monterey’s Top Attractions – All at Your Doorstep

It’s difficult not to fall in love with Carmel by the Sea. “California’s Jewel City” and its neighbors along the Monterey Peninsula offer world-class shopping, dining and museums – not to mention breathtaking vistas and a staggering amount of outdoor activities to suit every taste.

We’ve listed a few of the area’s many highlights below. If you’d like additional information about any of these or other Carmel attractions, please let us know!

Outdoor Activities

Adventures by the Sea
Adventures by the Sea offers equipment rental and tours for a host of outdoor activities, including kayaking, paddle boarding, biking and much more! Visit one of their four locations throughout the Monterey Peninsula: Cannery Row, Monterey, Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove.

Monterey Bay Kayak Fishing Co.
Enjoy guided fishing tours in a kayak on the Monterey Bay with experienced local fisherman, Blake Hawes.

Monterey Bay Kayaks
Monterey Bay Kayaks offers kayak classes, tours and rentals, as well as fun activities for the kids and a store selling a wide range of equipment.

Skip Barber Racing School
Get your adrenaline rushing with the world’s biggest automotive education and entertainment company! Skip Barber has been providing racing school programs to students of all ages since 1975.

Marina Municipal Airport—Skydiving
Take the plunge with a skydiving experience at Marina Municipal Airport in Monterey Bay! Learn to skydive and enjoy some of the world’s highest jumps, as well as incredible views of the Monterey Bay.

Jack’s Peak Park
Park of the Monterey County Parks Department, Jack’s Peak features over 8 miles of horseback riding and hiking trails, and fantastic ridge top views.

Molera Horseback Tours
Located in Big Sur’s Andrew Molera State Park, Molera Horseback Tours provide a great outdoor experience and scenic views; all tours include rides on the beach.

Holman Ranch
Plan an unforgettable wedding, meeting or group event at Holman Ranch. This stunning property in Carmel Valley includes a vineyard and winery.

Point Lobos State Park Reserve
This gorgeous natural reserve offers easy walking trails and opportunities to view a range of birds, animals, plants and rock formations.

Big Sur Hiking Trails
Big Sur offers well over a dozen trails for hikers and backpackers, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging workouts. Trails vary in length from less than a mile to over 10 miles.

Garland Park
Located in Carmel Valley, Garland Park offers hikers views of historic buildings as well as a redwood canyon and a waterfall. Horseback riding is allowed on certain trails.

Hollister Hills
This is the premier destination in Central California for 4-whellers and dirt bike enthusiasts! There are miles of trails and a fenced motorcross track here, as well as campsites.

Rancho Canada Golf Course
Located along the beautiful Carmel River, Rancho Canada offers two championship golf courses.

California Nature Treks and Team Adventures
Experience fun in the great outdoors with these carefully planned and exciting teambuilding events in the San Francisco, Monterey, Napa and Half Moon Bay areas.

Wine Tasting

Carmel by the Sea Wine Walk
The Carmel by the Sea Wine Walk offers visitors access to 10 tasting rooms within the town’s square mile. Purchase a $65 passport from the Carmel Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center for a $10 flight at each of the 10 rooms!

Shopping

Carmel Shopping Plaza
Comfort Inn Carmel by the Sea is located just one block from Carmel Shopping Plaza, in the heart of Carmel Village’s famous shopping district.Carmel Shopping Plaza is set in an outdoor courtyard along Ocean Avenue, and features prestigious retailers including Bottega Veneta, Georgiou, Mark Fenwick, and Louis Vuitton, as well as spas, entertainment venues, and top restaurants.

Other Carmel and Monterey Area Attractions

17 Mile Drive
This famous, scenic drive, much of which is along the coastline, winds through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove. Enjoy views of the Lone Cypress, Bird Pock, and other famous landmarks along the way.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Visitors young and old will enjoy the amazing exhibits of ocean life at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Be sure to visit the interactive Splash Zone – sure to be a favorite with kids.

Cannery Row
No trip to Central California would be complete without a visit to Cannery Row! Made famous by the John Steinbeck novel, this destination offers a wealth of shopping and dining opportunities for visitors – right on the Monterey coast.

Fisherman's Wharf
Indulge in a bit of shopping, dining, and even whale watching at Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf! Consider taking a “Wharf Walk” with historian Tim Thomas - offered on the first Saturday of every month.

Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway
Located in Salinas, CA, the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway offers a year-round calendar of exciting motorsports events, as well as a store where fans can buy apparel.

Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail
This 18-mile trail is located along the coast, along the former site of the Southern Pacific Railroad. It’s a wonderful place for a picnic!

Asilomar Conference Grounds
Located in Pacific Grove, this property offers over 100 acres of beachfront land and flexible venue space for weddings, meetings and conferences.

Monterey Conference Center
Offering over 40,000 square feet of meeting space and a stunning coastal location, Monterey Conference Center is a fantastic location for large meetings or group gatherings.

Carmel Mission
Founded in 1771, this historic mission offers beauty and tranquility to all who visit it. The mission includes a museum and school; weddings are celebrated here as well.

Ride Pebble Beach
This roughly 6-mile trail, near Del Monte Forest, is a favorite with equestrians.

Scenic Highway 1 Coastal Drive/Big Sur
Arguably one of the world’s most scenic drives, the Big Sur coastal drive is over 130 miles. It takes you from Monterey to San Luis Obispo, with incredible views along the way.

Monterey Bay Whale Watch
Treat your loved ones to an exciting day of whale watching, courtesy of Monterey Bay Whale Watch! With a marine biologist on every tour, you’re sure to learn a lot about whales and where to find them.

Area Events

February
• AT&T Pebble Beach Nat’l ProAm

April
• Pebble Beach Food and Wine
• 23rd Sea Otter Classic
• Big Sur International Marathon

May
• American Le Mans Series
• Carmel Art Festival & Sculpture in the Park
• Cooking for Solutions

July
• Carmel Bach Festival
• U.S. Red Bull Grand Prix Motorcycle Races

August
• Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue
• Concorso Italiano
• Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

September
• Continental Tire Sports Car Festival
• 56th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival

October
• 5th Annual Carmel Art & Film Festival

November
• Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay

December
• Carmel's Holiday Tree Lighting

Things To Do

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Trees blowing with the wind