Your Guide to Downtown Carmel and Beyond
Things to See & Do
The Central Coast is a place for living. The Getaway’s ideal location on Ocean Avenue puts you in the middle of downtown with easy access to explore the surrounding area. Immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape of the coast or indulge in retail therapy and excellent eats in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea. Whether you want to drop some serious cash or none at all, soak up the Carmel scene with our top picks.
Carmel City Beach
Known for its large white sand beach, Carmel City Beach is only steps from The Getaway. The beach offers a wide space for activities to satisfy every type of traveler, from hiking to kite flying, sunbathing to shell seeking, and beach bonfires to playing a game of fetch in the sand with your dog.
Carmel River Beach
Only minutes from The Getaway, Carmel River Beach has all the makings for a fun day on the sand, without all the foot traffic. This 1-mile long pet-friendly beach also attracts visitors who like to explore the adjacent lagoon with endless photo ops.
Garrapata State Beach
Located seven miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Garrapata State Beach is proud of its unspoiled vibes. Visitors can explore the spectacular shoreline and if lucky, can spot migratory whales off the coast.
Eat & Drink
Friendly ambiance, live entertainment, and spectacular service makes this charming space one of Carmel’s most beloved places to grab a bite.
Carmel-by-the-Sea calls for enjoying your libations on a rooftop under the sun or stars. After a meal of authentic pizza, housemade pasta, and Italian-Asian fusion sushi at Vesuvio, head upstairs to the Starlight Rooftop Lounge where you’ll walk out to a buzzing rooftop with firepits, music, and friendly bartenders.
Exploring the flavors of Oaxaca using the bounty of California’s Central Coast, Cultura crafts an unforgettable dining experience. The upscale Mexican bistro serves innovative mains, including ample vegetarian and vegan options, complete with a full bar specializing in seasonal cocktails and traditional mezcal.
The Cheese Shop
From Alsace Muenster to Cave Aged Gruyere, The Cheese Shop’s selection of gourmet cheeses from around the world makes for the perfect edible souvenir. Visit the long-running shop in Carmel Plaza for their esoteric wine selection and more savory treats.
Come for the rustic French and Italian cuisine crafted with locally sourced ingredients, stay for the Van Gogh table. The table at which Vincent Van Gogh enjoyed his meals at the Auberge Ravoux in France was generously gifted to this Carmel eatery.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The leading education, research, and conservation aquarium in Monterey offers an immersive experience through engaging programming. The exhibits are superb, with a variety of sea life including electric jellyfish, otters, penguins, sea turtles, and a touch pool.
The famed driving tour in Pebble Beach takes you along a picturesque stretch of coastline as you weave through forests, beaches, and golf cart thruways. Explore seal habitats, the Lone Cypress, and the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links from the seat of your car.
Princess Monterey Whale Watching offers exciting excursions off the Monterey coast to witness Blue, Humpback, Orcas, and Gray whales in their natural habitat. The year-round narrated whale watching tour is led by biologists and naturalists, ensuring it is as educational as it is exciting.
Start your visit at Weston Gallery in downtown for inspiration before venturing out on a photographic journey of Carmel and Monterey. The prominent photo gallery presents works featuring the surrounding area from the likes of Andel Adams, Edward Weston, and many more renowned photographers.
One-of-a-kind boutiques, wine tasting rooms, salons, wellness studios, and eateries make up the ultra chic Carmel Plaza nestled along Ocean Drive and Mission Street. Relax between browsing the shops in the pet-friendly open-air courtyard, complete with cozy seating areas, outdoor firepits, gardens, and an annual Summer Live Music Series.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Considered the “crown jewel” of the California park system, Point Lobos has family-friendly hiking trails, tidal pools, and exceptional views of the rugged coast. Spot pelicans, birds of prey, and a variety of marine mammals on the Cypress Grove Loop and Bird Island Trail.
The beautiful stretch of coast south of Carmel-by-the-Sea is a natural wonderland. From Carmel, take Highway 1 south and make frequent stops at the vista points along the way for glimpses of towering bridges, seaside cliffs, waterfalls, and rocky inlets.
Monterey Touring Vehicles
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.