Carmel-by-the-Sea vacation rentals

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Popular amenities for Carmel-by-the-Sea vacation rentals

Stay near Carmel-by-the-Sea's top sights

Carmel by the sea354 locals recommend
Carmel Plaza24 locals recommend
Dametra Cafe67 locals recommend
Carmel Mission76 locals recommend
La Bicyclette Restaurant59 locals recommend
Ocean Avenue15 locals recommend

Quick stats about vacation rentals in Carmel-by-the-Sea

  • Total rentals

    190 properties

  • Wifi availability

    190 properties include access to wifi

  • Rentals with dedicated workspaces

    90 properties have a dedicated workspace

  • Pet-friendly rentals

    100 properties allow pets

  • Family-friendly rentals

    140 properties are a good fit for families

  • Total number of reviews

    5.8K reviews

Your guide to Carmel-by-the-Sea

All About Carmel-by-the-Sea

Situated on California’s scenic Highway 1, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming town filled with art galleries, boutique shops, and cottages that look like they came straight out of a fairy tale. For more than 100 years, the town located just outside of Monterey has attracted creatives from all over, contributing to its distinctly bohemian, laid-back vibe. Besides its gorgeous beaches, Carmel boasts a lively downtown where you’ll find big-name stores alongside specialty, family-owned businesses. Stop by an independent cafe located in a European-style courtyard from the 1920s, or sample locally made wines in a Tudor-style home-turned-tasting room.

You can also take a stroll around the Comstock Historic Hill District, which features a collection of storybook cottages full of odd angles and quirky architecture, and each month there is an Art Walk when local artists showcase their work. Head to the late 18th-century Carmel Mission at the edge of town and admire its creamy exterior and richly decorated rooms. While the town of Carmel is certainly idyllic, the best way to explore the area is to get out of it through a scenic drive along the coastline.

The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Fall is one of the best times to visit Carmel, thanks to the warm, sunny weather that is perfect for exploring the nearby nature reserves and beaches. The temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much throughout the year, but it does take a little bit of a dip in winter, and you will see more rain from December to March, but this is the perfect time to visit if you’d like to explore the area with fewer people around. In the spring, the skies clear and bougainvillea blooms throughout town. The summer is the busiest season, and, though it never gets too hot, you will see almost no rain during this time. No matter what time of year you book your Carmel vacation rental, it is important to bring plenty of layers of clothing, as the weather can change quickly here.

Top things to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

This beautiful coastal reserve lies along the headlands of the Monterey Peninsula, home to rocky cliffs, white sand coves, and an array of hiking trails. The park has an incredibly diverse range of flora and fauna, including more than 20 species of land mammals, such as pocket gophers, bobcats, and grey foxes, as well as sea lions, red-shouldered hawks, and alligator lizards.

Monarch Grove Sanctuary

Just over 15 minutes north of Carmel-by-the-Sea, this enthralling sanctuary is one of the main southbound migration spots for Monarch butterflies. As you walk along the sanctuary's pathways, you can catch a glimpse of these fluttering orange and black beauties resting in the trees. The migration season generally lasts from mid-October until mid-May, but the Monarch Grove Sanctuary is a wonderful, tranquil place to visit all year round.

17-Mile Drive

Connecting Carmel to Monterey, 17-Mile Drive is one of the most scenic drives in California that features rugged seaside cliffs against the dark blue backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. Along the rocky coastline of the Monterey Peninsula, you’ll pass by the cities of Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach, as well as luxurious seaside abodes and the 250-year-old Lone Cypress that stands all by itself on a rocky outcrop.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is the weather in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

    Carmel-by-the-Sea has a mild Mediterranean climate. During summer, temperatures average around 68°F (20°C), and in winter, it's about 57°F (14°C). Rainfall is common from November to April, and fog often blankets the town, especially in the mornings and late evenings.

  • What are some of the best things to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

    Popular activities in Carmel-by-the-Sea include strolling through the local art galleries, visiting the historic Carmel Mission Basilica, exploring the unique boutiques and shops, or relaxing on the pristine Carmel Beach. Nature lovers can also enjoy bird watching at Carmel River State Beach.

  • What is the best time of year to visit Carmel-by-the-Sea?

    The most popular time to visit Carmel-by-the-Sea is between April and October. During these months, the Carmel Art Festival in May and the Carmel Bach Festival in July are frequently suggested events for tourists.

  • What are the best places to stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

    Downtown Carmel, known for its charming cottages and bustling boutiques, is a popular area to stay. The beachside area, with its close proximity to Carmel Beach, is also often recommended. The outskirts of the town offer a quieter, more secluded setting.

  • What are the best places to visit in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

    Visitors frequently explore the quaint Carmel Village, the historic Tor House, and the beautiful Carmel Mission Basilica. Other popular places include the Carmel Art Association Gallery, and the breathtaking Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.

  • What are some hiking trails in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

    For lovers of nature, Carmel-by-the-Sea has several trails to explore. Point Lobos State Reserve provides trails with ocean views, while the Mission Trail Nature Preserve offers woodland walks. There's also the Scenic Bluff Path that showcases the beautiful coastline.

  • What are some family activities to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

    Families can explore the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, take a scenic drive along the 17-Mile Drive, or spend a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A trip to the Carmel Beach or a picnic at the Devendorf Park are also popular activities.

  • What are some of the best day trip ideas in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

    Popular day trips from Carmel-by-the-Sea include visiting the historic city of Monterey, exploring the world-renowned Big Sur coastline, or touring the vineyards in Salinas Valley. A boat trip to see the marine life around Monterey Bay is also often suggested.

  • What are the most popular amenities for House Rentals in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

    Enhance your stay in our House Rentals with the most popular amenities: over 40 homes with a bbq area, over 20 homes with self check-in, and more. Indulge in the ultimate retreat, tailored to your preferences.

  • Are there vacation rentals with a dedicated workspace in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

    Yes! Work meets play with ease at over 90 vacation rentals in Carmel-by-the-Sea featuring dedicated workspaces. Stay connected and productive in your home away from home.

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