Carmel, California is one of the prettiest seaside towns along the coast! With so much natural beauty and perfect temperatures year round, there's never a shortage of things to do. Here's our 10 favorite things to do in Carmel with kids (that adults will love too)!
10 Things to Do with Kids in Carmel, CA
1. Take a walk downtown – Downtown Carmel is full of shops, coffee houses, restaurants and art galleries. I often stroll with my kids through all the hidden alleys and courtyards to spot enchanting fountains and statues. And there's always a delicious bakery nearby to grab some treats along the way!
2. Eat breakfast or lunch at Carmel Belle – This is one of our favorite restaurants to take the kids. It's very casual with options to sit inside or outside. Most importantly, the food is amazing! The kids always get a toasted chocolate hazelnut sandwich with fresh fruit. Yum!
3. Stay at Mission Ranch Hotel – Owned by the former mayor of Carmel, Clint Eastwood, this hotel offers accommodation options from individual cottages to a rustic bunkhouse. There's a restaurant on site, ocean and mountain views, and even some sheep which the kids always want to stop and visit.
4. Have a bonfire at Carmel Beach – Bring some beach toys for the kids and enjoy relaxing in the sand during the afternoon. Once the sun begins to set, have a picnic dinner and get your bonfire going. You can roast s ™mores and have a nice glass of wine to end the day!
5. Tour the San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission – Carmel is home to one of the 21 historic missions in California. You ™ll want to be sure to step into the Basilica Church, a National Historic Landmark, and marvel at its ornate architecture and various artifacts. Also be sure to tour the five museums at the mission and explore the beautiful courtyard and garden.
6. Take a stroll through the colorful gardens at Earthbound Organic Farm Stand – The farm stand is a must-see! About two miles inland is this beautiful farm with an herb garden, children's garden, market and delicious cafÃ©. You can pick fresh berries in the summer or take a walk in the corn maze in the fall. It's our favorite place to get lunch. Picnic tables are scattered about around their grounds to eat, the kids can run around and explore, and you can even finish off your visit with some organic ice cream!
7. Walk the trails at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve – Point Lobos is about 3 miles south of Carmel and is home to some of the most spectacular sites you ™ll ever see! This is the perfect place for anyone that loves birding, geology, hiking, and just being outdoors. Many of the trails run right along the rocky shore and some are even stroller friendly.
8. Go to story time at the local library – The Park Branch of the Harrison Memorial Library is a children's library located right in downtown Carmel. They offer a variety of storytimes and crafts for children, which my kids always love! After visiting the library, walk right next door to Devendorf Park and let the kids run around!
9. Have breakfast at The Little Swiss CafÃ© – This affordable and charming little restaurant not only serves a delicious breakfast (try the cheese blintzes and pancakes), but what the kids will really love are the murals! At first glance these murals seem pretty straightforward, but once you take a closer look, you ™ll discover all kinds of hidden surprises. There are over 50 hidden images within the murals including characters from Shrek!
10. Take a scenic drive along the coast from Carmel to Big Sur – This drive offers some of the best views of the coast and is nothing short of spectacular! Along the way you ™ll go over two historic bridges and drive past the Point Sur Lighthouse. Be sure to bring your camera and take advantage of the scenic stops along the way to get some great pictures!
There's just so much to do in Carmel and so many beautiful things to see. From historic sites to outdoor fun, you ™ll already be planning your next visit back.