There are plenty of hidden gems in Northern California. In fact, Carmel, in Monterey County, doesn’t even have numbered street addresses, so GPS can’t locate any specific location — basically encouraging a day filled with wandering.
Here are our top places to go to for a scenic day trip…
1. Carmel Beach
Carmel Bay Beach is home to one of the most beautiful, white sanded beaches in the world.
And if you tend to be the type of person who can’t just lay around and “bake,” then this beach is even better for you. There’s a walkway called Bluff Path that’s parallel to the Scenic Road above Carmel Beach that offers amazing ocean views.
And what if you want to bring your pup? You (and your pup) will be happy to know that they can roam free here!
Keep in mind, this beach may be great for a sunbathing or a nice walk, but no swimming — there’s no lifeguard present!
2. Carmel Mission
You won’t be disappointed when you head to The San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission. Founded in 1771, Carmel Mission is an active parish church and a National Historic Landmark.
Get ready for the catenary arches, the 30-foot tall gilded reredos behind the altar, and the beautiful Munrás Courtyard — perfect for an Instagram selfie.
3. Point Lobos
The diverse wildlife and breathtaking ocean views make Point Lobos one of the top places to see in Monterey. There are hiking trails, tide pools, coastal wildflowers, and even a small beach for you to sit and relax.
The Sea Lion Point Trail is a fan-favorite. It leads hikers down a staircase, offering some of the best views of the areas sea lions. There are sea otters, too, if you head to the Cypress Trail.