Things To Do And Eat In Carmel

This post contains affiliate links. We may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

We were invited to a press trip in Carmel. We were provided this experience to facilitate this series of posts on Carmel vacations. 

Mission Carmel

On the second day of our trip we drove to the  Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo. Ever since my 5th grade Mission Project {If you grew up in California, you totally know what I’m talking about} I’ve been fascinated by them and we stop to see any of them that we are close to. 

Carmel Mission photo

This mission was beautiful and I’m so happy we were able to stop by. We are heading back up to Carmel this summer and I’ll be stopping by again, but this time with the girls. They caught my Mission bug too and want to see them all!

Mission in Carmel

Carmel vacation guide


After we visited the Mission we went for a drive around the rest of Carmel to look at all the architecture.

That totally gives away that we are in the real estate industry too doesn’t it? I’m in love with the different styles and details. They have such a unique artistic flare to everything in Carmel and it was relaxing to enjoy it all! This gas station even caught my eye!

We were so happy to have the Kia Cadenza as our vehicle for the trip.

With the great gas mileage this was one two times we filed up the whole time. Such a comfortable and luxurious ride. If you haven’t been in a Kia recently you need to stop by and test drive one. They are very impressive!

carmel architecture

And then we were hungry.

Like REALLY hungry and excited to have dinner at The Grill On Ocean Ave. located in the heart of Carmel-By-The-Sea.

restaurants in carmel

Everything sounded amazing and I was so happy to see vegetarian options too! 

the grill carmel

From their website:

“The atmosphere at The Grill on Ocean Avenue is warm and relaxing — open, bright, modern and airy, tastefully trimmed in oak and linen around a large Carmel stone fireplace.

 The Grill on Ocean Avenue is one of the Monterey Peninsula’s 10 best restaurants, as named by Epicurean Rendezvous Restaurant Guide and the Monterey County Critics Choice list. The cuisine is lyrical, clearly California in its freshness and lightness.

 The warm and attentive staff, a generous well-balanced California wine list, with an emphasis on Monterey County wines, and complete bar service are additional elements that make The Grill on Ocean Avenue “the locals’ choice” for lunch and dinner.”

I couldn’t agree more! When we were out and about earlier in the day we chatted with some locals who asked where we were having dinner. I told them The Grill On Ocean Ave. and they told us we had made an excellent choice and they were right!

where to eat in carmel

The restaurant has a welcoming “beachy” feel which put us right at ease.

Everyone working at the restaurant went out of their way to make sure that their guests were all happy. I even overheard another guest asking for something special and the server immediately found a solution! It was charming and perfect after a day discovering the sights!

carmel by the sea restaurants

And there is also a full bar which is never a bad thing, especially when you are on vacation.

The restaurant is very close to the Inns and we walked their from ours so we felt comfortable having a drink and not having to worry about one of us being a designated driver like we always do. We never both have a drink so this was fun!

Carmel bar

Then there was the food.

Artichokes are one of my favorite foods and The Grill does it right! I had the Grilled Castroville Artichoke with Balsamic Aioli! Delicious! 

The Grill On Ocean Ave Carmel

For a starter, Pete had the bruschetta which was on special that day. Amazing!

appetizers in carmel

For my main course I had the Butternut Squash Ravioli. It was a huge portion and at $14.50 very reasonably priced.

where to eat in Carmel By The Sea

For dessert we split the huge Grand Marnier Crème Brulée with fresh seasonal berries. Loved it!

Carmel desserts The Grill

Learn more about The Grill on Ocean Ave on their website.   

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • The food looks great there. I am going to have to keep this place in mind if I ever make it out that way.

  • what a beautiful little place to visit. food looks amazing and the site seeing…so pretty! someday we will make a trip west!

  • We visited there once when we lived in California. I always thought I should open a candy store there and call it Carmel’s Caramels.

  • Carmel looks absolutely beautiful! I was invited to visit a few months ago but I couldn’t swing the airfare, so I sent a local writer to do it. She had so much fun and I loved her photos – yours are wonderful! I am so glad that you had a great time!

  • I love the architecture there and oh my that food looks amazing. Looking forward to seeing more from your trip.

  • I don’t blame you for being fascinated with missions, they’re some of the most beautiful structures! This sounds and looks like it was a really enjoyable trip 🙂

  • That Mission is lovely. I have always wanted to visit Carmel. I have seen so many posts with such beautiful pictures!

  • Okay, this sounds like an amazing place to visit. The food sounds and looks delectable! And what a ride you had! Thanks for sharing!

  • What a gorgeous place to visit. The food looks great and the architecture is gorgeous!

  • I know exactly what you mean about Carmel. It has an atmosphere all its own. So beautiful there, and relaxing. And, FYI, my sister drives a KIA and it has been the best car she’s ever had. No problems with it. She will be replacing it with another, when the time comes.

  • This place has such an old school, rustic beauty about it. Would love to visit it someday.

  • As much as I’ve traveled through Ca, living in SoCal my entire life, I have never stopped there! Thanks for reminding me of places so near!! Glad you enjoyed your trip!

Comments are closed.