Day trips to Carmel from Livermore are very popular because Carmel is one of the best known towns on the California coast. Its scenic beauty and upscale ambiance is unique. Most people drive and take US-101 from Livermore to Carmel. It’s just over a hundred miles away - making it about a two-hour drive depending on traffic.
Carmel is a charming town on the shores of the Pacific Ocean along Highway 1 in Northern California. It is known for its spectacular views, sandy beaches, charming atmosphere and amazing dining spots.
Carmel is a mostly a destination for adults. There are not many children’s activities and attractions. The town is upscale with shops and boutiques to browse. Park your car and walk down the streets. The city is small enough that it will only take you a few minutes to walk through. But in those few minutes you’ll see great art galleries, cafes, places to eat and one-of-a-kind shops.
Ocean Avenue is the main street of Carmel. You’ll find it lined with fine cafes, galleries and unique shops. Scenic Drive is aptly named for its beautiful views. It follows the beach and is a great area for a stroll. You’ll see lots of walkers, dogs and people out for a run on Scenic Drive.
White sand, beautiful sunsets, native cypress trees, walks, surfing, kites, sunbathing and picnics are some of the many things you can enjoy at the Carmel beach. Dogs can run free, too. If you want to enjoy a fire at night, fires are permitted on the beach south of 10th Avenue.
With its location by the beach and the Pacific Ocean, Carmel enjoys some of the loveliest and most dramatic sunsets. Many people gather on the gorgeous beach in the late afternoon to watch the day fade away after painting the sky in brilliant colors.
Popular attractions include the Carmel Mission and the Gravity Garden.
The natural and spiritual beauty of the Mission is evident from the first moment you see the Carmel Mission Basillica. Its five museums, The Basilica Church, the Harry Downie Museum, the Munrás Family Heritage Museum, Serra Memorial Cenotaph, and the Convento Museum paint a vivid picture of the history and change that came about the area. The Carmel Mission addresses the history of Spanish rule and is one of California’s most important heritage sites.
The Gravity Garden is an art sculpture garden by Jim Needham. The sculptures are created out of rocks without the use of any supports or bolts. Some of the sculptures here are as high as nine feet. Others have paths and flower gardens weaving through the garden.
For more adventure, drive to Monterey to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row.
Take a drive to the 17-mile Drive in Pebble Beach. This world-famous road hugs the cliffs of Pebble Beach where you can see some amazing views from Point Lobos State Park to Carmel’s famous white sand beaches.