Summer Activities for Families in Carmel

If you’re looking for fun adventures to enjoy with your family this summer, Carmel is the perfect destination. With a stunning coastline, thriving cultural scene, and incredible shopping options, there’s plenty of choices for activities to do.

Keep reading for our picks of the best summer activities for families in Carmel.

Visit Point Lobos State Reserve

One of the best family activities just outside of Carmel is the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Many trails run through the forest bordering the rocky cliffs. This makes it a perfect location for walks, photography, and relaxation.

This is a particularly great option for bringing children due to the wildlife available to see here. Keep an eye out for orcas and grey whales, in addition to mountain lions, bobcats, and hundreds of species of birds.

We’d recommend coming here for a relaxed stroll, before finding a tranquil spot for a bite to eat and to sit quietly with a good book. River House Books, located in The Crossroads Carmel, has a great range of new and classic books for both adults and children.

Explore Tor House

From celebrated artists to renowned  poets, our next recommendation for a fun family day out in Carmel this summer is visiting Tor House. Follow in the footsteps of Charlie Chaplin, Charles Lindburgh, and George Gershwin. Visiting this picturesque home, built by Californian poet Robinson Jeffers is an absolute must.

The staff provides informative tours of this idyllic property. Guided tours include Tor House, Hawk Tower, and the surrounding greenery. Tours are currently running on Fridays and Saturdays. There are also other events such as garden parties and musical concerts scheduled.

We’d recommend picking up some supplies before heading to Tor House as there isn’t a food facility on site. Fuel up on caffeine at Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company and stock up on quick (and sweet!) bites at Sweet Reba’s so the whole family has energy to explore during this fun day out.

Pack a Picnic for Seventeen Mile Drive

Another great picnicking destination in Carmel this summer is Seventeen Mile Drive. Just north of Carmel is a beautiful section of the California coastline. It’s perfect for enjoying warm-weather activities such as beach strolls, picnics, and golf courses.

If you need to refresh your summer leisurewear wardrobe, shopping at The Treadmill is a must. All the top brands such as Asics, New Balance, Patagonia, and The North Face can be found here. 

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the gorgeous sea lion cubs while checking out this lovely coastal area!

Find Local Art Inspiration

Another great family activity for those looking for some inner reflection is finding places that inspire art.

Before perching in a spot at a local beach or national park, head to Spencer’s Stationery to stock up on art supplies. A notebook and some colored pencils are light enough to carry around, and are also the perfect tools for helping your little ones draw any wildlife, flowers, or beautiful ocean scenes that capture their imagination.

If your family is interested in art, you can also go directly to places like The Lanai at The Crossroads Carmel to get inspired by artists who celebrate the art and culture of Carmel and Hawaii. Parents can enjoy wine and cuisine while appreciating the Hawaiian craftsmanship!

Relax at Palo Corona Regional Park

Next on our list of fun outdoor activities in the Carmel area is the Palo Corona Regional Park. This is situated just around the corner from The Crossroad Carmel and is one of the largest undeveloped spaces in the central California region.

The undisturbed habitat means there are plenty of opportunities to see some incredible flora and fauna up close. Look out for salamanders, mountain lions, golden eagles, black bears, and raptors. Who would have thought these majestic creatures would be right on our doorstep?

Two of the most popular points in the park are Inspiration Point and Animas Pond. Both are easily walkable for families. Be sure to reward yourself with a delicious wine from McIntyre Vineyards or Taste Morgan when you’re done with your trek!

Discover the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts

The final idea for your family fun this summer in Carmel is the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts. Established by Carmel-native Jeanne D’Orge in 1948, the center champions experimental art and innovative designers.

With various exhibits, a theater space, and a sculpture garden, The Cherry makes for a fantastic couple of hours for the family to enjoy.

If your children are aspiring performers, we suggest you check out Zearly and Metronome, a children’s toy store which also sells dance apparel and accessories.

We Hope You Enjoy These Incredible Summer Activities in Carmel

Now that we’ve covered the best of the summer activities available in Carmel, you can start planning how to spend your family time. Make the most of these fun days out in the beautiful Californian summer.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our website for a full list of the stores, dining options, and different services available at The Crossroads Carmel. We look forward to seeing you soon!