fun to do kids carmel california   Travel for Kids
  | California | Central Coast
     
   

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel Mission
  Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo is a must-see with kids. An easy walk down Mission Street from Ocean Avenue, this is one of the most beautiful of all the California missions, and the spot where Father Junipero Serra is buried. Take time to explore the gardens (don't miss the small graveyard with markers dating back to the mid 1700s) and the interior exhibits of mission life (including a padre's cell, refectory, library, and the cell where Father Junipero Serra died). There is a stillness and beauty to this place that makes it easy to imagine life when the state was being born – yet this is a working church as well, with baptisms and weddings and prayers, so children should be reminded to enter the church itself with respect.
    Beaches – Hit the beaches but don't expect to swim – the water in Carmel Bay is cold, and even in July, it can be overcast. Still, some of the most beautiful scenery in the world is along this coast, so make time for a picnic or a stroll along one of the beaches here. The most kid friendly beach is Carmel Beach (at the foot of Ocean Ave.), bring your beach toys and build sand castles all afternoon. One of the least crowded is Carmel River State Beach, where the Carmel River runs into the ocean and the dunes serve as perfect "lounge chairs."
  Parks – Carmel Beach City Park, right at the bottom of Carmel Hill is a great place to enjoy a sandwich. Forrest Hill Park near Junipero and Camino del Monte is also home to the Forest Theatre, where sitting under the spreading oak trees will transport you to a mythic place. Mission Trail Park near Rio Road just south of town is a great spot to pause while on a trek from town to the Mission.
  Point Lobos From Carmel, it's just a short drive to fabulous Point Lobos State Reserve.
   

Fun food

     

A favorite thing to do as a kid (and even now, with my own kids) is to get a sandwich and "people watch" from the stone benches in Devendorf Plaza (the park on the first flat block of town). Bruno's Market has a deli counter in the back of the store where they'll make you a tasty (and huge) sandwich any way you like it.

family hotels carmel california

Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in Carmel, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels in and around Carmel, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods that are comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:

Carmel family hotels
kids books california
     
 

Before you visit Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, find out about daily life at the mission – how they were built (this California mission is the first built of stone), mission buildings (a church, workshops, living spaces), and daily tasks. Historical illustrations and photographs. (Picture book)

 

(More children's books on other California pages)
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