Insider's Guide to Monterey & Carmel

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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  • Address: 3080 Rio Rd
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 9:30am - 5pm and Sun 10:30am - 5pm. Closed on major holidays.
  • Admission: Adult: $6.50; Senior: $4; Child: $2
The Carmel Mission, or San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission, to give its full name, was originally not in Carmel at all. Father Junipero Serra founded the mission at the Monterey Presidio in 1770, making it the second of California’s missions. It was moved to its current Carmel location on Rio Road, where there was better soil and water, the following year.

Although the mission was destroyed in the middle of the nineteenth century, it has undergone extensive renovations. Today the mission is a U.S. Historic Landmark, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only California mission to retain its original bell tower.

The mission is still home to a Catholic parish and, as well as holding mass several times each day, hosts regular concerts, art exhibitions and community events. Spanish Colonial liturgical art and artifacts are displayed throughout the church, which also features arched ceilings and thirty-foot altarpieces. The quiet courtyard and gardens are peaceful places to take a moment and in the mission's four museum galleries visitors can learn about the history of the area, the restoration and about all of the other California missions.

Practical Info:

Carmel Mission is open every day except Easter Sunday and Monday, Thanksgiving, and December 24th through 26th. It is free to enter the grounds but the basilica and museum have a small admission fee, which is waived on Sundays.

The mission is located less than one mile off Route 1.

Tours & Tickets

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Monterey Independent Bike Tour

Explore Monterey’s gorgeous coastline by bike at your own pace! See top Monterey Peninsula attractions such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pebble Beach and ...  Read more

Location: Monterey, California
Duration: 24 hours (approx.)

From USD $36.00

Monterey, Carmel and 17-Mile Drive Day Trip from San Francisco

4.5 star rating: Recommended 692 Reviews

Cruise along California's spectacular coastline on a relaxing day trip from San Francisco. You'll follow Highway 1 to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula home of ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $85.00

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