Summer may be the time when the most people come to Carmel, due to school vacation; however, the coastal fog during this time can be excessively drippy and may hover over the coastline all day. The need to pack layers of clothing for a trip to Carmel is especially important at this time; mornings can be cool with a misty layer that burns off in the afternoon, but temperatures in Carmel Valley can soar into the 90s. Take advantage of the extreme differences and plan to use the cool of Carmel-by-the-Sea as a relief after a hot outdoor adventure in Carmel Valley. Planning in advance for a visit during this time will help with hotel reservations—especially if you have a favorite one in mind—because properties fill up quickly. Expect the requirement of a two-night minimum stay on weekends during this time.
While this area of California is consistently mild year-round, the winter months are cooler and bring the occasional shower. In outdoor-friendly Carmel, it’s not the best time for leisurely strolls through parks or on the beaches, nor for a shopping stroll—you may be dodging raindrops. But for those who are prepared for foul weather with warm and water-resistant clothing, the ability to be outside while everyone else is curling up by the fire can bring a big payoff. This is the time of year to see the wild Pacific surge along the coast, maybe even spy a passing whale, and enjoy crowd-free streets, shops and restaurants. Hotel rates can be at their lowest, although some hotels don’t lower their rates by much.