Carmel Valley Lodge

Monarch butterlfies on bright gold flowers with deep green leaves

Most Popular Museums Near Carmel CA

When you think of Carmel-by-the-Sea, you probably picture the beautiful beaches, rolling meadows, and towering redwood trees. While there’s no shortage of incredible scenery, one of the hidden treasures of Carmel is the rich culture and heritage waiting to be explored. For those looking to learn more about the area’s art, ecology, and history, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular museums near Carmel, CA.

Note: Check road closures/conditions of Highway 1 due to recent weather events (January 2023). Roads may be impassable and closed.

Carmel Mission Basilica

Built in 1797, Mission San Carlos de Carmelo is one of Carmel’s top attractions. While the Basilica is still an active parish, it also contains four museum galleries rich with historical information and beautiful works of art. Visitors are welcome to enjoy this historical monument’s serene gardens and unique architecture. (COVID-19 Update: All visitors are encouraged to wear a mask while indoors, unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask.)

Address: 3080 Rio Road, Carmel, California 93923
Phone Number: (831) 624 -1271
Hours of Operation: Wednesday & Thursday: 10:00 – 4:00 pm, Friday & Saturday: 10:00 – 5:00 pm, Sunday:11:30 – 5:00 pm
(Mission Grounds close 15 minutes PRIOR to store close.)
(Closed: Monday & Tuesday)

Pacific Grove Museum Of Natural History

For those interested in learning more about the natural beauty of Monterey County, visit the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Their permanent exhibits feature wildflowers, birds, mammals, and more. Their Monarch Sanctuary (located approximately ten blocks from the museum) is one of the largest overwintering sites in the country. Those fortunate enough to visit between November and February can witness these beautiful butterflies take wing in their natural habitat.

Address: 165 Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone Number: (831) 648 – 5716
Hours of Operation: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Wednesday – Sunday
(Closed: Monday, Tuesday, & all major holidays)

Monterey Museum Of Art

The Monterey Museum of Art is a feast for the eyes, featuring an eclectic mix of classic and modern works. Visitors will find themselves enchanted by the paintings, photographs, and contemporary artworks spread across the museum’s seven galleries. Their permanent and temporary collections all have one common goal: celebrating California’s incredible art and heritage.

Address: 559 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA 93940
Phone Number: (831) 372 – 5477
Hours of Operation: Thursday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
(Closed: Monday – Wednesday)

Tor House And Hawk Tower

Overlooking the incredible coastlines at Carmel Point, you’ll find Tor House and Hawk Tower. These two structures were home to American poet Robinson Jeffers, who took inspiration from the enchanting scenery of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The tour guides at Tor House will share the rich background of Jeffers’ life and perhaps recite a few lines of his work along the way, allowing you to see Carmel through the eyes of one of its most famed residents.

Address: 26304 Ocean View Avenue, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, 93923
Phone Number: (831) 624 -1813
Hours of Operation: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Friday & Saturday
(Closed: Sunday – Thursday)

Point Pinos Lighthouse on a bright sunny day with clear blue skies

Point Pinos Lighthouse

The oldest continually operating lighthouse on the West Coast, Point Pinos, has been a beacon for weary sailors since 1855. The lighthouse now serves as a museum, allowing visitors to learn about the area’s nautical history and appreciate its pristine preservation.

Address: Asilomar Ave and Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone Number: (831) 648 – 5722
Hours of Operation: Saturday: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm,  Sunday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
(Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.)

The Moto Talbott Museum and Collection

This is one of the best motorcycle collections on the West Coast. It features more than 170 unique motorcycles from 17 countries. From fully restored bikes to fixer-upper antiques, anyone who has a love for motorcycles will surely be impressed by this collection. General admission is $10, and children get in for free.

Address: 4 East Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, California 93924
Phone Number: (831) 659 – 5410
Hours of Operation: Thursday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
(Closed: Monday – Wednesday)

Once you’ve finished exploring Monterey Peninsula’s most popular museums near Carmel, CA, come back and recharge at Carmel Valley Lodge. Enjoy the serenity of our beautiful 3-acre grounds, take a dip in our newly renovated pool, and retire to one of our luxurious guest rooms or cozy cottages.

Updated January 2023


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